Nagaland Gandhi Ashram, Chuchu-Yimlang commemorates International Day of Non-Violence

Aolemla Longchar

Abstract


Nagaland Gandhi Ashram (NGA) has maintained a long-standing tradition of observing Gandhi Jayanti or the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi at Chuchuyimlang village on its campus. Although this village is considered to be one of the bigger villages of Nagaland, it is after all a village only. Our programme for the day in the past had always been a modest, low profile, quiet affair. But it is significant in Nagaland context that Gandhi Jayanti was continuously observed at one place in Nagaland for five decades and more.

Mahatma Gandhi was known and respected in Nagaland even before NGA was established. But as the Naga society had remained somewhat isolated from rest of the country, during the British regime, it was not involved in the country’s freedom struggle in a major way. Hence the national events like celebration of Gandhi Jayanti was not observed in Naga Hills as it
used to be observed in rest of the country.
It is a matter of great satisfaction for NGA that it introduced this tradition at a village in Nagaland and has maintained it till date. The Gandhi Jayanti 2007, however, had greater or special significance. The General Assembly of United Nations by a unanimous resolution had resolved to celebrate Gandhi’s birthday as the International Day of non-violence all over the world from 2007 onwards. This is an important development for India and a landmark in the progress of human civilization. NGA wanted that this new significance of Gandhi’s birthday is registered in the minds of the people of Chuchuyimlang and thereby in the entire state of Nagaland also. It wanted to celebrate it in a major way. In view of different unexpected circumstances, this event could not be observed at Chuchuyimlang on the 2nd October. It was instead held on the 13th November 2007.
A noteworthy feature of this event in 2007 was that it was not held on the campus of NGA alone. The main item of the day; the public meeting was held in the main assembly ground of the original Chuchuyimlang village. This was the first ever occasion of its kind.


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