A Small Biblical Correction to Imchen’s article
Imchen’s article titled, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego of ACAUT,” published in the Nagaland Post and the Eastern Mirror, addresses the corruption issue in Nagaland in great detail. It praises the three members of ACAUT who were imprisoned, and praised them for their courage. It is a well-told story.
But there is one problem. In using a biblical analogy for the three people arrested, Imchen cites the Book of “Daniel, chapter 3 (from the Christian Scriptures)….” This is an incorrect statement. The Book of Daniel is from the Hebrew Scriptures, not the Christian, from what the Christian community calls the Old Testament. This in itself is rather strange error, for a so-called Christian community, which the Nagas hold themselves out to be.
But it is a sign of a much greater problem to me, a Jew who grew up with the Hebrew Scriptures, that is, MY BIBLE. I had an intelligent and educated Naga acqaintance in Kohima, who had no idea what the Holocaust was. I mentioned that there were six million Jews exterminated by the Nazis and their allies, by guns and gas,and she said, and I am almost stating her comment verbatim, “Well, I guess Hitler felt he was doing what he had to do.”
I told her that if she made that comment to almost any educated person in the Western world, she would be viewed as one of the most stupid people to ever have opened her mouth. I gave her a five-minute summary of the anti-Semitism of the Nazis and its role in World War Two, pointing out that the extermination process was an integral part of the Nazi war plan and was the driving force for much of what Hitler did.
She proceeded to apologize, but, significantly to me, she never spent five minutes thereafter trying to learn anything more on the subject. I sent her at least one article and pointed out that there is a thing called Google!
The significance of both this incident and the earlier one I mentioned about the Book of Daniel, is the fact that the Naga people generally have spent so much time concentrating on their own atrocities, viewing their own sense of victimhood like it was something extraordinary that the whole world is, or should be, aware of, and demanding certain remedies that are not realistic (as I have written about again and again): a sovereign Naga nation and a greater Naga nation, that is, Nagalim.
The Naga people, especially the Naga activists, are so self-centered that they have no conception of the issues of the Government of India (GoI) related to their demands or what they may look like to the rest of the world: like one of the most insignificant groups on earth. The atrocities presently taking place in many countries, and the brutality being practiced on hundreds of thousands of people on this earth every day, make what is going on in Nagaland not even worth mentioning.
The corruption and violence being visited on Nagas by their fellow Nagas is infinitely worse than anything being perpetrated on the Nagas by the Indian soldiers under the AFSPA. But all the Naga nationalists talk about is that the Nagas are the brunt of the greatest slavery and brutality on the planet.
This view is a sign of a pathetically parochial education and a propaganda machine which never bothers to mention the rest of the world. The Nagas view themselves as victims because they have no education of the outside world to compare themselves to, to understand the massive suffering elsewhere in the world. Not only are their demands unrealistic but their view of themselves is self-serving and unrealistic.
I don’t anticipate that this article will be published, considering the Naga papers’ sensitivity to the feelings of the Naga activists, so used to being pampered, but at least an editor or two will understand that there’s at least one non-Naga who views the many Naga leaders as ignorant and egotistical, to the detriment of the Naga people.
Robert A. Silverstein