Self-definition and Existence

The State system that feeds upon power, domination and violence has displaced humanity from its center and pushed aside other forms of political, social and economic organization. This has resulted in the breakdown of the complex web of interdependence, interconnection and interrelationships. Charles Tilly further reminds us that war made States and States in turn made war, revealing the link between warmaking and State building. Max Weber goes on to add that unless a State’s claim is monopolistic, territorially focused and underpinned by a force which is legitimate, it cannot function. 

In situations where the State structure has been imposed from above, inherent tensions between State and peoples have often resulted in protracted conflict thereby revealing the inherent contradictions between State sovereignty and Peoples’ sovereignty. The idea of standard universal packaging is itself a denial of human dignity that destroys indigenous organizations. It deals with abstraction and not human persons and fails to recognize the distinctive human elements. 

This underlying problem reveals an attempt to quantify and calculate human development in terms of possession and commodities, which negates what men and women do with their lives. The consumerist culture is oppressive to the human spirit and has let loose a force which constructs human societies on traditions that resist new ideas, thereby inculcating conformity to the hegemonizing and homogenizing forces of consumerism. 

Nagas are in a moment of time where State system with all its power, will, intellectual and moral drive is seeking to shape the entire system in accordance with its own values. Hence, Nagas cannot evaluate themselves by a set of cultural norms and values that are alien to their own cultures. Naga governance, leadership and peace are not yet realities; they are still ongoing struggles because Nagas must first deconstruct the myth of the imposing dominant system which creates barriers between peoples while generating accord amongst those who accept the same myth.

Naga existence cannot be realized without respecting all facets of human existence. The principles of leadership, governance and justpeace needs to be understood holistically because, one cannot exist without the other. The praxis of these principles is an ongoing process, which proceeds from gaining critical knowledge to imparting critical consciousness. It is perhaps important to appreciate them as a process of learning and understanding the human capacity to be self-determining. 

This process starts in the individual self with its inherent freedoms, powers and responsibilities; and it is only the compelling forces of conscience that they are co-coordinated into the collective self. It is no wonder that Nagas are composed of many nations and languages, because each one is considered as essential in the spectrum of humanity. Therefore, the Naga people right to its own self-definition is fundamental to its pursuit for self-realization.