Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Is Naga Hoho neutral?

The Naga Hoho in its advisory to the Nagas which appeared in local dailies dated 13.7.2022 cautioned the Nagas as a whole “that the prevailing groupism, tribalism and regionalism had no future and could not bring about any tangible solution towards common aspirations.” The vocabularies as ‘groupism’, ‘tribalism’ and ’regionalism’ are indeed antithesis to oneness and human harmony. Nevertheless, a body like Hoho proposing such advisory to the Naga public raises the question as to whether the Naga Hoho is befit to give such statement? What is the locus standi of Naga Hoho today? Is Naga Hoho free from controversy? Is Naga Hoho neutral? The present Naga Hoho is headed by a person from Nagaland and few of such individuals from Nagaland might be serving as its office bearers, and yet the fact remains that none of the Naga tribes from Nagaland has official affiliation to the Hoho. And the Naga Hoho knows the reason or reasons much better for which the Naga tribes from Nagaland have had the disassociation. As of today, the Naga Hoho is just the Hoho of the Nagas of Manipur and it has no legal authority over the State of Nagaland.
Moreover, it is the accepted fact that the Naga Hoho is a mere sycophant of NSCN(IM) and it practically projects itself to be the civil spokesperson of NSCN(IM). The Naga Hoho has been functioning under the dictate of NSCN(IM) as it only runs the errand of that political group. Thus, the Naga Hoho is not at all neutral. Also, the other question arises as to whether the political group which the Naga Hoho supports is free from ‘groupism’, ‘tribalism’ and ‘regionalism’? The answer is not at all. When so, what justification the Naga Hoho has to pass the buck of groupism, tribalism and regionalism of the Nagas to other Naga CSOs or to other Naga political groups? Whichever organization is farcical spreads only confusion and whichever group does not walk the talk is responsible for misleading the people in Naga society.
Quoting what the Naga Hoho stated “It also stressed that the common goal should not be interpreted to suit one political group’s interest as it would only help succeed the schemes of the adversaries to delegitimize our legitimate right.” To whom the Hoho is advising to refrain from misusing the ‘common goal’? This very statement is too ambiguous to understand as whom the Naga Hoho is accusing for misusing the common goal for partisan interest. The Naga Hoho should have the gut to expose the wrongdoer without fear. It is unfair to paint the right and the wrong alike.
Again quoting “NH reminded the Nagas that they were one people wherever they were, not by circumstances but by blood. It urged them not to allow any authority on earth to divide them either emotionally or physically.” Well, the Naga Hoho should have self-introspection of what it believes and what it does. The Naga unity was handed over to the Naga Hoho to preserve and nurture it as the apex platform for us and for our posterity. In the process, the successive leaders of Naga Hoho hijacked it to be the sycophant of NSCN(IM) and since then its base eroded and its integrity collapsed. Thus, whatever the Naga Hoho says is just the voice of a busybody.
A similar call was given by the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) in the local press dated 26.7.2022, and I quote a sentence of the statement: “Hence, it urged upon all to rise above this feeling of tribalism, which continued to be the root cause of ‘our’ division.” Unquote. This statement was issued in support to the scheduled Naga Solidarity Walk initiated by the Global Naga Forum (GNF). When I read between the lines, the NMA uses the word “tribalism” just as the Naga Hoho did, and most possibly it implicates the Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) which has decided not to participate in the GNF’s Naga Solidarity Walk as found in local press dated 14.7.2022. As much the GNF has the liberty to call for the unity walk, that much liberty the CNTC has the liberty to be free from such encumbrance. Just as the Naga Hoho is not neutral, so also the NMA is not.
It is conspicuous enough for anyone to understand that the NMA has lost its neutral identity since it has identified itself with NSCN(IM). As much liberty the NMA or any other has to wear the uniform of NSCN(IM) that much liberty anyone has to refuse to wear the same uniform.
Be it GNF or any organization has the liberty to launch any program involving the mass. So also, any tribe or organization or individual has the same amount of liberty to stay away from participation in such program. The reason why I do not like to remain as a silent spectator to the introduction and the usual practice of the neo culture in Nagaland over the years is that when one is laced with partisan ingredients and all whose activities remained so, he has the habit of blaming others as with ‘holier than though’ attitude. Better not preach what one does not practice.
Z. Lohe

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