Nagaland conflict

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Ethnic conflict in Nagaland
Part of Insurgency in North-East India
Nagaland locator map.svg
State of Nagaland
Date 1954 – present
(64 years)
Location Nagaland, Northeast India

Conflict ongoing


India India

Myanmar Burma

UNPC (until 2013)
Commanders and leaders
India Rajendra Prasad
India Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
India Zakir Hussain
India Varahagiri Venkata Giri
India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
India Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
India Zail Singh
India R. Venkataraman
India Shankar Dayal Sharma
India K. R. Narayanan
India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
India Pratibha Patil
India Pranab Mukherjee
India Ram Nath Kovind
India Vishnu Sahay
India Braj Kumar Nehru
India Lallan Prasad Singh
India Sayed Muzaffar Hussain Burney
India Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao
India Lokanath Misra
India Gopal Singh
India Madathilparampil Mammen Thomas
India V.K. Nayyar
India O.N. Shrivastava
India Om Prakash Sharma
India Shyamal Datta
India K. Wilson
India Kateekal Sankaranarayanan
India Gurbachan Jagat
India Nikhil Kumar
India Ashwani Kumar
India Padmanabha Acharya
Myanmar Ba U
Myanmar Win Maung
Myanmar Ne Win
Myanmar San Yu
Myanmar Saw Maung
Myanmar Thein Sein
Myanmar Htin Kyaw
Myanmar Win Myint
Flag of Sagaing Division.svg Tha Aye
Flag of Sagaing Division.svg Myint Naing
Angami Zapu Phizo  
India 200,000 (1995)[2] 4,500 NSCN-IM (2007)[3][4]
2,000 NSCN-K (2007)[5]
Casualties and losses
 India and  Burma:
2,000 Killed total (officiall).[3]
200,000 Killed total (independent sources).[6]

The ethnic conflict in Nagaland, in northeastern India, is an ongoing conflict fought between the ethnic Nagas and the governments of India and Myanmar. Nagaland inhabited by the Nagas is located at the tri-junction border of India on the West and South, north and Myanmar on the East.

"Naga territory" existed with "Full Sovereignty" before the advent of the British colonial expansionism in 1881. In 1947, the people of India and the Naga territory became independent from British rule. As early as January 10, 1929, Naga had informed the British government that they would not join the Union of India. Nagaland declared independence on 14 August 1947, one day before India gets independence from the British. After India regain sovereignty from British colonial rule on 15th-August-1947, India included Nagaland which was previously known as Naga Hills (an independent nation) as part of Assam. The existing Nagaland state is only a small part of Naga Hills and huge portion of Naga Hills was/is placed in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal. The land of Nagas was divided among two countries, India and Myanmar. "National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)", which wants an independent "greater Nagaland" to include territory now in Myanmar, based on ethnicity; and the "Naga National Council (Adino)".[7]

The question of "Naga Sovereignty" was put to plebiscite on May 16, 1951. In order to defend themselves, the Naga after much deliberation formed the armed wing of NNC, came to be known as NSG (Naga Safe Guards) under Kaito Sukhai.


1946 saw the creation of the Naga National Council (NNC) under Phizo's leadership. The NNC leaders and the Governor of Assam, Sir Akbar Hydari, signed a Nine-Point Agreement which granted Nagas rights over their lands and legislative and executive powers. The judicial capacity of Naga courts were empowered and no law from the provincial or central legislatures could affect this agreement. Very significantly, the agreement included a clause demanding that the Nagas be brought into the same administrative unit at the earliest. However, one clause stipulated[8]

The Governor of Assam as the agent of the Government of India will have a special responsibility for a period of ten years to ensure that due observance of this agreement to be extended for a further period, or a new agreement regarding the future of the Naga people to be arrived at.

The interpretation of this clause has been contested between the Nagas and the Indian Government. To Nagas this clause meant independence from India at the end of the ten-year period. To the India Government this clause meant making a new agreement after the ten-year period if the present agreement did not address Naga issues sufficiently. Phizo rejected the Nine-Point Agreement to who the agreement fell short of dealing with the issue of Naga sovereignty.[9] The NNC under Phizo's leadership declared Naga independence on 14 August 1947 and with success propagated the idea of Naga sovereignty throughout the Naga tribes. A Naga plebiscite was organized on 16 May 1951.[10] The Naga struggle remained peaceful in the 1940s and early 1950s.[9]

The Naga insurgency, climaxing in 1956, was an armed ethnic conflict led by the Naga National Council (NNC) which aimed for the secession of Naga territories from India. The more radical sectors of NNC created the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) which also included an underground Naga Army.[11]

