Getting White-collar Job in Competitive India

Getting White-collar Job in Competitive India

Is that easy today to get a white-collar job in today’s competitive world? Today we may need to know something more than just dreaming to get a white-collar job. In antique if you passed Class I or II – you can become a teacher in Primary School. If you are a graduate – you can become a Head of the institution or get a white-collar job without much sweat and brain. In India till late 1980s, specialization in any field or subject was not the main criteria to get a white-collar job. But after 1990s, the job situation in India had gradually changed. Today, just getting a degree cannot help you to get a white-collar job. In this corrupted society – we also need some important attributes to get a white-collar job

.1. Specialization in the subject: Today in every government and private company – specialization in the subject/field became one of the most important criteria to get any job. Today without specialized in any subject or field – there is not any chances to get a white-collar job. Here specialization does not mean taking up a major subject without proper knowledge in that particular subject but to be expert in that particular subject. Today in India, there are many MBBS, MBA, Engineering students, IAS aspirants and many other students in different professional and non-professional courses. Today just passing MBA, MBBS, Engineering or getting Doctorate degree is nothing to do or difficult to get any white-collar job without specialization or expert in their own fields or subjects.

2. Good Personality: In addition to specialization in any particular subject – the personality of a person became another important criterion to get a white-collar job. In every interview for new job seekers – the knowledge of that particular subject is screened and personality of that person is examined. We may have good knowledge in our particular subject but there are also many other candidates who have same knowledge. A pleasant personality with good knowledge in that particular subject is desirable. There are too many candidates who are eligible with good knowledge and pleasant personality. Today a good personality is a must and we need to learn to have good personality for getting a white-collar job.

3. Money Power: You are a knowledgeable person with a pleasant personality. But do you have money to pay for your white-collar job. If you have got money then why do you want to work? Today, not only specialization in the subject with pleasant personality – you may also need money to pay for your works to be done on time. The rich people are becoming richer day by day because money plays an important role in every aspects of our life. If you go through unfairly by paying bribe in interview, you have better chances to get a job. If you pay something to the interviewers – the interviews will never ask you any difficult question that will disappoint you. But purchasing a job is one of the most corrupted task or criminal act. Some of the rich parents purchased job for their sons or daughter, which is one of the worst evil acts in our society. Some time jobs are purchased by rich people and those capable people willing to work are frustrated, which lead to take up undesirable job or some other criminal acts.

4. Political Influence: You are specialized in your subject with a pleasant personality. Of course you also have money if need to be paid. But where do you pay or bribe without the political influence. In this corrupted political society – you need a very influential political leader. You may no need to pay bribe but you need some one to influence the recruiter or interviewer. In today’s corrupted society – your money and political influence is equally important as you have good personality and expert in the field. We may be expert with good personality but we can be put to shame by asking very difficult questions during the interview. As not one is perfect or have thorough knowledge in any subject – the interviewers can ask difficulty question that will put you down. However, if you pay the interviewer through a corrupted political leader or influential person – you are sure to be selected if you have got good personality and knowledgeable in your particular subject.

Today, to get a white-collar job in state or central government – we need to have thorough knowledge (expert), a pleasant personality, money and political influence. There are many people who are specialized in their field with a pleasant personality. However due to lack of political influence, they were landed into disappointment. Today we may need the above four attributes that will help us to get a white-collar job in many states and central job. Even if we don’t have the above four attributes, we should have at least have first two attributes. Once I was on my way from Delhi to Pune. Inside the train, I met a student who is doing MBA from IIM. He is acting over smart because he is doing MBA from IIM. Then I told him, “I appreciated that you are doing MBA from a re-known institute. But you should be specialized (expert) in your particular course – otherwise you will become another salesman in the market” Then I also told him that there are too many MBAs who are passed out students without getting any desirable job; it is not necessary that you will get a white-collar job because you are doing MBA from IIM. After listening what I told him, his facial appearance suddenly changed. Some people may think that if we have good political influence or money power – we can get a good job. But unless we meet the minimum criteria for the job – we cannot get job practically.

Many people are frustrated because of the corrupted political influence and money power. But we have the other ways too to get white-collar job. Regardless of all the political and money influence – we need to work harder to specialize in our own field and have a good personality so that all the people who are depending on money and political influence may be put to shame. The political and money influence commenced due to mediocre sons and daughters of the politicians and rich people. But this may be possible to reduce when their sons and daughters study hard and have better personality and smart like other common people. R.B. Thohe Pou

On sovereignty and what the Naga struggle is all about

By- Kaka. D. Iralu

Having written about the Naga struggle for over nine years and having written over one thousand pages about it, some fellow Nagas (and perhaps even Indians) may already be fed up with me and my opinions. I am also quite aware that I have repeated myself on many occasions. However, allow me to once again express myself with the following article.

