Naga nationalism | Wikipedia audio article

Naga nationalism | Wikipedia audio article


Naga nationalism is an ideology that supports
the self-determination of the Naga people in India and Myanmar, and the furtherance
of Naga culture.==Formation of the nationalist identity==Some Naga groups share a common belief of
their ethnogenesis as a distinct people: these groups include Angami, Sema, Rengma, Lotha,
Zeme, Liangmei and Rongmei. According to this belief, the ancestors of the Nagas lived in
harmony together at a place called Mahkel (identified with the present-day Mao village
of Makhel in Manipur, and, alternatively, believed to be near the Chindwin river in
present-day Myanmar). As their population grew, they decided to split and spread outside
Makhel. According to the Heraka faith, the Naga peoples took an oath pledging that they
would come together again and live as a kingdom.However, when the British arrived in India, the various
Naga tribes had no common national identity. The term “Naga” was a vaguely-defined exonym,
which referred to the different tribes in present-day Nagaland and its surrounding area.
The different tribes spoke mutually unintelligible languages and had distinct cultures but they
are inextricably interrelated. Each Naga village was a sovereign state ruled by tribal elders.Internecine
feuds, wars and headhunting campaigns were common among the Naga tribes. The British
captured several Naga territories and consolidated them under the Naga Hills District of Assam.
During the British rule, missionaries such as Miles Bronson and Edwin W. Clark introduced
Christianity to the area, greatly changing the social and political fabric of the local
society. The common Christian identity led to peace and unity among the various Naga
tribes. Nagamese developed as a link language for inter-tribe communication.==Naga Club==
During the Kuki revolt (1917–19) and the World War I (1914–18), the British Government
recruited a number of labourers and porters from the Naga tribes. As part of the labour
corps, around 2000 Nagas were sent to France, where, alienated from the other British Indian
troops, they developed a sense of unity. They agreed that after returning to their homeland,
they will work towards unity and friendship among the various Naga tribes. These Nagas,
together with the British officials, formed the Naga Club in 1918.This club provided the
socio-political foundation for the Naga nationalist movement. In 1929, the Club submitted a memorandum
to the Simon Commission, requesting that the Nagas should be given a choice of self-determination
after the British departure from India.==Heraka movement==
Heraka was a religious movement led by Haipou Jadonang and his successor Rani Gaidinliu,
who sought to establish the legendary kingdom of the Naga people during 1929-33. The two
aimed at creating a feeling of religious nationalism among the Nagas, mainly the Zeliangrong tribes
(Zeme, Liangmei and Rongmei including Inpui-Kabui). They launched an independence struggle against
the British, and sought to establish intertribal solidarity and unity. However, the movement
was not widespread outside of the three Zeliangrong tribes due to its antagonistic attitude towards
Christian converts and the Kukis. The movement also developed into a political uprising against
the British, which prompted the Government to clamp down on it.==Naga National Council==
In 1945, C. R. Pawsey, the deputy commissioner of the Naga Hills District, established the
Naga Hills District Tribal Council as a forum of the various Naga groups. This body replaced
the Naga Club, and a year later, developed into a political organization called the Naga
National Council (NNC). The NNC initially demanded autonomy within the Indian Union
and a separate electorate. However, later, under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo,
it adopted a secessionist outlook and campaigned for the creation for a sovereign Naga state.
The NNC declined as differences developed between Phizo and other leaders, and Phizo
got the NNC secretary T. Sakhrie murdered in January 1956.==Formation of Nagaland==
After a series of armed conflicts and peace missions, the Government of India agreed to
create the Naga Hills Tuensang Area (NHTA), a Union territory with a large degree of autonomy.
After further protests, violence and diplomatic discussions, the Government recognised Nagaland
as a full-fledged State within the Union of India. Since then, the Naga nationalism has
co-existed with Indian nationalism. Nagaland recorded more than 87% voter turnout in 2014
Indian general election which was highest voters turnout in India which Indian authorities
consider as faith of Naga people in democracy of India.==See also==
Ethnic conflict in Nagaland Naga National Council
Natwar Thakkar Tripuri nationalism

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