A Hindu tremour beneath Christian foundry
Khekiye K. Sema
[dropcap]1[/dropcap]0th February 2015: Eastern Mirror carried rather disturbing news coverage that other dallies either overlooked or missed out. The headline read, “India is a Hindu Rashtra, favourable time to organise all Hindus”. The content of this header goes on to say “RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat has said that India is a “Hindu Rashtra” and there is a need to organise all Hindus in the country for which this is a “favourable time”.13th February 2015: All local dallies splashes “Mr. Parveen Tagodia, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Chief, was prevented from making speech in Assam”… The pronouncement of RSS Chief being put to action by VHP Chief but derailed by a Hindu CM of Assam. Kudos to Mr. Tarun Gogoi, for respecting secularism. The million dollar question is: what do the Church and Christians of Nagaland have to say in response to such an aggressive intent and onslaught of RSS & VHP?
Believers in Nagaland must intelligently absorb this highly volatile “favourable time” development of WORDS being put to PRACTICE by the RSS and VHP in tandem. The persecution of Christians, the desecration and looting of Churches, the ransacking of Christian Educational Institutes in the National Capitol and elsewhere in the country… is all real; The aggressively declared “ghar vapsi” conversion policy of Christians and Muslims to Hinduism… is real; The icing on the cake: the declaration of North Easterners as ‘immigrants’ in our own land by the BJP… is real; It is immaterial whether they belatedly termed it as a ‘typographical error’ only to serve a hypocritical reason of being politically correct, but otherwise is a deep rooted psyche engraved in the brains of the BJP backed RSS & VHP infested mainland. Their only error was a temporary lapse of revealing the truth that they harbour in their inner core… that is more the reality; The very fact that the GoI has thankfully set up a special cell in the Delhi Police force and other metropolitan cities around the country to attend to the atrocities, rape and murder being committed against the North Easterners across the board is welcomed but it also proves a point. Have they created such special cells for the regular Indians, specifically for the Biharis, the Bengalis, the Gujratis etc. for instance?…obviously not, because they are the accepted mainstream. Extra attention and protection being necessitated and half-heartedly being attempted for North Easterners are because they subconsciously continue to consider North Easterners as side-stream immigrants! … outsiders being tolerated as defilers of their backyard. We do not belong!
Closer to home we have reports of a Governor of Nagaland adding insult to injury by superimposing a picture of his god on the official printed programme in a purely secular National function and then disdainfully deliver his official speech in Hindi during his “At Home” function in the Raj Bhavan knowing full well that he was addressing a non-Hindi speaking majority in attendance. Even the Prime Minister of India had better senses to respect the sentiment of the Nagas by making an exception and speaking in English during his visit to Nagaland at the Hornbill festival venue. Have the intellectual cream of our Naga society forgotten that on 30th March 1953, our rustic Naga illiterates walked out on a no less personalities as Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India and Dr. U Nuh, Prime Minister of Burma (now Myanmar) at the Kohima local ground on a matter of principle?…”If you, Mr. PM, are unprepared to allow the Nagas to submit our memorandum to you, the Nagas then are unprepared to listen to what you have to say”… was explicitly stated in action. They had exemplified the dignity of self-respect and dared to show it with a walkout. What happened to our present day intellectuals and dignitaries who had attended this insulting function? Rather than continue listening to a noise that made no sense, why did they not walk out? In any civilised society, respect and politeness must be a two way street. One ought not to dish out insult and expect politeness in return. This is a lesson that must be inscribed in the minds of all Nagas for future reference and necessary action, should such unfortunate incident recur. All these are unhealthy foreboding signs of a very sick intolerant mind of RSS and VHP at work, hell bent on aggressively implementing their diabolic agenda…with Mr. Governor of Nagaland wilfully contributing his bit in their unacceptable designs as a loyal brainwashed allay. Mr. Narindra Modi, the Prime Minister of India too, has maintained a deliberate studied silence in order not to offend the RSS and VHP because he and his party’s very life-line is irrevocably tied up with these two monstrous, obnoxious organizations trampling upon the constitutional rights of the minority. This, in a nutshell, is the true ground zero challenge that all Nagas Christians are being confronted with today. There comes a defining moment in the life of everyone to decipher the rights and wrongs of a given issue and find the courage within oneself to stand for what one believes is right. Christians of Nagaland…this is our defining moment.
Do we have the foresight and the courage to positively respond to the realities of these condemnable events persisting around us or are we going to leave it to the Hindus to decide our faith? Complacency is no longer an option. You and I are expected to be the strength behind the Church to take necessary pre-emptive measures before this Hindu tsunami destroys the very foundry of Christianity beyond redemption. While it is in the fitness of things to respect the freedom of choice of others, one nevertheless finds it awfully difficult to comprehend Nagas actually embracing BJP as an acceptable political party in a Christian State with their kind of divisive political agendas that is out to obliterate the core of our faith. The first few Naga political heavyweights who joined the BJP had this opportunistic explanation to make: It is a better option to be within the system to influence a reduction of excesses than to helplessly be subjugated to the excesses…a conceptually laudable dream of a minuscule minority but practically inapplicable in a majority driven democracy. Nagas seems to have totally forgotten the value of our ancestral honour and are now sadly mastering the political art of sycophancy at the cost of our peril. A great deal of compromises is being made to humour the BJP at the Centre to ensure liberal State funding. What every Naga must know without doubt is that, as long as Nagaland remains a State within the Indian Union, the GoI, with or without BJP at the helms, has absolutely no option but to sustain the legitimate funding for development and management of the State machinery. The Nagas are expected to honestly and transparently make use of the funds being received with financial discipline, which obviously we are incapable of and therefore are resorting to dishonourable manipulations as true beggars. Otherwise, terminating State funding on the part of the GoI would amount to confirming and acknowledging the legitimacy of Nagaland as an Independent entity. The Nagas in fact ought to collectively be prepared to dare the GoI to terminate the State funding instead of grovelling and transforming ourselves into tame Hindu/BJP lapdogs and sycophants without honour or dignity. It is better to die standing tall and honourably than to live grovelling on our knees for the rest of our terminal lives!
Meanwhile, it is a felt need that the Churches, not only NBCC but of all Denominations, should initiate a joint brainstorming session and seriously introspect our present status of Christian preparedness…a disaster management of sort. Thereafter, consider similar Inter-State coordination of all the North Eastern Christian States…Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland…and adopt strategic ways and means to jointly counter this Hindu tremor beneath the Christian foundry. A mass resolve publically displayed by the three North Eastern Christian States in unison will send a clear signal for RSS & VHP to tread with restraint and respect for others. Take heed: Ignoring the distant Hindu drum beat in the mainland today may result in the undoing of Christian Community in our own backyard tomorrow!
The writer is IAS (Rtd)