Christmas and the Hope of the Nagas
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]agas have long been under the subtle oppression of the government of India. After the prolonged fruitless military oppression, ceasefire was declared. After the prolonged and a series of ceasefire extension which still runs the course, Christmas Gift was promised, but to no fruition. Utterly dismayed is to many a Naga citizen, in particular, the youths with this fruitless good gesture of the GoI. It is a must that the GoI takes the legitimate Naga political issue all the more serious than ever.
When scrupulously scrutinize, Nagas are not really ready to be independent and India cannot completely be blamed for the delay of the delivery of our birthrights. So long has been our struggle but ignorant enough are we to realize why. Liar is not trustworthy.Troubling man cannot bring peace. Glutton is not generous. The list of these things goes on and on. It is utterly a ridicule for the outside world to look at the Nagas speaking of peace even when within the Naga family is a deluge of bloodshed by the Underground groups. It is utterly a mockery for the outside world to look at the Nagas speaking of fraternity even when within the Naga family is a dissension based on tribal lines. It is utterly a contempt for the outside world to look at the Nagas speaking of Sovereignty even when within the Naga family is a rebellion based on regional lines-Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar. It is high time for the Nagas to realize and come to common consensus.From the day the Israelites were redeemed from the oppressive bondage of the Egyptians, the unfailing providence of the Lord Almighty shielded them. However, the Israelites were extremely rebellious and extremely despicable despite the many miracles, the mighty acts of God as a revelation of Him. Had not they been rebellious forty years long would not have been their wilderness journey. The distance from Egypt to Canaan was not over 250 miles, or about a month’s journey. Most astonishingly, in the fourth month after their exodus, when the Israelites were encamped at Sinai a census was taken and the number of men from twenty years old and upward was then 603,550, but of all these except Caleb and Joshua could enter the Promised Land, Canaan. Caleb and Joshua were the only two of the whole number who encouraged the Israelites to go up and possess the land, and they alone were spared when a plague broke out in which the other ten spies perished. Within the forty years in the wilderness, 603,548 men perished leaving only Caleb and Joshua to enter the Promised Land. Sadly, merciful and forgiving God never ever said, “Even though they (Israelites) rebel against me I will not take note of their sins because they had not been given enough time to realize, nor were they given education”; but rather He determined that they perish never entering the Promised Land. Had not they been rebellious they would have all entered the Promised Land.
Naga political struggle has been for so long, longer than the forty years wilderness journey of the Israelites. Our Independence was declared on 14 August 1947 but we are like the Israelites in the wilderness, filled with full of bloodshed and rebellion. Israelites took forty years long to enter the Promised Land which required only about a month’s journey. How long will the Nagas be in the wilderness? The total Naga population is said to be two millions (2, 000000000). Many had perished as patriots. Salute to them! Many have been perishing whether or not as patriots. How much more do we expect to perish? Are we doomed to perish? How many will enter the Promised Land like Caleb and Joshua. Our role of divisiveness, conceit, selfishness, bloodshed and rebellion cannot take the role of Caleb and Joshua. The early we realize the better it is for us.
Christmas is not just about sharing cake, having feast, decorating house, buying clothes, etc. It rather is far beyond that. Christmas is in fact a time of reflection and reminder. Christmas would not have been occasioned if Christ has never come. Christ came so that we may have life and have it abundantly. His very purpose of coming was and is to give abundant life-peace, joy, love, etc. Christmas is now a time for the Nagas to reminisce, ruminate and realize. At this Christmas season let us get ourselves right from wrong, shake off the old and put on the new. Christmas is meaningful only if we embrace one another with love and forgiveness. Christ says, “You are my friends, if you do what I command” and “If you love me, you must do what I command”. His command is nothing but to love Him and our neighbours. Christ came to forgive, so we must forgive. Christ reconciled us to God, so we must reconcile with one another and with God. Without Him our Christmas celebration is but vanity. May our realization be the Christmas Gift of this year.
Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai