Founder of Nagaland – Who Was It?

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Discover the identity of the founder of Nagaland, the northeastern Indian state. Learn about the historical background and significance of Nagaland’s founding, and explore the cultural and political heritage of this unique region. Get your answers here!

Learn about the intriguing history of Nagaland and the identity of its founder.
  • Who is the founder of Nagaland?
  • Angami Zapu Phizo


Nagaland is a state in the northeastern region of India, known for its rich cultural heritage and diverse ethnic groups. However, many people need to be made aware of the founder of this beautiful state. In this article, we will delve deep into Nagaland’s history and uncover its founder’s identity. Join us on this fascinating journey through time and discover the person who laid the foundation for modern-day Nagaland.

Angami Zapu Phizo is known as the founder of Nagaland, a northeastern state of India. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of who he was, his contributions to the formation of Nagaland, and his legacy.

Who was Angami Zapu Phizo?

Angami Zapu Phizo was a Naga nationalist leader of British nationality born on May 16, 1904. He played a significant role in shaping the political landscape of Nagaland during the early 1950s. Phizo was a fierce advocate for the Nagas’ right to self-determination, and his leadership led to the formation of the Naga National Council (NNC), which was founded in 1946

The Formation of Nagaland:

On August 14, 1947, the Nagas were the first ethnic group from the northeast to declare their territory an independent state, not belonging to the new nation. Angami Zapu Phizo led the initial movement with the NNC. Under his guidance, the Nagas began their quest for independence, and the movement quickly gained traction, leading to the Indian government’s imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in 1958. The Naga secessionist groups continued their armed resistance, and the Indian government launched several military operations to quell the rebellion. Eventually, in 1963, the Indian government recognized Nagaland as a state of India, and Phizo went into exile in London. 

The Legacy of Angami Zapu Phizo:

The legacy of Angami Zapu Phizo is complex, with supporters hailing him as the Father of the Naga Nation and detractors criticizing his tactics. Although he touched the hearts of the Nagas and gave voice to their aspirations, his movement was dogged by the same ethnic tensions he sought to quell. Furthermore, his advocacy of violence led to a loss of life and property, causing some to question his legacy. Nevertheless, his role in the formation of Nagaland remains significant, and his name remains prominent in Naga history.

The Origin of Nagaland 

Nagaland has a rich and varied history that spans thousands of years. The earliest inhabitants of Nagaland were the Naga tribes, who migrated to the region from Southeast Asia. These tribes were known for their fierce independence and unique customs and traditions.

In the early 19th century, the British colonized Nagaland and annexed it to their empire. However, the Naga tribes fiercely resisted British rule, and it was only in the mid-20th century that Nagaland finally gained independence.

The Search for the Founder 

The question of who founded Nagaland is a contentious one. There are several theories and conflicting accounts of the identity of the founder. Some say that Nagaland was founded by a legendary figure known as Chungkham Ningthou, while others believe it was founded by a powerful Naga king named Gaidinliu.

However, the most widely accepted theory is that Nagaland was founded by a British officer named Geoffrey Allen. Allen was a member of the Indian Civil Service and was appointed as the Deputy Commissioner of Naga Hills in 1946. Under his leadership, the foundations of modern-day Nagaland were laid.

Who is Angami Zapu Phizo, the Founder of Nagaland?

Angami Zapu Phizo, the Father of the Naga Nation, was a Naga nationalist leader and a British citizen born on May 16, 1904, and passed away on April 30, 1990; they played a critical role in the formation of Nagaland. Under his leadership, the Naga National Council (NNC) asserted the right to self-determination, which took the form of armed resistance after the Indian government enacted the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in 1958. Phizo was a prominent figure in the Naga secessionist movement, and Naga secessionist groups regard him as the founder of Nagaland. 

The Legacy of Geoffrey Allen 

Geoffrey Allen was a visionary leader who recognized the unique cultural identity of the Naga tribes. He was a firm believer in self-governance and worked tirelessly to promote the interests of the Naga people.

Under Allen’s leadership, the Naga Hills District Council was established in 1946. This council was the first step towards creating a separate state for the Nagas. Allen also played a crucial role in the negotiations between the Indian government and the Naga National Council, ultimately leading to the creation of Nagaland in 1963.


Was Nagaland always a part of India?

No, Nagaland was a separate entity until it was annexed by the British in the 19th century. It gained independence in the mid-20th century and became a state of India in 1963.

Who were the earliest inhabitants of Nagaland?

The earliest inhabitants of Nagaland were the Naga tribes, who migrated to the region from Southeast Asia.


Angami Zapu Phizo was a crucial figure in the formation of Nagaland, and his leadership was instrumental in giving voice to the aspirations of the Nagas. Despite his controversial legacy, his contribution to Naga history cannot be denied. By advocating for the right to self-determination, he gave a voice to a marginalized community and set the stage for Nagaland to become a recognized state of India. His legacy continues to inspire generations of Nagas to strive for greater autonomy and recognition.

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