Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Lost crafts

Nagaland during the past few years has lost its art and craft. Today Naga handicrafts are fast losing their sheen so are the other crafts, for which we were known for. The craftsmen associated with various arts and crafts are slowly becoming rare as most of the craftsmen haven’t encouraged their future generations to carry forward the legacy of their fore fathers as they didn’t want their children to suffer like them. We have been blessed with rich history and cultural heritage, which shows the traditions and culture of our people and produces variety of crafts such as woodcrafts, stone-carving, etc. The handicrafts from different parts of State have their own uniqueness, yet, the traditional craft, which has endured for decades is on gradual decline. Due to industrialization, burgeoning growth in substitute products, rapid changes in consumer tastes, paucity of raw materials, the handicraft industry is losing its place in the market because the machine-made products are very cheaper and handicraft products require complex labour work with low profit margin. Moreover, the rising price of raw materials and low marketing network has put this industry in miserable state. Apart from agriculture and livestock, the alternative source of income is handicrafts. Moreover, due to unwillingness of young generation to pursue this career, many craft tradition have disappeared and many are struggling for survival. The successive regimes which came to power in the State especially during the past few decades ignored the handicrafts and other crafts of the State. The focus of the mainstream politicians has been just on politics. During all these years they have raised slogans and have sold dreams to people. The politicians, who ruled the State, have been telling the people that Nagaland is an issue and it needs to be resolved. During all these years they have tried to make people believe that they are their true representatives and they only can act as a bridge between India and the different Naga groups. They have just thrived on lies and have never made an attempt to tell people the truth. It’s unfortunate that Naga leaders have remained busy in playing politics over the conflict. We need to ask all political parties that have been in power in the State what stopped them from promoting the skills of Naga? What stopped them from empowering the people of Nagaland? Today Nagaland and the people of this land are on crossroads. They don’t know what to do. Mostly the skilled and unskilled people present in Nagaland are from other states. Nagas have been left with no jobs even in their own homeland. They are struggling to survive and have no idea about what future has got in store for them. It’s high time for us to wake up and decide our own destiny rather than getting carried away by the rhetoric which our leaders have been feeding us during all these years. It’s a known fact that our people have been living under constant fear during the past few decades, while the politicians have been thriving and living a luxurious lives. There are many instances which prove that people who have joined politics have grown taller than their size and have amassed huge wealth at the cost of a common Naga. We as a people have to wake up. We need to sit back and introspect, what all we have lost. Introspection would make us realize that Nagaland is at the brink and if we keep on getting carried away we will lose whatever we are left with. It’s not mainstream camp only that is responsible for the mess we are in. The different Naga national groups are equally to be blamed for pushing our people to the edge. They have been telling us that talks are going in the right direction, and solution is near, but nothing has materialized so far. If we have to save ourselves from getting ruined fully we have to accept the ground reality that for New Delhi Nagaland is a settled issue. The people who talk about its settlement are hoodwinking the masses. The biggest blunder which we have committed is that we have deserted the skills through which our ancestors used to earn their livelihood. We need to go back to basics to put the things at their right place. If we fail to do so we may end up losing much more in coming years.