Ao Students’ Conference commemorates 77th Naga Independence Day with reverence and hope

Mokokchung: Naga flag embodies ideals of nationalism, dignity, and freedom, Prof Lanusashi

BY | Tuesday, 15 August, 2023
Prof Dr Lanusashi with AKM officials and others on 14th August 2023

The Ao Students’ Conference (AKM) gathered at its headquarters to observe the 77th Naga Independence Day on August 14th, in a spirit of remembrance and aspiration. Under the theme “Significance of Hoisting the National Flag,” the event was graced by the presence of Prof Dr Lanusashi, Nagaland University.

Lanutoshi Aier, President of AKM, hoisted the Naga National Flag.

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Renowned scholar Prof Dr Lanusashi from Nagaland University served as the theme speaker, guiding attendees through a thought-provoking exploration of the day’s profound meaning. Prof Lanusashi underscored the historical milestone of August 14th, 1947, when the Naga National Council (NNC) proclaimed Naga independence, symbolized by the raising of the ‘Angami Shawl’ in Kohima. This declaration was further cemented in 1956 when the first Naga flag was unfurled in the Rengma region during the passage of the Naga Yehzabo in the presence of AZ Phizo and other leaders.

In his address, Prof Lanusashi articulated the need for a conscious and dignified approach to the celebration of this significant day. He highlighted the importance of understanding the deeper symbolism behind the Naga national flag, equating it to a mirror reflecting a nation’s independence and identity. Drawing parallels to the Indian flag, he emphasized that the Naga flag embodies the ideals of nationalism, dignity, and freedom.

Prof Lanusashi emphasized the significance of today’s August 14th celebration for the Nagas, representing the present, past, and future generations within the broader Nagas community.

Highlighting international support, he noted that since joining the UNPO in 1993, the Naga national flag proudly flew in The Hague and graced various global events, including those organized by international NGOs. These include the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, the International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs in Denmark, the World Council on Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights Associations of American Minorities, and the Society for Threatened People in Germany. Prof Lanusashi emphasized the role of the Indo Naga Support Group.

Emphasizing the importance of international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Prof Lanusashi highlighted their affirmation of the right to self-determination for peoples, urging remaining colonial nations to actively promote its realization. The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) further acknowledged the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples.

He stated “Now India cannot run away from its commitment and declaration to the world in its guise for claiming the champion of democracy that recognizes the unique history and situation of the Nagas; the Indo-Naga issue is political and requires a political settlement and referred to the Framework Agreement of 2015.”

He asserted that any solution must align with historical and political contexts, following the UN framework. Recognizing the inherent rights of the Nagas, Prof Lanusashi advocated for peaceful coexistence and emphasized the importance of good neighbourly relations. The scholar also called for universal recognition of the Nagas’ flag, flying it with dignity, equality, and freedom.

Furthermore, Prof Lanusashi urged for a Naga solution that adheres to historical, political, and UN principles, fostering peaceful coexistence and recognition of Naga rights. They advocated for the Naga flag’s acknowledgment by all nations, including India and Burma, to be flown with dignity, equality, and freedom.

Addressing the AKM members and youth in attendance, Prof Lanusashi urged them to actively contribute to the Naga journey ahead, emphasizing their pivotal role in realizing shared aspirations.

Satemmongba, the General Secretary of AKM, chaired the program. Aoyanger Tzudir, an Executive member of AKM, pronounced the invocation. The commemorative event concluded with a mass prayer.

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