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Editorial

Deliver us from Evil

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By EMN Updated: Dec 31, 2013 1:20 am
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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]S we go to press here at Eastern Mirror one hour before midnight, on the last working night for the establishment in 2013, flashes of all the year’s events race before the mind’s eye. From the year that began with the assembly elections which saw the people vote back a party that has been in power for the last ten years, to the unprecedented slow but swelling movement of a public tired of the ‘illegal taxation’ to the ten day Hornbill Festival, the year of the Golden Jubilee of the state of Nagaland, one more Christmas… and now the cross road of the future of the “ceasefire” between the NSCN(IM) and the Government of India , after events of the past couple of days, the tension running high in the adjoining district of Karbi Anglong where residing Rengma Nagas have bore the brunt of an ethnic attack perpetuated supposedly by Karbi militants, it has undoubtedly has been an eventful year.
In between were the rains, the numerous land slides , the water and power shortages and the bad roads. But we came through all of that.The events of the past few days both in Karbi Anglong and in Zunheboto are terrible pages to close the chapter of 2013. The dance of death and violence will cast their long shadows into 2014 unless we can understand ourselves how all this came to be, and address it accordingly.
In both instances the need for truth to be told and found out is imperative for a long term solution.
The question uppermost in one’s mind is how did we get to the place we are in? What have we become and where is our faith because that is also going to be our future as a people.
In his book ‘Deliver Us from Evil’, Ravi Zachariasm states ‘sometimes a culture can so imperceptibly absorb and transmit ideas into its consciousness that its hard for those within it to be objective about the propriety of its practices when measured against a counter perspective . In other words, if we want to know what America is like the surest way to gain understanding may not be to ask one who has been culturally American all her life. Admitting this blind spot is not easy, though it plagues us all and breeds a subtle form of prejudice.’
Sometimes there is more justification in the surprise reaction of unfamiliarity than there is on the desensitization that comes from immersion. Remember the story of the frog which is gradually boiled to death?
When placed in a cauldron of cold water that is gradually heated to boiling, the frog continues to swim in comfort, oblivious to what is happening. If, on the other hand, the same frog is dropped into boiling water, it immediately leaps out for its safety. The gradual change went unnoticed, accommodated beyond reason, while the drastic change met with self preserving common sense.’
To my mind we in Nagaland will be getting into the New Year with many more questions than we have answers. Behind an act is a thought or a belief, and those thoughts unleashed in anti-social behavior make the headlines. We don’t know what more tragedies will be round the corner, what additional fear factors or hardships, or epidemic, or calamity.
But as we embrace the mix of change and decay , we can try and understand the scope of the conflict. We can appeal to our collective consciousness while a few still remain that there must be boundaries in life,a this much and no further attitude, else unscrupulous minds and insatiable passions, will break every wall of protection and relentlessly plunder all that we treasure.
In 2014, we will need to fortify mindset, will power, change our recalcitrant attitude, revive the dignity of labour and work honestly.
As ugly and unfortunate as the December 21 incident in Zunheboto district turned out to be … the events that followed will be a watershed that broke the silence of the majority of the public.
So as the New Year knocks on the door, may these blessings fall along your way
In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.
May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
May God grant you always…A sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you.
Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.

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By EMN Updated: Dec 31, 2013 1:20:40 am