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NO to Racism, YES to Humanity

The Naga Blog is a forum on facebook where Nagas from Nagaland and around the world network, share ideas and discuss a wide range of topics from politics and philosophy to music and current events in Nagaland and beyond. The blog is not owned by any individual, nor is it affiliated to or associated with any political party or religion. The only movement it hopes to stir is the one raised by the voices of the Nagas every step of the way, amassing perhaps to mass consciousness one day.

Ben Akum: A Naga missionary was preaching in Bihar. He was preaching about God's love and so on. After the sermon was over a Bihari, whose one arm was tight round his chest, walked straight towards him and said, "Your preaching about the love of God is indeed touching and inspiring, but my ARM has been broken while I was in Kohima". The Naga missionary head was overshadowed with shame. It is indeed true that we northeast people are ill-treated in the cities, but my question here is how are we Nagas treating those Bihari, or rather the mainland people(including the immigrants) here in our own state? WE NAGAS consider them as untouchables, dirt bag, Cheap and Dirty and what not? We protest and fire all our cylinders when northeast people are mistreated, raped or killed in the cities, which I vehemently condemn but those mainland people here in Nagaland are also raped, killed, beaten like shit by our own Naga brothers. What do we say about such cowardly act of our brothers? Who is fighting for those people who suffer such ill-treatment in Nagaland? In the newspapers we read about these people being kidnapped and when the ransom is not paid they are murdered in cold blood and sometimes, they are murdered and later found at the road side or drainage. Yet, there is no one to fight for them here in Nagaland. It is not our responsibility to protect them? They are the minority here just as we are considered as minority in India.

These people are suffering silently here in Nagaland just as we are suffering in cities. In the cities, when we Notheast people are addressed as "Chinky" we feel offended. But what do we call them here in Nagaland?? "Ahh Plain Manu ase", with condemn right? Chinky means people with "small eyes", are we not? If the word "Chinky" is a racist term, wouldn't the words "Plain Manu" also be considered an equally racist term? It's true that these people are running most of the business establishments within the state thereby affecting our state's economy, but how can we blame them for that? All we Nagas want is Government Job! They have successfully established their own business here in our state with their hard work, does the INDIAN government forbid the Nagas from establishing our own business in the cities? NO! We call them as Racist and complain to the highest authority of the country for not treating us equal with them. What about the Nagas? We share the same blood and features yet Tribalism is at full swing. We don't even consider ourselves equal with our brothers who is less fortunate than us. First, we need to change our attitude towards the mainland people who are living in our state and treat them with respect. In this way we can send them a positive message and thus bridge the cultural and geographical differences, atleast upto some extend.

Veshoselü Akivi Swüro: Dear brother Akum, firstly let me applaud you for a good write-up and inclusion of a Christian perspective and the need to introspect our own lives as Christians. I can see clearly that you have a very good intention. However, let me also include my side of the story as a person living in Delhi for more than 7 years. The context of Nagaland and a city like Delhi are poles apart. Most of the mainlanders that reside in Nagaland and other North eastern states are earners and hence contribute little or nothing to the exchequer of the Nagaland and NE. However, our people living outside Nagaland are mostly contributors to the economy of the respective places they reside in, by way of paying exorbitant rent (Now don't ask me how much we have to shell out), and the 50% broker charge we have to pay the brokers. tuition fees, coaching fees, school fees, college fees, etc. And not forgetting the street vendors, auto wallahs, rickshaw wallahs, taxi owners, dustbin wallahs, and so on and on. They see us as money bags or something and make use of every little opportunity to extract as much money as possible! Every NE person living in Delhi, Bangalore, etc will agree with me. As for me personally, I scold, reason or try to do my bit in creating awareness that we small eyes are equally Indians as them big big eyes are, in the eyes of the law. However there have also been instances where landlords insult NE people, esp. ladies by asking them the source of their money, suspecting the worst, also instances where they accuse that NE people are paid money monthly by GoI for their education, etc. How wrong is that on their part? Isn't it really wrong of them to be so ignorant despite living in metro cities? Correct me if I am wrong. Bro, we have lived, fought the good fight for our people here which includes young and innocent teenagers who come here for higher studies after their 12th. I have many incidents to state from my own experience and others from NE but it would be too long to put it all down here. Many cases of molestation against women will surely also go unreported as a way of forgiveness from a Christianly perspective. But trust me, it is just too much to bear. Its not this bad in Nagaland, I tell you this on behalf of all the young and innocent brothers and sisters who may have been victims to racism at some point of their lives.

But it would be incomplete on my part not to say that there are also very good people that lives in cities, that care for other humans. There are also very good Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains etc, in Delhi. Often we have also experienced their hospitality, but very hard to find such gems.

Notable difference of NE and outside NE: In NE people don't tease outsiders by virtue of their looks, eyes, dressing etc. In metro calling you ching-chong, chinky, chow-momo, ania aseo, kanchi, Nepali, tribals, junglees, etc is an everyday affair. School children following you around, beggars following you around, pelting stones or objects, charging higher price for almost everything, etc. Holi is the worst time for an outsider. The sacrifices of our student leaders and social leaders of NE in Delhi should be applauded rather than criticized. Criticisms are abundant, but encouragement is rare as diamonds. Wherever or whoever we are, let us learn to live as humans, love one another as Jesus has commanded us to. Say no to Racism! Yes to humanity. Love one another.

(The Naga Blog was  created in 2008  by Yanpvuo Kikon. This  column in The Morung  Express will be a weekly feature  every Saturday)