Old Problems, New Year

As 2013 ends and we enter a New Year, the 'Naga situation' continues to be a matter of deep concern. We as a people remain stuck with our old problems, unable to move forward and claim our rightful place under the Sun--whether it is resolving our political issue with India; bringing about reconciliation and unity amongst us or achieving peace, prosperity and development in our land. Why is it taking so long for us to realise that it is we who will have to take the initiative, solve our problems and that we cannot linger around waiting for a magic wand to make everything well and good for us.   
One trait, very unchristian like, which has weakened our (moral) resolve to do good, is our inability to speak the truth and act on our beliefs.  We know what the truth is but we don't want to acknowledge it and we continue to lie to each other or pretend that nothing is wrong with us. Deep within, we all realise the need for reform and change but unable to act with courage of conviction because we cannot come to admit our wrong doings. Whether it is our culture of corruption, extortion, violence and other ills prevailing within, we as a people have a way to feign ignorance, brush it under the carpet or simply blame others.

For instance, where is our human rights body when atrocities are committed against our own people by the Naga armed groups. The December 21, 2013 inhuman incident under Zunheboto district involving erring cadres of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim is not the first of its kind and neither is it going to be the last. While we rightly condemn the human rights abuses of the Indian armed forces under the garb of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), we have not done enough to regulate and bring into account the impunity of our armed groups.   

The Naga public must demand more accountability from those who lead them while the latter should be open to scrutiny and made answerable for their acts of commission or ommission. Along with this, our governments, organizations, hohos, churches etc should be responsive to the needs of the people and perform their responsibilities with honest intent. Further, creating strong, healthy and efficient systems around us is vital if we want to bring about timely and meaningful solutions to the problems confronting us.

We need to self-introspect and turn the search light on ourselves. Whether it is our churches, civil society, governments, tribal hohos, political parties or armed groups, surely the time has come to speak the truth and listen to the voice of the people. Perhaps only then will we be able to correct where we have gone wrong and in the process find meaningful solutions to our problems. 2014 is yet another opportunity before the Naga people. Can we rise up to the challenge?
 
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