‘Need to begin questioning existing power structures’

‘Need to begin questioning existing power structures’

Section of students attending the 23rd Freshers’ Social of Japfü Christian College held at Zapa Indoor Stadium, JCC on June 14. (Morung Photo)

Japfü Christian College celebrates 23rd Freshers’ Social

Morung Express News
Kohima | June 14

Stating that for too long Naga people have not really confronted the question of power and power structures in the Naga context, Dr. Aküm Longchari, Publisher of The Morung Express on Friday asserted the need to begin questioning and engaging with the existing power structures that are responsible for creating and sustaining the status quo.

“If we want to transform the Naga society, we need to start building new and just relationships by overcoming relationship of ‘isms.’ The relationship of haves and have-nots, the relationship of the powerful and the powerless and the roles of distrust, fear and hate,” requires constructive dialogue.

This, he pointed out, while emphasizing on exploring and creating inclusive systems of relationship and alternative power structures that are based on power with the people and not power over the people.

Dr. Aküm was speaking at the 23rd Freshers’ Social of Japfü Christian College where he also stated that it is important to recover the ability to dream dreams and to be makers of one’s own culture. “Sometimes I feel we Nagas have stopped dreaming, and because we have stopped dreaming, we have embraced the culture of silence and complacency.”

While addressing the students, he said there are four dimensions of human life: the personal, relational, cultural and structural, which requires transformation. At all these levels, he asserted the need for critical thinking, collaboration, effective communication and creativity in order to find adequate responses to the challenges.

He said we need institutions that generate and nurture and cultivate creativity. “Can an institution like Japfü Christian College help and nurture critical thinking, inculcating the real spirit of creativity?” he challenged. He encouraged the need to engage with issues of greed, systemic corruption and questions of hate, anger and fear. Acknowledging that such contemplative engagements are difficult in situations that have a history of conflict, he stressed on the need to begin the process of critical thinking. This process, he said must begin with students asking questions to their teachers.

While stating that each generation with their own unique experiences and gifts play a pioneering role, he reiterated that in the context of social transformation it requires a collaborative inter-generational effort.

Earlier, he dwelt on the four pillars of education namely, learning to be, learning to know, learning to do, and learning to live peacefully together.

In his Board of Members Chairman’s address, Dr. Akho Yhokha talked about the perception of education wherein on a superficial view, education is perceived to be passing certain exams, getting degrees or diplomas with the objective of getting government jobs, which, he added is a ‘narrow idea but prevalent” in the Naga society. One possible reason for this issue, he stated could be the education system we follow that emphasizes much on rote learning, and almost all institutions contribute to this vicious cycle where students simply read, memorize and after exams, don’t remember anything. However, towards this end, he said Japfü Christian College has made some modest attempt to incorporate skills in their extra-curricular activities.

It may be noted here that about 400 freshers have enrolled themselves in the college.

Earlier, 11 students (including a gold medalist) who emerged toppers in the University examinations were awarded certificates and cash awards.

Highlights of the event included invocation by Purchila Jamir, principal’s address by Dr. Visakhonü Hibo, speech on behalf of seniors by Lenno Kiho, speech on behalf of juniors by Junia Tep, alumnus speak by Videkho Keyie, Assistant Commandant, CRPF Dimapur, NCC dance by NCC Cadets, JCC, and Academic report by Dr. Sorausam Bhogen, Academic Dean. Tovikali Yepthomi was the compere of the programme while other special numbers were also presented during the occasion.