Good Friday has to happen for Easter Sunday to happen ~ and this is so because of Christmas. Anyone who has attended Sunday school during childhood needs no further elaboration about the essence of Christianity ~ love. There is no motive, no agenda other than love for God to have sent His only begotten Son to be born a human and die a human ~ so that He can rise up as the Saviour for those who believe in Him. In a secular world, this Editorial will be deemed un-secular/non-secular but a love so comprehensive and a sacrifice so supreme surely deserves attention because even in our secular world and secular lives, love is the ultimate. Moreover, the foundation and the fundamentals of all religions are also love ~ an all-compassing love. Today we are informed and taught about the historical, political, social, economic, racial, religious, cultural causes for the dissatisfaction, discontent, anger, rage, alienation and the marginalization that has become the hallmarks of peoples and places across the globe leading to injustice, discriminations, victimization, strife, war, hunger, diseases and death. They are the symptoms, not the causes ~ the cause is the absence of love in the human heart. The absence of love blinds us to everyone and everything around us ~ even to this planet we call our home. So we molest, harass, rape and murder that which and those who we consider unbeneficial to our selfish survival. And so, we may go to church, donate huge amounts of money, fast and pray, la la, la ~ but without love we are simply empty cymbals. And empty cymbals cannot and do not serve any purpose. This is specifically for us Nagas to seriously think about, seeing how we love to claim to be Christians but proving how without love we are. Just take for instance our under-developed status in terms of infrastructure and human resources. Yes, yes, we hear a lot about the need for human and infrastructure development and how to go about things but nothing happens because we are selfish in our thinking ~ never mind how intellectually and linguistically we present our case. Failure begins with the very seed of un-loved, therefore mindless, plans, programmes and projects we present. We may present the best of blue-prints for development on paper but nothing happens because loopholes are created to ensure nothing happens ergo our human development indexes ~ heck even the state of our roads and other infrastructure indices. And the issue of love gains more significance now just after our state Assembly elections that saw nothing that looked like love and belied our claims of being Christians. Unsurprisingly, our realities, which we love to blame on everything and everybody except our loveless hearts. So we must necessarily question ourselves: what does Good Friday really mean to us? What does Easter Sunday mean to us? Considering our loveless hearts so well revealed in the way we conduct ourselves, do we really observe Good Friday in the way it is meant to be observed? Do we really celebrate Christ’s triumph over death the way it is meant to be? Really, what do birth, life, death, salvation and eternal life actually man to us? Just ritualistic religious phases and stages during this period between birth and death? Just a nice long weekend to catch up on mundane temporal chores? The core of the Christian principles is the centrality of forgiveness ~ based on love. And so we have come to believe that if we plead for forgiveness, all will be well ~ after all, love demands forgiveness. But is it so? Theologians will have their own take on the issue but the Bible indicates sins and punishments ~ and loveless-ness ~ too, so decide for yourself ~ and at your own risk. The Christian principles and belief-system also comes with a very unambiguous and uncompromising set of value-system. Considering our “way of life”, we also need to search our souls as to whether we practise this set of value-system in all aspects of our lives. And herein lies the unraveling of what Good Friday and Easter Sunday mean to us and how we observe and celebrate them ~ as much as we do Christmas. There is, after all, no escaping from the linkages of birth and death and the life in between ~ not even from love that actually is and the love we profess ~ and the consequences thereof.