2nd Scholars’ colloquium of NSA held

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Dimapur, July 31: The second research scholars’ colloquium marked the resumption of the scholarly activities of the Naga Scholars’ Association (NSA), which was held on July 27 in School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi.
The programme started with a welcome address and introduction of the resource persons by the president of NSA, Dr. Zuchamo Yanthan. He stated that the main objective of conducting activities like ‘Research Scholars Colloquium’ is for enabling the young Naga scholars get positive inputs and constructive criticism before submitting any research papers either in a form of PhD thesis or in research journals and books. It also aims for building up the confidence level of the young scholars.
The colloquium was chaired by Dr. Pankaj Jha, a senior faculty at O P Jindal Global University and former director (Research) of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).
The first speaker, Ngonamai Holang, a PhD scholar from JNU, spoke on the existing dynamics of power relations between the dominant power and the rising powers. His paper was titled ‘China, India and United States: A Theoretical Critique’.
He made a critical assessment attempt to capture the dynamics of shifts in balance of power between the three states, understood through the lens of western theoretical concepts. In this case, the employment of theoretical concepts, particularly realism, liberalism and constructivism despite the best attempts fails to capture the crux of the matter.
In his paper, he highlighted that one main reason for the failure to capture the power rivalry between US and the rising powers, India and China is because of failure in taking account the alternative narratives, particularly theories that are emerging from the side of the rising powers.
Hollang also stated that though the role of India, either with China or US, goes beyond the proverbial role of power balancing, yet it finds little or no mention except for the balance of power theory. India for that matter has made its presence felt in the international arena through its diplomatic and economic engagements despite having its own weakness have made its own mark at the global stage.
The second speaker Makan Yaoreipam, a PhD scholar from JNU, spoke on the performativity act of death and its inter-relatedness to the question of personhood among the Tangkhul Nagas. His paper titled “Death and personhood: Exploration on Mortuary Rituals, Transformation and Ontology of Tangkhul Nagas,” focuses on the transformation brought about by the Christian missionaries in terms of rituals and cultural practices, particularly on death practices. It is an exploratory study on how result of transition from the pre-Christian to the current practices informed by a Christian belief system gives rise to a transmutation in the very idea of a Tangkhul personhood.
In his presentation, he highlighted how festivals like Thisahm (Soul-Departure Festival), Chikhur Khamathai (Grave Sanctification Ceremeony), Chikhur Kharui (Grave Shifting Ceremony), etc., were replaced by a newer set of beliefs and practices.
Chairperson Dr.Pankaj Jha summarized the session by giving profound insights on both the presentations and kept the floor open for further discussion.
The rapporteur of the session was Solomon Zingkhai, a PhD scholar from JNU. The session ended with a vote of thanks by Dr.Lunthuiyang Riamei, general secretary, NSA.
(Page News Service)