Attaining some level of self-realization involves carefully examining what we think we know. This means exposing our underlying assumptions. One obstacle on this journey is within us, facing our fears, doubts and inadequacies.
When we recognize the fact that our situation cannot be changed or transformed by shouting insults against it, then we can move forward. This is an inner struggle, which is both individual and collective.
Engaging in a reflective and interactive process of self-realization by examining the existing conditions can provide insight and release us from the state of entrapment. This release may lead to a new meaning and attitude to be consciously pursued for the present day Naga.
Both the outer and inner struggles give advantage to the powers that be. This is generated from the internal inequalities and contradictions within each society’s economic, social and cultural reality. Social and political movements also function with this same context. This is why they need to be aware how these same conditions of inequalities and contradictions impact movements. If not, political movements face the danger of recreating what they seek to change.
For instance, the Clean Election Campaign will gain more momentum and cohesion by identifying and recognizing its own weakness. It needs to embrace the perception that while Clean Election is well intended, its campaign is poorly organized, plus its mobilizing and strategizing are weak. It also needs to more fully engage with traditional bodies (e.g., Village Councils) and political parties. At the same time, it is struggling to instill public confidence because it is unable to effectively address violations of the Clean Election code.
Through recognizing and addressing its own weaknesses the Clean Election Campaign can build on its strength. Then it can take strategic advantage of building on the long-standing need for clean elections. It can confront systemic corruption by assuming responsibility and providing new models of justice based on transparency and accountability.
By overcoming its own fears and false assumptions, the Clean Elections Campaign can become a champion of the people, can create new role models and develop value based leadership. All these with the goal of ensuring elections take place with accountability and contribute toward stabilizing a democratic space.
Indeed, it is only by facing our own fears that we create new opportunities. The praxis must be based on a theory, reflection and practice that emerge out of the historical processes in order to achieve political aspirations. This intensively interactive and vital process of action and reflection needs to embrace the conceptual distinction between the context and the dynamic process of transformation itself.
Personal and collective transformation will have historical bearing when it involves liberating human society by making peoples’ aspirations and dreams become reality. This requires a praxis that empowers a process to constructively address the internal struggle. Such praxis in turn may enable the person and the society to emerge and move from the present situation of injustice to a new era of historical process where a just and dignified existence is possible.
It is therefore vital to locate questions of Clean Elections and Anti-Corruption campaign within the broader context of social movements.