Thursday, July 07, 2022

Closed Again

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 16, 2019 12:45 am

After about a year and a half since the last diktat, the latest diktat by a Naga political group for the total closure of shops and establishments on Sundays in Dimapur came into effect recently. The caretaker of the group’s unit stated that the reason for it was “to mark the day as holy”. The group’s justification probably lies in its motto of ‘Nagaland/Nagalim for Christ’ that has its roots in Christianity since Nagas are at present predominantly Christians. Since the last order by the group there was noticeable relaxation along with the customary relaxation during the festive season every year. However the recent total closure only takes the upcoming and fast growing town of Dimapur a few years back.

Since Sundays cannot be a total closure all over Nagaland with restriction of vehicular movements, both inter-state and within the state, the closure unnecessarily causes a lot of hardships on travellers. The vehicles, railways and flights to and from Dimapur continue to run on Sundays with travellers coming in and going out but the closures of all shops and establishments in Dimapur limits activities.

To every rule there are exceptions and the exceptions for pharmacies and hospitals are necessary as in the present case. In all the religions the concept of working on a Holy day does not arise if it is to save a life. In the same way in a fast-growing town like Dimapur there are many who depend on eateries for their daily meal. There are also many daily wage earners who may not necessarily have a mess in their lodgings. So if the closure has to stay then why cannot the thousands of Naga Christian organisations also run free charitable hospitals, free food distributions as done by people of other religions so that no one is working to earn on Sundays.

For a growing cosmopolitan township like Dimapur, trade and commerce is a necessity with increasing working hours. The municipal council therefore forces shops and establishments to open on Sundays during the festive season starting October. The municipal council also has over the years improved from its earlier stand of closure on Sundays that was given a few years back. We need to come out of those years when almost everyone in Nagaland had enough free time every day; from social gatherings to the work place then to marketing and attend church all in a day. Times have changed, as life is becoming faster along with the pace of the fast-growing town.

As usual the closure will not stop Dimapurians from shopping and trading. They will, like before move the trading places beyond the border to places like Lahorijan and Dillai gate in Assam. Financially, the loss for Dimapur is gain for Assam.

Christianity is a religion that moved away from the many dogmas associated with the Jewish religious traditions and customs. Its greatest teacher who was Jesus Christ himself was accused in his lifetime of breaking the Jewish Law of keeping the Sabbath day holy by performing miracles on those days. His disciples were also accused of ‘working’ on a Sabbath when they plucked heads of grains and ate while crossing a field of grain on a Sabbath day. It was one of the first major accusations against Christ and his disciples. The reply that Jesus is known to all Christians and to all who study the Bible. Should it not be still be the guiding principle for the many individuals and organisation who profess Christianity? “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” were the words of Jesus Christ.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 16, 2019 12:45:18 am