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Editorial

Sunday Closures

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 19, 2016 12:19 am
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It is almost a month since the diktat for closure of all shops and establishment in Dimapur on Sundays was given by a Naga political group. The group’s justification lay in its motto of ‘Nagaland/Nagalim for Christ’ that has its roots in Christianity since Nagas are at present predominantly Christians. There have been some relaxations for certain establishments like pharmacies and hospitals and again for municipality designated markets after the initial total closure of all shops and establishment. Though there may be some justification in the form of religious doctrine of the group that gave the diktat, it is not the best of decisions for present times.

Since Sundays cannot be a total closure all over Nagaland with restricted vehicular movements both inter-state and within the state, the closure unnecessarily causes a lot of hardships on travellers. The vehicles, railways and flights to and from Dimapur continue to run on Sundays with travellers coming in and going out but the closures of all shops and establishment in Dimapur just causes unwanted hardships to them.

To every rule there are exceptions and the exceptions for pharmacies and hospitals are necessary as in the present case. However when there are also exceptions for certain eateries and designated market places then it instead implicates the decision of closures as not necessary in the first place. Moreover, if trading on a Sunday is against someone’s religion then just like a shop that sells items with some profit and the autos and taxis that charges fare from passengers, pharmacies and hospitals also run with some profit. The concept of free charitable hospitals, free food distributions as done by the Sikhs and interest free banks are some concepts still missing in Nagaland.

For a growing cosmopolitan township like Dimapur, trade and commerce is a necessity with increasing working hours. The municipal council therefore forces shops and establishments to open on Sundays during the festive season starting October. The municipal council has over the years improved from its earlier stand of closure on Sundays that was given a few years back. We need to come out of those years when almost everyone in Nagaland had enough free time every day; from social gatherings to the work place then to marketing and possibly also attend church all in a day.

As reported in most of the newspapers, the closure has also not stopped Dimapurians from shopping and trading. They have just moved the trading places beyond the border to places like Lahorijan and Dellai-gate in Assam. Financially, the loss for Dimapur is gain for Assam.

Christianity is a religion that moved away from the many dogmas associated with the Jewish religious traditions and customs. Its greatest teacher who was Jesus Christ himself was accused in his lifetime of breaking the Jewish Law of keeping the Sabbath day holy by performing miracles on those days. He and his disciples were also accused of ‘working’ on a Sabbath when they plucked heads of grains and ate while crossing a field of grain on a Sabbath day.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 19, 2016 12:19:53 am