Any Society is a conglomeration of different dimensions and types of people categorised primarily on their functionality. The functional requirements have lent to creation of different vertical pillars in society. “Caste System” is one of the forms which have made up the verticals for the society to function. These verticals got knit together due to functional interdependence and necessity. This has been prevalent in mainland India since centuries. In this system the nature of work defined the structure of society and even religion got subsumed among these verticals. Slowly, the caste system has overshadowed all other systems.
Having seen the system prevalent by and large in India, let us take a look at our society. It alsohas different verticals, in fact “all the tribes and tribal institutions are verticals” and in those verticals are different levels distinguished by prosperity, wealth, power, resources etc. They are self-sustaining, standing on their own. Of course it is needless to say that Tribalism and Casteism are like chalk and cheese and can’t be compared. But what needs to be absorbed and told is that each of the tribes has a different ecosystem which is unique and distinct to a certain degree. Thus, there seems no functional requirement of forging interdependence, among these independent verticals. But this independent identity also poses the biggest challenge to our integration and formation of “Nagalim”. It is both a boon and a bane.
If there is no interdependence of different tribes which are seemingly having independent existence, then why is the demand for a United Naga Society? What are those lateral strands which will bind the verticals (Tribes). Is it Religion? I am afraid that too has got “Tribalised”, with each one of us having our own Church, Customs and Pastor. Even religion has not been able to unite us. But does Religion have the potential to do so? There is definitely a ray of hope which it offers. The mere fact that the teachings of Holy Bible are same for everybody and followed in same spirit should bring commonality of thought and purpose. It should facilitate and ensure that all the Tribes shed their inhibition and unite in the name of ‘Christ”. But for that to happen all the Tribal Hohos need to amalgamate which can only happen through concerted pragmatic understanding and vigorous cross pollination of ideas, thoughts and culture within Nagaland.
The extreme spectrum of the society is the Naga National workers who have swung from Marxism or Socialism to begin with, to “Nagalim for Christ”. If they are seriously Christians then, why don’t they shun violence and the Gun toting culture and work for reconciliation to build a United Nagaland? Their efforts are not going to bear any fruit, as the state in its present shape itself is fractured along tribal lines and if no corrective steps are taken then the fate of Nagalim, if and when formed, will be no different. We must understand that it is not the physical boundaries which characterise homogeneity but the culture, customs, religion and social fabric which do. Unfortunately since the last seven decades, no unity has come about and none is expected to materialise in near future, given the path we are treading. Therefore, the concept of a
“Nagalim” seems unpractical and a potential disaster in the offing. We need to first get our “House of Nagaland” in order, forge unity amongst us, either through religion or any other means. The younger generations must allow and limit the Tribal identity be our Uniqueness and not our Sole Identity. Otherwise I am afraid; the concept of a Nagalim for all Nagas will remain a dream unfulfilled!
New Colony, Wokha