Yes, what is Sovereignty and the Naga struggle all about? Here I would like to emphatically restate again that our struggle is to be sovereign and Independent.

In other words, it is to be a nation among the nations of the world. This assertion on our part is based on irrefutable, historical, anthropological, political and legal facts that bind all nations on earth.

Now, on the basis of these universal facts, what is the meaning and implication of sovereignty and independence with relation to the Naga struggle?

In the present Naga context, though the ordinary Naga soldiers and villagers are quite clear as to what sovereignty is and what they are fighting for, our leaders on the other hand – both overgrounds as well as undergrounds – seem to be totally confused as to what sovereignty is all about.

For example some of our senior Nagaland (Indian) State politicians are now saying that sovereignty has changed its meaning over the years and that economic sovereignty has now overtaken the meaning of political sovereignty. They go on to say that in the peculiar North Eastern context, we have to redefine the meaning of sovereignty and adopt one that will suit our own context.

Then there are some of our national leaders who, despite the fact that India had invaded our sovereign lands in 1954, and despite the fact that ever since, a foreign Indian flag and Burmese flag have been flying over our lands; they are still continuing to insist that sovereignty of the Nagas is still with the Nagas.

These leaders are now talking about a Federal relationship with India – the invader country. Now to clear up all these confusions created by our own leaders, let us examine the meaning of the word Sovereignty in its linguistic and political context:

Here, let us begin by stating this linguistic truth that: “Words” apart from their association to material objects has no meaning in themselves.

For example, if I, an Angami Naga is talking to an African in my own dialect, and I am saying ” This is my mouth,” ( Haw ame) without pointing to my mouth , the African gentleman will not understand what I am saying. All that he will be hearing will be some phonetic sounds with no meaning whatsoever! However, if I point my fingers to my mouth and say “This is my mouth;” then though he doesn’t understand my language, he will comprehend that I am talking about my mouth.

Words therefore have no meaning in themselves apart from their association to material objects. This is true of any words and their association to material objects, whether it is in relation to the stars, the moon or the whole planet earth and all that is in it.

Conforming to this linguistic law, the word sovereignty too, has no meaning apart from its association to material geography and material human beings. Now in the context of this linguistic truth, what is the meaning of the word “Sovereignty” or its synonym – “Independence” in relation to the Naga struggle?

In the context of political science and sociology, to be sovereign is to be self governing in one’s own geographical territory. It is to be free and independent of any other nation’s political dictates or Constitutional control.

Here, like the word “My mouth,” the word “Sovereignty” also has no meaning apart from its association to a concrete material geographical land and a material self governing people inhabiting that land with their own distinct history, culture and laws.

That being the definition of sovereignty and independence, a people and nation like the Nagas whose lands have been invaded by two other sovereign powers is no longer a sovereign country. After all, when the writ and laws of India and Burma are controlling our national affairs and when their flags are flying in our national lands, how can we claim that we are still independent?

We have in fact become “Subject” nations of these two invading nations. In such a situation, the only option left for the citizens of the suppressed nation is to take up arms to defend their declared sovereignty against the occupational forces. In this context such armed, self defence activities of a suppressed nation can never be termed as “Unlawful Activities.” Far from it being “An unlawful activity,” it is in fact the most “Lawful activity” waged against the “Unlawful activities” of the aggressor nations.

In our case, these two nations are India and Burma who are, against all political and international laws accusing us of indulging in “Unlawful activities” under Regulations like the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967 etc. This is exactly why Naga citizens and its soldiers have been waging a war of self defence against the invasion forces of India and Burma for the past 60 years (1947-2007).

Now, on the basis of the above stated facts and also in exercise of my Naga traditional democratic rights, allow me to address the following questions to both our respected over-ground as well as underground leaders of our nation.

I am posing these questions to you because confusions over political terms and their meanings have brought us into a state of fratricidal killings and even the bleak prospects of a very bloody civil war among ourselves:

Questions to our over ground (Indian Nagaland State) leaders.

  1. What do you mean by saying that as long as we improve our economic and human resources, we can become sovereign within the Indian Union?
  2. While appreciating the importance of economic sovereignty of a nation, is there one single nation in the whole modern world where such a particular nation has complete economic sovereignty to the extend that, that country does not need any imports-technological or material- from any other countries for their economic survival? Also, can economic sovereignty be equated with political sovereignty?
  3. Are not political sovereignty and economic sovereignty two different issues altogether? In my understanding, political sovereignty means a country that is politically independent from any other nation’s interference in their national affairs. As for economic sovereignty of a nation, it means the economic self sufficiency of that particular nation.

