WHY DO THE NAGAS WANT TO BE INDEPENDENT?
1. We want to feel that we are absolutely and unconditionally free as a nation. Nagas belong to a distinct people and live in a country entirely of their own. We want to remain outside the influence of any other nation, be it white or brown.
2. We want to develop our own culture unhampered in the way we like, without having to worry for a possible mixture of alien blood.
3. We want to direct our own education through the establishment of our own Universities.
4. We want to keep our own land in the possession of our own people for our own people.
5. We want to live our own lives. There should be no room for any possible interference, directly or indirectly, whether now or in days to come.
6. We want to keep in our possession as a heritage something which is exclusively of Nagaland; something which is bound to vanish and be lost to the Nagas if they were to live under an alien direction; these are our national institutions of –
(a) Community Organisation.
(b) People’s sovereignty over ownership of property and land.
(c) Our culture: a culture of love with a true respect for individual personality, a society that admits no strata of social class, caste or creed, religion or race.
7. We want peace, real peace put into an abiding practice in the lives of men. We do not want war. And we do not want to see another war in our land. We do not want to make our country a defence line. We do not want to let our children live in battlefields.
8. We want to make our country a place of happiness, of security and rest. We hope and we cherish that we can make our country a meeting place of the East and an understanding center of the world.
9. We believe that we shall become a better friend and that we can remain a better friend to India and the outside world if we are left to ourselves – unmolested and unexploited.
10. We believe that it is not only for Nagaland but for India and other surrounding countries as well that there is a better chance of creating and retaining peace and good will with a SOVEREIGN NAGA LAND being in existence.
Above everything else, we want to be free as a distinct nation: and we shall be free.
A.Z. Phizo, President,
NAGA NATIONAL COUNCIL,
16 May 1951.