Friday, May 7, 2021

Imperfect, nevertheless celebrate

There have always been several narratives about the State of Nagaland ~ now with social media overwhelmingly controlling our thought processes, several more narratives have emerged. And some of these flit and float on the peripheries of conspiracy theories, personal ideological leanings and sometimes plain racist ranting. While any narrative and/or history is inevitably coloured by personal pets and peeves ~ in terms of value-systems, personal experiences, world views, perceptions, perspectives, ideologies and both religious and non-religious, as well as cultural belief-systems, such narrative/history must also be substantiated and supported by unimpeachable evidence and certified by expert peer reviews. Unfortunately, in the university of social media these factors are conveniently disregarded. However, there are also several narratives of the State of Nagaland that deserve close scrutiny, impeccable analyses and impartial presentation in the form of documented history of the 16th State of the Indian Union. This may go a long way to create understanding in our political realm. But who will take up this task since there are several sections that are insistent that theirs is the only “true” or “real” narrative? Also, since we are all already so ideological and political coloured, can we do justice to dispassionate narrative documentation? Perhaps, documenting the several narratives of the State of Nagaland is best left to posterity because by then things would have changed hopefully. Besides, distance from immediate events often enables a better over-all view. However for the present, it is imperative that we do not create and write narratives, make histories and leave behind footprints, over which posterity would loathe to walk on. However much studying History in school and college may have been tedious to many people, to know what happened in the past and why it happened is a natural part of human curiosity. Ergo, posterity will inevitably ask and come to know what we think, feel and do now, and why. So, it is for us now to seriously mull over whether posterity will be impressed with our education of the history the State of Nagaland in the university of social media. In fact, it is a matter of conjecture whether posterity will be impressed with the way we are using and abusing technology. The other aspect of our narratives and histories that we write and make today, which posterity will judge, is the “education” we receive in the university of party politics. It is time to weigh every word our politicos say because most of what they say does not make sense, are unsubstantiated and distortion of facts. Politicos will say anything to meet their ends of winning and staying in power. Posterity will not only judge the brazenness and sneakiness of politicos but also our cogitating capabilities for unquestioningly believing whatever politicos spew on us. Be that as it may, now that we have arrived thus far to mark the 58th anniversary of the Statehood of Nagaland, let us examine what we have gained and lost by the State of Nagaland. Just two years short of sixty ~ though thankfully the State of Nagaland doesn’t need to retire at that time ~ now is a good time to assess what Statehood means to us and has done for us. Has it been all that bad for us? Would we have been better off without it? Has it totally suppressed our identity, ethnicity, dreams, aspirations, ambitions and other objectives we hold dear? True, while there are perceptions that Statehood has been an impediment to our aspirations of total independence, against the background of constantly-changing global dynamics, are we better off with Statehood? Or, would we have been in a much better place without it? There are so many other questions we need to mull over but for now let us ask ourselves another very painful question: are what we believe to be our dreams, aspirations, ambitions and other objectives that of each Naga or that of some individuals and groups of individuals? How do we assess this and how would posterity evaluate this? These are question that must surely be in our minds on this State Day ~ especially because we hope to see a solution soon to the issues that have enmeshed and engaged us for decades. As we ruminate over these questions, the answers to which posterity will judge us ~ and either commend or condemn us ~ today let us nevertheless celebrate what we have, a 58-year-old second oldest State in the Northeast ~ however imperfect it is.