Sunday, December 05, 2021

Ugly September

By EMN Updated: Sep 24, 2014 11:15 pm

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] disquieting and unnatural trend is sneakily making its way into the fabric of Naga society and we dare not look the other way.
In the din of debates over the unique Naga identity and the Indo –Naga talks, the interpretation of Article 371 A, the proposal of the Nagaland Special Development Zones, the Assam –Nagaland border dispute, the status of indigenous backward tribe of the Rongmeis, ‘prohibition and non prohibition’ of alcohol, the ugly story of our roads, challenges of the health and education sector, the increasing voices on illegal migrants …what is conspicuously missing is a debate over the safety of women and children in Nagaland and why the incidents of non Nagas molesting and even murdering Naga girls is on the rise.The number of reported incidents of sexual molestation, domestic violence and murder and rape in this month of September 2014,has been unprecedented. Three murders of young girls two of them minors occurred, two cases of molestation involving reportedly ‘non Nagas’ and a case of domestic violence in the capital Kohima by none other than the husband of the woman.
It goes without saying that a crime is a crime and must be dealt with accordingly, regardless of the nationality or race of the perpetrator. But in a state where the Naga population out numbers that of other communities, the incidents of sexual molestation and crime against Nagas by non-Nagas in my opinion merits a deeper uneasy analysis.
Having said this, it in no way condones other crimes or crimes against women involving Nagas.
What is disturbing about incidents of non-Nagas molesting or murdering Naga girls is that these incidents are indicators of a rapid change, and our inability to be in control of a changing social order. And disturbingly this ‘inability’ to be in control is stemming from a vacuum of values and pride (leaving out not false pride) in Naga identity.
What are the values that the collective Naga society is portraying to other communities who have chosen to live with Nagas. How are we functioning as a family unit? What cultural ethos and values are our children imbibing in the family? Do children respect their parents and vice versa? Do we as Nagas bond with each other or is the ‘ism’ of tribe bigger than our minds and desire to be one people?
The nature of the enemy since the fall of the first man Adam, has always been to strike where it hurts most and when man is at his weakest.
Nagas do not display the strength and power of unity, of oneness. These incidents of non-Nagas molesting, raping even murdering Naga girls a’ daughter’ of the soil holds up a mirror to the rot and degeneration settling into Naga society. These incidents challenge the concept of Naga brotherhood and family, values and respect we show each other. Crimes against women or girl child in society is a reflection of the weakness of men in the society to uphold, cherish and protect their women. These incidents are a wake-up call to mend gaps in an emerging dynamic society, for the law keeping agencies to be a step ahead of criminals, for the courts to uphold the law and ensure that justice is delivered not denied and for a developing community engaging with a global community not to lose her values intrinsic to her identity.

By EMN Updated: Sep 24, 2014 11:15:51 pm