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Op-Ed

Much to learn from Ireland (II)

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By EMN Updated: May 06, 2014 10:44 pm
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Benito.Z. Swu

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is universal that there is always an advantage and a disadvantage in everything that we see, look, analyse and react to things and facts as they are. Let us look at Mizoram. The Mizos have no such identity of different tribes as we do have in the Naga community. They are all Mizos. They have just one language, one tradition, one set of traditional dress code, one dance, the same menu in their fooding and it is the same even with their own brand of relegion. Mizos have been smart in the fact of the matter that they have been able to take the maximum advantage of this oneness. They did not allow the disadvantages of oneness to overshadow the advantages in their community and as such has prospered. As for us Nagas, much as we are of a small state it is indeed unique that we do have so many tribes, each with their own unique way of living, be it with language, food, dance, dress and even different ways of formalizing the traditional matrimonial relationships. Unique is definitely what we are but the sad part is that we have not been able to take advantage of this uniqueness, of this diversity. On the contrary it is turning out to be a big disadvantage.Infact, unless checked and nipped from the bud, unless this disadvantage is turned into an advantage, this diversity and uniqueness will ultimately prove to be the ‘achilles heel’ of the Nagas in general. ‘Unity in diversity’ is a slogan and a topic on which we as school going students and our children today study and expands on the idea. However sadly today for the Nagas it is ‘disunity in diversity’. It is our own undoing that instead of taking advantage and making use of this diversity by cementing it with unity we are doing just the exact opposite and is playing right into the hands of the ‘intelligence agencies’ of mainland India. Forget about tribal unity, we have knowingly and also unknowingly even divided ourselves on clan lines from within a tribe. The goal posts of the spirit of brotherhood which fosters love and concern has been so narrowed, and we are failing to see beyond it giving more room for cynism, unhealthy competition and thereby disunity.I think I am straying much from the title of the article (infact I have’nt even touched it) but the absentmindedness of ‘yours truly’ is forcing me to stray least I forget to air what I am doing now and hence do bear with me. Yes, I do eat my words as far as my definition of ‘unique’ in my much earlier writeup is concerned. But again I feel I cannot be faulted because I and definitely many like me had not been offered any explanation as to what being ‘unique’ is not what ‘unique’ is all about in the general term. And just as the word ‘unique’ has to be made known to the multitude, so is the message that as being unique, Nagas do very much deserve a better arrangement than what we have today as a member state of the Indian Union. It really borders or better boils down to that of an insult when some loose tongue comes up with different theories of even undoing or downgrading what little extra provision is there in the present form of governance in Nagaland. However we fear that such theories will only become more vocal if the current state of affairs i.e disunity as it is now is allowed to fester. Not discounting voices against the government of the day for certain narrow government policies (and that proves people manning the govt. human) our best and the safest bet is CM Rio. And if not him then who and what has that ‘who’ got to offer? The Congress under Sonia Gandhi has downgraded Nagas to that extent where any new dispensation in the centre if to maintain the continiuity of the negotiations will only end up in more divisions among the Nagas. And as such once again playing directly into the hands of the Indian intelligence agencies. I feel we have no option but to go back in time and start anew and afresh. Going by the positive track record of former Prime Minister A.B Vaypayee to the Naga Political problem and more importantly the huge conflict of interest between the Congress and the BJP we can safely have no hesitation in predicting that any government and all the more a BLP led government will be much more understanding to the Nagas than the ceasefiring Congress.
By the way, why can’t we (both overground & underground) just leave the politics of the day aside, atleast till the time we the Nagas in one voice achieve something concrete, something atleast in that category which Jammu & Kashmir enjoys. On the contrary, going by the speed of the tone and divisiveness of agendas, instead of atleast an enhanced status the very possibility of us even loosing the little that we have is staring in our face. And it is all thanks to our disunity in diversity. Here the role of the Church cannot be overemphasized. The Bible as the greatest book ever is open for interpretation by any individual believer. Knowingly misinterpreting it is a huge sin and I do pray for forgiveness if I am seen to be misinterpreting Luke 23:28 with a secular student’s point of view. Our christian faith has indoctrinated in us everybody without exception the fear of the Lord, and it is again the Least Common Multiple(LCM) where every Naga amens to. As such is it not the primary duty of the care-takers of our souls – the apostles of today to give us the correct interpretation of the said scripture verse? Not at all discounting the selfless missionary work of taking the Gospel to the unreached far beyond our borders, much ground needs to be covered and worked upon at home with the singular aim of bringing about peace, reconciliation, unity, brotherhood and earning the eternal gratefulness of the generations to come. Isaiah 43:19 says, “I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”. What more assurance do we need? Feed us and mould us into one.
(End of part II of III) .

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By EMN Updated: May 06, 2014 10:44:25 pm