Response to Rev. Seksim Kasar, General Secretary, CNC, GPRN/NSCN (IM)

Reverend Saksim Kasar, General Secretary, CNC, GPRN/NSCN (IM) has written about the Peace March in Kohima on January 27, 2007 under the caption, ‘Hypocrisy and prejudice must be shaken off if one is to correct others”. The march was organized by the Pastors Fellowship of the capital. I was one of those who took part in that march.

Amongst those who took part in the Peace March, I saw some who were relatives of some victims of factional fighting. Unlike the others who preferred to safely stay home, they marched for a purpose all across Kohima town with a desire in their hearts that peace must prevail in our land. To them, it was not a joke. To suggest there was hypocrisy in what they did was insensitive of Rev. Seksim. He said those people’s minds were poisoned by the speakers and they went home with fires in their heart. I went home with a feeling that there is still hope for peace and reconciliation of our people. I believe that others also went home with the same feeling strengthened in their hearts.

Some of the speakers spoke against the misuse of Nagaland for Christ. It should be stated they did not speak against the idea. Judging by what he has written about “Nagaland for Christ” it seems Rev. Seksim has not understood whay many Nagas are shocked that the sacred idea has been so misused. But if Rev. Seksim thinks Jesus Christ is happy with his argument who am I to say anything although I am amazed? It is said all of us tend to judge ourselves by our high ideals and slogans. But others judge us by our actions, by what we actually do which hurt them. The phrase, “Satan’s hand” in our land was cited that day. A Reverend would know best what it implies as evil is labeled as Satan in Christian term. It is not necessary for somebody to enlighten us whether killing one’s own brother is God’s hand or Satan’s hand at work. It is nothing but thoughtless transgression of God’s sanctified law to rationalize one’s killings using Christ’s name.

Our Church leaders that day genuinely articulated what they ought to say and what the public expects to hear from them. None of the speakers said that black is white or white is black. What they said was that wrong is wrong. Is this poisonous as mentioned by the Reverend? Their honest expression cannot be considered as unwise and unrestrained tongue. To consider so would be hypocritical on our part. It was a day when some of our Church leaders were being candid and honest to themselves for the sakes of all of us. We should thank them.

We all know there are many hypocritical Nagas. Some of them may be Reverends. However, the peace march can never be christened as a hypocritical measure. The Church leaders or Rev. Seksim may be hypocritical but that is not the subject. The subject is about Naga peace. What counts is the subject of the matter. The peace march may be having its own flaws but the intention and the people’s desire and longing for peace is more important. No force on Earth however strong it may be cannot dictate upon this. To me, the peace march represents an attempt by some of us wretched Naga sinners striving to reform our wretched society. And as a matter of fact, among them are some good men who would do something so that evil shall not triumph. The intention of the peace march is focused on just peace for the Nagas and what they said that day are not lies or propaganda of any sort. In fact they said what the general public fears to say.

It is a known fact that apart from making appeals, all other Naga NGOs, institutions, tribal organizations, etc, are in a lukewarm state today. It’s a beautiful thing that the Church is establishing itself in view of the desire of our people in the most challenging task confronting our society. Their search for where we have wronged each other with an intention of peace and forgiveness illuminates a ray of hope and perspective. The past and the root causes are not overlooked and these are clearly established in their booklet launched in Dimapur at the end of last September.

The popular view of our people today is unreservedly an honourable, acceptable settlement through healing and reconciliation. And the people are waiting for the end results of what would transpire from their discussions and consultations with our factional leaders. Hence, to a layman, the idea of the Church poisoning or setting fire to the hearts of the people does not at all arise. If their intention is to poison, they could have done it long ago in their local Churches. This notion is a cynical judgment which demoralizes the thinking of our people.

In conclusion, we cannot blame the past alone without doing anything what we ought to do today in our present situation. We are the problem if we failed to do that. The solution for our peace only lies in addressing our problems. Whatever reservation or consideration one may have, let us not make the initiators of peace victims. The Church leaders must not get disheartened as the people are holding fast with hope. Let peace march on.

Zakie Khate