Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Break the chain

It is always a sad moment when the lights and the tinsels are brought down and packed away after festivities. Yes, the memories remain but these are sad moments because they not only mark the end of festivities but also remind that the harsh realities of life that must be faced and lived. And it is this reminder we must now focus on. While hope is intrinsic in all new beginnings, especially new years, let us also not ignore the fact that we begin this year under the same old dark shadows of our human frailties and foibles such as greed, ego, selfishness, envy, unquenchable thirst for power, control, domination, hypocrisy, etc., therefore we are bound to repeat history and further drown ourselves in miseries we love to gripe about and politicize. Then there is the shadow of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 we still need to live under. So now that we are into 2022, what do we do to ensure that it doesn’t become a repeat of previous years? How do we change our realities ~ as a corollary, our destiny? That is, of course, if we do not take a perverse pleasure in wallowing in our miseries. Much has been happening in Nagaland especially in the past few months in our political firmament and very noticeably those in this firmament are struggling and striving to get the maximum support of the people ~ sadly even resorting to disinformation, misinformation, obfuscation and plain lies. This is easy because most of us do not think for ourselves therefore it is easy for spin-doctors and the like to do the thinking for us, especially by appealing to the basest of our emotions. If we did our own thinking and did not allow anyone to play around with our emotion, so many of our problems, issues and miseries would never have existed in the first place, especially tribalism, racism and bigotry, etc., which spawn numerous sets of problems and miseries. So, this new year gives us another opportunity to think for ourselves and decide what would be the best for us ~ rationality or emotionality, science or obscure beliefs, traditions that imprison or traditions that liberate, submission or resistance, the shackles of customs and cultures or the ethos of democracy, the prioritization of the human being or the idol-worshipping of cultish figures. There is so much to choose and so much of the air of freedom to breathe in the right choices. Ultimately, that is growth; that is development; that is progress and that is prosperity. But because we do not think for ourselves, we do not like to see ourselves exactly where we are placed in the larger scheme of human life and we do not like to love and labour, we short-change ourselves but feel that we deserve what we do not deserve. 2022 also give us the opportunity to love ourselves and to take pride in being true to ourselves ~ not in parochial terms that we delight in defining ourselves but in terms that define and defy human limitations, especially man-made limitations. There is nothing we cannot achieve and obtain but that desire must come from the heart and mind and it must overwhelm us ~ otherwise we consign ourselves to below mediocrity. And, yes, below mediocrity is exactly where we have been stagnant for a very long time, hence our societal leadership and our undesirable quality of life. Definitely, we must then resolve that 2022 must be our year of excellence in every sense of the word ~ not as defined by our Government and our political, religious, tribal, traditional and cultural leaderships. We cannot abide by definitions of excellence by people who are do not know excellence however much they may pretend and posture and through whatever means they have been given or appropriated the position to define excellence. Our benchmark of excellence should be innovatively global, not the clichéd clannish. We have been talking about change for many, many years, but do we really want change, do we really crave for change like we crave for wealth, power and other temporal gains? Disturbing questions indubitably but without answering them we can go on and on about our inalienable rights, etc, but we would be nowhere near them. 2022 can be our year to think what we have never thought of thinking. Perhaps then we can break the chain of repeated years.