Post Mortem

Dialogue, monologue & divisilogue

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/25/2019 12:17:01 PM IST

 The times of today in India seem to be marked by an upsurge of anger bordering on rage in various groupings, a polarizing anger sounding the death knell of dialogue between groups across political and social spectrum. Since the BJP came to power in 2014, dialogue has slowly but steadily taken the backseat, and instead there is the monologue and, much worse, the divisilogue that has taken centre stage.

Dialogue brings to the table the awareness of differences whereas divisilogue seek to highlight differences in the service of dividing the people, and there is that distinct lack of respect for the ideas of others. Divisilogue is the views of those who seek to divide by religion, ethnicity, caste, class, and gender. This monologue and divisilogue is getting more and more strident in India today; so much that the BJP has closed all doors to dialogue in its election manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

So adamant is the BJP in forcing its way on all the people in the country that the party has unapologetically and unwaveringly decided in its manifesto to achieve its core objectives of enforcing Uniform Civil Code, building Ram temple, extend the contentious exercise of NRC across India, remove Article 370 from the constitution, and enact the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The BJP’s agenda is so polarizing and communal that, today in India, even nationalism has been communalized. If you are for the BJP, you are a nationalist and any voice against the BJP is being branded anti-national. India no more has an army, but Modi’s army. Majoritiarinism is the key and polarization on religious line has been stretched to its tipping point. India today has a Hitler in the making, and Nagaland too is an active participant in the making of India’s Hitler. The truth of India being a democratic, secular, socialist republic is being unabashedly advocated as a lie by the BJP with their one agenda to make India an exclusive Hindu nation.

One cannot doubt the sincerity of the BJP which hold these views and its majoritarian agenda. What is troubling is the passionate conviction with which the BJP is expounding its views closing all doors to dialogue. It is said that conviction is more dangerous to truth than lies because a liar is aware of truth even while he is lying, but conviction blinds any other truth except its own.

For the Naga people, the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) has become so much more dangerous now that the BJP is in power in the state. There can be no denying that with the BJP as the major stake holder in the state government, Naga identity has been diluted and so is the Naga voice. At this time when the need of the hour is an un-cumbered strong regional government to withstand any pressure from any quarter and stand for Naga right and identity, Nagaland instead has a government surviving at the mercy of the BJP; the party that is openly advocating through its national election manifesto to take away the special status given to Nagaland state by the Constitution of India.

The BJP has already decided and even particularly mentioned in its manifesto to take away Article 370 which gives special status to J&K. This writer is sticking his neck out in guaranteeing that next on the chopping block will be Article 371(A). The BJP is never going to let Article 371(A) come in its way of enforcing uniform civil code in the country. The CAB issue is no less serious for the Nagas. And yet the state failed to stand up for the people in voicing out against CAB when our lone Lok Sabha MP decided to stay away from that session of Parliament when it really mattered. It is not anybody defeating us. It is us Nagas defeating ourselves.

Once upon a time, Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, was a student leader for the very purpose of safeguarding Assamese identity and heritage. Today as BJP Chief Minister of Assam, he is singing a different tune. The CM’s chair has taken precedence over Assamese right and identity. To CM, Sonowal, the CAB is hardly an issue because, according to him (as reported in the local papers dated Monday, April 22, 2019) amending the Act is not a new thing, but is a continuous process since 1950. This says it all. Sonowal has already endorsed the BJP’s agenda of enacting the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Sonowal, being a Hindu, has allowed his religion to take precedence over even safeguarding the identity and right of the Assamese people. He went on to say that no changes would have been needed in the bill had Clause 6 of the Assam Accord which was signed in 1985 been implemented properly by previous governments. The Chief Minister is clearly justifying enactment of CAB by shifting blame to the earlier congress government, and conveniently forgetting to give credit or even mention that, in the first place, it was the Congress government at the Centre which actually made possible the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985. Whatsoever, in any way, two wrongs do not make a right.

The way things are going, nothing much seems to be different in Nagaland as well. Silence of the state government means consent. Abstention from Parliament by an MP when a crucial Bill is being put to vote, is consent. The Chair in the state and the seat in the Parliament have taken precedence over Naga right and identity.

In order to retain power in the Centre, the BJP has gone to the extreme of polarizing the people on religious lines and advocating majoritarianism thus shattering the concept of unity in diversity and destroying the democratic and secular fabric of India. It is so unfortunate that Nagas are being sucked and getting trapped in this whirlpool of BJP’s machinations with eyes wide open. For the sake of the chair, and of being on the side of the ruling government in the centre, Nagaland is being subjected to great risk of losing even what it already has – voice and identity. 

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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