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Op-Ed

Fuel Crisis or Mentality Crisis

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By EMN Updated: Aug 15, 2013 12:26 pm
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Jonas Yanthan

For two full days, Kohima and Dimapur saw petrol and diesel buying spree just because of the news of Karbi bandh causing unprecedentedly immense traffic jam over and above the usual traffic congestions. Fortunately, on one hand, there were no known emergency sick persons being rushed to hospitals or major accidents that required victims being rushed to clinics within the shortest time possible lest victims might have died due to inability to reach doctors on time for emergency operation or treatment. On the other hand, many did not know why the extra heavy traffic jam was only to know the real reason after being stranded for more than 2 to 5 tedious hours that people were rushing for petrol or diesel.It is good to be prepared to face any eventuality or forecasted crisis of whatever kind but what intrigues us is the mean attitude and fickle mentality of Nagas. This is being pointed out because the rush to fill one’s tanks with petrol or diesel and extra cans went on unheedingly despite repeated confirmed information from the Administration through news papers and on the spot that there was no cause for concern since essential commodities like fuel were coming in sufficiency despite the bandh. Even then, by filling ones’ petrol or diesel tanks how long will it last?
What any keen social observer can see is the type of mentality Nagas have developed: self-centeredness, undue pride such as I should be the only one to have things in sufficiency-what do I care about the rest! How poor Nagas have become in mentality? Where is our value of concern and sense of sharing? The church has to own major responsibility for this mental and attitudinal crisis because it teaches primarily “personal salvation and personal Savior”. This teaching, logically speaking, is not only far from the Biblical teaching which teaches sacrificing ones’ life for others but also has the tendency to turn believers become self-centered and individualistic, which it is. The true understanding of salvation is, while it is individual a person has to earn his or her salvation by the manner in which he or she lives in the society; with concern for one’s neighbor, speaking the truth and fighting against injustices of all sorts courageously, not bearing false witnesses, not being selfish or greedy. These are intrinsic to salvation because salvation cannot be earned by secluding oneself from society or living ascetic life away from human habitation. In short, the notion of personal salvation is so limiting without the communitarian aspect of salvation where both are reciprocal to each other and that they are incomplete without the other. Salvation, Jesus taught, can be possible only within a society and not in a desert far from human habitation. Jesus spoke of how one should live in society as social beings.
Crisis of any kind is part of all human societies and they are of concern but what is of more concern is the attitude of our society during such crisis. And therefore, it is pertinent to imbibe in ourselves with the armor of truthfulness, kindness, concern and gentleness in all aspects of our lives. Some crisis can be averted through timely intervention but those that can’t be avoided can be faced in unison, bravely and at the same time joyfully if only we know that every time we face a crisis they bring us closer to each other and make us more intelligent, sharper in thinking processes and more matured mentally for effective living as vibrant citizens.
Nagas have very high hopes of being a free nation but nothing substantial has taken shape so far. One of the main reasons for this set back is our mentality of running after immediate personal gains rather than sacrificing and restraining ourselves for the success of our vision. The universal truth is the higher a goal, the greater sacrifice it requires and there is no greater goal than nationhood. Limiting this dream is our false mentality, whether underground or over-ground, of ‘obsession for’ (the better word here is ‘demands’) to be a VIP which can be noticed by the craze for VIP lights, name plates and numerous factions and unions (especially in Dimapur) rather than in humility putting our heads together as to how to go about in order to materialize our goal of a vibrant State. These only manifests how shallow and stupid we all are and shallow society cannot achieve anything except more confusions and disarray.
Another feature is if Nagaland Government sincerely wants surplus revenue, the first and foremost is to secure the oil and agriculture rich border areas by hook or by crook urgently and decisively. Isn’t it derogatory that Nagaland government wants to extract oil but have done nothing to secure the borders? For instance, Ladaigharh in Longleng where a school was inaugurated by Dr. TM Lotha when he was a minister and the first Oil well inaugurated in 1972 by Former Chief Minister, J.B Jasokie at Borhola under Champang area are now forcefully occupied by Assam. At Borhola, it is not only occupied but ONGC is extracting oil in millions of tones right inside Nagaland which is hardly 300 yards away from Champang oil wells. The question is what has and is the Nagaland Government doing about it? So far, nothing! Instead of doing a thing, of the modern and living Chief Ministers, the longest servers had been SC Jamir and Neiphiu Rio but the most cheerless is that the former was the most casual and inconsistent in this regard for reasons best known to him and the latter had been least concern until now.
If we desire speedy progress then we have to become wiser by putting our heads and expertise together by shaking off our selfish momentary egoistic and narrow tribal interests and deal with the challenges before us step by step as one people. We all know that everybody talking does not help and so departments like Boarder Affairs, Excise department etc must form an expert committee that consists of intellectuals who will vigorously and consistently pursue the matter until such matters are resolved. The recent Government’s decision to constitute a special committee to look into the failed prohibition is the way. This was a long felt need for the very reason that prohibition instead of doing any good to the society has only incited many to become law breakers and anti-socials in their struggle for quick money and livelihood among many other negative effects as a result of prohibition.
The best should come, despite all the gloom, because I believe in the vibrancy of the Nagas and the witness to this is our heritage of truthfulness, courage, simplicity, humility, freedom of expression, sense of justice, hospitality and honesty inherited from our forefathers and enshrined in our ethos and anyone, be it over-ground or underground, who does not respect and live by this truth is a traitor.

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By EMN Updated: Aug 15, 2013 12:26:08 pm