Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Rejoinder to statements of nsf: Regarding the institution of the NC and its legacy

(From previous issue…)

  1. Need for Reconstruction of Naga Club Bldg and Demolition of the Old dilapidated Bldg:
    (Local Dailies news item dated 29-05-23)
    With the passage of time, the NC Bldg had undergone the severest of depreciation and stood dilapidated, without proper amenities, projecting the Naga people and particularly NC and all that it represents, in a very poor light, and the Bldg in very poor shape for the younger generation to inherit unless rebuilt. It is with this concern that the recent Executives of NC have undertaken the burden, the daunting task and responsibility of demolishing the dilapidated old Bldg, to rebuild a befitting building, commensurate to the tall stature of the institution of the NC, to assert the rightful and distinguished image of the NC and to serve as a monumental asset as well as to honor the illustrious legacy of our pioneer leaders and forefathers who established the Institution of the NC to represent the Nagas with much wisdom and foresight.
    The reconstruction of the NC Bldg is a long-felt need which is much overdue. It is, therefore, imperative and inevitable to demolish the existing Bldg in its entirety and build a totally new Bldg, well-equipped with modern amenities for the welfare of all the Naga communities. Prior to the demolition, several request letters and pleadings including notices to vacate have been communicated to the NSF whereby, sufficient time was given in each case but was never responded and there was absolute silence by the NSF.
    The demolition of NC Bldg has been misinterpreted and sensationalized with emotional rhetoric for vested interest by the Tenant/NSF Officials who were collecting monthly rentals by un-authorized renting of the whole Bldg. Such shameless nature is alien to the Naga culture. The demolition of the old and dilapidated NC Bldg can never be called an act of vandalism because, primarily vandalism involves the destruction of public or private property without intent to restore or rebuild. Secondly, in the instant case, it is demolished at the behest of the Officials of the NC. Thirdly, due notice has been served and time has been given to all tenants to vacate the premise and which many did. There is no controversy with regard to the timing of demolition in the morning hours which is chosen to avoid traffic congestion and public inconvenience. Needless to say, the place has many important Govt Offices, political party office, shopping complexes, a public ground, State Bank and military barrack in the vicinity.
  2. Vacation Notice to the Tenants:
    (Local Dailies article dated 29-5-23)
    The need for the reconstruction of the Bldg has necessitated the need for tenants to vacate the Bldg to allow demolition and reconstruction. Since the NSF had refused to have any meetings with the NC inspite of repeated requests, it became imperative to serve notice to vacate the Bldg. Two notices were served on 12-7-22 and 6-03-23. Sufficient time has been given in both cases. The statement of the NSF Officials that ‘the vacation notice had expired long time back’ is absurd and does not give any legitimacy to occupy beyond the sufficient time granted for vacating the Bldg. On the contrary, any stay beyond the period granted for vacation is unwarranted and illegal. Other tenants who vacated one third of the NC Bldg were demolished peacefully in the preceding weeks. But when the demolition came closer to the NSF/tenant Office, they kept on obstructing the work without any communication to Naga Club.
  3. Regarding Another NC (NFA) of 1979 Alleged by the NSF.
    (Local Dailies article dated 25-7-2022)
    The statement of the NSF (quote) ‘the building then was being claimed by another group of individuals, in the name of another Naga Club, and the dispute was in the court of the Kohima Deputy Commissioner, for hearing’ (unquote), implies that either the NSF is not aware of the matter in toto concerning the claim of the Bldg by some individuals, or it is speaking half truths to distort the facts and thus its repeated statement of ‘individuals laying claim as the owner of the NC Bldg’. It may be stated here for the enlightenment of the office of the NSF and also the public that this incident dates back to 1979 in the period when the NC laid hiatus. The Naga Football Association (NFA) on 8th Sept. 1979 led by a group of few individuals had allegedly claimed to have formed a Naga Club to stake claim as the legitimate owner of Naga Club. This so-called Naga Club was actually a Naga Football Club and has no relation to the socio-political Naga Club formed in 1918 and well known for the Memorandum to the Simon Commission.
    On revival of the NC on 7th Jan. 1982 at Kohima Vill. Panchayat under the auspices of the Naga Elders’ Conference who took the responsibilities of NC when it laid hiatus, there ensued a claim of legitimacy of the Naga Club by the so-called Naga Club formed by the NFA and a case was filed in the Court of DC, Kohima. Subsequently at the initiative of Angami Public Organization (APO), the two contending parties met on 20th Aug. 1983 and resolved the dispute. This matter of some individual laying claim of ownership of the Naga Club property therefore has been disposed off and the so-called new Naga Club formed by the NFA was dissolved and the original Naga Club which was revived under the patronage of the Naga Elders’ Conference on 7th Jan. 1982 was bestowed the legitimate rights of the Naga Club. The NSF has been trying to delegitimize the rightful Office of Naga Club so as to stake claim of the NC Bldg and the plot on which it stood.
  4. The Naga Club Centenary Monolith.
    The NC, in the early part of 2018 conveyed to the NSF of its plan to erect a monolith to commemorate 100 years of NC and had even requested the NSF to come forward as partners of NC to which their response was very positive. However, after the Federal Assembly of NSF held at Senapati Dist, Manipur in the month of Sept 2018, the NSF took a ‘U-turn’ and refused to meet the NC, stating that their meeting with the NC would legitimize the NC, a stand which they have adamantly taken to this day, and refused to even respond to the Club’s various letters of requests for meetings or eviction notices.
