Sale of chips and mineral water bottles in black polythene bags

Kethovino Catherine Kulnu

I am puzzled why in Nagaland, chips and mineral water bottles are sold and carried mostly in black polythene bags. Not much was known in the past. Is it due to development in technology, modernization or urbanization which led to rapid growth in many pockets in our cities?

Precisely in Kohima and Dimapur in most of the pan shops the supply of chips and mineral water bottles from black polythene bags is the latest trend. The Naga menfolk have grown so fond of these extraordinary chips which make these small shopkeepers so busy like the hornets in its best seasons. There are also under age human agents in front of those shops similar to the online delivery agents who visits every vehicle as they stopped by, like honey bees sucking nectar from each flower. Due to the magnetic power of those shops which attracts many customers the spaces of the parking lot has become too narrow in front of those shops.

Black Magic? Still Confused! The sales from these shops seem to be so good yet most of these shopkeepers are non-Nagas who addresses the visitors using the most dignified etiquettes as ‘Uncle’ or ‘Sir’ emptying their pockets, draining their resources and have become the cause of shedding tears in many families. Besides this, these shopkeepers have become the ‘Hangman’ of many of our Naga Men silently.

Are the Authorities and the Church Leaders blind to such sale of uncle chips and mineral water bottles in black polythene bags sold like hot cakes? Even though such sales are so vivid in the eyes of the simple illiterate villagers.

The glorious report of the enforcing agencies that appears in the headings of our local dailies seem to catch the unluckiest scapegoats where as the real ‘King- Pins’ who supplies varieties of bottled liquids and making our dry state wet throughout the seasons are surpassed. The real violators of the ‘Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act 1989’ are neither seen nor caught or penalized. Why so? I sit because a certain portion of the profit from sales goes to the pockets of the adamant propagators of this act that blinds their vision and judgement?

Since this has become ‘the Way of the World’ in Kohima and Dimapur, many Naga Thinkers and Medical Professionals have expressed their concerns about this Act time and again. To me, it is high time to ‘walk our talk’ by the church personals to practice the virtue of humility as it is often preached in the pulpits Sunday after Sunday.

May God protect our land and all who dwells in it from the hypocritical life.

The writer is an Assistant Professor in St Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Jakhama.