Something about everything

Aheli Moitra

The last week, hoorah, was full of itself. A friend attending the Doha climate talks displayed a wide grin in a photo, having seated himself as a mock country delegate. The badge of fame in front of him read Palestine.  Now a non-member observer state, Palestine can afford to be happy only on paper. Israel, having subject the Palestinians to unspeakable hardships for more than 60 years, plans to continue on its path. It has rejected the UN General Assembly vote that recognizes Palestine, and will continue on its policy of settlement. That basically includes building housing units and hotels in West Bank and East Jerusalem, concretizing their occupation. Israel has also threatened to withhold $100 million it owes to the Palestinians and other such blackmail. If the world weren’t watching, they would obliterate the 4.3 million Palestinians without a second thought.

Worry not, however. Back in the region, messages of peace, hope and unity continue to do the rounds. The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) met in Kohima and brought out the message of unity in the ‘North East’. Add to this a pinch of political rhetoric and it seemed like all of the North East shared the same concern, which will be sorted out by the same regional outlook. The Nagas and Meiteis smirked in the background (at each other even), and state demarcation of student bodies seemed obscure as the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) came as a part of Naga Students’ Federation (NSF). That the NESO accepts this is an achievement of plural ethos. Going by the other popular tiff that emerged last week, even peace seems to have come a long way. Instead of fighting physically, the Kukis and Nagas have taken to fighting on paper. As people (and editors at newspapers) were somewhat relieved from the NPF versus NPCC rejoinder war, the KNO brought upon itself the wrath of NSCN (IM) and now ZUF. At least the latter are unified in that. But this attitude is encouraged till a healthier way to discuss and debate is found. Newspapers are happy to be the battleground on which groups scratch each others’ eyeballs out. However, confusing people through a flurry of rejoinders, through a group’s telling of history is not very helpful. It insults both the public’s intelligence, and their’s.  

Nagaland remains unperturbed by this though. Here, the festivities have begun; horns have been sounded and bills run long. And it will not end with this week. More debauchery is yet to come; whether a series of awakenings or not, it is unlikely that ‘over eating and merry making’ will stop.  IK Gujral’s death has affected no one either in Nagaland or Facebook. TaTa has pulled out of Nagaland, and showing traits typical of the corporate mafia, has done it as quietly as possible. Before customers could ask for refunds, or even realize what was going on, TaTa had already tata-ed.  Here’s wishing their bosses a lifetime of drudgery in prison for the scams it piled up on.  

Neiphiu Rio has, yet again, shown his calibre as a leader with an eye for political opportunity. He has inverted the ‘look east’ policy by asking Myanmar business houses to ‘look west’ too. If Rio and his cabinet (and a futuristic Naga nation, obviously) can create the right conditions, which India will be happy to exploit, we will have more than ‘Super Tamarind Special’ to taste from Myanmar. Not to mention a roadway to Thailand. Hoorah!  As for the common man, s/he will still have to go in for some sort of election next year. Teachers will continue to rally for their rights. Corruption will continue to have no effect on a candidate’s success in a constituency. Thousands of students will still be haggling for a few government jobs through exams whose IQ itself comes under query. Shootings will continue, as will promises of Christmas gifts; and the hope kept alive, most of all, that even if Santa’s late, he is laden with actual goodies this time round.    And on that random note, something about (almost) everything has been said.