Beloved Archbishop Desmond Tutu Lives On
With the passing of beloved Archbishop Desmond Tutu on 26th December 2021, solemn thoughts enter the minds of the Naga people. Along with the rest of the world, we feel how much has been taken from us. Archbishop Tutu was a special person, someone whose history was written by God. Born to give hope to the hopeless and peace in the midst of violence, he refused to be held down by a world stricken by hatred and injustice. Tutu traveled as one who belonged to all people, races, and creeds. He was a grand testament to the world, and indeed to the Naga people.
In a December 2009 letter addressed to the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), Tutu addressed the ongoing Naga Reconciliation process by saying:
“Choosing the path of reconciliation demonstrates maturity and respect of human dignity. It is when we dehumanise others that we invariably dehumanise ourselves…It is this recognition that gives me hope that as you embark on your journey, you will find healing and the courage to face the shadows that have stalked your people for a long time…I wish you success in your deliberations and pray that God grants you wisdom and protection during this important phase of your struggle.”
And so, we Nagas, and particularly the Naga Political Groups (NPGs), remain grateful to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In this time of our history and all its happenings within and without us, let us steadfastly and sincerely “face the shadows” that continue to appear in front of us.
Accordingly, FNR calls for the practice of human understanding through God’s reconciliation. Let us preserve hope in the midst of false narratives, learnt reactions, and violence. Nagas and the Government of India should consciously accept the pain and sorrow of this time and move towards authentic justice, healing and reconciliation. This is our existential and long-term hope for a misunderstood, divided, and forged history of humanity and nations.
FNR believes not in a misplaced reconciliation that stems from deceit and brokenness, but rather in the new and genuine humanity that is freed through reconciliation. In remembrance of Archbishop Tutu, let us begin by acknowledging our weakness in order to give reconciliation a chance and by embracing Reinhold Niebuhr’s critical observation that, “It is always wise to seek the truth in our opponent’s error, and the error in our truth.”
Forum for Naga Reconciliation