Leaders & Solidarity

At the heart of indigenous people’s existence is its critical consciousness and indigenous leadership. These must serve as an alternative to the dominant culture and one that refuses to accept the interpretations of reality as defined by dominant. The consciousness that results of a dialogue, needs to lead towards understanding; an understanding which is the understanding of differences. Such a dialogue should realistically struggle with problems and attempt to find solutions to the issues by developing a feeling of critical awareness of the situation and creating a culture of self-assertion that originates from a common heritage of shared values, common experience and a common envisioned future.
The journey should begin with fostering “critical solidarity.” Critical solidarity is the power that comes through recognizing and respecting dignity of all and understanding that they are united in opposition to the injustices they face by embracing the richness of humanity. It involves creating a common vision where there is withdrawal of consent to existing established institutions and participation from all power structures of domination. Such critical solidarity should lead to the empowerment of peoples and provide a vision of the world that involves the active transformation of both humans and structures till they are able to enter into right relationship with one another.
Critical solidarity requires dynamic leaders that engage with people as “communicators” and not “commentators” having the ability to liberate human reason from the dominant status quo. Critical solidarity therefore demands reestablishing links with a past from which the people often feel that have been cut off. And one in which they must now seek to rewrite their history as makers and not objects. The interplay between leaders and the people is often complicated and complex especially when it seems that consumerism has created societies in which truth does not matter any more, it’s the personal feelings that count.
Therefore, a leader who confines his or her role to the people’s feelings may create a situation of stagnation while a leader who transcends his or her people’s feelings to uncover the truth runs the risk of being misunderstood. The complexity is compounded furthermore when in times of crisis and upheavals, a leader who confines to the feelings of the people may acquire temporary popularity, while a leader who gets too far ahead of the people may become irrelevant. Hence, a leader must be an educator that involves building a bridge between the feelings of the people and a vision in which truth is prior to the feelings. It is a process which embodies the relationship between leadership and governance. It implies educating the people on what they need to know and not what they want to hear.
The leaders must educate to arouse critical consciousness and enable people to locate themselves in the relentless movement to reclaim their humanity and the realization of their values. History, to these leaders is of the essence and their dynamic singularity stems from their ability to discern challenges that are not yet apparent to their contemporaries. Are Naga leaders willing to assume the role and responsibilities that are being demanded of them by time and history?