    In other words, in a general sense, when we talk about political sovereignty and economic sovereignty, we are talking about “Freedom” (Political and legal in nature) and “Food” (Material and physical in nature). In this politico-economic context, as far as I am concerned, a full stomach will not automatically result in a sound sleep if, as in our case, the Indian Army under AFSPA can enter our houses and even shoot us to death on mere suspicion.

  4. Can we Nagas, spitefully redefine such an important and universal political term as “Political sovereignty” into “Economic terms” so that our compromised political stand- caused by the 16 Point Agreement- can be justified before India and the world? Some of our over ground national leaders indeed betrayed our political sovereignty in order to gain economic benefits from India, when they signed the 16 Point Agreement in 1960. Here, please do not try to justify that treacherous betrayal by mixing political terms with economic terms.

    If we, a small nation try to do that, then the rest of the world can sue us in an international court of law for trying to twist political terms that are crucial for the political survival of any nation on earth. After all many nations have gone to war with many other nations when their political sovereignties were threatened by external invasions. Here we have absolutely no right to redefine political terms with economic terms and insult the sacrifices of other nations who have also suffered like us in human history.

Questions to our Naga national leaders.

  1. As you go for final crucial talks with the Government of India for a federal relationship with her, what do you mean by a “Federal relationship with the country that has invaded our lands?”
  2. Do we not already have a Federal relationship with India because of our over ground leaders who treacherously signed the 16 Point Agreement and made Sovereign Independent Nagaland into an Indian State in 1963? Are you trying to further consolidate this betrayal and condemn all future generation of Nagas into Indian citizens and Indian subjects?
  3. When our Naga Yehzahbo in Article 1, with reference to the integrated Naga territories of Nagaland had clearly stated that “The territory of Nagaland shall comprise of all the territories inhabited by the Naga tribes…,” what integration of Naga territories under the Constitution of India are you talking about with India? Does one sovereign nation ask another nation to demarcate its national boundaries and integrate its people under the political umbrella of that other nation?
  4. What do you mean when you say “We have not given up sovereignty; sovereignty is with the Naga people?” When a foreign flag is flying in our country and foreign soldiers are empowered to even shoot us to death on mere suspicion, can sovereignty of the Naga nation be still with the Naga people? Is political sovereignty a feeling or a spirit that can still reside in the hearts and minds of a nation even when their leaders have surrendered their political freedom and political geography in a federal relationship with the invading nation?
  5. At the beginning of the present peace talks, India had clearly stated that independence of the Nagas is an issue that cannot be discussed in the talks. What then have you been talking for the past nine years? When the real issue is not being addressed, can there be a solution to the issue? “When will this nine years’ ‘diplomatic dance’ with India finally come to an end?”( The phrase; “diplomatic dance” has been borrowed from an African lady who recently spoke in the CNN over the Darfur imbroglio where the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the UN have been talking and talking diplomatically without bringing out any concrete solutions for the suffering millions of the Darfur tragedy).
  6. I for one will salute you, if you walk away from this nine year ‘diplomatic dance’ with India, if the present Indian leaders will continue to refuses to address the issue of Naga independence. Thousands upon thousands of both Nagas and Indians have already died over this issue in the span of the past 60 years. If however, Indian leaders will still try to evade the issue, then what is the point of having any further dialogue with India?
  7. In a deadlock of the present peace talks, I fully realise that the only alternative will be for Nagas to unite and go back to war against India and Burma with the assistance of other nations. But won’t that be a far better option then the present trap into which India has trapped us by effectively dividing us into factions and are compelling us to fight among ourselves rather then with her?

The Naga struggle for independence will have to go on until our freedom and liberty is finally achieved. In that struggle, let us remember that India and Burma are not the only two nations on earth. We can surely over rule their arrogant attitudes and stance with the assistance of other nations that are much more powerful then they.

In conclusion, pardon me for the very blunt and uncomfortable questions that I have posed to you. But please understand that my generation – your sons and daughters – have also suffered with you for the past half a century.

Please therefore do not condemn us into a bloody civil war by compromising the sovereign independent status of Nagaland at the end of 60 years of blood and tears.

After all, all those sacrifices were freely given by our own kith and kin so that Nagaland can become a Nation among the nations.
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 Source: e-pao.net Kaka. D. Iralu, Noted writer and outspoken social figure of Nagaland, wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on August 22, 2007 .

