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On the 74th Naga Independence Day

On the 74th Naga Independence Day

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement of Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) joins in raising the Naga National Flag of freedom in celebration of the 74th Naga Independence Day. We stand with the Naga people in North East India and around the world in calling for genuine peace, dignity and human rights.

On August 14,1947, a day before India gained its freedom from Britain, the Naga  declared its independence and formalized this in an agreement with the Government of India (GoI). However, seven decades later, the quest for peace remains elusive as the GoI continues to violate the political, economic and cultural rights of the Naga peoples.

Naga Land remains under the clutches of GoI, controlled by corporations and the elite profit-oriented development programs. Under the Look East Policy, trade zones, trans-national highways and railroads, oil exploration, and mining dispossess the Naga of their ancestral lands. Furthermore, the majority of Naga do not benefit from these projects. It is destructive to the environment and leads to the disintegration of indigenous lifeways.

As the peoples of Naga struggle for self-determination, the GoI answers with extensive militarization through systematic Military Civic Action, and implementation of repressive laws such as the Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. The IPMSDL stands with the Naga people against these militarist actions that do not address the root causes of conflicts. In fact, these worsen the human rights situation by undermining the people’s basic democratic freedoms and the rule of law.

As reconciliation talks between different revolutionary Naga groups and the GoI pursue, we join in the assertion of a peace anchored in justice, inclusivity, and utmost respect to people’s right to lands, resources and self-determination. Indeed, only by putting the collective voice of the marginalized sectors — the Indigenous Peoples, workers, peasants and impoverished populations — can a dialogue for peace be meaningful. Moreover, only by addressing the calls for justice and accountability for all the human rights violations we can achieve an inclusive, just and lasting peace.

We pay honor to the unwavering spirit and work of the movements, indigenous communities, and civil society organizations in taking the great uphill path to reclaim the future of Naga for the next generation.

To champion the cause of genuine peace, dignity and human rights in Naga is one big leap for Indigenous Peoples struggles across the world. Let our celebration strengthen our international solidarity for self-determination and liberation!#

Article published by International Indigenous Peoples Movement of Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) on August 17, 2020.