Naga reconciliation looks for hope as 2009 beckons

Morung Express News
Dimapur | December 30

Four peace summits abroad, the worst-ever fratricidal killings in recent years, football diplomacy to cool tensions off the field, public meetings to rally for peace—2008 was indeed an eventful year that saw both ups and downs in the Naga reconciliation process. For the Forum for Naga Reconciliation which spearheaded the peace initiatives, the coming year 2009 must “renew the people living in Naga-Land”. In a press note titled “The Timeliness in the History of the Nagas”, the Forum for Naga Reconciliation pointed out that the “Cross of Christ” was a powerful reminder to the Nagas that from a place of despair God speaks to us about hope. “From the place of disappointments, of broken relationships, of hopelessness, Jesus emerges to accompany us as we journey on. Even though we are often downcast, Jesus always speaks of hope”, the forum note stated. It reminded  everyone that the hope for the Nagas was built upon the promise that whatever happens, “God will stay with us at all times, in all places” and that “God is the God of life”.

Stating that Nagas are called to be a people of hope, the forum encouraged that together, we can face our despairs and that “together too, we can find the Risen Lord”. “In embracing us, Jesus gives us hope and we need to live the life He has given us, in this world of ours. Let the year 2009 be for us to share and experience this hope”, the forum stated. Standing at the threshold of the year 2009, the forum was of the view that we are in what might be called a “Post-Ambivalent” year in the life of the Nagas. “The bygone cynicism and skepticism toward ‘Naga solidarity’ will simply be a sad chapter of our national saga. Naga-Land today is no longer characterized by the past mindset of cultural and political exclucivism”, the forum  stated. 

It was also reminded that the commanding mood of the Naga nation has been created by the people as was witnessed and attested on September 25, 2008, by 37 Naga tribes and other apex bodies, at the Sumi Baptist Church, Dimapur. “Coupled with this is the affirmation to Naga reconciliation by all the Naga groups and its leaders. This is historical. There is no turning back! Indeed, the timeliness in the history of the Nagas is our newest song”, the forum noted in its year-end statement. 

The forum also stated that it couldn’t agree more with the critics that soccer matches played, hoisting of white flags in homes, using car stickers, voluntarily, the ‘united national choir’ singing in churches etc., have not deterred nor sealed violence. “FNR has taken up the activities knowing fully that these are only means towards strengthening the reconciliation process in the Journey of Common Hope”, it stated even as it looked ahead to 2009 with renewed hope.