INSURGENCY IN THE NORTH EAST: THE ROOTS OF VIOLENCE

By: Arijit Mazumdar 

The North-East continues to be racked by violence with no signs of the situation improving. The wave of deadly attacks in Assam and Nagaland in October, where over 50 people were killed and close to 150 injured, proves that insurgency is still strong in the region. The Government of India and the respective state governments of Assam and Nagaland have condemned the attacks.

Although, any decent human being will feel repulsed by these attacks on innocent civilians, we must still allow ourselves to look at the insurgency in the region from a holistic point of view, rather than through the lenses of the recent attacks. It is too simplistic, as some commentators have done, to dismiss insurgency in the region as merely a tool of certain insurgent leaders and demagogues to pursue their selfish ends.

There are certain valid reasons why the north-east in particular has been wreaked by insurgency. There are five major factors that have promoted insurgency in the region – immigration, economic underdevelopment, poorly developed transport and communications links, the negligence of the central government, and corruption among local politicians and elites.

It is widely accepted that continuing immigration from Bangladesh, encouraged by politicians eager fill their vote banks, have caused a demographic and social shift in the region. This has ultimately proved harmful to the indigenous people of the northeast who have been swamped in certain areas by these new immigrants. Already scarce jobs and resources will be further stretched as the competition for them increases. Educated, unemployed youths sometimes have no option but to take up the gun after becoming frustrated with the sad state of affairs.

The other factor that fuels the insurgency is economic underdevelopment. Even today, after half a century of Indian independence, the central government has not developed large-scale industries in the region. The tea industry and the oil refineries in Assam are the only industries worth mentioning. Even these industries have catered more to the needs of the people outside the northeast than within it. There is a consequent lack of economic and industrial development and thus prosperity and jobs are hard to come by.

Poorly developed communications and transport links are additional factors that have given rise to insurgency. Political isolation has resulted because of this. The region as a whole is “walled off” from the rest of India. People outside the region seem to have little idea as to what is going on in the northeast. Residents of the northeast believe themselves to be a distinct group who are shunned by the central government and the rest of the people of India. Political isolation gives rise to feelings of frustration and neglect. One must also not forget that some people in the northeast feel that the region was never a part and should not be a part of India.

These in turn give rise to feelings of intense ethnic nationalism, where some people desire to take the matters into their own hands. They perceive, rightly or wrongly, that they will be able to do a better job at administering themselves than the central government. The desire to be masters of their own destiny and not live on the pittance of others leads some to take up insurgency.

The central government has been historically unsympathetic to the troubles of the region. While turning a blind eye to the pressing problem of immigration, it has used the military to brutally put down even legitimate demands in the region. Its idea of solving the north east insurgency is by a piece by piece approach, i.e. initiate peace talks with each insurgent groups and sign peace agreements.

The flaw in this method is that these negotiated peace deals rarely address the larger issues involved which have given rise to insurgency in the first place. There are so many groups in the region that initiating talks with all those who have grievances will take an eternity, quite apart from the fact that the average time taken to negotiate a peace deal can span almost a decade. Unless the central government addresses the larger issues involved, insurgency will remain.

Finally, we must not discount the role of local politicians in adding fuel to the insurgency. Some of the politicians in the region have developed a vested interest in the insurgency. Sometimes they incite one group against the other and thus ensure that the violence remains endemic. There have been numerous accusations against politicians encouraging particular groups and also receiving money from them. To them insurgency has become a business out of which they maintain their livelihood.

Many of them get elected because they are able to secure support from some groups. They complement the central government when it comes to mismanaging the affairs of the region. They are far removed from the ordinary people of the region and remain cocooned in their plush air-conditioned offices while their state burns outside. Local politicians have not placed a premium on development and their use of security forces to put down protests has driven many to taking up arms.

Therefore, we need to keep all these factors in mind. Insurgency is not a single-issue phenomenon. In the north east, insurgency is not about selfish individuals and groups indulging in violence to fill their coffers. It is about people taking up arms because the government – central and state – has failed them completely. It is about getting their honor and dignity back and it is about trying to right the wrongs that have been perpetrated against them. While not discounting that some people have selfish motives, insurgency cannot be explained away only on this basis.

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Arijit Mazumdar, currently pursuing PhD in Political Science at Miami University, Ohio, USA writes for the first time to e-pao.net.
The writer can be contacted at mazumda@muohio.edu
This article was written on 28th October 2004.

Westoxification of Nagas

By: R S Mayori

Today’s fast paced world, hardly enables students and youths to sit together under one platform and discuss issues that holds weightage to their own lives and people are turning more and more into techno and cyber savvy. It comes in with many tag of “fast” like fast food, fast car, fast life and fast people.

