Monday, December 5, 2022

Naga Club writes to Kohima Village Council over Naga Club building

Dear Sir,

  1. Most respectfully stated that your benign authority of the Kohima Village Council being the traditional land owner of Kohima, by your benevolent goodwill had graciously, generously and thoughtfully provided land to the Naga Club to build the Naga Club Building. The Building went on to provide a conducive atmosphere for the Nagas to foster a vision to promote the Naga brotherhood and unity. It is a fact that esteemed members of Kohima Village had been spear-heading and instrumental in the formation as well as the sustenance of the Naga Club and the Naga Club Building since its inception in the likes of Mr Rheichalie Pienyü who was a part of the founding members and later Mr Peselie Suokhrie whose leadership protected and took care of the Naga Club during difficult times that confronted the Nagas and threatened the functioning of its official appendages. Your esteemed Village had in the past offered the land for the Naga Club Building below the Mission Compound, Kohima and then later at the present location near the Old Secretariat Complex. The Naga Club is forever indebted to the visionary contribution of Kohima Village towards the Naga Cause of unity and brotherhood. It is a known fact that the Naga Club Building had served the Nagas in various capacities in the past and especially for the furtherance of the Naga National Aspirations and even served as the office for the dignitaries concerned with the Naga Cause. The 1951 Naga Plebiscite speech was known to have been delivered from this very building. We are extremely grateful to your esteemed Village authority for playing a crucial part in promoting the distinguished image of the Naga society.
  2. With reference to the above-mentioned subject, the Naga Club Executive Council in its meeting held on 01.06.2022 at Kohima had unanimously decided to begin the construction of our Naga Club Building by 01.09.2022, which is presently under the occupancy of the Naga Students’ Federation. The reconstruction of the Naga Club Building is a long-felt need which is much overdue and imperative so as to ensure a proper and presentable contemporary Building at Kohima Headquarters with an earnest desire to rebuild a monumental asset to assert the rightful and distinguished image of the Nagas and to represent the illustrious legacy of our pioneer leaders and forefathers who had established the Naga Club on 07.01.1918 to represent the Nagas with much wisdom and foresight under the presidency and leadership of Mr Rheichalie Pienyü and his team.
  3. That on one hand the NSF is our endeared tenant of the said Naga Club building, please refer NSF’s rental application letter Ref No. NSF/Corres/2/83-85 dt 4th April, 1983 and the allotment of a part of our Naga Club Building rooms made by the then General Secretary Naga Club Vilavor Liegisie on rent basis given to NSF in a demi order note specifically mentioned on the body of NSF’s rental application letter dt 04.04.1983. The said NSF application for the rental of rooms bearing letter dt 04.04.1983 and our demi order dt 04.04.1983 are hereby enclosed marked as Annexure ‘A’. That NSF has paid Rs 500/- (five hundred only), in rent for the month of April 1983 on 07.04.1983, after which NSF has never paid our Naga Club house rent from May 1983 till date. NSF’s rental payment receipt issued by the then Gen. Secy. Naga Club on 07.04.1983 is hereby enclosed marked as Annexure ‘B’.
  4. That on the other hand NSF is from a Students’ Organization and because of which we have treated NSF as our children, and therefore we have never questioned NSF’s non-payment of our house rent despite the lone payment of Rs 500/- rent for the month of April 1983. The Naga Club, which is the renowned Naga apex body, is the parent organization for all, and for that fact we consider ourselves as NSF’s parents and elders and therefore NSF’s non-payment of our house rent has never been made an issue in the past for all these years since May 1983 nor has it been made an issue today, for the same reason.
  5. However, with the passage of time, the aforementioned Naga Club property has undergone the severest of depreciation and stand dilapidated without proper amenities, projecting our Naga people particularly the Naga Club and all that it represents, in a very poor light, as though it were in a deep slumber. It is therefore imperative and inevitable to demolish the existing building in its entirety and build a totally new building, well- equipped with facilities providing all the modern amenities for the welfare of all the Naga communities.
