Victim of soft gambit

Witoubou Newmai

As India swings right, it is evident the Naga society is experiencing a new epiphany. That, “there is method” in the whole affair. The Naga society’s response to such unfurling scenario, however, is a serious cause for concern.


In the absence of the culture of engaging in intense scrutiny on the “method” employed, the responses will always be inappropriate, skewed and emotional. Self-evidently, the Naga society has been responding to various situations in such manners all along. In short, we need to appreciate the fact that the world is all about who tells a cogent story, and not vague and emotional driven impulse actions.


What has extremely become important today for our society is the need to identify ‘that’ osmosis of the ideology of the right, policies of certain religion and the subsequent general administrative measures. But the greater challenge is also to understand the size of the number of people in our society who are enticed to the comfort granted under the apparatus where status/position and welfare projects are strung with the ‘authority’ who manufactures ‘policies’ and commands their execution. In this, we are talking about our own people trivializing the problem.


When we are talking about soft “method” where today’s right India is employing, the “politics of diet” is one glaring case in point.


According to columnist Divya Trivedi, what is alarming is the “government’s attempts at institutionalising vegetarianism as a matter of policy.” The columnist says that “data from various surveys prove that India is anything but a vegetarian nation, but ever since the BJP came to power at the Centre there have been attempts to demonise meat-eating and impose the vegetarian food habits of certain sections of Hindus on the rest of India.”


On the ‘hard’ side of the face, the ongoing crackdown on activists speaks all that the government of the day also employs hard Fascist measures.


For activist, lawyer and political figure Prashant Bhusan, the “latest arrests of activists represent a new and extremely dangerous phase in the steady erosion of civil liberties, fundamental rights and indeed democracy in India”, while terming that the arrested persons are “India’s finest human rights activists”.


For Justice R M Lodha, former Chief Justice of India, the arrests of the activists by the government “undermine basics of democracy.” He also termed the development as “an attack on freedom of speech… and an act to undermine the fundamentals of Constitutional democracy.”


On the rising cases of lynching in India, columnist Christophe Jaffrelot, in an article in The Indian Express said sometimes ago that “whenever lynchers have been arrested, the local judiciary has released them on bail.” The columnist also expressed that, “If the executive, legislature or judiciary do not effectively oppose lynchings, India may remain a rule-of-law country only on paper and, in practice, a de facto ethno-state.”


Of the two, the Naga society is increasingly becoming susceptible and victim of the first “method.” The nub of the question is: Do we have to emulate such “method” to defend our values?