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Thursday, December 14, 2017

A grand salute to our Angami elders   

Saturday, 18 November 2017 12:23
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A saying of C.S Lewis goes “It is natural to love the place where one grows up. A true patriot sees the flaws of his country, acknowledges them, weeps for them but always remain to the core”. No other words can be so apt to the impressive and highly thoughtful step taken by our Angami elders voicing their support over the recent protest rally by the PCC at Kohima. The expression of anguish and displeasure by the Angami senior citizens over the banning of protests or any kind of agitation within its jurisdiction was one of the most magnanimous and sagacious to the fullest. These elders have not only shown the younger generation but the whole people of Nagaland that there are still some upright, principled and honorable elders in the midst of our chaotic and a tumultuous society today. I pray and salute such respectable and honorable elders who are there to inspire, guide and bless the younger generation through their wisdom, knowledge, experience and integrity when our land is faced with the trying times and hard days. All heads should bow in reverence to such elderly statesmanship, astuteness and impartiality which define nobility and righteousness that deserves an utmost appreciation and applause from all sections. The wise elders can easily convey the most complex concepts with ease because they have been living with these things for years. Their experiences and understanding of the problems make them great solvers of any predicament and dilemma we come across the ages. I believe there will be many desires and wishes by young people who are yearning for such elders in every tribe. The balance and wisdom of the elderly that come from long perspectives and broad foundations are worth emulating by any coming generations. 

Our political leaders and those heads of some civil societies today should not speak one language and act the other. When our leaders have said very loud and clear that they will work for the welfare of the youths of our state, they should sit together to sort out these differences instead of shying away and trying to brush it off by other means. Trying to suppress young voices with the use of force will be quite unjustified as the presence of riot police in full gear are very much in contradictory to those previous statements and a great discouragement for any truth and justice to thrive or flourish in our land. The recent unpleasant memory of the tear gasing, lathi-charging and water- cannoning on innocent protestors demanding their rightful salaries or demanding justice to be delivered in the scams that have rocked the state have etched as one most appalling and shocking act of injustice and unfairness in the memories of many Nagas which will take some time to be erased. May we all as a people learn from these past mistakes that such things do not occur but are resolved and hammered out across the table as a matured and a God-fearing society. Any peaceful or democratic form of protest should not be stifled or suppressed by use of brute force or scheming tactics be it by any individual, organisation or a faction. Any crisis or problem can be always resolved through negotiation and dialogue. Unless such issues are expeditiously resolved by our political leaders, mishandling of problems of our youths could dent the image of a leadership or any organisation and adversely impact the aspirations of our young ones .In our Naga social milieu, hard posture has always led to confrontations and more divisions. But let our past be our teacher.

 Today our land is being over-flooded with countless organisations and civil societies where each and every group is trying to assert their own right and place in voicing out its issues whatever it maybe. While some have been founded and been born out of genuine concern for the people’s welfare, many have failed to address those actual basis. In doing so some go at length, trampling other’s rights and justice which may have been done unintentionally. Yet the voice and rights of our young people should be properly addressed to or to whom will they look out for or voice out to? If not our leaders and elders, then who? If not today, then when?

 I may sound blunt here, but today again many civil societies and various organisations in our state have become a lapdog of the high and the mighty and for their own vested interests when the actual reason and the original plan of their  genesis was to act as a guardian of people’s right and justice. The absence of any rationale or validation at times in their stands and beliefs unlike in those early days are found to be very saddening at present times.

Young peoples’ voices need to be heard and addressed precisely as they are going to be here tomorrow in our place even after we are gone. What we do for them today is going to be a record and memories in their lives. As the saying of Hillary Mantel goes “History offers us vicarious experience. It allows the youngest student to possess the ground equally with his elders; without any knowledge of history to give him a context for present events, he is at the mercy of every social misdiagnosis handed to him.

 The future belongs to these young people. Just look back at the Arab Spring, it was not the older generation that were fighting the dictatorships of Colonel Gadaffi or Hosni Mubarak. It was the youths of those countries, who had simply had enough.

One notable feature that is being noticed in all the present happenings is the missing of the once revered and the powerful NSF. I can only ask ‘Where art thou, O! NSF? ’ Your absence and your silence have been highly noticed and detected by many Nagas at this juncture .It would be better if the apex student organisation devote more time for the welfare of our students and the youths in the state instead of some dealing with other irrelevant or ignorable matters. Though it is of great relevance and importance, the NSF should leave our Naga Political Issue in the hands of our national workers and focus more on the student’s interest and benefit of our youth.

May our land be enriched through this act of our great Angami elders.May they continue to be our light in our darkness and our song in our despairing moments. May the likes of you grow and fill our land, may God bless you with long life, good health and may our land be healed by such awe-inspiring interventions.

Jonah Achumi      

  Message on the occasion of National Education Day (11th November) In commemoration 100 Birth anniversary of Madam Indira Gandhi