Bullets or Seeds?

Dr. Asangba Tzüdir

Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho’s timely call to the Nagas to come and “reason together” comes from a dangerous precedent where knowledge is not simply knowledge but pseudo knowledge. In his own words, “but we have developed pseudo knowledge out of our problems. Everyone thinks he/she knows better than others and with that knowledge, instead of building bridges, we pull down, tear down others. This is nothing but pseudo knowledge…”

Pseudo knowledge is like a ‘bullet’ that destroys and kills, and the emergence of such forms of knowledge from various sects has caused so much of hatred, division and destruction. Holding on to the pride in one’s pseudo knowledge has come in the way of understanding and knowing each other and has not helped the cause of various forms of divisions in our society.

The many forms of platforms have provided a space for everyone to share their ideas or opinions. Looking at the trend especially in social media, it has given a space for many to express, rather, hate language triggered by the many frustrations and anger. Often such hatred gets tied up with certain popular discourse and it triggers further violence on the very discourse.

K.K. Sema talks about ‘civil war’ and today it has taken a heightened tone. Will it be taken as a premise to begin a unified dialogue for the larger Naga political cause, or to trigger further violence?

The time for Nagas to “reason together” and give peace and reconciliation a chance becomes even more necessary in the present situation.

Words are the most powerful force available to humankind. We can choose to use this force constructively or destructively. There is so much of power in words and words are no longer the words what we hear, write or read. It comes with different interpretations and becomes what one creates out of it and it also lies in the kind of interaction and giving ‘meaning’ or ‘branding’ a particular word. As such words have a transforming effect to either destroy or inspire.

While there are various forms of pseudo knowledge generated out of the present Naga condition, it has been birthed through the employment of words – words that are not just powerful but words interpreted on the lines of violence. Further, add certain violent words to the newly built pseudo knowledge, and behold there is already a ‘civil war’ before the perceived one.

As such, how we employ words becomes very important because it has the power to either inspire or destroy especially on contentious issues that threatens to become volatile. One’s pseudo knowledge along with a word that has the tendency to bear negative interpretations is always going to take a situation or a discourse towards a wrong turn.

Not just in the political domain, but as a human being it is necessary to wisely choose to plant the ‘seeds’ that germinate into the values of love, peace and unity over ‘bullets’ that cause violence.

(Dr. Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to the Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to asangtz@gmail.com)