The natural beauties of Nagaland are a gift of God to all of us the Naga and Non-Naga living in the State. Whenever we hear of Robbers, Killers, Cheats, dead Bodies of people or Babies found thrown away on the Roadside jungle, the land owners in particular, feel very unhappy and sad for things that spoil the beauty of the land. It is the wearer who particularly knows where the shoe pinches and how nice it would have been if the people living in the land were as good and beautiful like the land!
The Naga National Political Organizations adopted ‘NAGALAND FOR CHRIST’ as the Ethos of their Organizations. This is in very good tandem with the beauty of the land; however, traces of arrogance, of stiff-necks and even of superficiality, hypocrisy, falsehood and threats still besmear Nagaland.
The recent 9th Nov. 2019 of Eastern Mirror has, the “NSCN [IM] extends Olive Branch to the other Groups”. This is a significant Turning Point of the Organization in the right direction. Let me quote their statement:
“We reiterate our stand that we have forgiven the past mistakes of our brothers and sisters in different camps and that they should also forgive our past mistakes and be reconciled in the gracious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” [quotation ended].
The statement indicates the IM desires for reconciliation with the other Groups but the intelligent writings lack the true ring of reality. It is like the Japanese “Regret” while Korea wanted a “Sorry” from Japan for the latter’s actions on the issue of ‘Comfort Women’ of Korea during WW II.
The difficulty in the hitch of the relationship between South Korea and Japan appears in the stand of Japan that the Issue has already been settled between the two Governments, while South Korea holds on the injunction of its Supreme Court. Perhaps, the issue has now gone outside into the domain of the UN!
The IM’s stand that: “we have forgiven the past mistakes of our brothers and sisters in different camps and that they should also forgive our past mistakes”.
This is a stand that raises more questions than Answers. None of the brothers and sisters or even the IM, did not confess their past mistakes to the others. In any Reconciliation process, Confession comes before Forgiveness and not vice versa. The Statement of the IM, reveals its silent desire, but sounds imposition and not of the call of graciousness of “Olive Branch”.
It is doubtful anybody would believe such an Olive Branch would buy Unity among entrenched ancient foes. If anyone does, he or she would be deluding himself or herself!
When anyone commits a wrong action on others and the Perpetrator ‘admits his action as unacceptable and prays for forgiveness’ from the Aggrieved, then Reconciliation follows. Thus, the formula for RECONCILIATION is CONFESSION, REPENTENCE and FORGIVENESS, in that order, and in no other order.
Exodus 32:32 of the Bible records Moses admitted the Idolatry of his people against God’s commandment and he pleaded with God saying:
“Please forgive their sin- but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
Moses knew the immensity of the transgressions of his people, he is prepared to give his life in exchange for the Forgiveness of God for the sins of the Israelites. Man cannot obtain Forgiveness from another fellowman by gray rhetoric, much less from God. When a person prays for something from God, he must give God something precious in his possession.
Forgiveness and Justice may be personal and individual; national and governmental forgiveness are outside the domains of the personal and the individual.
The former Chief Minister of Nagaland, Dr. Senayangba Chubatoshi Jamir, former Governor of Goa, of Maharastra and lastly of Odisha -his life was attempted 4 times by one of the Naga National Groups- said he has forgiven the Group.
“Sir, that is the sign of a very good Christian, but personally I do not approve of it”, I said. “I would have preferred you said: “I forgive them personally, but the law of the land would take its own course”.
“Why has ‘Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Desmond Tutu of South Africa succeeded and Forum for Naga Reconciliation [FNR] failed in Nagaland?” I asked Dr. Terrence Gordon Rae of South Africa, Vice President, Baptist World Alliance in the after Dinner get-together when he came on an invitation for the inauguration of the 125th Anniversary of Khedi Baptist Church, Kohima in 2010.
Dr. Terrence Rae told of an extra ordinary tense situation at the vast conference field, of the white Government Officials and of the native public leaders, particularly of a big number of fearsome Xhosa warrior Tribesman come exited and roaring in full war dance.
The Committee had earlier decided everyone of the powerful in the Government or in the Native population will have to disclose the WHOLE TRUTH his past deeds during the long turmoil in South Africa, only then would one be excused and pardoned, but not a single others who do not.
Dr. Terrence Rae said he sat nervous; fearful, apprehending some of the Government’s powerful Officers may be torn to pieces that day by the turbulent crowd.
The Chairman of Truth and Reconciliation Committee of South Africa Dr. Desmond Tutu asked:
“Who gave the Order to shoot unarmed civilians?”
The whole Crowd went tense and silent.
The Police Chief of South Africa rose and said: “I gave the Order.” Then he asked:
“Is there any African Heart here which can forgive a white Man?”
Dr. Rae told me: “The Spirit of Nelson Mandela pervaded the whole of the crowd, and everybody in the crowd shouted:
“Yes, Yes, Yes”.
In Nagaland today, -until the socialist and democratic barrels of the gun are properly stored, it appears a need has risen for an Armistice between the IM and the WC. Both appear still searching for green pastures of rich business houses and shops in the commercial hub of Dimapur.
Just recently, the WC and the DNC [Dimapur Naga Council] had brisk exchanges of arrogant expressions, and like typical Naga reconciliations, a hasty made up of their differences [what were the differences?] as quickly as the Genies of Aladdin’s magic Lamp have vanished, was made.
Similar boundary disputes may arise at any time between the two Naga National Patriots, and we can not think of any suitable person other than perhaps, the Governor of Nagaland to be the Right person for the Chairmanship of the Committee of the Armistice for truth and reconciliation!