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Chronology of Naga Political Developments – Part One

Chronology of Naga Political Developments – Part One

This post presents brief notes on the Chronology of Naga political developments till the formation of Nagaland State in 1963. For  Chronology of Naga political developments post formation of Nagaland State, refer Part Two.

1826: The British annexed Assam in 1826.

1832– First contact between the British and the Nagas when Captain Jenkins and Lieutenant Pemberton escorted by Raja Gumbeer Singh‘s Manipur troops forced a passage through the Naga areas.

1866: Creation of Naga Hills district

The Naga Hills district was created in 1866 by the Government of British India with its headquarters at Samaguting.

1918 – Formation of Naga Club

  • Naga Club – the first sign of Naga resistance – provided the socio-political foundation for the Naga nationalist movement.
  • 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.

1919: Declaration of the Naga Hills District as a “Backward Tract”
The Government of India Act 1919 declared the Naga Hills District as a “Backward Tract”. The area was to be treated as an entity separate from the British Indian Empire.

1929: Memorandum to the Simon Commission

Naga Club submitted memorandum to the Simon Commission requesting that the Nagas should be given a choice of self-determination after the British departure from India.

1939, April 1: British District “Naga Hills” declared as “Naga Hills Excluded Area” under the Government of India.

1945, April: Formation of Naga Hills District Tribal Council

  • In April 1945, the deputy commissioner of the Naga Hills District, C. R. Pawsey, established the Naga Hills District Tribal Council as a forum of the various Naga groups in the district.
  • Naga Hills District Tribal Council replaced the Naga Club.

1946, February 2: Formation of Naga National Council (NNC)

  • In February 1946, Naga Hills District Tribal Council was reorganized as a political organization called Naga National Council (NNC)Naga National Council (NNC) was formed on 2nd February 1946 at Wokha in Lotha Region sponsored by the NHDTC / Naga Club.
  • NNC’s objective was to work out the terms of relationship with the Government of India after the British withdrawal. Mr. T. Aliba Imti became the 1st President of the NNC.
  • NNC had two central councils, one each at Kohima and Mokokchung. Each central council was split into a number of tribal councils, which were further split into sub-tribal councils. Generally, a sub-tribal council was formed with five villages. Members were not elected, but chosen by the NNC leadership.

1946, June: Demand for Autonomy

  • In June 1946, a memorandum was presented to the British Government wherein the NNC demanded an autonomous status for the Naga region. NNC passed a resolution on 19 June 1946 at Wokha in Mokokchung division – that it was against grouping of Assam in Bengal, and wanted the Naga Hills District to be included in an autonomous Assam in the independent India. It further emphasized local autonomy for the Naga Hills District, and a separate electorate for the Naga tribes.

1947, February 20: Demand for  Interim Government

The Nagas demanded an Interim Government(Guardian power), effected prior to the British departure, for a period of ten years and self-determination there after.

1947, June 26: Naga-Akbar Hydari Accord, 1947 or The Nine-Points Agreement

The Naga-Akbar Hydari Accord, 1947 or The Nine-Points Agreement (Kohima, 26-28 June 1947) signed by the Naga National Council (NNC) and the Governor of Assam.

  • On June 26, 1947, Sir Muhammad Saleh Akbar Hydari, the Governor of Assam, reached a Nine-Points Agreement with the Naga leaders with moderates like T Sakhrie and Aliba Imti.
  • The 9-point accord was signed between the then Governor of Assam, Akbar Hydari and the representatives of the Naga National Council at Kohima after three days of deliberation. The following Tribes represented at discussions on the 26th, 27th and 28th June, 1947 at Kohima: Western Angamis, Eastern Angamis, Kukis, Kacha Nagas (Mzemi), Rengmas, Semas, Lothas,Aos,Sangtams,Changs.
  • It was decided that the Nagas would be granted judicial, executive and legislative powers, as well as autonomy on land, taxation related matters. Another point in the agreement was to bring back land transferred to the Sibsagar and Nowgong Districts in the past and unification of Naga territories from nearby districts into the Naga Hills District.
  • The period of this Nine Points agreement was for 10 years at the end of which the Nagas could choose between extending the agreement or a new agreement.
  • However, the Indian Constituent Assembly refused to ratify The Naga-Akbar Hydari Accord. The Naga leaders envisaged a sovereign state with India as a “Guardian Power” for ten years, while the Indian Constituent Assembly concluded that the Nine Points Agreement guaranteed only a “district autonomy within the Indian Constitution”.

Ref: https://nagalandgk.com/naga-akbar-hydari-accord-1947-nine-point-agreement/

1947, July 19 : NCC meeting with Mahatma Gandhi
On 19 July 1947, an eleven-member Naga delegation led by A Z Phizo met the Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi at Delhi to discuss the issue of Naga autonomy and informed him of the decision by the Nagas to declare Independence.

1947, August 14 : Declaration of Naga Independence

On 14th August 1947, the NNC formally declared independence to the outside world by hoisting their national flag. Information about this declaration was also cabled to the United Nations as well as to Great Britain.

1947, August 15 : Independence of India

1948, January 4: Burma obtained independence from British

The Burmese obtained independence from the British Colonial rule on 4th January 1948. The Burmese Government claimed the Eastern part of Nagaland was an integral part of the Myanmar Union. The Eastern Nagas therefore fought against the Burmese army in the 1950s.

1950, December 28: Angami Zapu Phizo elected President of NNC on December 28, 1950

1951, May 16 : Naga Plebiscite for sovereignty

  • Naga Plebiscite of 1951 organised by the NNC – 99.9% of the Nagas voted in favour of a sovereign state. Assam Governor Shri. Jairamdas Doulatram visited and Memorandum for independence submitted to him.
  • Source: PHIZO’S PLEBISCITE SPEECH http://www.neuenhofer.de/guenter/nagaland/phizo.html

1952, January 25 : First General election of free India started

  • The Nagas did not participate in the Indian election.

