Traditionally, when fire is lit for cooking, three-stones are commonly erected not only to provide stability and support for the earthen pot placed over the fire, but to channel and distribute the heat produced by the fire in an equal manner. The dialectically interrelation and interdependence between the three-stones is critical in providing a stable foundation. In the absence of one of the stones, the harmonious stability would vanish; leading to disorder. Just in the same way that these three-stones are the foundation of stability for the pot, the dialectical interrelationship between the forces of history, geography and politics have shaped and defined a people’s existence.
It is nonetheless evident that in the course of human history incompatible differences emerge over numerous issues and inevitably leading to confrontation of all kinds. In the process, the harmonious relations between contradicting elements are destabilized; and as a result no act is neutral. Perhaps it is in the midst of these contradictions that human beings are at their worst. In the vicious cycle of human affliction we must find a way to rediscover the three-stones; the stones of stability and harmony between contradicting elements. In the context of protracted issues, it may be meaningful to engage in a discourse on the three-‘re’ symbolizing the meaning behind the three-stones, namely; ‘resolution,’ ‘reconciliation’ and ‘reconstruction.’
The three-stones of ‘resolution,’ ‘reconciliation’ and ‘reconstruction’ are critical processes in the transformation of political structures and just-relations. While it is true that these three elements share a dialectical relationship, it lies in the wisdom of a people to make it live in a real and meaningful manner. The avoidance of any of these elements would prevent the holistic growth of a nation. Resolution on its own would be unsustainable and many not lead to transformation of systems; Reconciliation on its own many not fully address the politics of injustice and Reconstruction by itself would not address the roots of the issue. Therefore, on its own, each one of them is incomplete; they depend on each other to bring out its fullest meaning and hence needs to be nourished collectively.
Each one of these three-stones has its own complexities and yet when they interface with each other they are rich in content. One may ask, so where do we start? The best possible option in a spectrum of answers is to address all these stones simultaneously in a parallel way. Recognizing that each one of the three-stones confronts different facets of the same problem, it is critical that they are addressed together and not as separate components.
Resolution is fundamental in finding a solution that addresses the core issues of a problem, Reconciliation is essential in enabling addressing the wounds to make healing possible and Reconstruction is vital in moving into the future and recreating a new nation. Perhaps the by-product of the interaction between these three stones is what people term as ‘sustainable peace.’
Are Nagas ready to address these three-stones simultaneously in a judicious perspective? Perhaps that itself is an issue to contend with!