    Furthermore, the NSF refused to allow the NC to erect its 100 years Centenary monolith at the rightful site of the NC Bldg. It mobilized innocent students to be used as human shield anticipating violent conflicts with the NC. The NC in order to prevent further escalation of physical confrontation into violent conflicts, decided to erect the monolith at Jotsoma near the tomb of Zasibeito Nagi, the first Naga Martyr for Naga Political cause. History will not be kind to NSF for this deliberate act to obliterate and erase the legacy of the NC and will go down as a very unfortunate ‘black incident’ in the Naga history that the NSF had committed on the legacy of Naga people.
  5. NSF/Tenant attempts to Obliterate the Existence of Naga Club and Push it to Oblivion.
    While allegedly claiming to be the custodian of the NC, its legacy and its property, the activities of the NSF/Tenant indicates that it is on a mission to delegitimize the NC so as to usurp its Bldg and the plot of land and then to obliterate the NC. Under mentioned are some of the activities that prove that NSF is making attempts to distort the facts and wipe out NC, thus working against the interest of the Nagas:
    a. It refuses to allow the re-construction of the NC Bldg to honor the legacy of the NC, and thereby to continue to humiliate the Nagas and their legacy of NC through the old and dilapidated Bldg. It has already caused enough delay in the re-construction of the Bldg.
    b. It denounced the office of the NC where the living former office bearers are still the advisors to the NC.
    c. It has caused irreparable damage to the legacy of the Naga people and the NC by disallowing the 100 years Centenary monolith of the NC to be erected at its rightful public place beside the NC Bldg in the heart of Kohima Town, thus preventing a symbolic monolith of the Naga history from being seen, noticed and heard by the public.
    d. NSF also erected a parallel Naga Club Centenary Monolith at Solidarity Park Kohima without authority. This is a theft of a historical landmark, and an act to distort NC history and confuse the upcoming generations.
    e. It tried to usurp the plot of land of the NC Bldg by transferring it into its name, which was admitted by the NSF President himself (Local Dailies dated 29-5-23) but was stopped by the NC from such acts of manipulation and distortion of history.
    f. NSF mischievously used innocent students to hold placard that says NSF has the right to inherit the NC Bldg. Not only is the NSF misguiding the innocent minds by distortion of facts of history, it is endangering their lives and innocence in conflicting issues for personal gain.
  6. Custodianship and Obligation of the Naga Club Officials towards the Nagas:
    The NC Bldg belongs to the Naga people without borders. The incumbents of the Office of the NC are only mere but rightful custodians of the Institution of the NC entrusted to work for the larger interest of the Naga people though the NC. Kewezü Mero, the Advisor to NC has been residing in the NC Bldg till recently and has vacated to allow the re-construction of the Bldg. The responsibility of the Office incumbents goes beyond the physical Bldg and the plot of land. They have a burden and a duty to preserve and protect the legacy of the past, to uphold the interest of the whole Naga community wherever they be, promote unity and understanding, be caretaker to NC assets and protect it from being usurped by any person or organization, and to protect the facts of Naga history from distortions and to preserve the rich legacy and present it to the younger generation for posterity.
  7. Reconstruction of NC Bldg and the vision ahead:
    Although the NC started as a social Club, because of its connection to the Simon Commission, it has been immortalized and has become a living Institution for all the Nagas that became a forerunner to all other subsequent Naga organizations. And though the NC laid dormant for some period of time, it has been reactivated into a vibrant functional body. The NC is deeply concerned with the historical significance of the Club and the historical relevance to the Nagas, and the NC Bldg that projects the image of the Nagas.
    It is on this account that a reconstruction of the NC Bldg thus gains significance and becomes imperative. It is the earnest endeavor of the Officials and representatives of the NC to restore the NC Bldg that befits the tall stature of the Institution of the Naga Club and its legacy and to pass it on to the younger generations. In pursuit of this noble task, the land patta, the construction permit, the construction committee, the finance committee etc are all set in place and ready for the benevolent mission. However, it is no surprise that there are selfish and divisive minds trying to create misunderstanding, misinformation and distortion. Even then, we the Nagas shall overcome. As Albert Einstein aptly said, ‘Great Spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    Once the reconstruction of the NC Bldg near the Old Secretariat Complex Kohima is completed, it is envisioned to house a large MUSEUM to preserve and display the Naga traditional artefacts such as antiques, ornaments, tools and equipments, alongside a LIBRARY where all the literature referring to the Naga people, its history, social, political, economic, literary, and important aspects of the Nagas are made available so as to exhibit and preserve the illustrious history, culture, heritage and legacy of the Nagas for posterity.
    In consonance with the old tradition where the NC Bldg served as an amenity for the Naga public, it will also house an Office as a Morung, a Conference hall and also make provisions to house the people coming from the remote Naga inhabited areas as was done in the past and various representation of all the Nagas encompassing an inclusive Pan-Naga community to foster unity and to pave way for better understanding so as to usher in progress, development and peace. It is, therefore, hoped that wisdom will prevail over youthful brashness in the greater interest of the Nagas. In view of this benevolent mission with a vision, the Naga Club welcomes every Naga to be a part of this historical legacy without any misgivings.
  8. Kuolachalie Seyie, President, NC; 2. K N Mhonthung Lotha, Gen. Secy, NC; 3. Kewezü Mero, Advisor, NC; 4. Khymo Lotha, Advisor, NC; 5. Pheluopfhelie Kesiezie, Advisor, NC; 6. Dr Vinito L Chishi, Advisor, NC; 7. Ariyi Nienu, Advisor, NC; 8. Prasielie Pienyü, Convenor, Descendants of Simon Commission Signatories.; 9. Adv. Khriedi Theünuo, Convenor, WC NC; 10. Dr Viketoulie Pienyü, Secy, WC NC; 11. Seyiekuolie Kesiezie, Finance Secy., NC; 12. Robert N Solo, Chairman, Programme Committee


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