The Kohima Village Council (KVC) has stated that the Naga Club was formed on January 7, 1918, by a few salaried people comprising of school masters, interpreters, clerks, potars, chaprasis etc., of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office under the then Naga Hills District.
Against the backdrop of contestations over the history and ownership of the Naga Club in the past few months, the KVC reiterated the above details based on “written documents of Naga Club which held its traditional Annual Meetings on that particular day since time immemorial.”
The full text of the press note from Kohima Village Council is given below:
The Kohima Village Council (KVC), along with all fellow Nagas, desired a grand and unified Naga Club Centenary Celebration in the true spirit of the Naga Club. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts and appeals of the KVC, a reconciliation could not be brokered between the Naga Club members and Naga Students Federation (NSF). Consequently, the KVC was compelled to take the decision not to participate in the separate twin celebration program of the Naga Club and NSF. This was necessary so as to maintain a neutral apolitical stance as well as to express dismay over the tragic disunity between two mature and respected organizations.
Consequently, as per the General Body meeting held on the 11th November 2018, the KVC is obligated to issue this press release. To this effect, the KVC reiterates its earlier stance regarding the origin of the Naga Club as understood through historical facts and events.
The Naga Club was formed by a few salaried people comprising of School Masters, Interpreters, Clerks, Potars, Chaprasis etc., of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office under the then Naga Hill District. The Naga Club was formed on 7th January 1918. This is substantiated by written documents of Naga Club which held its traditional Annual Meetings on that particular day since time immemorial. It is also a fact that Rheichalie Pienyü of Kohima Village was the first President and at the initial stage, held multiple posts of Presidentship, Secretary and Treasurer till 1942. Later on, the Presidentship was handed over to Krusiehu Belho and the post of Secretary was held by Mr. Ziekro-o Theünuo in 1942.
Around 2000 Nagas comprising of – 1000 Semas, 400 Lothas,200 Rengmas, 200 Aos, 200 Changs and other trans frontier tribes were known to have been recruited and these groups of men were designated as 21st Naga Labour Corps. After the War, the first batch of Naga Labour Corps arrived from Europe in June 1918 and the second group arrived in October 1918. The Naga Club was already in existence by then and they also formed the Naga Elders conference.
The signatories of the Representation to the Simon Commission which took place on 10th January 1929, after 11 years of the formation of Naga Club mainly included the staff of Deputy Commissioner and Mr. Khosa, who was a returnee from Labour Corps. The letter to Simon Commission was drafted by Ruzhükhrie Sekhose as requested by the Dobashis of the Deputy Commissioner office. It is acknowledged that the returnees of the Naga Labour Corps influenced the Naga Club and played an important part in the Memorandum of the Simon Commission which was considered as the beginning of political consciousness of Naga Nationalism.
It is the desire of the Kohima Village Council that none should distort the history of the Naga Club to suit their own interest but let historical facts remain as pure facts so that truth may be preserved for posterity
COMMITTEE ON KVC HISTORY ON NAGA CLUB :
- Dr. Neiphi Kire, Chairman KVC
- Eno Pheluophfelie Kesiezie, Chairman, Advisory Committee APO
- Eno Khriehutuo Sekhose, Son of Ruzhükhrie Sekhose
- Eno Prasielie Pienyü, Grandson of Rheichalie Pienyü