Living in a violent driven society

Nehemiah Rong

Each day brings to us a story of joy and pain, birth and death, failure and success, positive construction and negative destruction. A tear of joy and sadness was not absence on hearing them. Some busy reconstructing the foundations of the crumbling world with great pain and compassionate dedication. While quite contrary to that some busy tearing down the shredded world their hearts filled with hatred and greed.  

Life becomes so vulnerable and at great peril inspite of blooming numbers of security personnel being recruiting every now and then. The society driven with a force of hatred, greed, jealousy is now drowning in the cauldron of insanity and imbecility. One after another tragedy, assassinations, cold-blooded murder we heard and witnessed with much helpless anger and anguish. We fail not to raise questions such as, is life no more worth than gold? Why life is just a bullet away? Why life is just a word of command away? Is life not to be revered and honored? Malcolm Muggeridge said that the sanctity of life is, of course, a religious or transcendental concept, and has no meaning otherwise: if there is no God. In Judeo-Christian faith, life is sacred and the most valuable gift of all given by God and it is to be revered, preserved, honored and its sacredness must be guarded. Ironically life is not longer revered nor respected, neither valued nor paid any consideration in our society today, as it is driven with the mindset of materialism, self-interest, hatred and all sorts of evil things. 

Back to history, the practiced of slave trade was wiped away somehow because people realized that was against the basic human rights. Coming closer to home, in Naga society too headhunting was considered savaged and thus discontinued.  But the cruelties and violence do exist in one form or the order may be in sublimed forms. Killings among our own people are so common phenomenal that it is almost becoming a usual culture. Voices have been raised time and again that ‘killing breeds killing’. However, that didn’t speak to the demented fanatics. Today what it is called a ‘Gun Culture’ is a popular force that rocks the society. It shakes the rich and the poor, learned and uneducated alike. It brings havoc to the normal peaceful life. It knows no logical reasons, love, compassion and also the sacredness of life. It tries to rise above the truth. Life is above money or a ransom demands. But does the ‘Gun Culture’ know that? I sincerely doubt that it doesn’t. The CM of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio once said in his I-Day Speech that the use of gun culture could not bring about permanent solution to the long protracted Naga political problem. That made clear the gun culture at the end could not bring forth any reasonable solution, and also could not solve the political problem. In that sense it is a failure and can be termed as fanatic weapon to carry out the acts of fanaticism.

The most sad incident of the dastardly act of killing former Nagaland DGP Hesso Mao at his Kohima residence recently brings us together closer as people who are against the gun culture, barbarism and killing for ransom. Voices from social organizations, individuals, civil societies clearly indicate that such act cannot be tolerated and need condemnation and termed the act as of cowardice. True to the saying a person is known by his absence, former DGP and his good works was known more popularly in his absence. But demanding of ransom and resulting in killing of a person or killing people just like that, is something that every one needs to seriously think and response to it because this is not the first one and sadly and sincerely admitting this may not be the last one either. In order to learn from the bitter past, apply it in the present and to make and re-make our future all must work together to wipe out such thing from the face of our society. 

I think what Bill Clinton, the then US President says in his speech, “The Struggle for the Soul of the 21st Century” holds relevant to us even in the Nagas society as we head forth for our common future. Here it goes, “Now most of us believe that no-one has the absolute truth. Indeed, in our societies, the most religious among us sometimes feel that most strongly because we believe as children of God, we are by definition, limited in this life, in this body, with our minds. That life is a journey toward truth, that we have something to learn from each other, and that everybody ought to have a chance to make the journey. So for us, a community is just made up of anybody accepts the rules of the game, everybody counts, everybody has a role to play, everybody deserves a chance and we all do better when we work together.” This calls everyone to do what we ought to do as an individual to head together to reconstruct a better-fabricated society with a sense of security by surrendering to truth and giving each one a chance to take a journey to that grand truth where everyone enjoy life to the fullest capacity granted by the Great Master. 

No doubt the world have witnessed that men of gun like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, et al were assassinated. They, all through their lives advocated for peace but they faced a violent death. Why should the peacemakers have to face the most brutal death? The answer is hard forthcoming. But may I quote here Macolm Muggeridge to throw some light in this regard from his writing ‘The Humane Holocaust’ “We should never forget that if ever there was a killing without mercy, a death without dignity, it was on Golgotha. Yet from that killing, what a pouring out mercy through the subsequent centuries! From that death, what a stupendous enhancement of human dignity!” 

May I wind up with the words of Dwight D.Eisenhower what he said in his speech “Atoms for Peace.” It reads like this, “Could anyone wish his name to be coupled by history with such human degradation and destruction? Occasional pages of history do record the faces of the “great destroyers,” but the whole book of history reveals mankind’s never-ending quest for peace and mankind’s God-given capacity to build.” As such times of violence and destruction, sorrow and bereavement may these words inspired us once again not to stop the quest for peace and our God’s given capacity to build.