Belief in an ethical society

Witoubou Newmai


It is either due to the lack of nuanced understanding of today’s Naga situation or the absence of a right conscience and genuine dissenting voices that today’s Naga case can be compared fittingly with the parable of ‘The blind men and an elephant.’ Each section or group in Naga society has been interpreting and campaigning for the Naga cause according to their convenience causing a desolate situation. This vividly denotes where the moral landscape of the society stands. The trend not only creates a great deal of anxiety among the people but has also caused disorientation and confusion.


An endeavour to throw positive light on today’s Naga affairs by any commentator is often a struggle to garner the required tone and material.


The vested interest approach will continue to explain our situation as long as we are unable to garner enough courage and willingness to ask, why? In other words, we are allowing our sorry state of affairs to be controlled by endlessly indulging in a blame-game amongst us, thereby creating a ‘scene of crisis.’


If a story on progressive measures by the Naga people arises, there is also ever ready elements intent on upending them. This distressing development of the everyday business of vested interest, hypocrisy and tribalism is fast draining out the energies and resources of the Naga society.


In fact, this farce had prompted Isak Chishi Swu to say, “The psychology of the Nagas needs to be rebuilt.” He also stressed that it is “meaningless to accumulate wealth and learning knowledge without correct orientation. We should be future-oriented or else we will perish”.


Haunted and hobbled by our own creations the Nagas are going through myriad socio-political changes. Our perception of our struggle for dignity is also gradually being altered because of this trend.


Lack of a culture of retrospection, investigation and debate is further aggravating the situation. The Naga society is struggling to inculcate these habits since there is a growing lack of common concern for truth, which, again, sprouts from the lack of genuineness.


However troubling the reality of the situation is, the Naga society cannot afford to continue this trend. The deviation from our primary responsibility, which is to speak the truth, has to be urgently recognized and addressed. A society which does not value certain universal ideals cannot see a clear notion about what a people’s movement requires, for, it is said, “character-building and nation-building go together”. To achieve this level, we need to believe in an ethical society as for a society where the moral landscape is too artificial and devastated, ethics become insignificant.


Of late, it has become quite vivid that a discussion such as this brings ‘collective monotony’. Even to think of investing efforts to understand it is ridiculed. However, one cannot help but to go on with this simple and tediously repetitive comment.