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1.  Under the given headline, in the last part, the publication says, “Nagas have ancient link with Bhartavarsh. When Pandavas were in agyatvas(Incognito exile), Arjun, the greatest archer, married a Naga damsel – Ulupi. Again, Aniruddh – the grandson of Lord Krishna married another Naga beauti – Usha from Wokha. It is believed that Wokha is derived from Usha”, it says.

First of all, thanks go to the concerned for attempting to show a gesture that Nagas too had a share in the history of Bhartavarsh or Mahabharata.

2.  HOWEVER, IT CREATES CONFUSION WHICH NEEDS CLARIFICATION BASED ON HISTORICAL TRUTH:

As known to historians, Arjun (Arjuna) is one of the major characters of the Indian epics Mahabharata written by Vyasa about 200 BC and after that Ramayana by Valmiki about 100 BC In all these writings, the dates claimed varies with vast differences mostly supported with mystical interpretations difficult to settle.

Arjun was considered the godchild of Indra, born as the third-child of Pandu and Kunti. In the epic he is the third of five Pandava brothers. Ulupi, also known as Uluchi and Ulupika, is a character in the epic Mahabharata. She is a Naga princess, the daughter of the king Airavatha Kauravya, and is among the four wives of Arjuna (Arjun). Her name also finds a mention in the Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana. Kauravya is the name of a serpent (sarpa) – a tribe of snake worshippers.

Ulupi (Uloopi) was the daughter of Airavatha Kauravya, the Naga Chief. Kauravya/Kurus/Aryaka were a tribe during the Vedic civilization of India. The Uttara Kuru were a population to the north of the Kurus, or north of the Himalayas.  Ulupi was a widow and childless with her first husband as he was killed by Garuda. In Mahabharata, Pandavas was situated near where modern day Delhi city is situated. Hastinapura is in the same location. It is in Meerut District in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

3.  In respect of the relation between Usha and Aniruddh; according to the Srimad Bhagavatam, a daitya princess name “Usha”, a daughter of Banasura (also referred to as Bana), fell in love with Aniruddha (Aniruddh), grandson of Lord Krishna. Banasura was ruling his kingdom from the city of Sonitapura (today’s Tezpur) was the son of Bali and the grandson of Prahlada.

The Bana or Vana was a dynasty based, in south India, who claimed descent from Mahabali. The dynasty takes its name from Bana, the son of Mahabali.

4.  It is very clear that these two daughters: Ulupi or Usha were not from Nagas of Nagaland or from Nagas of Naga Hills. The names like Ulupi and her father Airavatha Kauravya, or Usha and her father Banasura were not Naga names of Naga Hills. Thus, Mongoloid Nagas of Naga Hills or Nagaland have no link or connection with Bharatvarsh or Mahabharata.

5.  Yes, the similar word “Naga” is found in many parts of the world and so also in India; with different meanings, myths and interpretations. How the word has been originated or how the name “Naga” has been ascribed to them, even the Nagas of Nagaland or Naga Hills have been ignorant of it till this day.

6.  In Hindu book titled Mahabharata, another story has been told that a Naga kingdom was the territory of a hardy and warlike tribe called Nagas. However, it is clear that Nagas referred here in Mahabharata were the Aryan kings belong to Lunar Dynasty called Chandravanshi. Nagas of Naga Hills or Nagaland all belong to the great Mongoloid race – not Aryans.

7.  Still another story is mentioned, “The Naga dynasty came to power at the expense of the Kushanas. This Naga dynasty who came from North-west China and ruled parts of North Central India during the 3rd and 4th centuries AD after the decline of Kushana Empire.

The Kushanas were believed to be a group of ancient blacks, perhaps, Austrics, and these Naga people were still the largest sub-group of Kushitic speaking people in the area. Naga cult has been a part of Kashmiri valley since pre-historic times.

8.  In Hindu mythology, the Naga plays an important role as the serpent of wisdom. In Rigvedic account, there is a mention of Naga or Ahi (serpent) race, Naga warriors or Naga kings among them Ahiventra is prominent. However, Nagas of Naga Hills were never snake-worshippers. In fact, Nagas of Naga Hills have been great-eaters of snakes for its delicacies and medicinal values.

Can a man eat his own god? We have to honestly admit that real Mongoloid Naga race of Naga Hills have never ever set up a Naga King or a Naga kingdom in its history till today except Village Republic Sovereign States.

9.  The writings of Vedic literature (Aryan literature): puranas (old stories) were the works from 1,100 BC downwards. Itihasas (epics/grand stories) like Mahabharata and Ramayana were works between 500-100 BC. Chins, Kachins and Nagas together moved out from Yunan province, South China, and started their settlements in today’s Kachin state, Chin lung/Sin-lung (Chin-hole) and Hukung (Hawkung) valley and Sagaing Division beginning from the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Time-gab between Mahabharata and the Nagas was too big. The Nagas were too young to participate in Mahabharata.

10.  In Sanskrit, Naga means “serpent”. In Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism, the word “Naga” means “snake” and is a member of class of mythical semi-divine beings and half-human.

To all the three: Hinduism Buddhism and Jainism, Naga means “snake”, “serpent” or “cobra”, the divine. Naga sadhus are considered as the militant groups of Hindus for safeguarding Hinduism from foreign influence or invaders in order to protect their religion.

11.  History clearly tells us, Bharatvarsh kingdom was from Hindukush extended down to Brahmaputra River only. The North East Frontier Region had not fallen into that kingdom in those days.

Thus, the Mongoloid race particularly the Nagas of North-East Frontier Region have no link or connection with Bhartavarsh or Mahabharata, though, the same name “Nagas” is borne by us. The Nagas of Nagaland or Naga Hills who are of the great Mongoloid stock may not be dragged into confusion of such incorrect information which is misleading. Or otherwise, it can be termed as an attempt to religious invasion with fallacies and manipulations. That is not the way to write history.

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Zapra Chakhesang

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