In the words of historian Benjamin Zachariah, ″It was in the north-east of India that the Nehruvian vision took on its most brutal and violent forms.″ The actions of mass murder and rape by the Indian defence forces could not endear to the Nagas a sense of belonging with the Indian nation.[12] The Indian government coerced the dissenters into accepting their power with the application of Kautilya's advice to use internal force. Gandhian advice to engage with the aim of reaching a common ground through negotiations was also utilized.[13] The Indian Government conceded a separate Naga state within the Indian Union in 1960 and the state was inaugurated in 1963.[12]

Nagaland Rebels

Several rebel groups have operated in Nagaland since the mid-twentieth century, including the following:

  1. Naga National Council, a political organization active in the late 1940s and early 1950s, which became separatist under Angami Zapu Phizo.
  2. Naga National Council (Adino) – NNC (Adino): the oldest political Naga organisation, now led by the daughter of Naga rebel A.Z. Phizo.
  3. 'National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah)': formed on January 31, 1980 by Isak Chishi Swu, Thuingaleng Muivah and S. S. Khaplang [1]. They want to establish a ‘Greater Nagaland’ (‘Nagalim’ or the People’s Republic of Nagaland) based on Mao Tse Tung’s model.
  4. 'National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)': formed on April 30, 1988, its goal is to establish a ‘greater Nagaland’ based on ethnicity, comprising the Naga-dominated areas within India, and contiguous areas in Myanmar.
  5. Naga Federal Government- separatist movement active in Nagaland during the 1970s. After its leader was captured and the headquarters destroyed, NFG's activities decreased.[14]
  6. Naga Federal Army-separatist guerrilla organization active in the 1970s. Several hundred members of NFA reportedly have received training in China.[14]

See also


  1. ^ "Government signs landmark Nagaland peace treaty with NSCN(I-M) in presence of PM Narendra Modi". The Economic Times. India. 3 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Uppsala conflict data expansion. Non-state actor information. Codebook pp. 81-82
  3. ^ a b Anuario 2007 de los Procesos de Paz. ECP pp. 86
  4. ^ National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak-Muivah
  5. ^ National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Khaplang
  6. ^ The India-Naga Conflict: A Long-Standing War with Few Prospects of Imminent Solution. Katherine Phillips. Intern, Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit, London. CHRI News, verano de 2004.
  7. ^ "Encyclopaedia of Scheduled Tribes in India: In Five Volume", p. 253, by P. K. Mohanty.
  8. ^ Namrata Goswami (27 November 2014). Indian National Security and Counter-Insurgency: The Use of Force Vs Non-violent Response. Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-134-51431-1. 
  9. ^ a b Namrata Goswami (27 November 2014). Indian National Security and Counter-Insurgency: The Use of Force Vs Non-violent Response. Routledge. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-134-51431-1. 
  10. ^ Namrata Goswami (27 November 2014). Indian National Security and Counter-Insurgency: The Use of Force Vs Non-violent Response. Routledge. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-134-51431-1. 
  11. ^ Namrata Goswami (27 November 2014). Indian National Security and Counter-Insurgency: The Use of Force Vs Non-violent Response. Routledge. pp. 43–. ISBN 978-1-134-51431-1. 
  12. ^ a b Benjamin Zachariah (2 August 2004). Nehru. Routledge. pp. 283–. ISBN 978-1-134-57739-2. 
  13. ^ Namrata Goswami (27 November 2014). Indian National Security and Counter-Insurgency: The use of force vs non-violent response. Taylor & Francis. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-1-134-51438-0. 
  14. ^ a b Schmid, A.P.; Jongman, A.J. (2005). Political Terrorism: A New Guide To Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, And Literature. Transaction Publishers. p. 572. ISBN 9781412804691. Retrieved 2014-12-14. 

External links

  • Baptist Agenda for Peace in Nagalim, India
  • "A remote land of jungle, Jesus - and religious war", Daily Herald, 5 May 2003
  • "Peace talks an insult to Nagas", The Week, 9 Feb 2003.
  • "Religious Fervor May Dominate Emerging Indian State of Nagalim", The Washington Diplomat, October 2003
  • "The most Baptist state in the world—Nagaland—is vying to become a powerhouse for cross-cultural missions", Christianity Today, February 20.
  • "We want t penetrate China, Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam and Laos and Nepal with the Gospel", Christian Today (India), 29 August 2003.
  • "Nagas want solution, not election", Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, February 1998
  • "Church Backs Terrorism in the North-East", Ind Pride
  • "Role of the Church – Charity or...?", Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad
  • "Nagaland 1954"], On War
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