Post Mortem

Death leads to rebuilding

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 3/27/2019 1:11:52 PM IST

 It is a historical fact that before the coming of the British, the Nagas were not united as one. It is also true that even after the coming of the British, Nagas were actually not united as one, and every Naga village, big or small, was more or less independent like that of the Greek-city state. 

In the later years, it was the western influence that brought about a transition in the Naga mentality, and, therefore, of the need to come as a people to resist the British occupation. And in this context, there was no dearth of Naga leaders. However, of all the leaders, it was the one and only, AZ Phizo, who not only was the first to propound the theory of the Naga nation, but to actually get to work for it. He was that exclusive one and only Naga on whom all the warring Naga tribes could identify with and believed in.

The straightforward Naga issue was muddled by the British with their politics, and more muddling was followed by the INC of the newly independent India which said one thing to the Nagas but did the exact opposite. The Nagas, under the banner of the NNC, were pushed to a corner which left AZ Phizo with no other alternative but to adopt the counter-offensive policy to safeguard Naga right and identity.

Till that point of time, the Naga movement was intact with a purpose, and the soul of the movement was not grieved. The soul of the Naga movement was grieved after the FGN went against the principle of the NNC, and in complete contradiction to the NNC policy, adopted the all-out offensive policy. The Safeguards and then the Homeguards which the NNC founded were meant to safeguard the Naga homeland, never to go offensive and wage war.

The FGN abused the platform that AZ Phizo had provided by converting the Guards into an Army. Overriding Phizo’s authority as NNC President, the FGN waged war against India. Even in that circumstance, Phizo was again victimized to own up to all the atrocities committed on innocent Naga people by the Indian military in retaliation against the offensive combat action of the Naga army, under direct authority of the FGN.

Naga nationalism was never about killing innocent travelling Indian public by bombing passenger trains with IEDs. Naga nationalism was and is never about terrorism. Nagas are never terrorists. But what the Naga Army did was never short of terrorism. Naga nationalism was purely about defending Naga Right so as to be able to determine our own future. Instead, the FGN completely distorted and disfigured the face of Naga nationalism by resorting to blatant mindless offensive acts of violence.

History has hard truths for the Nagas to acknowledge and introspect. And the admittance of it all, becomes, all the more, not just a moral obligation, but, as Christians, a duty. It is the soul of the Naga movement that grieves, and as long as it grieves, every single soul of the Naga people today, grieves, and will go on grieving. Nagas today needs to know and understand that it is not just about our own individual soul, but also those of the past, and of the generations to come, that there has to be admittance and acceptance of our spiritual bankruptcy. 

One sincerely believes that it is in educating ourselves to know and in the acceptance of the knowledge that only can enable us to die, so as to live for our souls to find any semblance of redemption.

This writer, just the other day, came across a small story from a half moth eaten small booklet, and which truly can resonate with our Naga story. A very simple illustrative story, but it gives hope.

“When a man is about to rebuilt an old and tottering house, he first sends out its occupants, then tears it down and rebuilds anew, a more splendid one. This occasions no grief to the occupants, but rather joy, for they do not care for the destruction of the old house, but look forward with anticipation to the new house which is to come, though not yet seen. When God is about to do similar work, He destroys our body, and removes the soul which was dwelling in it, as from some house that He may build it anew and more splendidly, and bring the soul into great joy.”

Benito Z. Swu    

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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