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Time Runs Out

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By EMN Updated: Aug 01, 2013 9:14 pm
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KHEKIYE K. SEMA

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he subject is not new. In fact it is a repeat of what has already been said before. It is being repeated in the faint hope that people who sit at the helms of affair will finally hear this sound in the wilderness. This is a desperate voice of the last generation of Nagas who have seen the inhuman atrocities and cruelty of the Indian Army first hand in the early 1950s. We have seen Naga villages burned to the ground one after another. We have seen the only wealth that any rural Naga family ever had… their granaries, being torched to ashes devoid of any remorse simply to cut off the supply link to the brothers in arms. We have seen countless grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and little brothers and sisters starve to death all across Nagaland because of their heartless act. We have seen the concentration camps set up by the Indian Army throughout Nagaland, herding 5-6 village population together without elementary living conditions even for animals. The emaciated elders and starved children walking around like zombies helplessly unable protect themselves from the tyranny of the Indian Army. We had no right to exist. We have heard time and again how many of our Naga women had been sacrilegiously raped, degraded and shot within the confines of the Churches. We have heard innumerable stories of how hundreds of able bodied sons of the soil had been tortured and murdered, on mere suspicion by the Indian Army just so as to cripple our spirit and deny recruitment to the Naga Army. We have heard of captured Naga soldiers being hung by their feet, gun butted as a sport, smearing chili powder on a freshly sliced flesh then left to die a slow excruciating death. Many were bayoneted while desperately trying to cling on to life for days without food or water and their bodies finally thrown to the dogs to be ravaged. Even a decent burial was denied. We have heard of how Naga prisoners had been tortured with raw electrical wires being applied to their genitals and laughing at them as they screamed in excruciating pain. The sadistic extremity of human cruelty perpetuated by the Indian Army against the Nagas is beyond description. The Indian humiliation of the Nagas was complete. We were no better than an animal to them without a right to existence. This humiliation continues to this day with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act still in vogue and like the helpless generation before us we timidly accept our inhuman status. Our present day political leaders are very comfortable with this situation and oblivious to the plight of the common man, with M-O-N-E-Y fogging up their brains. Is there no pride left in us?
A divine purpose had been served to let each Naga of that generation understand the price that was being paid and acknowledge the magnitude of the task before us that needs to be accomplished standing together as a family without apportioning blame to one another for better or for worse. We are the last generation who has seen the true picture of the supreme sacrifices made by the generation before us imprinted in our souls. How could we ever forget them so casually? Should not an honest thought be spared for those mothers who desperately held on to their dying sons crying bitter helpless tears yet courageously accepting their fate? Should not an honest prayer be offered for the sons who had died believing that we were born free? Their souls cry out to us for UNITY to achieve what they dreamt about and willingly died for despite being treated like an animal by the Indian Army. Should not the present Leaders of the Factions remember each of these sacrifices sincerely made and temper their greed and ego that now prevail glaringly within their fold and salvage unity amongst their flock? It is with the deepest sentiment such as this that this call for unity of our brothers in arms is being made. As long as we continue to insult the sacrifices of the generation that went before us we will never overcome the curse of their tears so bitterly shed for the sake of all our freedom, if we let them down.
Time has a way of transforming all what happened to just another sad story of a distant past. For the younger generation, Nagas sovereignty has become a fading dream reinforced by the Faction’s use of sovereignty as a camouflage to tax the people in general and the young entrepreneurs in particular beyond their capabilities. With the rampant uncontrolled onslaught of taxation Nagas cannot hope to survive. Without taxation the factions cannot hope to sustain their existence. In a vicious cycle such as this we can only hope to perish together. If not there has to be a sensible restructuring and discipline in the manner taxation. The answer lies in the reconciliation and merger of all the factions, which can safely lead us to ‘one tax for one Naga National Government’ without having to confront each other in a bloodbath. Today, the all round focus has shifted to the pursuit of easy money over sovereignty for the comforts and conveniences it provides. This is true across the board involving the Politicians, State Government functionaries, the Factions and the general public. This is our reality. One can’t help the feeling of pessimism when one considers the possibility of having this responsibility passed on to the next generation with the drastic change of mindset over the years.
It is within the confines of such foreboding that some home truths have to honestly be acknowledged without bias. It is a fact that all the factions are seated on the fence annually extending the cease fire agreement, contentedly concentrating on raising taxes and killing one another for the same. The exception is the NSCN (IM) practically and visibly engaging the GOI for a negotiated settlement. Taking this ground reality into consideration it is imperative that Mr. Isac Swu and Mr. Th Muivah take time out to seriously do some soul searching and take a reality check very carefully. It is for them to understand with humility that they are spearheading the movement and holds the status of a father figure at this stage. It is for them to find a way to bring all the disgruntled children home. This can happen only if the father is bighearted enough to recall the children without expecting them to confess their sins and render an apology for their actions in the past. A responsible father would exercise a forgiving attitude and not be dragged down to the level of his irresponsible children. It would be in the order of things to remind them that God gives us all a time for existence. No one on earth can entreat with God for time extension of their lives because they have yet to finish their work on earth. They will go when their time is done as God divined. With the advanced age that they are in, every tick of a second hand in our watch brings them closer to the end. From a human standpoint, time is running out and running out fast. A year goes by in a twinkle of an eye.
The critical need of the hour for them is to honestly, repeat honestly pray to their God for clarity of vision, magnanimity in their action, eliminating all unchristian egocentric human consideration. The ultimate good for the people must come to the fore at all cost. They must understand that this is a heavy responsibility which cannot be passed down to the next generation with a changed mindset as explained. While the time runs out on them, the GOI has all the time in the world to drag their feet to their advantage for the next thousand years.
The GOI has patiently been hard at work for the past 50 years converting the Nagas into money worshipers. As much as we are aware of this so are they that the Nagas are now a purchasable commodity and sovereignty can be bought in the end. After all they have been working on this. The sacrifices of the generation that went before us would stand for nothing. The one thing that is not being questioned is that the elder generation still has the same blood of their identity flowing in their veins which will not be compromised so callously. If at all this strength must be used when we still can. What comfort can they find knowing well that all their unfinished life’s work will be undone by the generation that comes after they are dead and gone? It is for them to realize the ultimate unavoidable truth that time is running out on them. Time runs out.

The writer is a retired IAS Officer

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By EMN Updated: Aug 01, 2013 9:14:38 pm