At the heart of the matter

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/9/2019 11:51:59 AM IST

 As much as there has been so much talked or preached about reconciliation, especially in the context of painful events or incidents that had taken place during the decades-old conflict in Naga areas; the issue needs to be understood in its entirety. Today, as Nagas stand at the threshold of an imminent agreement for solution to the protracted Naga political issue and open a new chapter that would close the chapter on all forms of violence; there is also a need to repair burned bridges. The repair work can be achieved through reconciliation for healing. Reconciliation is about beginning a new chapter by restoration of broken relationships. Reconciliation has to be preceded with acknowledging a wrong done. Some wrongly think that apology is good enough to begin the process. There are those who firmly believe that seeking forgiveness is the only genuine way to rebuild. These are like an oxymoronic paradox in the old saying ‘same difference.’ When we apologize, we are merely expressing regrets for a wrong done. On the other hand, when we ask for forgiveness it takes humility because we have to admit we’ve actually done something wrong and are sincere and serious about making amends to restore relationships. It’s why God uses forgiveness of sin to save, not sorrow. Apologizing is easy, asking for forgiveness is not. There is a world of difference between saying “I’m sorry,” and “I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me?”. When we merely apologize, we, in essence, pretend that nothing really happened. When we ask for forgiveness, we actually acknowledge we have genuinely done something wrong. When we apologise, it tends to be quick but it lacks understanding of the pain it caused to another. Therefore, asking for forgiveness is way different and way deeper than apologising . When we ask for forgiveness, not only do we acknowledge that we’ve caused hurt, but we also work to understand the pain it caused others , how it impacted them and are clear of what that experience was like for them. In the light of the approach by Naga groups in conflict, the word reconciliation appears to be subjective to how much and what was acceptable. An apology and seeking forgiveness can be found with how the Japanese and the Germans responded for inhuman atrocities they committed during World War 2. Japan continues to evade full responsibility by offering apologies to the victim nations. The Germans on the other hand, have described World War II a “German crime,” for which the country’s leaders asked “for forgiveness for Germany’s historical debt”. In the Naga context, several hundred families have been affected and their lives shattered. Nagas, particularly of erstwhile Naga Hills suffered untold atrocities at the hands of armed forces including police forces of other states during military operations in the dark period from the 50s till 70s. Later Nagas experienced their lowest when factional killings made children fatherless, wives husbandless and brought much bitterness. During World War 2, Japanese forces also brutalised Nagas and drove them to the side of the British. It was only a few years back that reconciliation took place when a Japanese church delegation came to Kohima in repenting for the past wrong and asked forgiveness from the Nagas. Reconciliation is biblical and calls for genuine repentance, seeking forgiveness from the victims and to recompense for their losses.

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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