The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Journey to Nagaland', by Mildred Archer. An account of six months spent in the Naga Hills in 1947

caption: leaving the Naga Hills
caption: threat by NNC to leave the Indian Union on 5th December
medium: diaries
person: PawseyMayangKevichusaYachenKhelosheLongriAliba
date: 2.12.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 2 December. Charali.
text: On our way down the hill today, we met three Ao interpreters returning from the N.N.C. meeting at Kohima. They were very excited and bursting with the news that on December 5th all Naga Government servants were to resign and the Naga Hills would leave the Indian Union. They told us that the N.N.C. had met from 26 to 28 November and how Pawsey had hurried back from tour on 29 November. Once again there was no agreement on policy. Mayang had wanted the N.N.C. to send him and Kevichusa to see the Governor, but Kevichusa still stuck to the Wokha decision and eventually the meeting decided that if the Naga demands were not granted by 5 December, the Naga Hills must take this drastic step. 'The N.N.C. will look small,' said the interpreters, 'if having given this ultimatum it now withdraws, so we must all resign.' The N.N.C. has guaranteed to pay their wages, provident fund and pension, they added. Mayang, Yachen, Kheloshe and Longri were all staying on in Kohima to await events and everyone seemed to hope that some new move would come from Delhi to avert the crisis. Anyhow, the interpreters assured us, there would be no 'lawlessness' in Mokokchung and we need not feel worried.
text: When we reached the foot of the hills, the sudden change of vegetation came as a shock. Here was a different world with its paddy fields, mango groves and dusty roads. We passed a creaking bullock cart and a small village with its broken-down bamboo huts. A hollow-eyed Muhammedan in a red-check gingham (162) lungi reclined on a string bed and a purdah wife peeped from behind a screen. Their skin looked oddly swarthy to an eye accustomed to Nagas. As we passed, our lithe interpreters and two strapping Naga girls striding by our sides, I felt we belonged to a different world. The two cultures seemed further apart than ever when one suddenly saw them side by side like this.
text: At the bungalow, we found a typed notice from Aliba announcing that at 12 pm on 5 December, the Naga Hills would leave the Indian Union. I appear to be leaving at the right moment!