We have witnessed that Nagas strive dauntlessly to generate awareness of the indigenous peoples’ right to cultural development and advan-cement based on the international human rights and humanitarian laws, through the institution they try to set up to provide a platform where Nagas can learn to be Nagas ourselves again.

The Nagas’ way of life has been transformed to a great extent through the walk of life in history from the coming of Christianity to the Indian military crackdown on the Nagas resulting in innumerable violation of human rights, huge loss of innocent lives and most of all the veiled attempt to de-establish the complete identity and integrity of the Nagas’ by sheer military might.

Our narratives have been interrupted by Colonialism till today and our ancestral and past linkages have been broken and lost. Our culture, our stories are getting lost and are fading away at a high rate.

The erosion of our identity, culture and values system is making most of the youth confused. The alienation of the traditional education system and breaking of oral culture is posing a great danger to the whole society of Nagas as a whole.

Myriad of confusion among the youths and some vested interested people are adding up again to the already confused society. The infiltration of western culture and its toxin starts off from the moment the white people appears into our life which is multiplied by Indian toxin.

The westoxification of Nagas is clearly visible even within the so-called learned and religious people of the Nagas. The corruption level has not spared the religious leader. One of the instances is the case which has been going on for more then five years.

The Reverend versus Reverend and Doctors in Indian court filed for robbing of innocent people’s money in a broad day light of Tangkhul areas. The United Team Leadership Ministry (UTLM) fund – Ukhrul Area Development Project’s Money (UADP) amounting to Rupees 40 lakh was robbed off and the signatory of the people who have drawn the money from behind the curtain on dt. 23/12/95 are two very prominent Church leaders.

If given a little more efforts by scholar and do research on all this cases 90 percent of the cases that is hanging on the thread have got to do with money and power. Nagas need to re-define themselves with the pair that need to go together a long way. The two terminologies which spin up the pair are Nagas and money. Another westoxification that is penetrating in our society is breaking down of our social traditional structures.

Jacob Shaiza wrote on 15/07/06 “Tussle for hegemony in Ukhrul” in the Nagaland Post. “Taking cue from Th. Muivah, they shared the emotional meeting they had with him who told them that the blood, tears, and sweat they had undergone for the all these years are all because of the unique custom of the Nagas that define the true meaning of the unique history of the Nagas. The present Indo-Naga talk is given importance based on this undeniable fact.”

We have to keep alive our culture and traditions and cannot impose alien culture claiming ourselves to be educated. We cannot go back to the past but we have to move forward so we have to reclaim our culture and history.

Educated and civilized doesn’t mean copycatting other’s value and system which is not applicable to the Nagas. We need to re-affirm ourselves as a Naga again and again when Nagas are in the midst of Chaos and turmoil created by the Government of India.

The Naga nation consists of around 47 tribes, each with its own language and culture and yet they are united by their shared history against foreign domination and the dream of living as one people, one nation. The Nagas are the original settlers on their homeland and their territory has been well demarcated from time immemorial.

The uniqueness of the Naga people lies in the fact that they have continued to live as a united people despite the fact that its lands have been illegally divided by the British by an international boundary between India and Myanmar. Nagalim was never a part of India by consent or conquest. The uniqueness lies in the fact that we still own our land as community and we follow our customary laws unlike other tribals of India.

The Nagas have continued to evolve modern political institutions and organisations in consonance with the democratic principles of Nagas’ society. Naga polity is based on equal representation for each tribe, large or small. It is the same principle on which the United Nations functions: one nation, one vote.

Thus the Naga Students’ Federation is an apex body of our students and it has two representatives of each of the Naga tribes. so does the Naga Hoho. Some tribes are very large with more than 300 villages; each has an equal representation from each tribe.

Within each tribe also the same democratic principle is followed. And the polity is based on consensus and not election which promotes conflicts and power struggles to the detriment of the people.

Almost all the Naga organisations functions on this democratic principle of equal representation of all our people without allowing the politically and economically powerful tribes to dominant decision making.

The set up of Nagas, from people to village level, from village to community, from community to the nation. Nagas never had a culture of Panchayat system which is introduce by the Indian so does the Chairman and secretary system is the twin of Panchayati Raj. The introduction and encouragement of this clone of Panchayati raj is the first step and a strong agent to the destruction of the Naganised value based system.

Thus even though the Nagas have been divided by artificial boundaries we continue to live together by evolving modern political institutions along the principles of our ancient way of life. This is the way we have not allowed our society to fossilise and we have developed, evolved and changed our customary laws and traditional practices.

