Sunday, December 05, 2021

I have a dream or dare I dream, in Nagaland

By EMN Updated: Sep 04, 2013 10:19 pm

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ast week the world and the United States of America in particular revisited a great moment in history. The stirring words of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech that affected the conscience of an entire world and his nation.
It was delivered on August 28, 1963, in which King called for an end to racism in the United States.The address was to 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. The speech became a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.King was aiming his remarks at his fellow Americans. But King’s dignified appeal to the better nature of his countrymen had a resonance far wider than just the United States. When he addressed what he called the ‘greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation’ he would inadvertently set off a worldwide movement for racial emancipation. In his speech he based his pitch on the widely understood requirements of the American Constitution. Many white Americans had little time for black people but they thought a lot of the constitution. King played on this. He reminded them of the rules and that the (white people) had the rules.
In more ways than one Nagas stand too at the crossroads of the future just as the blacks of America did in the 60’s when this great speech was made. They were fortunate that a leader of the stature of Martin Luther King Jr. lifted their hearts and their passion as they strived to break the chains of discrimination and fought for an equal society from a repressive white rule.
In Nagaland we rule ourselves. We suppress each other. We kill each other. We cheat other. We steal from and lie to each other. And then we cry for freedom from a ‘foreign’ rule. Dare we dream of a better future for all in the present Nagaland …where the essence of the American patriotic song “Home on the Range “ can take root once again.
Hugh Muir a colored American himself of The Guardian conducted several radio interviews on the 50th anniversary of this iconic speech last week. He writes …‘And usually the presenters asked, what relevance does the King speech have over here? Well, we can eat lunch where we like, I said. Generally the police don’t set dogs on us.
In many ways life is good. But when you become a member of a first-world free society – with or without a written constitution – you do have expectations that the rights of one group will also pertain to the other. And that’s when you consider our anomalies such as stop and search, with black people seven times more likely to be stopped than white, with only 9% of stops leading to arrest.
And the so-called war on drugs, where arrested black people are twice as likely to be charged as white. And the employment market, where half of the young black people and 31% of young Asian people are unemployed compared with 20% of their young white counterparts.
Wasn’t that, in essence, what King was saying? Shouldn’t benefits, freedoms and opportunity impact citizens the same?”
Time and tide wait for none and the clock is ticking by for the right choices and decisions that will impact forever the destiny of the Nagas.
“The arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, but it does’nt bend on its own.” President Barack Obama said in allusion to King’s own message, as he addressed the American Nation on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream Speech”
The question being asked of Nagas is what role are we playing in the moral universe for justice?

By EMN Updated: Sep 04, 2013 10:19:50 pm