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Views & Reviews

Nagaland: Where are we heading to?

By EMN Updated: May 02, 2017 10:55 pm

Toshiwapang O Longkumer

From a concerned citizen and rightfully exercising my fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression [Art. 19 (1)(a)], I wilfully express my share of opinions on the way we Nagas perceive an issue and how we tend to deal with any issue that confronts our society as a whole. Whether it is the issue over inclusion of Rongmei tribe into the aegis of the Nagas of Nagaland, ULB elections, intra-tribal conflicts or our long standing Naga political issue, we have a certain similar approach to these ongoing issues and it is evident from the fact that it is still not yet disposed off that makes us believe our method or approach to solve it is ineffective. I am fully aware of the complexity and uniqueness of our problems but it is also indubitable that we are approaching any kind of issues that arises in Nagaland in the wrong way.
How long are we supposed to postpone solving an issue at the right time? This is the first real problem we have. When we do not solve a problem when it is hot, it gives birth to another new problem and it goes on and on. Another evil disposition we possess is the addiction to politicize any issue that glooms the Naga society. Politics always has its room to play a pivotal role in every kind of Naga issue regardless of whether it is a social issue, religious issue, cultural issue, educational issue etc. This unquestionably blinds the ones who sit proudly in the chair to make decisions. We allow politics to slide in and plague the end result of every conflicts and issues. Third and the most important problem is our way of isolating an issue based on the interest of one’s own tribe. We cannot deny the fact that in all spheres of our social intercourse whether it is in the offices, schools, prayer groups, or any other public gatherings or groups, we create syndicates and most of us tend to stick to our own, this could be the root cause of the third problem mentioned before. I shouldn’t waste my time in giving any remedies to the above mentioned problems as it carries with it an answer by itself, just that we do not want to compromise on any of those.
An effective Nagaland Forum is the need of the hour. Citizens’ participation should be part and parcel of the forum where leaders should initiate dialogues on any issue confronting the state. The strategies and means to approach the issue should be communicated through the use of media platforms. There should also be openness on the part of the leaders in speaking out on the issues that is decaying our society. Until and unless the people as a whole know the pros and cons of the matter, we cannot expect co-operation and involvement from the people. In a democracy, it is vital that people participates as much as possible in the decision making process otherwise there can be no solution to a problem.
While taking decisions there should be an effort to know what the young generations want. The decisions made today will have direct consequential impact on our lives today years from now. In fact, we will live the decision you make today.
Refrain from making decisions based on any kind of political aspirations. It is a mockery and insult to our ongoing efforts to come to a solution to our problems. We will call anyone traitors who misuse our struggle to solution for his or her own benefits. Politics has his own space. Most of our issues are issues of cultural living, social inclusion, territorial and historical aspect of our people. It should not be taken for granted. By what yardstick we take action on the issue at hand will be resorted to on the like issues in the future.
It is true that all of us are trying to define and describe Naga society and all of us seem to differ. When none of us is able to depict the truth about our society and the problems that are drowning us day by day how can we expect someone that does not belong to our society to understand and put an end to it. It is just a utopian dream. If by lingering on the past we cannot solve the problem then why not we re-invent ourselves and march forward by collectively asserting on what could be the best thing for the present generation and the future and not on what could have been done. We do not have to surrender to the norms and dictates of the ways of the others but we can inarguably find our own unique way by re-structuring and re-modeling our political, social and economic interface but without compromising on the ethos of the Nagas. Yes we can do this if we all put our mind and soul into it. It is time we tell the world of a new and unambiguous identity of the Nagas. We were a barbaric group of people, that has gradually transformed into a modernized society, dictating our own existence thwarting off anyone that has tried to penetrate and jeopardize our living. Re-defining ourselves is the first step we should embark upon.
Change in leadership could be another key role. We talk about economic reforms, social reforms, educational reforms, legal reforms and so on. But question to all our people is: is there anyone among the leaders who is an expert on the subject matter? Consider the Nagaland Legislative Assembly as an example: how many of the elected members are an expert in the subject matter of his portfolio? Take a dig at their educational qualifications. I am not concerned with the educational qualification bar to be an elected member but my point is on whether these members can present a convincing blueprint on economic development to the center while we talk about economic reforms; to the Law minister whether he iss educated enough to negotiate and present more effective legal reforms in the state and strip off the draconian AFSPA which is tormenting the citizens for decades. We can have millions of questions to ask to all the elected members but it is not going to benefit us. What we ought to do is use our right to vote vitally during the elections and elect those who are capable to bring long lasting changes in the state. Is there anyone who can even bring an end to our long struggling independence movement? It time we find that person and give him the cap of leadership. Let us remember that we are a unified community who were never reluctant to call ‘black as black’ and ‘white as white’. We are a people who protected our lands and family with spears and machetes. Our forefathers laid down their lives facing the enemy from all corners of our land undivided. Today our pen and paper is our weapon to fight an enemy. We have suffered enough and are suffering enough because of our differences in opinions. It is time we start a new march keeping in mind the larger interest of the people of Nagaland. I appeal to the people of Nagaland to craft our own future. The waiting game is over.

(Toshiwapang O Longkumer can be contacted at

By EMN Updated: May 02, 2017 10:55:20 pm