Rev. Fr. G. L. Khing
Most Nagas began their life’s journey from villages. The serene life of the village goes on with songs and laughter. The chirping of the birds, the children and women fetching water from the common pond, the dogs and chickens running around the house make the scene ever beautiful. Most people love to dwell in the countryside rather than living in the dusty towns and cities. This is so because there is sacredness of life in the village. Respect for life and belongings of others are highly valued in all Naga villages.
Nagas stood united in many important events prior the independence of India. Such unity brought fears into the mind of the foreigners who planned to intrude upon the territory. Some villages stood their ground against such intrusions. This was the life of the Nagas. But it has become too historical to be practiced by the present generation due to diverse individualistic life which is paralyzing the Naga society. The vessel is breaking down with the passage of time.
The political life of the Nagas can be well structured into two phases; namely, independent and dependent phase. The independent phase saw the life of the Nagas as well organized, lacking none, yet heading for brighter future. People ate and drank what they get from fields and live a happy social life. They were much independent. Even without the help and support of the Central Government, they were able to feed their families with the best nutrients of food and good values. Nagas did not buy any values from the Government of India.
With the dawn of dependent era, the Nagas (political life) began to borrow and buy the life style of the central Government and thus stuck its head inside. The other parts of the body is scattered in the museum as vintage elements. We depend on the central Government from morning to evening. With the growth of rapid dependency, there emerged some giants who fed themselves from the blood of the Nagas. In the name of improving the life of the Nagas, many leaders became vampires. They drink from both ends. The Government of Nagaland appear like a ragged beggar in front of the central Government but live like Kings and Queens in Nagaland. Where do we get what we get is so alike and confusing. When will Nagas remove its head from New Delhi and see the reality of the life of Nagas. The head has the ability to see the North and the South, the East and the West. The extra zeal to see forward will leave behind thousands of Nagas who are already disabled by the structure of political life.
A brief interaction with people of any sort will make you realize that Nagas are frustrated with the present political structure. Some kind of epidemics has invaded the Nagas. Many social and political activists are searching for some remedies and solutions to this existing disease. The medicine is within Nagaland, yet no one knows where Nagaland is because Nagas has sold themselves off in dismay in many ways.
A family divided against itself due to their political affiliation is the first sickness that will invade the Nagas. It is self-invited with self-interest. It can be well termed as ‘common cold.’ The warmth of the family has turned cold. Wrinkles began to appear in the family bond. ‘Each one and no one’ will become the motto of many Nagas. A time will come when every home may become ICU (I Can live without U).
Do we portray our politicians as the best celebrities in the universe and go behind them for financial gain and fail to live our own life? This is a real dependent life. As long as we get money, food, drinks and fun, we are happy. Apart from this, there is no life for Nagas. Are we becoming political gluttons? Do not allow your belly to go ahead of you in every way. It will make you unfit to run the path of life.
There is high dependency upon our political leaders especially during the hot season of election. Many Nagas go after politicians, not because they admire them, but because they get sufficient financial gain. Many people demand vehicles, two wheelers, three wheelers from the candidates as though the candidates’ family owns manufacturing industries. There are already hundreds of vehicles ready to be dispatched to ardent supporters. Many families live from hand to mouth, yet they take pride in possessing a vehicle. They may feed the vehicles with their own urine after the election. In Nagaland, the one who gives more financial help is considered the best candidate. He will be exalted as the new “Zeus or Apollos.” (you may name him Nagazeus or Nagapollos)
Come the season of election and we see the real face of people and leaders. There are leaders who gain wealth and fame at the expense of the common people. They infuse the simple minds with fake knowledge and take them around the world for their own gain. One should be allowed to support and vote as per his good will and conscience. A good leader will pave way for such means. Violence in any way will not gather the people, rather it will sow the seed of fully charged hatred among our own brothers and sisters. The breaking of homes and killing during election has become a normal TV serial. Unless such violence take place, election cannot be called a ‘lively election.’
The so called “strength show” organized in some towns and villages are real fun for the whole world. Where is the strength of the Nagas? Does it lies with politicians or is it inherent? People marching from village to village to show their support to the politicians are good. They should do it every day till the day of election. Such actions can invite thousands of tourists into Nagaland. Most people do not know what they do, yet they know that they are doing something. May be something is better than nothing. A collection of something in one’s life will only make you burdensome. Is our life so dependent on someone who can feed us? If so, you are breaking your own vessel of life. Nagaland is also called “Land of festivals” (not official) because the festival of election has already began like scarecrows. All the different political parties try to scare each other with the best means. This is really horror/scary movies for Nagas.
Let us not bring shame upon our Naga society. The broken vessel of Nagaland needs to be repaired so that the younger generation can drink freely from it. We need to be wise in dealing with issues of life for the good of the whole society. Today, we need introspection more than retrospection of life.