“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”: On Confession Essay

U A Shimray

Dr. Tuisem A. Shishak’s article “A Confession” created some kind of discourse in the local dailies [24 July 2007]. However, his personal confession is seriously noted by the “hurt” NSCN organisation. Present “A Confession” essay can bluntly draw a parallel of what the oxford dictionary defined confession as: “a formal statement admitting to a crime,” and “a reluctant acknowledgement.” 

The Good: Indeed, confession per se is good if the content is in right perspective. Confession [strictly not in religious confession] is rather a bold step to extrude what is brewing inside. In such way a person who is confessing gets relief [sic]. In democracy, there is always space for criticism and suggestion and this as how the Naga society was nurtured. Constructive criticism is important and should take graciously rather than reacting harshly. If there is no criticism, there is no development. In such case a kind of reflection to evaluate and assess the process is required. In fact, practice of confession, criticism, acknowledgment, accommodation is ideals of democracy. Literature about the Nagas reflects this rich tradition and value of tolerance, accommodation, principle, dignity and accountability.   

The Bad: Top NSCN leaders reacting publicly to one man’s comment manifest a very narrow political outlook [such a mere media counter reaction can be done by any persons if deem so]. Or is Dr. Tuisem a “Big Guy” that required high ranking NSCN officials to counter him [I don’t think so]. What could be the situation if insignificant one Naga common person confesses in the same manner? One member in Koktui@yahoogroups.com comments: “I feel they [NSCN] could have found a better way to object to Dr. Shishak instead of going public.” Now, the pertinent question is “who won, who gained.” Nagas are bad trading giving all the profit to others [non-Nagas]. The comment like: “This called for a serious crime he [Dr. Tuisem A. Shishak] is committing” is unfortunate and could be labeled as immature political statement.

The Ugly: I am sure all rational Nagas would understand the “Freedom of Expression.” That also comes with responsibility. A saying; “I don’t agree what you said, but I’ll fight it to the death your right to say it.” My freedom could be your subject of object or vice versa but what is important is to respect one’s opinion and introspect why there is objection. The argument gets dirtier: “When his [Dr. Shishak] leadership is not even accepted in his own village Shangshak.” Credibility sometimes work in line of relativity…NSCN’s counter to Dr. Shishak carry immense question marks…for instance, “what is the life of a revolution patriot? Remember, Mao Tse-tung famous assertion- rebel group depend on civilian population for their survival. Because guerilla warfare basically derives from the masses and is supported by them, it can neither exist nor flourish if it separates itself from their sympathies and cooperation. “Guerillas must be like fish and swim in the sea of the people,”