Nagas call themselves a people with a unique socio-cultural and political identity, a people who were once known for their honesty and hardworking qualities, for their strong moral conduct and firm social traditional ethics. But over the years, most of these virtues have become polluted, and today, the Naga society is riddled more with distrust and uncertainty rather than the aforementioned qualities. The society is divided into splinters; there is dissection among villages, tribes, religious denominations, even within the civil society, nationalist groups and in state politics.
In their endeavours to gain worldly wealth, the people have become selfish- the moral philosophies and tenets of the olden days forgotten. While the palpable mistrust is largely directed on decision makers and public leaders, people have become accustomed to blaming one another, finger-pointing, suspicion, criticizing, bitterness, hatred and many such unremitting negativities.
Even the present legislative House, during its last five years term witnessed the biggest deficit in trust; it has displayed an epitome of greed, power mongering, as well as servitude and subjugation. Recent political crises have also brought out a variety of colours, in both politicians and the public. There is rampant prevalence of individual and institutional corruption that it has now reached to a point where even those who have been crying foul are wary of one another. As distasteful as it might sound, it is undeniable that these ills are gradually eroding the legitimacy of those in power and their authority, and have percolated down to the common man. This is only part of a sad reflection of the moral abyss in the society. Nagas call themselves Christians, but whether or not they are living as true Christians by applying the principles of Christianity to their lives is something they rather not discuss about.
In any case, ethics continue to act as a guiding force to steer an individual’s sense of right and wrong, and it is up to the Naga to reflect and rethink what they were and what they are today. If there is realization, all is not lost. The people must build on the good element, however small there is, and start afresh. Definitely, there is still hope.
The Bible uses many things to teach about the principles and character of God, illustrating the relationship between God (the creator) and the people (the created) and of the purpose and destiny for which the creator made the latter. One of the most used example is that of vessels (jars, pots, etc.) and a lesson from the book of Jeremiah concerning a potter and the clay underlies that God is free to respond to His people according to their own moral conduct and choices, and His previous promises do not restrict the exercise of His correction or justice. Jeremiah’s story proclaims that God does not cast anyone away utterly, but puts them afresh upon the wheel and make them again.
With the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) calling for a ‘Naga Day’ on January 10, 2018 in Kohima with a slogan of hope for the Nagas and of transformative movements, it is a momentous time.
“Naga Day is to strengthen the process of Naga Reconciliation among the Naga people. It is a resolve to move out from a culture of focusing only on our differences, and to participate in building a shared humanity of belonging,” the FNR states while calling upon all Nagas, all people to come and stand together in unity on the day.
This Jan. 10 is a promising day, not only because the FNR proposes to declare it as ‘Naga Day’ in commemoration of Jan. 10, 1929, the day the Naga Club submitted a memorandum to the Simon Commission on behalf of the Naga people declaring that Nagas are one, but more so because it carries the message of looking back into the past to look forward to the future through the essence of self-reflection and reconciliation with self and with others. Carpe diem, Nagas!