Post Mortem

On Being a Good Neighbour

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/3/2021 1:09:06 PM IST

 “Neighbours are more helpful than relatives” is a common phrase and it’s true. We all know that neighbours first come to our rescue ahead of our relatives and families in times of emergencies. The Bible explicitly emphasizes on the importance of being a good neighbour (Mat. 22:39). This is further exemplified by the story of the Good Samaritan, who made himself a good neighbour. Being a good neighbour helps us not just for the moment but it keeps us from building unhealthy images and relations in society.

The impasse between the Mao Community (MC) and the Southern Angamis (SA) over the years have taken a path of several extreme measures, where both sides have resorted to their own style and convenient way of dealing with the issue. There were unfortunate events that have spiked both the communities to feel indifferent to each other as two separate communities. This doesn’t mean that the two communities are at war, we share a good number of intermarriages between us and of course sharing of resources; for which we must try to resolve our differences by resorting to traditional methods in resolving conflicts. 

It is unfortunate to be living in frontier like the MC, where inclusion and exclusion is part of everyday life. Nagas are scattered in several states like Arunachal, Assam and Manipur , and also many in Myanmar. The division of Nagas into states and nations are part of the British divide and rule policy. The present political demarcation of states is like imageries and we know that these boundaries were created without consulting the stakeholders. 

The MC must not take advantage of living in the frontier and take sides in order to benefit momentary political recognition from the Manipur Government. Developments like road construction in pretext of beautifying DzükouValley must be objected by MC. Rather, as guardians of our frontiers the MC must feel obliged to protect and guard activities of Manipur Government that could usher misunderstanding and enmity within Naga communities. But as far as developmental activities inDzükou and Kezo-l is concerned, MC has always sided with the Government of Manipur, which is seen as 

The SA must treat the Mao community, first as good neighbours, second, aspeoplesharing the same ancestral roots; and third as Nagas who are living in a violated frontier. This reality must be understood by every individual, young or old, by both the communities. The fact that when SA came to aid the MC during the crisis in Mao gate in 2010, the Manipur govt’ brought in force to barricade the MC loyalty towards the Naga leader (Th. Muivah) entry into Somdal. The shelter though was initiated by the apex Naga civil society, a temporary camp was set up at Kisama for the displaced people (MC). This gesture was exhibited to show our solidarity in our brotherhood with MC and it must not be solely understood from a humanitarian perspective. 

The SA must not look upon the vulnerability of the MC as a people who can be violated and trampled at any time because of their geographical location. The SA must not take advantage of the physical vulnerability and political disadvantage even if there are such circumstances created by the present State boundaries.

Traditional boundaries criss-crosses each other’s territory based on orality, and we know that we cannot assume ownership by disowning what lies beneath those practices. The land will not go anywhere, it neither belongs to the gov’t nor the state. It belongs to the people. Therefore, let us remain sensitive to the need of each other as good listeners, as cheerful caregivers, as defenders of violated frontiers and as members who are one in Christ. It is neither disciplined altruism nor sterile religion that makes people good neighbours, but loving God and forsaking self in the light of what God has done for us that will keep each other vibrant and strong. 

Villo Naleo



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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