Post Mortem

The ‘Azandi’

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/22/2018 12:43:44 PM IST

 “Azandi” is a commonly used word among the Sumis. It derives from the Hindi word “Azaadi”, i.e. Freedom. It was used to describe the Sumis and other Naga Tribes who lived across the river Tizu and were free of British rule. “Azaadi” was corrupted to “Azandi” by the Sumis. As the early Sumis, who lived under British rule, gained some rudimentary education and began adopting the trappings of Western “civilization”, the word Azandi began to take a derogatory connotation. The Sumis began to use it to describe any person who did not reach or confirm to one’s level of “sophistication”.

Azandi has attained a broad meaning and can be used to describe anyone who lacks manners, acts foolishly, is uncivilized, etc. In short, an Azandi is one who is too stupid follow the basic rules governing a society.
I happened to be travelling from Dimapur to Kohima on the20th. of December, when I got trapped in a gargantuan traffic snarl, just as I crossed Sakpheto (Pherima) at 6 am. After five and a half hours of moving a few feet at a time, punctuated by long intervals of immobility, I reached Piphema at 11:30 am (a distance of a few kilometers), after which traffic cleared up. Suspecting a landslide or disruption due to the ongoing road expansion or even an accident, I asked drivers of oncoming vehicles the reason for the traffic jam. One trucker happened to know exactly what had caused the blockage; he explained that a loaded truck started slipping on a narrow, muddy uphill tract of the highway. The drivers going uphill, instead of allowing downhill traffic to flow until the truck could continue along its way, started forcing their way past the truck, thereby stopping downhill traffic. The later downhill drivers, instead of sticking to their lane, started piling across the road, in an effort to get past the vehicles which had halted ahead of them, until, eventually, they blocked the entire road and stopped uphill traffic. Meanwhile, uphill traffic started piling up too. I counted five lanes of vehicles trying to squeeze past each other, in spite of the fact that everyone could see that the entire road was blocked. When you have five lanes of cars and trucks trying to edge their way past each other uphill, and another five lanes doing the same downhill, on a largely two, and at stretches four, lane road, how on earth do you expect anyone to move? This illustrates the foolish, manner less, primitiveness of Nagas. 
And I could still see many self-important Jackasses trying to squeeze their way past the lines of halted cars and trucks. They seemed to think that the existence of the entire universe would be jeopardized if they were a few minutes late to whatever insignificant event they were headed to. Azandi is the only word that does justice to describe these morons.
But these are just a few of the Naga Azandis. What we should keep in mind is that Nagaland is full of Azandis; we have politicians who don’t know the meaning of, nor the purpose of our State Legislative Assembly; ministers, who are nothing but well dressed bandits; government servants who ignore the fact that they are paid to do their jobs and think that the Government, Governance and Government Funds are their birthright; freedom fighters who are fighting for God only knows what; theologians who worship donors instead of God and unions and associations which are personal fiefdoms of their Presidents and General Secretaries.
Pre-historic Cavemen knew their purpose and their place in the scheme of things, the march of Human Civilization has seen Homo sapiens bettering the lot of mankind in every field; Nagas know neither our purpose nor our place in the scheme of things; instead of bettering our society, we find ever new ways to destroy it. If it were not for our features, we would be Neanderthals; but since we look like Homo sapiens, but behave like Neanderthals, we must, perforce, be Azandis. Whether Nagas attain Azaadi from India is in the Hands of God, but we have attained Azaadi from obeying laws, Azaadi from manners, Azaadi from shame and Azaadi from every form of ethical and moral behavior that governs a civilized society.  
God Save Nagaland

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