Changing and improving doesn’t mean imposing of alien culture and practices that we have learned from Indian education system. This evolving and developing our system has allowed the Naga people as a whole to keep alive their dream of living together under one roof.

This gives the Nagas nation a unique history. The relationship of Nagas with their homeland is symbiotic with their lands, forest and hills. We are a people whose culture, society, polity and economy are defined by the relationship between the people and their land.

The people’s relationship within themselves in the social structure of the society has made us come all the way where GOI has re-coganised our uniqueness officially. Nagas should not put all this achievement in peril for a few vested interested people.

When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.” —Yevgeni Yertushenko


R S Mayori wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on 22nd August 2006.

Some thoughts on Indo-Naga problem

By: M Tolkham Maring

I, born as a great Naga citizen, from the soil of free Nagalim, would like to write some of my personal views on the Indo-Naga conflict.

First of all, I would like to state that the news expressed in my presentation makes no claim to represent the larger sections of the Naga public but it is simply more of a sincere exercise in inquiring into what is the Naga problem and what may be the likely solution for the problem.

Many of the generalised views expressed here may suffer from gross bias. Having said that, let us put quite directly and simply as to what is the Naga problem.

From the Indian Govt perspective, the Naga problem is the political struggle going on the Naga area against the Constitutional authority mainly through armed insurgency.

Why is there this Naga problem?

The Indian Govt version has been that because of mainly economic neglect, misguided unemployed youths took up arms and therefore economic deprivation is the main culprit.

Those more liberal concede that more devolution of power to States i.e; emphasising on the federal system for the Indian union will ease much of the tensions and conflicts between the state or region vis-a-vis the Centre.

There are varying section, some favouring an assimilation policy of bringing into the mainstream while others advocate a non-interference policy in the general development.

The Govt’s various approaches basically boils down to a carrot-and-stick policy where it seeks to reward those who toe the Govt’s line by accepting to come into the Constitutional fold while ruthlessly pursuing to punish those who take up arms by overwhelmingly deploying the army.

This is one version of the story to the problem.

The other version, is of course, the Naga perspective to the Naga problem.

What is the Naga problem? For them, they feel they are a people and nation by themselves and that so to assert this is part of their fundamental human rights.

Why is the Naga problem for now more that half a century now? The answer to it is because they are an independent loving people.

When dealing with the Naga problem, one tends to easily fall into the idea that Nagas are hostile to Indians. This is a fallacy.

One should focus on the point that Nagas are fighting for their independence because they feel they are colonised in which present case it happened to be the Indian Govt whom they had to struggle against.

It has nothing much to do with whether the Naga people who are geographically isolated at the periphery loves or hates the Indian people.

In fact, the Indian civilians do not face any harassment and the marketplace in all major Naga areas are almost totally owned and operated by them. Another fallacy is that economic development will act as an important factor in containing insurgency.

To my opinion, the Naga problem while it may be partly fuelled by economic miseries is basically not an economic one but a political issue.

To bring any hope of a settlement, the Indian Govt must sincerely appreciate that it is a political issue calling for a very substantive political dialogue with the representatives of the Naga people. An unconditional talk is a good basic ground to start off with.

However, the Govt must encourage the Nagas enough by way of broadly hinting what all its moods, intentions and scope are. The Nagas are today apparently wary of even the present Govt offer of unconditional talk because it is not sure of the real intentions of the Govt.

They are afraid that it might be an empty unconditional talk set up as a ploy for varied reasons besides confusing the Naga people.

Any settlement for the Naga problem has to keep in mind a long term perspective to peace in the Naga region. A hasty and inadequate settlement such as the Shillong Accord created only more frustrations and political turmoil in the Naga areas.

Suggestions as to how to pragmatically solve the Naga problems need to come up in the forms of debates much more frequently to create a congenial atmosphere for finally implementing some of the feasible ones.

To my mind, the Indian Govt will do probably well by working on a peace proposal package similar to that of the Middle East Peace Accord.

Some of the things in the Accord was granting autonomy straightaway along with permission to the Palestinians to have control over planning its own economic growth and keeping their own flag. And even have control point is Israel holding forth the likelihood of giving independence in the near future if political stability and good relations are maintained.

This kind of offer may be seriously mulled over even by the underground political leaders. But there must be a clear concrete time framework for this. I am suggesting this so that the Naga course in self-determination may follow a less violent path as much as possible.

