Of limitations and new possibilities

Witoubou Newmai

The eventful year of 2017 can be considered a symbol of limitations and new possibilities in the Naga context. Its fragments will definitely reverberate into the coming year.


Our inability to garner enough courage to embrace transparency in our dealings on various issues confronting our society has been one of our limitations. “Transparency demands openness to ideas, an ease with difference, an ability to withstand gossip masquerading as gospel,” says Shiv Visvanathan.


In order to address the issue of our limitations and also to take full advantage of the new possibilities, we need to first reflect Frank Buchman’s, “Everybody wants to see the other fellow changed. Every nation wants to see the other nation changed. But everybody is waiting for the other fellow to begin. The most reactionary man alive is the person who wants to see the world different but is unwilling to be different himself.”


It is time for our society to introspect whether we are still “waiting-for-the-other-fellow-to-begin” citizens, in order to take full advantage of the new possibilities, to our stride.


The birth of the idea of Naga Day, the initiative of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) and the hearty responses from the people to this idea, going by the social media discussions and comments, indicates that the year 2017 also signs in for new possibilities.


Naga Day, “a day where all Nagas come and stand together as one people”, will be celebrated on January 10, 2018, at Khuochiezie (Kohima Local Ground) under the banner of ‘Nagas Without Borders’. This slogan reminisces the “resurrected fighting spirit of the forefathers” of the Native Americans who rose as they “stood in unprecedented unity” to contest an oil company’s desecration of their sacred land in North Dakota.


“To see them standing once more, along with their families, riding their feather-draped horses and fighting for their very identity is a cause for celebration. It brings hope to oppressed people all across the world that the human spirit will never be destroyed,” writes Ramzy Baroud, an internationally acclaimed columnist.


“Methods of extermination differed, from outright murder to disease-infected blankets, to, as of today’s standoff, threatening their most viable resource: water, and yet, somehow, the spirit of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and numerous brave chiefs and warriors still roam the plains, urging their people to stand up and carry on with an overdue fight for justice and rights,” he noted. In fact, the “collective spirit of Native American nations was being vigorously revived,” the columnist says.


With the coming of the New Year let us hope to see the “resurrected spirit” of the Naga people “standing in unprecedented unity”. It should start by discarding existing limitations and allowing for new possibilities.

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