Dimapur, October 29: The First Awakening Changki Consciousness Seminar organized by Dimapur Changki Lanuri Longjem (DCLL), Dimapur was held on October 27 at Sakus Mission College Auditorium, Dimapur. Representatives from Dimapur Changki Senso Telongjem, Dimapur Changkilari Telongjem, Kohima Empiba Ori Tekubok, Changki Students Union Kohima also attended this seminar.
The day’s program was presided over by Dr. Jamedi Longkumer, Associate Professor, Dimapur Government College, Dimapur, Nagaland. In his opening remarks he stated, “In the journey of our social development, we, the Changki community is at a crossroad today and if we are to move ahead and if we desire to be healthy and progressive as a community we need to ask the question of our IDENTITY and VISION and awaken our consciousness to the necessity of understanding and consolidating these foundational elements within our community.”
Ningsang Pongen, President of DCLL in his welcome address informed the gathering that, “DCLL was formed by likeminded individuals who wanted to work for the general good of the Changki community.”
In the first session on the topic “A general historical overview of Changki village,” presented by Aotsungba Longchari, President of CAASM provided a brief account on the migration of the Changki people from the far east to the present settlement at Changki village and the arrival of various other groups in the later stages, finally making Changki village into a group of 13 clans. He encouraged Changki youth to work unceasingly for unity of Changki.
Rev. Imna Tzudir, Pastor of Baptist Church Changki in his session on Advent of Christianity and Education in Changki village mentioned that education in Changki village developed through the influence and impact of Christianity.
He further added that Impokumba was the first educationist who established the first school in 1903 in Changki. Later on, Mayangnokcha contributed immensely towards the growth of education among the villagers and Christianity was brought to Changki by Godhula who was an evangelist working with Dr. Clark and Tzudiong was the first convert.
Odangba was the first recorded baptized member. Changki Baptist Church was established in 1901 and, the first generation of converts worked very zealously for the spreading the gospel in the neighbouring regions.
He called upon the young people to give their unstinted efforts toward bringing the unity of Changki church.
In the third session, Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, Emeritus Professor of Constructive Theology and Philosophy spoke on the topic “Discontinuing-Continuity of one’s history”. Based on his thought form, he said, “Changki history must be viewed and studied from an analytically “suspicious” interpretation. The making of “Changki Renaissance” cannot be disputed. It is factual history for all Aos as well. What moved you [Changki] before anyone else is that your foremothers and forefathers were driven by a need to flourish by moving beyond rationalization of culture. As such, Changkians were originally vibrant, dynamic and in the making of history beyond the cyclic worldview of the rest of their neighbours. Thus, moving from the dogmatic, rigid and monolithic culture, you were paralleled with other who were fixed, within their worldview that situated them in their time given-ness. Any paralleling is always at odds with others and if, the “one” as opposed to the “others” is super conscious of the others’ dogmatic, rigid and monolithic culture, you will go back to the past.”
Dr. Wati stated, “Your pioneers knew their difficulties, but they knew that moving on without being held by the past, was a form of healing. This too was a conscious intent to defy any form of rationalism.”
He, however, lamented, “The instrument of rationalisation had wedged into the Changkians today. The longer you tarry in rationalization, the quicker your renaissance will wane. I believe, therefore, that your gathering tells that continuity to your discontinuity is needed. And your small acts count. The instrument of rationalization can divide by which you defeat yourselves. History is made up of common dreams, turning points. Tiny ones make huge consequences. I applaud your case for common belonging.”
In the final session of the seminar, Dr. Aküm Longchari spoke on the topic “Embracing Changki – Towards Healing.” He quoted Antonio Gramsci’s insight of crisis created when: “The old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” He pointed out the need to examine why the new cannot be born and to identify and recognize the unhealthy symptoms that are appearing during this interval.
He stressed on the need for young people to speak their minds, share ideas and explore ways forward in order to bring about transformation in society. He further added that, since people with diverse background and experiences have different interpretations about issues there is a need to create space for everyone’s perspective and narratives while trying to bring about reconciliation.
He emphasized the need for a collective truth in order for healing to begin. He pointed out that peace can be achieved only when truth, mercy and justice come together bearing the fruit of reconciliation.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. Jamedi Longkumer mentioned that Changkians must transcend the past.
Tiakaba Longkumer, Secretary of DCLL thanked the Resource Persons, invitees, program partakers, donors, volunteers for giving their efforts in making the seminar a grand success.
A young participant remarked, “Our young people need to hear these positive stories and speeches. We need to start dreaming about a transformed Changki.”
(Page News Service)