Post Mortem

‘A time to reckon’

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/25/2020 12:36:44 PM IST

 “There are heroes and there are monsters.But most of us are ordinary mortals caught up in events too turbulent for any of us.Perhaps when the battle is over, all we will inherit are the ashes of a once beautiful land.” Wilbur SmithRs

I am a Naga youth who dreams the dreams of my forefathers and of a beautiful tomorrow. Today, I humbly beseech my fellow countrymen that the youths are not only the leaders of tomorrow but the partners of today. We owe so much to the past generations leaders and also to all the elders and the present leaders for zealously leading us. Nonetheless, it is also the duty of the youth to ensure that today’s action do well to our future and do not cause further harm than what is already done.

Growing up from a frontier village of India’s illegitimate state, Nagaland with so much of inter-village activities, never even for once have I considered villages on the other side of the state boundary as different people. We speak similar language with little tonal variations. However, with times, I realized that the educated folks settling in the towns have so much to share according to their own experiences.

My dear respected Tenyimi leaders of Nagaland state, we are the one who have strongly propagated Tenyimi brotherhood in all times. Now tell me what explanation do I give to our families living on the other side of the arbitrary boundary? No matter what the future beholds, I can never deny my migration route to Makhel village, which is outside the so called ‘Nagaland’ state. Tell me, what reason we give when our children from the present Assam state ask us why we abandoned them to be completely annihilated by repressive neighbours.  

Respected various Naga leaders and intellectuals who live within this small landmass, what will you tell your forefathers and great leaders who have gone before you if they asked as to why we have put the posterity at stake? Let us reason together and do that will be best. Almost every Naga villages have petty difference with neighbours which is quite natural. Every village has their own internal-issues. Yet, those are not a reason too big for the Nagas to hate and despise one own blood brothers. The short sighted activities of some leaders are nothing but an act of betrayal of our Naga nation founding fathers.

Treacherous plot to further divide the Naga family in the name of solution for vested interest and as vendetta with sweet talks may sound convincing at the moment but the history shall judge them and their generations. Regardless of the bitter past, our ultimate goal should be to come together under one administrative umbrella. I wish how every political parties and politicians under India’s Election Commission fight for Naga integration which is a legitimate right under Indian constitution. While every Naga civil society organizations and the Naga political groups fight for Naga sovereignty.

In the long fight for independence, Nagas have lost track along the way. The principal issue has become non-issues while the non-issues have become the core. A confusion well engineered by India and Myanmar. And yes, adversaries have created an imaginary image, some fearfully worshipping while some terribly loathing, with narratives to suit their respective personal scheme. 

A.Z. Phizo’s plebiscite speech is still fresh as ever. Many organizations and political group still claim to be working on the founding principle of Naga national movement. Yet their present action is a clear indication that they have completely nullified the righteous cause, further breaking Naga homeland into pieces and fighting only for few territory and few people. Any Nagas claiming to be genuine nationalist should sincerely follow the speech delivered on 16th May, 1951 by the President of Naga National Council, the only Naga political organization of that time. Any group or individual deviating from the principle of the founding fathers; T. Aliba Imti, T. Sakhrie, Imkongmeren, AZ Phizo, Whenha Rengma, Khodao Yanthan, et al., are nothing but greedy opportunist sectarian.

AZ Phizo’s in his plebiscite speech said, “In the name of Naga National Council and on behalf of the people and citizens of Nagaland I wish to make our stand and our national position perfectly clear.” Here the literal meaning of Nagaland means entire contagious Naga inhabited areas. Back in 1951, there was nothing called Nagaland state. Some were under Assam, some under NEFA, some under Manipur while some unadministered areas in the international boundary of India and Burma remain ambiguous. There was no question of this Naga or that Naga. However, seeing the determination and the genius of Naga people, colonial India created a state called Nagaland, an act of deception, to divide and rule. Unfortunate for the Nagas, India’s dream to indentify Nagas on the basis of geographical boundaries and tribal identities is a huge success today.

The deep division and hatred among the Naga is just a preview of the Indian policy. The real danger is lurking.  All thinking Nagas of 14 tribes can see it vividly yet unwilling to speak out for the fear of the reckless reaction by few privileged. We have become so self-centered, perfectly influenced by the neighbour’s vice culture. Our opinion may not be too insignificant among the powerful elites but it has become a necessity for us to raise our voice for generations who are to come after us. If we do not speak up today, tomorrow will be too late. I for one will not accept to any kind of solution which will further waft my families away. Nagas living in 16579 km2, with little below 2 million populations will be too travail living among the midst of 1.3 billion Indians.

If we give up the dream to live as free people or at the least under one administrative entity, fifty (50) years from now, Nagas from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur will be forcefully assimilated to the larger community. And the state of Nagaland will just be a state with the indigenous community completely overrun by outsiders. No law or provision under the constitution of India have safeguarded and protected any minorities and it cannot even in the future. Any claims of India as safe haven for minorities is nothing but treachery, hoodwinked by the capitalist Indians to opportunist Naga leaders and thereon deceiving the ignorant Naga public as the absolute truth.

Many theories on why Nagas of Nagaland don’t want to be together with other Nagas may sound so convincing; the past experiences with different tribe might have been so bitter but let us be reminded that our adversaries has meticulously created this existing situation accordingly. Some self-proclaimed leaders of Nagaland state may lose relevance in the society if all Nagas come together. For which, manipulating and twisting the narratives as per their vested interest becomes a necessity. Leaving a legacy of secured political future is the paramount duty of every leader of our time. The material riches one possess today through economic packages or various means will have no relevance after few decades without; identity, land and culture.

Nagas living together under one administrative unit is the only option ‘IF’ we are to survive together as a people. This may be ‘with India’ or ‘within India’ or ‘outside India,’ it does not matter. Come what may, we have to be together. It is time for the youths to openly challenge anyone, be it a Naga or Non-Naga, if they play to further divide us. We cannot take the chance. The future may not sooth many present leadership but we have to sacrifice if we can offer a better future.

Beloved youths of today, speak up and do our part before it is too late. Speak up for the posterity even if it is against our near and dear ones. Do not be confused by those rhetoric talks and rumour mongers, speak up for the sake your own conscience and use God's given will to ascertain the truth. May God bless us all. Kuknalim.

The views  expressed here are purely and only my personal thoughts and doesn't in any way represents/reflects the Organisation I am associated with.

Rukewezo Wetsah Student Activist, Dimapur

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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