Executing the law without the law

 Rev Fr G L Khing
NEISSR, Chümoukedima

There is always a desire to protect oneself, one’s tribe and one’s land. This is instinctive and acceptable. However, the wrong means employed to achieve the end brings about misunderstanding and violence.

Nagaland has seen numerous instances of self-styled law-keepers and executioners who create more trouble in the name of protection, peace and prosperity. They are driven by extreme love for one’s people and land. The pride of wrongly pronouncing “my land, my people” continue among the patriotic group of people. We don’t need to be so patriotic that others cannot live with us. Extremism in any form is not acceptable in a society.

There is no wrong in preventing the flow of illegal and intoxicating substances. We need some trustworthy groups to check and prevent such activities in and around the village and town. However, it needs wisdom beyond mere checking of vehicles. It needs administrative permission. It needs consultation with the concerned authorities of the village or town respectively. It needs members who are just and true. It needs people who are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It needs people who respect and value others. Sometimes, we come across people who randomly stand beside the road to check vehicles. Some members are highly energetic for they have filled themselves with the liquid of courage, power and might. The worst happens during election season. Women group, Youth group, Elders group, students’ group, this group, that group will be found all along the highway to show their commitment to God and people. Lack of reason pushes them to the forefront. Some of these empty groups make more noise on the road.

The intention of preventing unwanted items inside one’s jurisdiction is good and praiseworthy. The purpose and objective of any initiative or action must be clearly stated. The intention should match the action and vice versa. Failing which, fire and smoke arise. The innocents begin to fight. The purpose is defeated. The culprit (you wanted to catch) is ever happier. Meanwhile, the fight continues and expands involving more people and ending up with tribal colours.

Some groups engage themselves in policing others to substitute their own weaknesses. These groups are only scarecrows. They cannot recognize themselves or others. Nagaland has witnessed these types of self-styled groups. Many groups engage in superficial activities only to satisfy their emptiness. 

Do not try to execute the law without knowing the law. In Nagaland, every group wanted to be recognized as the Apex group. One of the best means to achieve such recognition is to form a self-styled group, go around and create more trouble. There are committed and trustworthy groups who render help and service for the well-being of individuals and the community. We must promote these groups and demote unnecessary and superficial groups. We need to approach people and events objectively. Subjective reasoning and execution of law will bring more turmoil. Let us promote a just action for a just society.