Phizo's village wants reconciliation first, integration later

Phizo's village wants reconciliation first, integration later

Peace in piecemeal

Phizo's village wants reconciliation first, integration later

Witness to the Nagas’ fierce battle against the British and the rise of insurgency under the leadership of its firebrand son Angami Zapho Phizo, Khonoma, today has a calm mindset that calls for reconciliation.

For the local people , the call for Naga sovereignty is supreme. But they believe that for reaching an honourable solution to the Naga peace problem, ‘reconciliation’ among the Naga factions is more important than the ‘integration’ of the Nagas as is being stressed by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN(IM) faction.

Nagaland made the headlines recently after the NSCN(IM) inked a peace accord with the Government of India. The details of the pact have not been divulged yet, creating confusion among the other Naga factions. Khrielevo Savino, chairman of the Khonoma Village Council, said Thuingaleng Muivah, the general secretary of the NSCN(IM), should try to bring together all the Naga political groups and chart out a formula for lasting peace.

Hoping for a result different from the Shillong Accord of 1975, Savino said integration of the Nagas would not come without reaching a reconciliation first. He also said the neighbouring states should not be disturbed in the name of Naga integration.

The picturesque 123-square-kilometre Khonoma villageis also known for the courageous Angami Nagas who had taken on the British, besides Phizo. Phizo, called the ‘father of Naga insurgency’ had declared Nagaland as an independent country on August 14. He had become the chairman of the now defunct Naga National Council, the root of all Naga revolutionary outfits, in the late 1940s.

“The entire Khonoma village was the epicentre of the struggle then,” recalled Khreini Meru, owner of a traditional home stay in the village, who was a child then.