Even in case it is not accepted readily, such a proposal if backed by enough political will, can be in the meantime effected by overground political leaders. If such a process is sincerely and effectively implemented the day when the insurgents and the Indian Govt comes to the tables to find the final agreeable permanent peace solutions may be much sooner.

Another issue which the Indian Government should look into is to give up divide and rule policy over the Nagas by aiding in the integration of all contiguous Naga areas into one single political and administrative unit.

Presently, Naga areas which are contiguous to the State of Nagaland is included partly in Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and a very large part in Myanmar. Keeping the Nagas divided has added greatly to the discontent among the Nagas.

The present Nagaland legislative Assembly had passed a bill unanimously calling for the reunification of all contiguous Naga inhabited area with the State of Nagaland. The Union Govt should pursue this matter seriously.

Lastly, I am inclined to sincerely believe that if the Indian Govt shows seriousness in bringing an end to the Naga problem, the Naga people may not be disinclined from having defence ties and wide economic cooperation besides others as the Naga area lies as a major gateway to the economically booming East Asia and Southeast Asia.

A military solution which the Indian Govt has been striving for about 50 years now has yield no tangible results but just a mounting record of atrocities and brutalities alienating the Nagas ever further away from India.

The military approach is perhaps not the best way to represent India to the Nagas who were once very fascinated by Gandhi. The Indian Govt need to rework out a Gandhian approach to the Naga problem.

Cheap quick fix suggestions for solution to the Naga problem is what we have had enough and can do without at this time.

It is high time to work on goodwill by thinking som-ething substantial that may be acceptable to the Nagas.


M Tolkham Maring wrote this article for The Sangai Express. This article was webcasted on December 06th, 2006.

The need of Naga Reconciliation and Suggestion

By: Awungshi Angam

Nintheenth century French Social thinker, the Father of sociology, August Comte, developed a social theory called ‘positivism’. And according to it, there is an invariable law that governs the interaction among social phenomena as the natural law does to physical world.

To Comte, much of the chaos, conflict, disorders and squalor in the society is due to ignoring this basic law in the interaction among social phenomenon. When human interaction takes place in accordnace with this principle, problem in the society will be minimized and there will be order, progress and development.

There is a grain of truth in Comte’s philosophy. When human interaction takes place following certain step (social norms) the interaction is smooth and we get our desired objective.

A simple Mathematical principle of 1, 2, 3 will make Comte’s idea clear. Suppose we want to get the number 5, we must start counting from below, say, 1, 2, 3, 4, and arrived to 5.

This is basic rules or formula of mathematics. But if we ignore this rule and start counting from 6 then we will never get the targeted number 5 because we have ignored the basic rule of math. The same is the case in our social world.

Conflicts is a part of social phenomena and to find the desired solution the same law is applicable, depending on the nature of conflict, situation, (Social context) and time. In my opinion, Comte’s law of positivism can apply for the lasting solution of Indo-Naga political conflict.

Based on the nature and the past experiences of the Indo-Naga conflict, the basic step we need to take according to positivist law would be ‘reconciliation.

In other word, to arrive at proper logical conclusion, reconciliation among various conflicting groups within the Naga society, should be the first step. (Reconciliation should be extended to various levels of Naga society such as tribes, politicians, civil societies etc but due to lack of space here I am referring only with under ground groups)

British and the Indian have created Indo-Naga political problem and initially, Nagas struggled with one objective to be free from India. However, in the course of last almost a century struggle, many vested and undesirable elements have infiltrated in the movement and made the whole issue highly complicated.

One of the result of this have been ‘divisions’ among the Nagas into so many factions, to some extend, based on ethnic line, thus diluting the objective of the movement. The consequence is, Indian do not know to whom they should engage and talk seriously and thus keeps on playing ‘divide and rule policy,’

But the more serious consequence is, on the Nagas themselves; instead of fighting with the enemy with a focus mind, we fight among ourselves and wasted much of the energy, manpowers and time. Today many poor Naga mothers live in tears because of the lost of their precious sons and daughters, who died, not for a noble cause but due to meaningless fighting among ourselves. On the other side, the enemy looks on us with smirk and continue to play their game.

Thus the numerous factions among the Nagas has been the most costly game and the greatest obstacle toward achieving our cherished dream, NAGA NATION’. And as long as we remain divided we will continue to pay the cost and suffer no matter how long we struggle.

No Naga should live under the illusion that in such circumstances we will ever achieve our dream of ‘Promised Land.’ Based on the past experience, it may not be wrong to predict that, signing an agreement at the moment with New Delhi will bring more disastrous consequences to our society.

Hence, if Nagas have honest desire to solve our problem once and for all, we must follow the basic law that governs social behavior step by step and arrive at the proper conclusion. i.e, to begin from reconciliation and then move to the next .

