Nagas yet to become good host to ‘peace’, says NBCC General Secretary
Dimapur, Aug. 5 (EMN): Nagas take pride in the complement that they are hospitable, simple, honest and peace-loving but they have not become a good host to peace, said Rev. Zelhou Keyho, General Secretary of Nagaland Baptist Council of Churches (NBCC).
Instead, ‘we have become complicated people, sticky and slippery with peace, and we have not being honest with peace and the cliché of peace-loving is becoming business,’ he added.
The reverend was speaking at the inaugural programme of Peace Centre (North East Institute of Social Sciences and Research -NEISSR and Peace Channel), at the premises of St. Joseph’s School in Chümoukedima on Friday.
He shared that in the context of war and conflict, peacemaking and conflict resolutions are systematically followed, which rarely deals with the inner conflict to promote peaceful coexistence. ‘However, peace as a way of life, is an advocacy to live in peace with oneself, in harmony with others and with the natural environment, acknowledging that God created the world for our enjoyment.’
“This aspect has been grossly misunderstood because of selfishness and the lack of respect, and it is important to identify the negative energy at work in our society trying to tear down the fabric of peaceful living through mutual love and respect for individual selfish gain,” he stated.
Meanwhile, he shared that in general, ‘the Catholics have made tremendous impact in the life of our people and the society in general, and their educational institutions have contributed much to the Nagas, the region and beyond’.
Further, he said that ‘peace is no longer defined and understood as the absence of war, but it encompasses and permeates every aspect of our human existence from individual to society and how we deal with each other to produce a quality life which we term as peaceful co-existence’.
‘It is a way of sustaining social distant from internal conflict and this requires a resolute decision of strength and compassion,’ he added.
Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima, also shared that peace eluded the Northeast India for decades, yet it is an ardent desire for everyone living in this region.
He stated that lack of peace has adversely affected every aspects of human life in the region and affected the socio-economic growth and development. The Peace Centre is conceptualised as a centre that would emerge as a catalyst for change through focused interventions in peace building, training, inner peace mediation for all faith, peace education and the community action for prevention of conflicts, he added.
He said that the centre will focus on enhancing capacities, attitudes and responses that will promote harmony and peace along individuals, families and communities through strategic interventions of education, research, dialogue, mediation and community action for peace.
‘The centre attempts to combine theory with practice, research with pragmatism to create an enlightened and committed peace ambassadors and committed social workers who are fired with zeal to transform and create a peaceful and hope-filled Nagaland, which must gradually spread to other parts of the country. The overall goal of the peace centre is to establish an institutional facilities functioning as peace resources centre for social transformation,’ he added.
Stephen P Marks, Dean of School of public Health and Human Development, OP Jindal University, Haryana, shared that the establishment of the Peace Centre among the groups that identify as indigenous not only adds rich feature to it but also demonstrates to the world what ‘we have known for ages but failed to implement’.
The officials also informed that NEISSR has signed an MOU with OP Jindal University, Haryana.
During the programme, short speeches were also delivered by Pardeshi Lal, Vice Chancellor of Nagaland University, Peace Activist Rev. Thomas Menamparampil, Archbishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of Guwahati; Rev. Paul Mattekat, Bishop of Diphu, Assam; Fr. Benny Varghese, president Diocesan Fraternity; D Gnanadurai, Vice Chancellor of St. Joseph’s University, Dimapur; and Johnny Ruangmei, Joint CEO NSDMA, Nagaland.