Today, we are living at a time where the most basic value to respect human dignity and human worth is threatened. Real borders are not the boundaries drawn on maps. The real borders are in human hearts and between human values. They are between the powerful and the powerless, the free and the bonded, the privileged and the under-privileged, the rich and the poor, and the equal and unequal.
Hence, we need to recognize that Naga diversity is both the reality that makes dialogue necessary, and is the very basis for that dialogue. The human-security and well-being of any one tribe, community, or group is interconnected and interdependent with the well being of others. The respect and dignity of each one can lead to understanding, cooperation, and investing in our mutual destiny.
For Nagas this involves eradicating all colonial categorizations. This means transcending all colonial constructs by reclaiming that each ‘village-state’ with our own language, culture and social system has been consciously representing our “common public character” through an active self, namely the Naga.
We need to truthfully examine ourselves. The idea that one group, one tribe, one organization, or one religion possesses the real truth, owns it, and has one answer to our tribulations, is false and has caused more harm than good. The Nagas need to engage with these dilemmas of truth and the truth about dilemmas.
We need to ask ourselves which values are Nagas pursuing and nurturing? Are we feeding and cultivating the forces from which a humanity of respect, dignity, justice, freedom and hope can emerge? Or, are we only fueling the forces of prejudice, hatred, oppression and the ‘isms’ that destroy human dreams and hopes?
The bare truth is that we cannot begin building a future founded on ‘fear’ ‘hate’ and ‘exclusivity.’ No one can claim ignorance of the cost that this divide imposes on those who are no less deserving of human dignity, fundamental freedoms, security, food, shelter and education.
The language and values of inclusiveness, respect and dignity are intrinsic values of human life.
As participants of this global evolution, Nagas need to recover our values to rediscover that we are products of our cultures, traditions and memories. Reconnecting with these intrinsic values will enable us to prosper in our own traditions, even as we learn from others, and come to respect their way of life. This is at the core of our right to take fulfillment and ownership in our individual beliefs, heritage and destinies.
Fundamentally, they nurture us to accept and to love what we are, without hating what and who we are not.