Thursday, March 30, 2023
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Election violence and the Naga

Thepfulhouvi Solo
I feel shameful, acutely ill at ease to the people from outside the State at the Election Violence of the Naga in Nagaland. The Election violence erupts frequently in the two Tribes of the Naga that first accepted Christianity, the Aos and the Lothas; the Aos evangelized most of the Eastern Nagaland, they have recently observed 150th Centennial of Christianity in the Tribe and has declared itself the Pioneer of Christianity in the State, the most educated, the most advanced and one of the Wealthiest of the Naga Tribes?
One of the oldest Doctors among the Naga Dr. Longri, Civil Surgeon, Government Hospital, Mokokchung, and I, Nagaland’s first Indian Forest Service Officer, were the Polling Officers at Ungma Village, the Second largest in Nagaland, in the second Nagaland General Election 1967.
We had, on the day previous to the Polling date, given a copy of the Electoral Roll Paper to the GB of each of the A and B Khels of Ungma Village and requested them to let the first half of the Electorates of one Khel to come serially to the Polling Station in the Morning, so that the other half can go to their Khetis in the morning and come in the afternoon to vote so that everyone of the whole Khel need not spend the whole day for the voting.
The GB and the villagers were happy at the proposal and came for voting serially like Ants travelling in one file one after the other; nothing held up the voting except that it was the custom the older generation for old woman or man to be asked their name by a younger man, or the husband and wife don’t pronounce their own name or each others’ name, and when the young polling Agents ask the name of old woman voter she would only cover her mouth with her shawl and laugh standing still!
The Parties played Volley Ball competition while people were voting and had a pre-arranged programme made that the Winning Party would feed the Looser with a feast.
Why can’t we have Election in our own constituency without violence?
It is a shame for a people who claim to have the purest democracy to kill each other during Election.
It is only Human Being that feels, sense of Shame, ill-at-ease, Honour, Justice, Ethical, Moral, Self Respect and Magnanimity; it is only Man that has the sense of value of such characteristics as priceless: animals like Whale, Tiger and Fox are endowed with far superior sense of hearing than man; Vulture and Eagles have much superior senses of Sight than man; Dogs and Wild Boars have far superior sense of Hearing than Man; the Leech and the Tick can detect Heat much more acutely than Man, yet Animals don’t have any sense of value of their special characteristics.
For man: To be angry at Violence is Christian: Violence is curse.