Core impetus for reconciliation

Witoubou Newmai

Making certain progress toward the understanding of the much used slogan ‘Naga reconciliation’ would also mean we should not allow the propensity to ‘truck and barter’ driven by tribal interests, that lies at the core of most endeavours, to get better of us. Whether this tribalism in our society is an atavistic impulse or a conscious calculation, either way, it requires the collective endeavour of the Naga society to dismantle it to have a true reconciliation.


We are not upholding the political identity ‘Naga’ as long as we embrace insipidity when it comes to addressing the challenge of tribalism. What is ‘that-supremacy-of-your-tribe’ if that is weakening the collective Naga?


The analogy of the chain situation put forward by the British philosopher, Thomas Reid, that “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” has become an appropriate one for the Naga situation. The considered strong Naga chain is as strong as its weakest tribe. In short, “one poorly-designed part can cause an entire machine to fail” (anonymous).


It appears that many Naga people perceive the slogans of ‘Naga reconciliation’ as a vague remark of some people.


The endeavour of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) toward this understanding is well appreciated. For instance, powerful and moving testimonies during an FNR programme on June 13 in Dimapur are very much those materials which will definitely soothe the hurt feelings of many people.


Sharing her story in the programme, a survivor of violence by the name of Khetoli said, “I have forgiven the killers of my husband.” She also narrated that her husband was killed by “our own people” but unequivocally declared that she, along with her children, has been praying all these years for God to forgive her husband’s killers.


Visasier Kevichusa, a man whose father was killed when he was still in school in 1992, said, “At the funeral, my father’s elder brother Khrielie Kevichusa said, ‘We as a family forgive those who have done this.’” The same message was delivered when similar family tragedy struck again in 1996. “For me, to forgive means while I embrace the pain, and even the anger, I also refuse to partner with hate, the longing for vengeance, or the desire to see the perpetrators suffer. Forgiveness looks like never bringing up the same issue in the future to accuse or demand revenge,” Visasier illuminated.


He further said he had come to a realisation that, “To live with unforgiveness is to choose to live in a prison even though I have the key to my freedom” and living with unforgiveness “is like drinking poison and hoping my enemy will die.”


Also sharing her thought, Rev. Dr. Ellen Konyak Jamir said, “There is the need to reason together, to address the unspeakable traumas of our past, to listen, to understand, to work out our differences, to strengthen our bond, and to restore relationships individually as well as collectively.”


Such momentous lived experiences and stories give much impetus toward the endeavour for Naga reconciliation. It is prudent for everyone to see that no hiccups crop up in the endeavour toward the understanding of the Naga reconciliation.