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Op-Ed

The debate on Rani Gaidinliu

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By EMN Updated: Oct 27, 2014 11:55 pm
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Z. Lohe

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]f late, there have been conflicting opinions, as appeared in local media, on whether Nagaland Govt.’s veneration of Rani Gaidinliu is justified or not.
It is learnt that Gaudinliu’s memorial building-cum-library is a joint venture of DoNER Ministry and Nagaland Govt. costing about Rs. 9 crores. Of which Rs. 3 crores is reportedly the share contribution of State Govt. and against its share Rs.39 lakhs was released already. The debate has to continue for the fact that Gaudinliu’s memorial building has taxed the State of Nagaland.
Here, the antecedents of Rani Gaidiliu are what should be the basis for the people of Nagaland to venerate her or ignore her. She succeeded Haipou Jadonang and became the ‘head of the Heraka Cult’ which is more akin to Hinduism. The glaring evidences are having relationship with ‘VHP, RSS, Rastra Sevika Samiti,’ etc. Gaidinliu also attended the ‘second World Hindu Conference at Allahabad in January 1979.’ I therefore believe what ZPO highlighted briefly about the cult which is an anathema to Christian faith.
As for Rani Gaudinliu’s political ambition was concerned, her ‘movement ended with the achievement of Indian Independence in 1947’ in the words of Kewibamdi H. Mariam and Thumbui Zeliang from Heraka Association of Nagaland. It is also found that one of the major reasons for ‘face offs’ between Rani Gaudinliu and NNC/FGN was due to faith. In other words, she resisted to allow the growth of Christianity through foreigners and whereas many political activists in NNC embraced the principles of Christianity. The feud led to bloodshed in which 9 NNC members were tortured to death by Heraka followers, and in their memory boulders were erected at Benreu Village as it remains today.I personally know very little about the much publicized contributions Gaidinliu had given to Nagaland State and I am hardly convinced by such publicity too. I also tend to agree with the retired IFS officer Mr. Thepfulhouvi Solo who questioned the justifications for giving much honour to her by State Govt..
Mr. Thepfulhouvi Solo is very right in asking the State Govt. as to how the said memorial project was not tabled in the Assembly for debate at any point of time. The opposition bench has therefore been in the dark about the monument till date. When the project is funded by State, the citizens of Nagaland have every right to praise or to question.
In the wisdom of the State Govt., justice is being done to Gaidinliu. Well, then what justice will be done to the rest of those bona-fide pioneers without whose sacrifices you and me would not have been in the present position today?
To hear the truth is irritating as ‘guests and hosts’. Exactly what Carol Gaidinliu had fired at Mr. Solo to silence is the exact reason that prompted the latter to spell out his understanding of the prevailing situation in Nagaland.
In the light of above, I have two observations to make. Firstly, there might be one or more Naga leaders who had contributed very significantly more than Gaidinliu in Naga National Movement or in building the Statehood. In comparison, if the contribution/s of Rani Gaidinliu was/were not more extraordinary than that of others, the State would be doing injustice to others while doing ‘justice’ to Gaidinliu. Secondly, in the contemporary Naga world, we embark on Christianity and its principle is to idolize only Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ alone. To make a cult founder as icon along with faith in Jesus is definitely a mismatch. It is forbidden. I, for one, I refused to accept such cult or accept its founder as icon. Let the Church remain silent.

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By EMN Updated: Oct 27, 2014 11:55:34 pm