Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Trust deficit

Editorial 2

Our society is today suffering from trust deficit, with literally half of the population suspicious of the other half. In such a state it is hard to expect any change in the way of life. We are trapped in such a situation partly due to the fact that most people feel let down by the political leadership and other institutions to the extent that every action, gesture or initiative is being viewed dubious and done at the behest of some invisible force. There are many other factors that have crept deep into every aspect of our life, be it our family set up, commercial ventures, patient-doctor relationship or teacher-student bonding. The irony is that a father is suspicious of his son, daughter of her mother and teacher of his pupil and the list goes on infinitely. We appear to have become spies and are keeping watch over each other’s activity. Decades of turmoil have dented our society so hard that it has left ugly scars on every facet of life. The inherited slave mentality or false pride of being powerful has become even stronger. The population has tacitly accepted that it must follow others no matter what they make us do or at what cost. Today the situation has become such that we prefer to hire non-Naga labourers, masons and carpenters because we have lost faith in our local labour market which has become almost scarce. They have penetrated every sphere of our life. They work in paddy fields. They work as manual labour on construction projects, brick kilns, and a host of other labour intensive fields. If there is a non-local teacher in a school we feel elated that our children are being educated by him. Health care centres with visiting doctors from outside for consultation have long queues of patients who have little faith in the local medical fraternity. Our commercial ventures have been handed over to outsiders to run and locals do not bother to move out of their dining rooms. Even if some dares to enter the market, there are forces that not only discourages but forces one to get out of it. The society as a whole has hardly any realization of its impact on community or nation building, although some people do shed crocodile tears about identity crisis. Reasons can be many but the main reason is that as a community we do not trust each other, support each other or respect each other resulting in chaos, confusion and loss of character. In such circumstances we should not expect others to follow us, support us or believe us. Intentionally or un-intentionally we have become a bankrupt society, politically, morally and socially or we have been made to accept it. As a community we are in deep trouble and face serious dilemma and we feel happy to walk on somebody’s crutches. The situation today has gone out of control. Our society is unique and distinct in character. We are known for hosting and hospitality. But doing hospitality out of proportion sometimes proves harmful rather than useful. Today two local leaders here hardly sit together, not to talk of any discourse or consensus on issues. The utmost effort is to create hurdles for each other. There is a lot of mistrust and confusion all around us. That mistrust has crept into the soul of the whole population to the extent that the society has become segregated, divided and wayward. The severity of the mistrust is so deep that even honest, sincere and dedicated people of the state are being viewed as tainted agents or working at the behest of some agencies or groups. We are deliberately being made to disbelieve each other so that the society becomes disintegrated, isolated and distant from its belief system. In every conflict zone, this phase is a natural outcome. But if it is not noticed, checked and managed it creates havoc in the conventional societies where individual or short term interests become the only priority. The responsibility to change the mindset lies on those who still have left some credibility or trustworthiness among people so as to rebuild trust, faith and character. In the absence of belief, trust and common goals, a community meets death and destruction. World history is full of such nations, communities and societies.