No peace without truth and justice, says Kikon
Dimapur, Dec. 10: The 9th edition of the ‘northeast youth peace and cultural festival’ began Saturday here at the Don Bosco Higher Secondary School Campus, in Dimapur. Since 2008, the festival has been organised to, among other pursuits, enable integration through inter-faith and inter-culture exchanges.
The opening session of the festival had representatives from five different religious communities – Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh and Christian – sharing what was stated in the program as “harmony messages”.
Legislator Mmhonlumo Kikon spoke as the chief guest of the opening session. He said that the definition of peace as absence of war / violence / conflict was a narrow one especially in the context of Nagaland.
There could be no peace, he said, without justice and truth in any society.
Kikon also said that most of the conflicts in the northeast region were “less communal and more ethnic” in nature. While stressing on the importance to recruit “warriors of peace” when they are young, he also suggested that they should be sensitised to new cultures.
Peace building education should also involve the young students learning the culture of other communities, he said. This, according to Kikon, would help to address the “wrong concept of self-professed superiority that ethno-centric extremism” tends to propagate.
Citing the cases of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.–both universally acknowledged as apostles of peace but also assassinated–Kikon reminded the audience of young students that “even the role of peacemaking is not easy”.
But unless the present generation could “stare the conflicts straight in the eye”, he said, it would be “difficult” to have sustainable peace.
Also, the director of Peace Channel Dr. Fr. Anto Paul recalled in his keynote address how the killing of three children in Kiphire had prompted the Peace Channel to initiate a peace festival in 2008. Phyobemo Lotha of UNV-DYC NYK Dimapur was the guest of honour.
The festival ends on December 12, with DCP Zone II OF Dimapur police, Dr Ilyas KPA as the chief guest of the closing session.