We, and people much better than us and much before us, have all tried ~ in numerous ways and with copious words ~ to define and describe Time but have always failed. Indeed, then let us concede Time is indescribable. But we do know that as long as there is life, Time creates the space and the scope for us to make memories ~ so ultimately, for us then Time must mean memories ~ the good, the bad and the ugly. The other aspect of Time is that while it is a gift, we cannot possess it ~ not the way we can possess earthly good. The only way we can possess Time is by living well and making memories, which gives meaning to our lives. So, on the last day of 2019, it is important that we, as individuals and as a collective ~ ponder on how well we have utilized the space and scope Time created for us and the quality of memories we will carry with us into 2020 and beyond. First thing first ~ much as many people hail the “arrival” of political peace, solution and settlement in Nagaland, we the people know that there are many, many miles to go before we arrive at the kind of political peace, solution and settlement, which we dream of and deserve. And this extends to the economic, developmental, social and cultural too. The fact of the matter is we, the people, know that to realize our dreams and embrace what we deserve, we need to clear our hearts and minds and dirty our hands. However, we are unable to do so mainly because of the roadblocks we confront in the form of the numerous kinds of “leadership”, who have appropriated the leadership of the people, which is generally known as the “people’s will” in any self-respecting democracy. Our political class ~ of whatever nature ~ have foisted and superimposed their will on ours, which have resulted in a deep-seated dismay and the frustration we live with. In the political realm, today we find that because the writ of our political class looms large over our heads, despite it being in dis-consonance with the people’s will, Nagaland is deteriorating as never before. So much so that even the silence of our Chief Minister for months ~ except for a couple of speeches, often repeats of his earlier speeches, as chief guest in some social events ~ is deafeningly loud and jarring. Much has happened in the political contours of Nagaland but we, the people, are still fed the same watery gruel ~ unsatisfactory and unsatisfying. We live in a state of limbo and our political leaderships show no inclination to assure the people of a better and brighter future ~ perhaps they too are clueless, and not only about the people’s future but even their own? Moreover, now that the issue of the constitution and flag have been sorted out ~ or so we are told ~ we had hoped that the state Government would focus undivided attention on governance and development but the Government seems to be fading more and more into the background. This is disturbing and distressing ~ after all we have been told for decades that issues related to the constitution and flag, etc., were the main barriers towards governance and development in Nagaland. Undeniably, we, the people, are now compelled to sit with our heads on our hands for having enfranchised people, who seem to have not an iota of regard and respect for us. Meanwhile, the money we earned for having done so is exhausted. Clearly, our perfidious ways have made our lives a perdition ~ and we see no way out of this situation. Unless we change, we will live in this perfidious state for a long time to come. But sadly, there is little or no sight of any change in us ~ although talks about change pollute the air. Time hasn’t been perfidious to us but we were treacherous to Time so what memories will we live with? More importantly, even as we continue our oral traditions ~ even in our “modern” discourses ~ what memories will we bequeath to our children and their children? This is a crucial thought that must occupy our minds as we bid adieu to 2019 and welcome 2020.
May we make happy memories in the New Year to gift to posterity!