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Nagaland

50TH ANNIVERSARY?

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By EMN Updated: Nov 30, 2013 11:35 pm
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Somewhere along the line the thinking box of DAN Government seems to have developed a very serious vacuum. The glorified hype on progress and development that we try and highlight is grossly overshadowed by a fast deteriorating character of a people sans honesty, traditional values, Christian values and every other value systems. The yawning gap between the haves and have-nots, the cancer of corruption which has inalienably filtered into every organisation including the Church, have all attained a solid status as a norm rather than the exception. In fact our moral standard has reached an all time low in our chequered history at this point in time where we shamelessly honour corrupted and criminally charge sheeted personality with a Cabinet Ministerial berth. It is only indicative of the depth we as a people have sunk. Public decency and propriety is no longer a virtue. In an environment such as this, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Statehood does sound absurdly hollow.
Take a look. The elementary and meaningful exercise starting from square one has been totally missed out. Be that as it may, we have no real choice but to acknowledge our existence and pretend that we are a worthy people. The only regret even within this sad scenario is the vacuum that I speak about. The lack of honourable and meaningful exercise for a start of such a celebration. The brains that be, ought to have considered the first elementary question: How did the State of Nagaland come to being and who were the architects of it all, for which we now want to celebrate? It surprises me that such an elementary question had not even occurred in the minds of the powers that be. It is here that I remember and endorse the view of Mr. I. Phom about the ‘forgotten heroes’, prompting the Government to rectify their forgetfulness. We have completely forgotten the souls who dared the impossible to make some of our dreams come true…and to think there are just a handful of them still alive, living a life of neglect and ignominy with the exception of Mr. S.C. Jamir. To the present generation, their monumental sacrifice might seem mundane and negligible. For the Southern Naga brothers in Manipur, many of them spit upon the 16 Points Agreement every time they open their mouth as a total let down of all the rest of the Nagas outside the State of Nagaland. Take a good look at our present circumstance. Everyone is suffering the brunt of excessive burden of taxation by the NPGs but the general public remain silent for fear of reprisal. We have almost become a nation of cowards, nay we are actually a nation of cowards when we assess the ground reality. With this stigma of cowardice chained around our necks we still have the audacity to undermine the contributions and sacrifices made by the generation that bravely walked this earth before us. Remember that the IBMs faced real threats of assassination attempts before and after signing this agreement with the GoI. It took them more than a mortal courage to make such a stand for the greater good of our people as they perceived it. They too were under gigantic life threatening pressure incomparable to our present circumstance and they too wanted to live like you and I and yet they did what they did. As a consequence a brave personality like Dr. Imkongliba Ao, as President of the Naga People’s Convention, literally paid with his life. That is no mean sacrifice. What more greater a sacrifice do the Nagas expect to honestly acknowledge their noble deeds? For better or for worse we are who we are today because of their selfless sacrifices. They do not deserve our contempt by being swept under the carpet as nonentities and ignored in a time when their deed and achievement are in fact being celebrated. We only demean ourselves by doing so. They believed in what they were doing with that kind of commitment as will perhaps never be seen in the likes of the present generation. No one in the upper strata of the Government really seem to appreciate the severity of their predicament. We have reached a point where even the basic traditional honour has to be taught and reminded, something that should have happened automatically without being prompted. In my book they deserve the highest honour and recognition worthy of an iconic pedestal. And I thought I heard the NPF say this anniversary has nothing to do with party politics. The hypocrisy of our leaders in every conceivable fields is downright detestable. Some of the Ministers have publically berated the 16 Points Agreement as a dishonourable agreement without realising that their very status is linked with it. It is nothing less disgusting than coughing up thick mucus into your hand, look around to throw it, find no place to dispose of it and swallow it again. Mr. SC Jamir is an exception in this left over crowd and would perhaps feel insulted if smaller insincere gestures are made by the Government but I do sincerely believe Government should honour those other IBMs still alive with a respectable pension and at least gift them with a usable vehicle according to their location of residence and let them feel wanted and respected before they depart. After all they worked for it and deserves to taste the fruit of their labour.
Under normal circumstances no questions would have been raised for not remembering the senior retired bureaucrats at least for a significant function to commemorate the State Anniversary in its 50th year. In one small way or another each of them have made their contribution to the best of their abilities. Is acknowledging their service below the dignity of the present Government? Does it cripple the Government’s funds to print a few additional invitation cards for them to participate? Somehow the traditional attributes of honouring its deserving people has been consigned to the dustbins by the present Government and it can only be described as… sad. The principle of decent etiquette is no longer applicable it appears. I too am a “tired retired Indian Government Servant” as accused by our “other brothers” but I do not really care whether an invitation is given to me or not. It only hurt my sentiment listening to some of the senior retired bureaucrats sadly lamenting about the height of indifference and insensitivity of the present Government. At least for their sake making amends would be a nice gesture. As for me, I would prefer not to attend a function where I am not wanted, even if invited as an afterthought. I write this for their sakes.

Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd)
Forest Colony, Kohima. 30-11-2013

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By EMN Updated: Nov 30, 2013 11:35:24 pm