Monday, May 27, 2024

NEN observes Human Rights Day at Chizami


Dimapur, December 10: Culminating the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (25th November – 10th December), North East Network Nagaland observed Human Rights Day in collaboration with Youth Department, Secheku Baptist Church Council (SBCC) under the theme “Equality – Reducing inequalities, advancing Human Rights” on December 10 at NEN Resource Centre, VTC Hall, Chizami, with Rev. Dr. Wati Longchar, Regional Consultant for Theological Education in East & South Asia of American Baptist Churches as the guest speaker. The event focused on youth leadership for social justice and sustainable economic development in realizing human rights.
Setting the context for the introductory session, Seno Tsuhah, Honorary Member, NEN, elicited the unfortunate killings of 14 innocent civilians at Oting village by the Security Forces under the draconian law of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA). A moment of silence was observed in solidarity to pay respect for the victims.
In her speech, Tsuhah asserted that “human rights is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Without dignity, respect, peace, justice, we have no future.” She emphasized to repeal AFSPA, an act that violates human rights, recounting killings of civilians in Oting
Speaking on the topic “Youth leadership for social justice”, Rev. Dr. Wati highlighted the colonial mindset instilled in the minds of Nagas resulting in hindered progress amongst the youths by quoting, “Everyone is a leader and youths are today’s leaders”, disapproving the old saying that – youths are tomorrow’s leaders.
Referring to the recent massacre of innocent lives of 14 civilians at Oting village, he emphasized on the importance of organized, collective and consistent protest and movements to attain social justice by having a concrete vision. “Change never come from the top, change always come from the oppressed”, remarked Wati, underlining the significance of grassroot movements while criticizing the result gap by the competent authorities who are reluctant to solve problems.
The second technical session commenced with film screening titled, “The story of Human Rights” by United Nations. Speaking on the topic “Sustainable Economic Development (SED)”, Rev. Dr. Wati elucidated the highest number of unemployment figure of Nagaland and explained on the stereotypical and conventional mindsets of Nagas chasing “white-collared jobs, to become rich overnight, saying no to transfer and withdrawing salaries from Kohima”.
Longchar shared “SED is not about making individual profit, but revenue benefitting the whole community; it is development that protects the community land and resources; it is development that is owned by community and not by few corporations; it is development that respect people’s culture, identity and traditions”.
In the discussion hour, some of the issues deliberated included tapping of natural resources for creating livelihood opportunities through sustainable harvesting, economic justice in the Biblical context, importance of understanding holistic salvation and not only spiritual, etc.
Taking learning and pledging the way forward, Dr. Khrotsolou from Baptist Christian College (BTC), Pfutsero emphasized on the importance of influencing Chakhesang Baptist Church Council (CBCC) to observe Human Rights Sunday so that village churches can follow suit in supporting the cause and can also collect offerings to support victims of such human rights violations. (Page News Service)