Post Mortem

A conceptual guide to ‘Envisioning a new Nagaland’

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/18/2020 12:53:40 PM IST

 (From previous issue)

The issue is not because people are against technology but the problem lies in their belief system that needs to be tackled first.  Random implementation of technology cannot bring development but wastages. Classical example of such is the Dimapur traffic light system, which was inaugurated jubilantly as the first of its kind in the region, but presently lies in utter waste. Peiro Gheddo aptly describes “development does not mean change but growth. Change, in its turn, means social, cultural, economic both qualitative and quantitative modifications.” In other words, substituting an ordinary type writer with computer or from ordinary office filing system to computer system is no progress because these are mere change of modes only. Progress implies creating conditions and avenues to attain the desired goal of better life environment.
The immediate and primary need for us to progress today is also not e-governance but urgent construction of good roads and other infrastructures in all the villages. Before connecting the villages with satellite, telephones, more airports or railways the primary need is good roads. It appears that we are more concern about roofing than foundation. Former Andhra Pradesh CM, Chandrababu, also nicknamed the ‘high-tech chief minister’, failed to retain power, not because he was inefficient in implementing the IT technology but because what the common majority needed was not an IT revolution but revolution in food production and from destitution to a better standard of life of the general populace through investment in good roads and agriculture and its allied. 
3. Concept of the dignity of man:
One of the vital factors of progress is the correct understanding of what man is in relation to nature. Genesis tells us, symbolically, that God, after creating man in his own image and likeness, commanded him to have dominance over all creatures and subdue it but, of course not to destroy it or to subdue over other men. God made man master and ruler of nature, which invariably means that man, is also the determiner of his own destiny. 
In the west, man at the center of creation, thinking and acting, became the essential nucleus around which everything else revolves. On the contrary, in our case, as Etzioni Amitai, in his book, ‘The active society’ says, ‘the central concept of man is still that of a passive observer in a world not of his making and not under his control.’ Coupled with this passive mentality baptized by our wrong understanding of religion have made us slaves of nature. Man, not at the helm of creation, but at its bottom cannot be better than slaves and a slave has no dignity of life. A society at the mercy of nature will remain poor because his destiny is allowed to be governed by the caprice of natural phenomenon and not by his intellect.
Another important factor is that man is a social being. To be is to be social. Man is not unless he is social. This is the reason why no one can set himself free without extending the same liberty to ones fellow men because the transformation of self is deeply rooted in the joint act of a society transforming itself through the process of individual education for collective responsibilities. In other words, individualism has no place so also selfishness or greed that people tend to breed. These are nothing but diseases. A Greek motto describes it as, “An idiot is a man who is completely private.”
At this point, we may ask, ‘How other countries are progressing and why are we still impoverished in a land of plenty? Sauvy points out, “After many trials and errors, economists of every land, even of America, have come to the conclusion that the origin of development is not money, as was so long believed, not capital, but culture-men’s ability to know how to enjoy their natural riches.” How true this is! This means to say that the immediate need, for us, is education to have healthy mentality and right attitude to recognize our abilities to harness the resources we are blessed with to enjoy a fuller life. The fact about progress is that ‘Rome was not built in a day’ or for that matter, America did not become wealthy and powerful overnight or simply by the grace of God or through mere prayer and fasting but by declaring war on poverty and destitution of its citizens prayerfully. Studies tell us that the Americans organized countless programs in their struggle against poverty, illiteracy and famines to be what they are today.
In conclusion, we have discovered that belief plays a very powerful role in, both individual and societal level; therefore, one extremely important area that needs our urgent attention today is to rectify our understanding of Christianity itself. We find others drawing their strength from Christianity itself but for us it is a stumbling block both for individual and social growth, which means to suggest that we have a very wrong concept and understanding of this religion itself. 
Christianity today has been reduced to mere personal and private property rendering it toothless for any social reformation and the worst is reducing it to some kind of cult system and soothsaying in the name of prophecies and the funniest and most unrealistic of all is whenever we are faced by social problems a prayer week or fasting month is announced instead of uniting our hearts and minds to solve the issues.
In our understanding of religion, we have also an unfounded conclusion that religion and politics are separate but at the same time are perplexed that these are not totally independent to each other. This is nothing but reduction of personality to schizophrenia. This means mental illness that causes the sufferer to act irrationally- a withdrawal from social relationships etc. In reality, as true human beings, we are duty bound to bring abundance of life by harmonizing moral and religious life to subsist as integral aspects and not as two opposites.
The need today “is not love, sweet love but a stern and uncompromising change of heart-a metanaeio, a basic reordering of our values which would put people a head of personal, selfish possessions to the patriotism required to change our society” for a fuller life as Amitai rightly says.  
Development cannot be limited to few individuals, as it is happening today, but it has to promote the good of everyman. As long as majority of the society is poor no rich person in that society can say that one is rich because the majority poor will sooner or later find that they had been abused and misused. Development besides having more, in its truest sense, means to be more human because man is more precious for what he is and not for what he has. 
Jonas Yanthan

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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