Z K Pahrü Pou
The celebration of NAGA DAY, the brainchild of FNR, is a golden occasion for all the Nagas to make known their sufferings, struggles and aspirations for the betterment of Naga nation. A Naga nation is a young nation evolves through the participation of many unrecognised and unknown races that are been subjugated and oppressed by bigger races for centuries. It is a day of people coming together with diverse cultures and histories but with common vision: to live in freedom as one nation, the rights endowed by God. However, the celebration should not be an end in itself. It should look beyond and fulfil the unfulfilled dreams of the Nagas.
Thinking beyond the Nagas of Nagaland: The Nagas living in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal are experiencing step-motherly treatment in many ways. Many writers, journalists, politicians and law-makers express fears and danger of changing the artificial or rather imaginary boundary of states. They do not bother much about the welfare and security of minority groups living in these contentious areas. The Nagas living outside of Nagaland state live a very insecure life. They live as ‘aliens’ in their own land, subjugated by the majority in collaboration with vested politicians and few local elites. Economically they are poor, politically powerless, socially discriminated and are not recognized as bonafide citizen many a times. The problems faced by these groups are manifold. Government and majority groups hardly pay heed to our struggle until and unless the issue is made known through some extreme and violent means. This has kept the gun culture alive. Therefore, there is an immediate need for the Naga leaders to find ways and means to rescue their brothers and sisters who are experiencing step-motherly treatment from the neighbouring states.
Looking beyond self-interest for unification: Brothers and sisters, unless there is unification within the Naga families, it will be difficult for Nagas to make known to outside world as nation with distinct identity and unique history. We cannot make known our Rights as Rights. Without unification our political rights will be considered as Law and Order problem of State created by a section of people. For any genuine solution it must start with the unification of all Naga families from all walks of life. As long as we remain divided we ourselves (Nagas) will continue to be the main stumbling block to our own cause. It is crystal clear that the greatest enemy to Naga political freedom is neither the Meiteis nor the Indians as propagated by many people. The greatest enemy to Naga protracted political problem is disunity and division among the Naga families. A divided house/society cannot achieve anything. Unless we overcome this division there is no hope and hence no future for Naga people.
Unification must come but not in the manner of a big fish swallowing up the whole smaller fish into its belly and make them invisible. Unification will not happen if a powerful group or organization or tribe tries to swallow up other groups or organization or tribe into its fold. It cannot be forced upon. In unification everyone great and small, strong and weak must be visible and respected. In it, there should be acceptance of one another as they are. In it, there should be acknowledgment of one another’s achievement and contribution. In it people should be able to walk side by side without any fear. In it people should be able to work hand in hand. In it, people should be able to express their opinion freely. Most of all, there should be shared responsibility and shared leadership role. Unification demands sacrifice – sacrifice of personal or organizational vendetta, fame, and leadership roles for nation’s greater common good.
Building confidence beyond the Naga’s family: After the unification of the Naga family, the immediate need is building confidence amongst the Naga public as well as the neighbouring communities (the Meiteis, the Assamese and the Arunachalese). For many years, the rights and aspiration of Naga people have been kept unfulfilled due to lack of confidence building measure among the various communities in the region. The fear and apprehension of some of the NPGs and neighbouring communities that had been expressed through media that needs to be taken into consideration seriously. This demands the participation of every Naga individual, civil society and state machineries to actively employ all the available resources in building confidence and trust among the neighbouring communities. As long as there is ‘trust deficit’ among the various communities, the amicable and final solution to the protracted Naga political issue will be delayed.
Let NAGA DAY reverberate the sound of freedom for the whole Naga family. Let it be a day of retrospection and forgiveness. Let it be day of marching forward in unity with vigour. Let it be a day where freedom rings and people shout with joy. Kuknalim.