Memorial Trust hands out award for peace, service
Recipients of the first award for ‘peace and socio-political service’ seen here with Harivansh Narayan Singh, and G Kaito Aye, and organisers, at the police guest house at Chumukedima in Dimapur on Thur. Oct. 11.
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Oct. 11: Commemorating the 116th birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, the founder of the Nagaland Peace Centre, the Jayaprakash Narayan Memorial Trust (JPNMT) of Nagaland has conferred its first award for ‘peace and socio-political service’ to three Naga personalities.
The recipients were Rev. SA Shihoto for peace (posthumously); president of the Nagaland Democratic People’s Party Chingwang Konyak for socio-political contribution; and to chairman of the Naga Archives and Research Centre at Toulazouma, Rev. Dr. VK Nuh for peace.
Awards were given away by the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh, in the presence of Nagaland minister of Agriculture and Cooperation G Kaito Aye, during a programme that was conducted at the Police Guest House at Chumukedima in Dimapur on October 11.
Rev. Shihoto was recognised for his commendable contributions to the Naga society in restoring peace particularly in the most turbulent period of the Indo-Naga conflict. He was commended as one of the most influential personalities from among the Naga clergy and who served as a member of Nagaland Peace Mission along with the Bharat Ratna Jayaprakash Narayan which led to the signing of the ceasefire agreement between the government of India and the Federal Government of Nagaland on September 6 1964.
The award for Rev. Shihoto was received by his granddaughter Lovika Achumi on his behalf.
Konyak was recognised for contribution to uplifting the downtrodden ‘throughout his life time as an elected representative to Nagaland Legislative Assembly for seven terms’ and having held various portfolios as minister and two-time member of the Lok Sabha.
Rev. Nuh was also conferred the award for his contribution to restoring peace particularly in the most turbulent period of the Indo-Naga conflict.
He was one of the most influential personalities from among the Naga clergy and served as the third president of Nagaland Peace Centre.
“The cooperation provided by the church leaders of Nagaland for the success of Nagaland Peace Mission cannot be disregarded as it started with the support of local community leaders and eminent people from public life having unquestionable acceptability across the regional and political spectrum and Narayan was undoubtedly and eminently suitable choice for carrying forward the Peace Mission successfully,” Singh said.
Such an event, Singh remarked, was a reminder of the problems that were faced during wartime otherwise the younger generation tend to forget their roots. Singh said that the current generation should feel ‘obliged’ to pay proper homage to the peace mission and the Lok Nayak particularly and also to the church leaders for resolutely carrying on the legacy.
“Unfortunately, due to various reasons lasting peace in Nagaland was still taking shape. The successive government at the centre attempted to resolve the protracted Indo-Naga issue that led to signing of cease-fire agreement in July 2007 and August 2001”, asserted Singh.
Negotiation, he said, was in fact on with the Naga leaders for the past 21 years. A “framework agreement” and a “preamble” was signed on August 3 2015, with the NSCN (IM) and on November 17, 2017, with the NNPG. He added that the peace agreement reminded the relevance of Narayan more than ever before.
Special invitee, Kaito Aye thanked the JPNMT for organising the programme. He urged its members to continue working to bring peaceful resolution to the lndo-
Naga political issue. He recalled the initial political dialogue with the leaders of Independent India to resolve the Indo-Naga political conflict but which continues to remain elusive. The legislator remarked that one of the most significant chapters in the history of Naga political movement was Narayan’s participation and contribution to resolving the Indo-Naga political conflict.
Aye said: “The first ever Indo-Naga ceasefire which came into being in 1964 was mainly due to the sacrifice made by Narayan and subsequent establishment of Nagaland Peace Centre by him. Under this very banner, church leaders of Nagaland Baptist Church Council met the underground leaders and the representatives of the government of India and they could successfully bring them (the Federal Government Of Nagaland and the GOI) to the negotiating table for starting the Indo-Naga political dialogues towards finding a solution to the issue.”
The legislator appealed to the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha to convey the message to the central government to expedite the peace process.