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Nagaland and Nagas.


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Awantika Sharma, BBA L.LB 3rd Year, Shri Ramswaroop Memorial Univerity.

In India like other beautiful places, Nagaland is just another place having its own beauty of different cultures, traditions, and festivals and of course the Naga’s there. Nagaland is basically a tribal region, with 16-17 major tribes of Indo-Mongoloid family, who speak different dialects. Nagaland was a district of Assam. Naga’s are people of one of the major tribe there they are also found in parts of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. They are not the mythological Nagas, However, Kirats, mentioned in Mahabharata, where maybe people of this region.


In Part XXI of our Constitution of India

Temporary, transitional and special provisions.

371A. Special provision with respect to the State of Nagaland.-

(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,-

(a) no Act of Parliament in respect of-

(i) religious or social practices of the Nagas,

(ii) Naga customary law and procedure,

(iii) administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law,

(iv) ownership and transfer of land and its resources shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides;

(b) The Governor of Nagaland shall have special responsibility with respect to law and order in the State of Nagaland for so long as in his opinion internal disturbances occurring in the Naga Hills-Tuensang Area immediately before the formation of that State continue therein or in any part thereof and in the discharge of his functions in relation thereto the Governor shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgment as to the action to be taken:


Nagaland can be called the epicentre of insurgency in north-eastern India. The roots of the Naga separatist go back to the formation of Naga Club in 1918 at Kohima. The objective of this Naga Club was to represent Naga Interests to the British Government. By that time, a clear picture of what later was known as Naga Nationalism had not appeared.

1929: Submitted a memorandum to Simon Commission, stating that Naga areas have nothing to do with areas of mainland India.

1946: All this time Nagas fought for their freedom against British separately. When it became clear that India will gain independence. Naga Nationalist Council(NNC) was formed by eight members including Angami Zapu Phizo(AZ Phizo). It was against the move to group Nagaland with Assam and Bengal.


Their voice was not heard by the sub-commissioner of the region initially. Later on, an agreement(Haidari Agreement) was reached between tribal leaders and governor of Assam. But, the Naga people rejected it, because they considered that it did not have sufficient Legislative and Judicial powers. This was taken as ‘termination of the sovereignty’ by the NNC.

August 14, 1947: Under the leadership of hard-line NNC leader AZ Phizo, Naga was declared as an independent region. Though Gandhiji assured the Naga leaders that he will be the first to be killed before any Naga is killed. But it didn’t work.

Timeline of Naga history (Post Independence)

1947: India placed Nagaland in Assam administration as an autonomous region.

Feb 1950: NNC held a referendum and declared that Nagaland is independent. Later no accord could take place between Phizo and Nehru.

[In 1953, India’s Border treaty with Myanmar was declared as division of state by Phizo.]

1955: Phizo declares armed insurgency. But, NNC breaks into factions and its influence declines, but rebel continued by many groups.

1956: In January, Phizo got murdered another leader. Other Naga leaders asked for refuge form Indian Government. NNC collapsed completely as its support decreased drastically. Naga hills were declared as disturbed area by the Indian government. In March Phizo formed “Naga Central Government”. Later he escaped to East Pakistan and then to London. He also accused Indian Army of human rights violations.

1957: An agreement was reached between Naga leaders and the Indian government, creating a single separate region of the Naga Hills. The Tuensang frontier was united with this single political region, Naga Hills Tuensang Area (NHTA),and it became a Union territory directly administered by the Central government with a large degree of autonomy. But this was not satisfactory for the tribes and agitation and violence took place in the state. As a result, AFSPA declared in 1958.

1963: Nagaland was born as the 16th state of India with Kohima as its capital. Elections held in 1964 and first democratically elected government lead the Nagaland legislative assembly. Naga peace mission was created and the ceasefire was negotiated with various groups. It lasted till 1968.

1975: Shillong peace accord. NNC decided to give up violence and accept Indian Constitution.

1980: However, again, not all leaders were pleased with the accord and Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim(NSCN) was formed by Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chishi Swu.

1988: It later broke into 2 factions NSCN(K) formed by SS Khaplang and NSCN(I-M) being the older format.

1997: NSCN(I-M) signed a ceasefire agreement.

2001: NSCN(K) signed a ceasefire agreement.

[Ceasefire was to follow an accord for Naga solution]

2015: NSCN(K) broke the ceasefire and attacked an Indian army convoy. In retaliation, Army conducted a cross border raid in Myanmar and targets insurgents camps.

Edit: This was done with due permission from Myanmar. This also created tension between Myanmar and Khaplang faction, as Khaplang faction had signed similar peace agreements with Thein Sein government in Myanmar.

Current Status

The status of the Nagaland Problem is horrible at present. There is a break in fighting agreement in force since 1997. Naga Peace talks began between representatives of the Indian government and the NSCN-IM’s founder-leaders, Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah. Many rounds of talks have taken place but peace has not dawned upon the state.

In late 2012, it was informed that the government may settle an agreement anytime. In October 2012, NSCN-IM was reported to have approved to surrender arms in exchange for an interim political solution within the Constitution. It was reported that NSCN (IM) agreed to drop its demands for Nagalim, integrating Naga-inhabited areas in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, and of redrawing boundaries. As a portion of the agreement, Nagaland would get a distinct State flag and the Assembly will be renamed “Tatar Hoho” and a pan-Naga social body will be formed. Article 371A will have to be amended, under which no Act of Parliament applies to Nagaland and it has special status. The union government has extended the break in fighting with the two Naga armed factions, namely, National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Reformation (NSCN-R) and National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Neakpao-Kithovi (GPRN/NSCN) till

April 27, 2018. The decision over extension lead of break in fighting was taken at a meeting held between the officials of Home Ministry and the Ceasefire Supervisory Board of Naga armed factions. A break in fighting is already in operation between the government and the Naga armed factions of NSCN-R and NSCN-NK. And now finally, the issue is all about Naga identity and their dignity. One way to build confidence in Naga people about this issue is by giving them political autonomy.


In Nagaland Customarily, women haven’t been allowed to participate in local government. Since it became a state in 1963, Nagaland has had no woman representative afterwards the message of gender equality and women’s empowerment is tried to establish by reserving 33 percent of seats for women. This did not go well with the clannish community. Two were killed and a number of others were injured in police firing in protest which also led to clashes between the police and a mob as groups of people rampaged government properties in Dimapur and Longleng districts. The agitators have since refused to bury the dead and are seeking Zeliang’s resignation along with his cabinet’s, suspension of policemen responsible for the deaths as after clashes Tribal organisations in Nagaland demanded the resignation of the TR Zeliang-led government in the aftermath of the killing of two persons. Although women’s or any or maximum of the people there are not illiterate and the women are doing so well in many fields but it’s just the administrative ground where they are not getting acceptance  therefore basically the problem is in understanding the need of adopting change by Nagaland people on this point and try to understand that it is not for making a society feminist society or female dominating everywhere it’s about equality and humanist society.


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