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Padma Bhushan is GoI’s recognition of Nagas’ contribution to nation-building: SC Jamir

Dr. Jamir

DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 10: “If you are hoping for a new sunrise”, said the recently-minted Padma Bhushan Dr SC Jamir on Wednesday, “you must first wipe away the cloud cover”.

The 90-year-old Statesman from Nagaland was addressing a crowd of Ao community leaders and representatives, who had gathered at his place at Chümoukedima.
Earlier in the day, the Ao Senso Telongjem Dimapur (ASTD) had organised a civic reception at Dimapur Airport for the Padma Bhushan recipient, who arrived from New Delhi on Wednesday afternoon.
At the Airport, the veteran politician said that he wasn’t expecting to receive the Padma Bushan and thanked God for bestowing His blessings upon him by providing “such a grand award”.
Even though the Padma Bhusan has been awarded in his name, Jamir said that it is in fact for all Naga people.
And, while addressing the gathering at his residence, Jamir reminded that Naga people have been already gifted with three virtues that are far more valuable than his Padma Bhushan.
He identified those three gifts as truth, courage and hard work.
The problem, he pointed out, was that the values of those three gifts were diminishing because of Naga people’s unwillingness to embrace and use them.
“In Nagaland today, people are afraid to speak the truth. We talk about famine; the biggest famine we have today is that of truth,” he said.
Jamir further warned against the vice of getting swayed easily at the last hour ~ the lack of the courage of conviction among the citizens.
He asked whether the people would choose to “keep talking and talking” or stand up for what they believe in.
The 5-time Chief Minister also pointed out that land is ‘our one true resource’. However, he said, there are few people willing to cultivate because people have substituted hard work with another vice ~ begging.

“People want easy money. With that mentality, we can never revive ourselves”, he maintained.
To the youth, Jamir reminded that this is the new age of ‘creating’ history, not ‘reading’ history.
“You should listen to the older generation, of course. But do not be shackled by the past. This is the new age. Be indispensable and excel in whatever you do”, he advised.
And to the older lot, he said: “Our youths are capable, they are intelligent. But the older generation do not give them space to speak and act”.
Jamir recalled that in May 1958, during the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) at his village, Ungma, he had shared the message of the ape, the donkey and the tiger.
“And after 50-60 years, I feel we have to revisit it again because there has been no change”, he said.
At the NPC, he had shared that the human heart ~ and the society in general ~ nurses three animals: ape, donkey and tiger.
“The ape represents the primitive, our lack of knowledge; the donkey refuses to move unless burdened with a load on its back, it represents our conservative mentality; and the tiger represents bloodlust. All the three animals represent us and we still cannot escape them”, he said.
Naga society, he pointed out, is still in the phase of bloodlust “but we should learn to escape from the three animals and advance towards the future”.
Only by slaying those animals, he said, Nagas can become progressive citizens.
Talking about his achievement, he said: “The award presented by the President of India is in recognition of the services rendered by citizens of Nagaland. I represented Nagaland in the Parliament for the first time and whatever was awarded to me was a reflection of the Naga image all these years”.
He said that he was very happy that GoI has recognised the contribution made by Naga people towards nation-building because he had served the country as well as the State for the last more than 60 years.

In regards to Indo-Naga political talks, he said: “I have been telling from the very beginning both the GOI representatives as well as leaders of both the groups of underground, in their wisdom, in their political foresight and recognition of the contemporary political realities, they have drawn out agreement on August 3, 2015 and the other one on November 17, 2017 known as Agreed Position. Both are very pragmatic agreements and therefore they should be proud that they have been able to draw out this agreement for the benefit for the people of Nagaland as well as GoI. I think boldly, honestly, frankly, uprightly and tell the people that so far under the circumstances we have been able to achieve this for you, so the people should welcome this agreement made already by the underground groups”.
Asked about the ongoing Naga Peace Talks, the new constitution and the flag, he replied: “If you read about the Framework Agreement as well as the Agreed Position, nothing is mentioned about flag nor constitution because flag and constitution are attributes of an independent sovereign country, and therefore I do not like to comment on this.”
During the reception programme at his residence, speeches were delivered by Ungma Council Chairman, DAYO, and other units.
At the Airport, he was joined by Sharingnian Longkumer, Speaker of Nagaland Legislative Assembly and all tribal hohos under the banner of Naga Council Dimapur (NCD).
(Page News Service)

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