Philosophy in Nagaland

Dr Asangba Tzudir 

Someone once said, “Philosophy is a dead subject.” The remark directly came with some kind of condemnation of the subject as irrelevant. However, looking at the status of the subject in consideration of its relevance, it is quite depressing. The representation of the subject in schools, colleges and universities in Nagaland makes it even more depressing. In the private sector, few Higher Secondary schools, colleges like Patkai Christian College, and universities like ICFAI offers philosophy. Likewise, there are also some Govt. Higher Secondary schools in Nagaland that offers philosophy. In govt. colleges, there are only three Government colleges in Nagaland that offers philosophy (Fazl Ali College, Mokokchung, Dimapur Govt. College, Dimapur, and Peren Govt. College). However, the most painful part is that Nagaland University still do not have Philosophy Department. Even from higher studies perspective, it is a huge setback for the few college students doing philosophy, and who may not have the means and resources to go out of Nagaland for higher studies in the subject.

Now, unless the subject is studied as part of the curriculum, the value of the subject will remain unknown. Also, the fact that philosophy is at the root of all subjects, the absence of philosophy means that the objective approach of the FYUGP (Four Year Under Graduate Programme) which is inter-disciplinary and intra-disciplinary in its objective approach remains defeated. Inter-connectedness of subjects can be meaningfully studied through philosophical engagement. Also, the talk of human resources development will not be brought to fruition without the aid of philosophy. Above all considerations, the growing ‘moral crisis’ today, has conditioned the societal thinking and acting, that, philosophy as a human discipline becomes integral to awakening the human consciousness as a moral and rational being, and a way out of the ‘moral crisis’.

Premised on the foundation of “Love of Wisdom”, philosophy makes a central contribution to the knowledge and educational and everyday enterprise by way of its engagement with intellectual activity reflecting upon historical perspectives, and raising critical questions, thereby broadening the spectrum of thinking while developing interpretative and evaluative skills. In the pursuit of human and human resource development, these traits may be considered to be of greatest value. All these and more enhances one’s ability to solve problems, enables effective communication, makes one engage in well-informed discussion and decisions while developing richer and broader perspectives. As such, for those who consider philosophy as a dead subject, or for those who are not aware of the subject matter and content, much of what is learned in philosophy can be applied in virtually any endeavor as it touches so many subjects, and philosophical methods find application in any field of study. 

In context, the depressing situation caused by the moral crisis, and of human beings’ inability to find meanings through meaningful engagements, it is high time that the importance of philosophy is realized towards paving the way out of the ‘moral crisis’ and the realization of what it means to be a rational human. As a first step measure towards the growth of the subject in Nagaland, it is imperative that some fundamental philosophy courses are introduced to students early. And Nagaland University should seriously think about introducing Philosophy department starting from PG level and push for its introduction in such a way that the University Grants Commission also agrees to its introduction. This will really augment the growth of philosophy in Nagaland.

(Dr Asangba Tzudir writes guest editorial for the Morung Express. Comments can be emailed to