We live in a time where insanity has become the ruling norm. Though there is an air of complacency and indifference, it will be fair to say that people are tired and quite fed up with the direction that Naga society is headed. The rich get richer while the poor, poorer; there is lack of democratic accountability, complete absence of self-governance and hence good governance does not figure in and the ongoing political conflict, which is taking its toll on people. Then there are the every day headaches of having to face power shortages, roadless roads, corruption at every level of society and the tragic consequences on human life caused by the political chasm which has so affected the patterns of relationship and understanding.
Where do we go? Or Where are we going? These are questions that keep burdening the heart, a heart that yearns to see Nagas live together in dignity, exercising their independence with confidence and respect for others. The heart is anxious because Nagas seem to be in a vicious cycle in which the principalities of what constitutes evil is causing the break down of society. By principalities of evil, it implies the everyday happenings such as suspicion, distrust, hate, jealousy, disrespect and so on. In a time where majority of the people are just so caught up with survival issues, while those leading seem to only care for themselves, we must seriously ponder, where are we going as a people?
Naga history is embedded with a rich legacy and yet the rich history in itself is not sufficient for the building of the future. It does help lay the foundation and it needs to do so in a way that will build an understanding, an understanding in which our future is guided by a value-based vision. Similarly, the histories of the different peoples that constitute the Naga nation is filled with stories of many ordinary men and women who strived for the well being of the people in extra-ordinary ways; and yet today, we do not see those men and women. Where are they? and Where are we going?
The present generation of Nagas needs to start assessing and taking initiatives that involves a commitment to truth. It is time that we renounce the course of negativity and embrace the earnest and practice commitment of straight honest talk through dialogue. This process must keep at its center the greater public good and interest, which means ending the influence of narrow interest representing the powers that be.
The dialogue should lead to the articulation of Naga values with an emphasis on a return to ethical values and willingness to question right from wrong as well as to act selflessly by giving up narrow self-interest. It implies transcending parochial institutions and civil religion with the view of getting truthful about the issues that affect our lives. Our self-realization calls for a conscious move away from the adversarial and conceited politics that needs to be replaced with a commitment for statesmanship, which at its core has the will to listen act upon the issues and aspirations of the people.
If present Nagas are to have a future of hope, the responsibility lies on us not to just live quietly, but to actively pursue the values that will make us live!