Longkhum, 10 January (MTNews): The Naga Club in a solemn ceremony commemorated the ‘Naga Magna Carta Day’ today at Longkhum village in Mokokchung district, Nagaland. The day marks the submission of a memorandum by the Naga Club to the Simon Commission on 10 January 1929. The Naga Club, led by its president Kuolachalie Seyie, also paid homage to the legendary Naga leader Imkongmeren Ao, who was vice president of the Naga National Council (NNC).

Naga Longkhum Imkongmeren
Kuolachalie Seyie, members of Naga Club, and Longkhum village elders during ‘Naga Magna Carta Day’ at Longkhum village, Mokokchung, 10 January.

Delivering his presidential address on the occasion, Seyie emphasized the importance of the Naga Club playing a crucial role in providing a factual review of the past, a truthful assessment of the present, and contributing visionary thinking for the Naga society’s future.

The Naga Club president then remembered Imkongmeren Ao, recognized for his pivotal role in establishing the roadmap for the Naga people during changing times. Imkongmeren Ao, a towering Naga leader, was remembered for his clarity and vision on the Naga political position and his unflinching love for the Naga country.

“We celebrate his life and remember with deep affection all that he gave so sacrificially for the posterity of the younger generations,” Seyie said.

Seyie underscored the enduring respect for Imkongmeren Ao and the steadfast role played by Ao villages in preserving the Naga Movement through challenging decades.

He said that Naga visionary forefathers submitted a historic memorandum to the British Statutory Commission headed by Sir John Simon on 10 January 1929, declaring as “Leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient time,” which became the first written Magna Carta of the Naga National Politics and laid down the rock solid foundation of the Naga people’s rights that gave the legitimacy and the mandate to self- determination.

“This 10th January every year is a Red-Letter Day for all of us and on this day we look back at our staunch patriotic Naga National pioneers and legendary leaders like Imkongmeren Ao,” Seyie added.

Providing a historical backdrop, it was highlighted that Longkhum Village, a prominent village of the Ao Naga, held immense authority and influence during ancient days. The village’s transition to Christianity was a significant event, symbolizing a shift in the region’s socio-cultural landscape.

A detailed biographical sketch of Imkongmeren Ao, born in 1900, was presented, shedding light on his pivotal role in founding the Ao Students’ Conference, his political initiatives, and his simultaneous leadership of the Ao Tribal Council (ATC) and NNC. The narrative also touched upon the challenges faced by Imkongmeren Ao and his family during the Naga struggle, including arrests, harassment, and the confiscation of property.

Imkongmeren Ao’s steadfast commitment to the Naga freedom struggle, his family’s sacrifices, and the enduring legacy left by pioneers like him were celebrated during the ceremony.
The ceremony concluded with a reaffirmation of the Naga Club’s commitment to upholding the legacy of Naga leaders and thinkers.

“Because of the imperishable legacy and heritage of our pioneer thinkers and staunch patriotic leaders like Imkongmeren Ao who deeply loved their people, land and gave their best and their all sacrificially, the Naga unquestionable political history shall never ever die,” Seyie said.

(Read full speech here)

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