‘Community’ the stronghold of Nagas
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he first week of January of a New Year, 2014 has been anything but happy in Nagaland.
People here slipped into 2014, with the scars of the murder of a 16 year old class 10 student, the unprecedented attack on the NSCN (IM ) camp at Mukalimi, in Zunheboto, by an enraged public for the erring actions of its cadres on women and male travelers and the outbreak of violence in Karbi Anglong leading to the displacement of thousands of people including women and children. This is probably the first instance where the Naga public in Nagaland have been directly engaged with a political fallout in neighbouring Assam that has led to the creation of homeless victims who have lost everything they owned.
The recovery of nine decomposed bodies (all Karbi males) has also widened the canvas of the violence that first engulfed the district of Karbi Anglong.Nevertheless, there are several lessons the current spate of violence should have taught Nagas or at least revealed to us. First and foremost is that the dynamics of a tribal society have changed dramatically we live in a microcosm and the adage that every action bears an equal and opposite reaction is so true. The violence is also probably the first of its kind unwittingly involving a section of the Naga public and the church, where the Chief Minister of the state met with the Assam Chief Minister to express his concern over the violence and requested him to ensure security for the fleeing Rengma Nagas.
The Karbi Anglong fall out should be a wake up call that the concerns of our immediate neighbours must certainly become ours so we know how to react and assist each other when any unfortunate incident takes place.
Secondly the recent past incident has demonstrated just how crucial it is not enough to not only be “good neighbours”, but to remain calm in the midst of rumour mongering.
What was so heartening to observe was the manner in which the different associations in Nagaland, besides the many church orgnaisations, the civil bodies and various students unions offered what no other state in the country can boast … the strength drawn from the sense of community that is unique with the Nagas. Whether it was the unity shared with the grieving families of Karbis who came to claim their dead at the Civil District Hospital Dimapur, or students from Kohima accompanying the fleeing batch of Karbi daily wage laborers, we witnessed in Nagaland the darkness of violence.
In the worst of times if our best is displayed for the sake of peace it goes to show that there is still hope for us.