  6. Under the premises stated above, NSF was requested to vacate the building in toto on or before 27.08.2022, so as to enable this humble and noble venture of building reconstruction which is for the welfare and in the interest of the Nagas as a whole, irrespective of tribes, communities, domiciles, organizations, religions, genders, age groups, political affiliations including all the diasporas, overseas citizens and overseas students. However, the NSF has not paid any heed to our request, reminders and the deliberations in the informal meeting with them held on 07.09.2022.
  7. That the Naga Club repeatedly attempted to have meeting with the NSF but the later would not have any official meeting with us since 2018, and all our request letters to have meeting with them have been ignored. Our letters are enclosed marked as Annexures “C1” & “C2”. Our notice to the NSF for vacation of the Naga Club Building which stands dilapidated so as to rebuild a New Building has been unheeded by the NSF. Enclosed our Vacation Notice dt 12.07.2022 and our Reminder dt 29.08.2022 are enclosed marked as Annexures “D1” to “D5” and “E1” to “E2” respectively.
    Not only have the NSF failed to vacate the building to allow the reconstruction of the building so as to protect the honor of the Nagas, it is apparent that they have hidden motives in the following two areas to undermine and harm the facts of history for selfish gain:
  8. (1) To Distort the Naga Club History and Factual Evidences: On 07.09.2022 we the Naga Club had an informal meeting with NSF at Seyie’s Home, Kohima, where the President and Vice-President of NSF came and gave us copies of their Press Release dt 19.10.2018, enclosed their Press Release marked as Annexure “F1” to “F3” and their Public Statement on Naga Club Building dt 24.07.2022 and stated that NSF stand by their earlier statement in the referred Press Release which is hereby reproduced for your kind information, (quote) “Over a hundred years ago, our ancestors, who have been living fiercely independent and self-sufficient in a world of peace with themselves, had to participate in the First World War at the behest of Colonial rulers under different companies of “The Naga Labour Corps”, travelled to Europe thousands of miles away from their home. On their return, having seen the world, they began to share a vision of a collective Naga voice. Simultaneously, there was in circulation a socio-political consciousness amongst members of few educated Nagas in the Naga homeland. This consciousness at various levels heralded the formation of Naga Club in 1918, the first political and social cornerstone of Naga Nationalism, as we understand today” (unquote). This statement of the NSF has attempted to steal the credit from the founders of the Naga Club and give it to the Europe returnees of the Naga Labor Corps in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918. It must be stated here for the record and for posterity that the Naga Club was formed by educated staffs of the DC’s Office, Kohima who emulated the Officers Club of the British Officers then. It had no connection with the Naga Labor Corps whatsoever and the fact that Mr Rheichalie Pienyü, an educated staff of the D C Kohima who served as the President, Secretary and Treasurer for 24 years from 7th Jan. 1918 till 1942 is a testament to the fact that no Europe returnee took the initiative. The baseless claim of the NSF is a total contradiction to the Naga Club history and absolute contrary to the factual evidences therefore is a futile attempt to create confusion and take the credit from the founders of the Naga Club.
    In the same meeting the President and Vice-President of NSF also reiterated their earlier Public Statement dt 24.07.2022, which is quoted for your reference: (quote) “how could it (NSF) pay rent to an organization that was formed only in 2017/18” (unquote) and admitted that they will stand by it. This statement portrays not only ignorance of the NSF but also impertinence that defies all acceptable norms and behavior of the Naga people, who are known for honoring their elders with utmost respect and reverence.
    (To be continued…)
    Naga Club president Kuolachalie Seyie, Naga Club working committee chairman Khriedi Theünuo, Naga Club vice presidents Y. Vandanshan Lotha, K. John Lohe, Er. Talitoba Ao, Visa Meru Zeliang, Naga Club treasurer Hoshito Asumi, Naga Club working committee secretary Dr Viketoulie
    Pienyü, Naga club secretaries K. Gwanilo Himb and
    Thosiepa Katiry
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