TODAY -

Understanding the effect of Naga Nationalism movement
- Part 1 -

ZK Pahrü Pou *



III. Effect On Societal Life

Many of our people thought that whatever is done by our national workers is done on behalf of the people and would ultimately lead to freedom. Sadly, it does not work out as desired. The militants (all over the world) invariably become insensitive to human suffering.

So often the way they exercised power was through terrorising the people. We have no freedom to live freely in our own land. Indeed many of the so-called freedom fighters who are supposed to be our protectors become our own oppressors!

The Movement tends to disturb social cohesiveness of the Naga public. Serving Quit Notices to particular tribe(s), warning Letters to individuals (allegedly for speaking/writing against certain ideology/faction), boycotting certain tribes and individuals, banning certain Organisation, selective and secretive killing of certain people belonging to certain tribe(s), self-righteous press statement, etc, shows that the Movement tends to divide people rather than bringing them together.

The temptation of meddling in the internal affairs or problem of inter-villages and inter-tribes has earned the Movement a bad name as well. This shows that the Movement needs to be more mature, accommodative and open-minded. Many Naga children are orphaned, many women widowed and many other become physically invalid because of injury from firing. The Nagas have lost many good, capable and competent leaders during the Movement.

A good number of Naga leaders fell to the bullets of the Nagas and not to the enemies' (Indian and Myanmar armies') bullets. Those who have been killed by the Nagas were alleged to be those persons who worked in connivance with Indians against Naga's liberation movement.

If that allegation is true, I wonder why these "living righteous leaders" cannot bring solution for the Nagas till today! Killing one another and blaming one another leads to nowhere. Violence begets violence. Dialogue is the best way for any Movement to gain public support, survive and achieve the desired goal.

IV. Psychological effect

The Movement has caused psychological trauma to many cadres as well as the public. For the sake of fighting for freedom, they (Cadres) live a very insecure life. Their mind is always pre-occupied with how to kill others and how to protect themselves from being killed by others. Majority of these cadres live deep in the jungle where normal communication and life is snapped.

Once they are separated from their loved and dear ones (from parents, close friends, relatives, wife and children, lovers), they unsurprisingly became abnormal in their behaviour. Birds and animals, bees and reptiles cannot give them peace and love. During winter they have to fight against all odds of unpleasant freezing weather. During summer, they are welcomed by leeches, poisonous snakes and other reptiles.

The chant of the frogs croak in Choir disturbs their precious time of late night sleep. They do not have proper clothing. They live in a hut roofed with plastic. What a pity!!!

Do you love them? Do you want them to live a normal life? Frustration and abnormality of the Cadres' mentality is expressed in the form of raping and molestation of women, defection to other faction, surrendering to Indian army, drunkenness, drug abuse, etc etc.

This is a cause of great ecological concern. Forest is the wealth of the tribal people. From it we get almost everything we need for our survival. We get mushroom, flowers, green leaves, fruits, tubers, herbs (eatable and medicinal), birds and animals, bees, firewood, material for construction of fence, houses, etc. etc. Forests also act as a water reservoir. Deforestation has many negative impacts.

It leads to ecological imbalances. It destroys water sources. It leads to the loss of life of million flora and fauna. It is the cause of the destruction of birds' and animals' habitation. It causes not only flood during rainy season but also drains away the top fertile soil.

It causes drought during dry season as the capacity to retain water is destroyed. Many forest products are being lost unutilized. We need to search for some kind of arrangement so that hundreds of Underground Camps located in the vast forest of the Nagas could be brought to villages and towns.

Conclusion with an Appeal:

The time is fully ripe for the Naga Public to intervene in the Movement. Political solution is not everything. The Movement needs to be corrected and straightened on all fronts.

How can we redeem Christianity from being too militant, violent, and aggressive to religion of love, and forgiveness? How can we protect life under Christianity? In what way can we make understand that dialogue is a better option than killing to achieve the desired common goal?

In what way can we check against dishonesty and enhance our economy? How can we re-settle the hundreds of Underground Camps put up in the forest so that we can save our forests from destruction and also give better life to our National Workers? All these demand collective wisdom and intervention of the Naga masses.

We need to start a Mass Movement based on the "non-violence" method of Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi. People's power is stronger than guns' power. The involvement of all Naga civil Hohos from the highest body (Naga Hoho) to the lowest body (Village Council level) is required.

The Movement will be sidelined and destroyed if it is left to a few armed cadres. The imbroglio between Naga Army and Indian Army in Shiroi Village should be a wake-up call for the Nagas. The ongoing finish-off operation of Sri Lanka government against LTTE should be a telling signpost to the Nagas that unless the Movement is strengthened by people of grass-roots level, it will wither and die.

Lastly, I am of the opinion that Solution of "any type" (may be unification of all factional groups as the first solution) must come to the Indo-Naga problem at the earliest. Prolonging the Problem may lead to chaos and division among the Naga Public. It may benefit certain section of people (Nagas and Indians), organizations and tribes at the expense of the majority Nagas.

It may even break up the hard-earned "emotional integration" of all Naga people. The present Naga public must raise their voice and decide for their future. It is now or never. Why should it be left behind to be solved by the coming generations?

We are collectively responsible for the situation we are in today. Let us collectively hold responsibility in shaping a better and brighter world- where Peace, Love, Justice and Harmony reigns. Let's join hands together and move towards the path of "CHANGE: WE CAN BELIEVE IN".

- Concluded

(The article is intended to create awareness among the Naga public and urged them to involve in the Movement so that Solution to the Indo-Naga problem would be arrived at in the earliest in a way acceptable to all Nagas. If the article hurts the sentiment of any individual or organization, I express deep regret and ask apology for the same.)


* ZK Pahrü Pou wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on September 27th, 2009.




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