We all know the proverb “money is the root of all evil” but have we ever pondered as to what makes money evil or dirty? The answer is simple ‘greed’. When we look into our present Naga society today, we find that we Nagas are being skewed by oneself because of one’s avaricious mind. Permit me to say this, we suffer from “schizophrenia” of a different kind, which I would like to refer to throughout this article as a distorted obsession over money. Healing is the need of the hour to bring us to the right state of mind. To have money is imperative but the craving to have more is a sin. We Nagas adulate money so much so that we have become its slave instead of being its master. No doubt we need money to have a decent living but should it be at the cost of our unique life that is created by our creator? Love for money has blinded our perspective and value towards an unambiguous and honest living.
Election is around the corner and every election seems like a replay of the previous one. Despite knowing what and where the problem lies, why do we keep on committing the same mistake every election? It is foolish and short sighted to focus only on immediate gratification and overlook the future. We need to join hands to get rid of the mental disorder that is caused by our lust for money. Perhaps this is the wisest thing that can be done on our part. We are well aware of how the funds meant for the development of our society are being siphoned off by our political leaders, but we have lost our right to voice out against such acts when we sold our votes to them.
It is true that not all people suffer from the above mentioned illness. There are some who have never given into dishonest gains. They chose to stand upright guided by the ethos of honesty, bravery and hardwork set forth by our forefathers in the midst of the crouching wolves. It is because of their stupendous work that the Nagas are able to survive today. Had it not been for them, our people would have gone under the sinking swamp, and would never be able to hold their head high.
Leaders are chosen because people have faith in their ability to lead the society. But most of them have become lovers of ‘Money’ and ‘Power’. Strong desire for more power becomes the root for the yearning of more money. Who makes them lust for power? It is we the people, because of our adoration towards people who have money and power. This, combined with the lust for money ourselves that encourages our leaders to kill the prey and share with us? It is a vicious circle that continues.
It is certain that youths today are beleaguered over whom to choose as their leader, as none of our leaders in the recent past have delivered as promised. It starts with an attractive promise of a better future blended with patriotism but always ends with big potholes, broken bridges, dysfunctional educational institutions, rusted health centres and political prostitution. The same story is repeated every five years and this has not only eroded the hopes of the youngsters but it has also put the voice of the youngsters at stake. On the polling day of 2013 the people of Nagaland stood in long queues just for one vote, believing that we were exercising our responsibilities in building a better state. However, like every other election that has happened in the past, our hopes and aspirations were mercilessly massacred. The obsession for money from both the parties (citizens-political leaders) has given birth to a sorry state of affairs where the future is uncertain, our goals directionless and our democratic values a fairy tale.
Are we following the same footsteps of our leaders? Do we also suffer from the same sickness (schizophrenia)? The people of Nagaland need to get rid of this sickness, and it is high time we make it a thing of the past. Schizophrenia must become obsolete in us. The Nagas are already aware of the fact that a rotten potato spoils the entire potatoes and also knowing that prevention is better than cure, this sickness has to be completely prevented before the entire population becomes infected with it. The mistake of not thinking through must not happen ever again.
The time has come for us, the people of NAGALAND, to change our mindset before we jeopardise the lives our future generation. Let us not be a curse, but keeping aside all our egos and greed let us create a better platform for our children.
In conclusion, let us join hands to make our state a better place and be courageous enough to stand for the truth. Let our hearts be so anchored in HIM so that we will not be intimidated by fear, insecurity and rejection of man in the face of opposition, and not be carried away by money and power in exercising our rights. Let our security be found only in HIM, who is the source of power, wealth and strength. The 2013 to 2018 Government was an acquaintance, a lesson to learn as we know the popular saying – ‘failure (of the Government) is a blessing in disguise’. But from now on, keeping oneself vigilant, calling our self as ‘The new generation of Nagas’ let us be the founding members of a ‘brighter Nagaland’, mending loopholes, bridging the cherished values and raising up solid foundations of many generations to come.
The better future is how we live today ‘Long Live Nagaland’!
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Nungchim Christopher, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.