1952, October 18 : Zasibito (from Jotsoma) a Naga leader and Asstt. Judge, Court of KCC, is killed by a Indian Officer on the main road of Kohima.

1953, March 3 : Nagas walked out on Nehru

  • The Prime Ministers of India and Burma, Mr. Nehru and Mr. U Nu, came to Kohima and is welcomed by the Naga representatives. More than 10,000 Nagas attended the meeting. Apparently, Nehru’s attitude was not one of openness as he did not try to find out the wishes of the Naga people, instead told them what they should do. In protest the Nagas elders walked out of the reception.
  • As soon as Nehru and U Nu left, arrest warrants were issued against the NNC leaders and they were hunted down by the Assam Rifles and the Assam Armed Police. This was followed by the invasion from Indian Army from Oct. 1955 onward.

1953, May 3 : The Assam police and the Assam Rifles launched a massive raid on Khonoma, the village of Phizo.

1953, May 29 : The Indian Armed Forces attacked Khonoma village.

1954, July 4: NNC established the Naga Supreme Court on July 4, 1954

1956, January: The Naga Hills District was declared a “Disturbed Area”, putting it under the Indian Army’s command.

1956, January 14 : The Yehzabo (Constitution) of Nagaland was approved on 14th January 1956 by NNC.

1956, March 22 :  Formation of Federal Government Nagaland (FGN) by NNC

  • Following the Yehzabo, the Federal Government Nagaland (FGN) was formed on 22nd March 1956 under the aegis of the Naga National Council.
  • This Federal Government was formed with the Nagas of the  “Naga Hills Excluded Areas” and the independent Nagas of “ Free Nagaland”.
  • Also on the same day the name of Naga country “Nagaland” was approved by the Tatar Hoho (Parliament) of the FGN.
  • Along with FGN, an underground armed wing Naga Federal Army (NFA) was also formed.

1956, June:  Formation of Naga People’s Convention

  • The Deputy Director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau (I.B.), S.M. Dutt , convened a meeting of the moderate Naga leaders, and named it the “Working Committee Meeting” for calling a convention in August. From these meetings the so-called Naga People’s Convention was formed.

1956, August 13: Farewell service of A.Z. Phizo for Alee (Foreign) Mission in 1956

  • NNC decides to send A.Z. Phizo on a Foreign Mission  to inform the world about the sufferings and plight of the Naga people in the hands of the Indian army. Farewell service of A.Z. Phizo was conducted on 13th August 1956 at Phensenyu village, Rengma Region.
  • He managed to reach London, U.K., on 12th June 1960. On 8th October 1960 he submitted a memorandum to the United Nations Organisation (UNO) attached with a document called “The fate of the Naga people – An appeal to the world.” In this memorandum he appealed to the world to intervene in the Indo-Naga conflict.

1956, August 23 : The first Naga People’s Convention (NPC) at Kohima.

1957,  December 1:  Creation of Naga Hills-Tuensang Area

  • On 1 December 1957, Tuensang Frontier Division was separated from NEFA and attached to the newly formed Naga Hills District to form a centrally governed Naga Hills-Tuensang Area. (W.e.f. 1st December, 1957, vide notification No.S.R.O.3843, dated 30-11-1957 Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II- Section 3, page 2877} .

1957, May 21 : The Second Naga People’s Convention

  • The Second Naga People’s Convention was held at Ungma, Mokokchung.
  • The Convention accepted the draft for a new Agreement with the Indian Government later to be known as ” Sixteenth Point Agreement”.

1958: The Third Naga People’s Convention was held at Mokokchung.

1958: The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act enacted

  • To quell the raising insurgency, military actions were intensified and government inducted Armed Forces and enforced Armed Forced (Special Powers) Act in 1958.

1959, July: The final draft of the Third Naga People’s Convention (NPC) is materialized as the Sixteenth Point Agreement between the NPC and the Government of India. It emphasised that the minimum demand would be full ‘Statehood Within the Indian Union’.

1960, July 26 : Sixteen-point Agreement 

  • Sixteen-point Agreement with the Naga People’s Convention leading to the formation of Nagalnad state within India.
  • “The territories that were heretofore known as the Naga Hills-Tuensang Area under the Naga Hills-Tuensang Area Act, 1957, shall form a State within the Indian Union and he hereafter known as Nagaland.”
  • General Shrinagesh, who was the first GOC of the invading Indian troops and later became the Governor of Assam exclaimed: “This (Sixteen-point Agreement) means leaving the Militants out of the settlement. It was with the Militants that the Government of India had to come to a settlement for peace in the area, and not with the ‘liberals’ who had no conflict with the Government of India.” (Harish Chandola; The Naga Story, p.139)

Ref: https://nagalandgk.com/text-of-the-16-point-agreement-between-government-of-india-and-naga-peoples-convention/

1963: The Nagaland and Nationalist Organization (NNO), is established.

  • Nagaland and Nationalist Organization (NNO) arose from the NPC.
  • Some supporters of the NNC established the Democratic Party of Nagaland.

1963,  December 1: Creation of Nagaland State

  • In February 1961, Naga Hills Tuensang Area was renamed to “Nagaland“.
  • On 1 December 1963, Nagaland became a full fledged state – the 16th state of India by Article 371A of the Constitution of India and placed under the External Affairs Ministry of Govt. of India.
  • At the time of inauguration of the Statehood there were three districts, namely Kohima, Mokokchung and Tuensang.
  • On 1 August 1965, the administration Nagaland was transferred from the Ministry of External Affairs to the Ministry of Home Affairs.


Continue to : Chronology of Naga Political Development – Part Two



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