Hence, in my opinion, regardless of the cost we have to pay, Nagas must cross the bridge of ‘reconciliation’ by any means in order to enter the Promised Land.

No matter how long we have struggled and how long we are going to struggle, how many sons and daughters we have sacrificed and how many we are ready to sacrifice, without crossing this bridge, it will be impossible for the Nagas to enter the co called ‘Promised Land,’ Because we know well, as of today, the problem is not outside us, but within us and that is ‘division’ inside our house.

The old maxim, ‘Strength in Unity’, seems to have lost its meaning but it is still relevant for Nagas.

Several individuals and groups have shared their opinion regarding ‘how to reconcile’. Let me also share some of my thoughts concerning the matter.

First, Situation demands that Naga hoho, Naga Churches and Naga politicians should play pro-active, positive and neutral and above all prudent role in this reconciliation process. We all know many individuals and civil societies including Nagaland Govt. have been trying since last a few years to reconcile different groups.

But to our great disappointment, till today we did not see any positive result, rather the matter seems to have become worse. We need to pause for a moment and check ‘if any thing has gone wrong in our effort’ and if necessary rectify it.

Naga hoho is the apex social cultural and political organization of 40 different Naga tribes. Thus the organization represents the collective will of three million Nagas living scattered across the country and the globe.

Hence at this moment of crisis, the only organization that can play decisive role and redeem our society is Naga hoho. Thus hoho should rise above the interest of any tribe, or groups and take very positive neutral stand and deal with the situation firmly. I) Hoho should not take side to any factional group, regardless of right or wrong, but be on the neutral seat.

Why? Standing with one group unintentionally hurt others group and pushes away from the table of reconciliation, whereas the need of the hour is bringing them together. We must understand the intricate nature of Naga politics.

Let us be honest, there are a lots of misunderstanding among the groups, besides, vested group, tribe or personal interest. This is an undeniable fact. The simple evidence is, while each one talks about ‘Naga sovereignty’ which is the paramount objective of the struggle, they refuse to come together and fight on one foot, which indirectly exposed their own hidden agenda.

Because of this, when Naga civil societies supported one group the other group feels the sense of alienation and ultimately fear that they would be ignore when the game is killed and become more aggressive. This is the very reason that NSCN( K) and NNC became more aggressive in the recent past when the negotiation between the IM and New Delhi seems to going on smoothly.

Honestly speaking, quite notice to Tangkhuls by the K, and threatening of Mr Muivah’s visit to Nagaland is the fruit of this. Thus Naga civil societies, especially hoho, must understand the sensitivity of the matter and stand firmly as a neutral body. II) As the depository of ‘Nagas Collective Will’, (NCW), hoho, on behalf of all the Nagas, should strongly urge the different factions to come to the table of reconciliation.

If any factional group or tribe defies the CWN, hoho should denounce the group with clear term and declare them as ‘betrayal’ of the Nagas. This should be followed by instruction to every Nagas village to boycott the member belong to this group, including denial for shelter, financial help and or any help.

Such a bold decision and stand by the Naga hoho would produce a positive result paving the way for the solution of the problem. Above all, at this hour of crisis, Naga civil societies such as NPMHR, NSF, and Nagas Mothers and others groups must stand solidly behind the hoho and back them for the interest of all Nagas.

What should be the role of the Church? Many are against the involvement of church in politics. But we must know that the Indo-Naga conflict is not only a matter of politics; it is much more than that; the issue has become a cancer in our society affecting each and every aspects of social and individual’s life. The matter needs to be treated differently and thus the necessitated the involvement of Church.

Church is the second largest social religious institutions in Naga society as about 98% of Nagas are Christian. Through the church proper and right information can be decimated to each every member of the Naga society and form public opinion about the issue. Down throughout the history church has been playing this significant role in the society. Naga churches can play the same role today as the time demands.

I) Church must clarify its stand on the Naga political issue based on the Biblical perspective. If the church is convinced that it is the ‘Will of God’ that Nagas should have “a nation”, then the church must seriously pray and support the cause with every possible means within its scope.

(Church leaders need no fear because there is no fear in carrying out God’s mission because God gives us not the spirit of timidity and fear but courage and boldness) Along with this, our Church leaders must teach on the pulpit clearly what is right and wrong before God and cleans up all the dirty elements within the movement. Many of our national workers are attending churches and meetings. They must be taught and reprimanded if necessary when they are wrong.

For instances, in the name of Nagaland for Christ, they should not extort money, in the name of Nagaland for Christ, killing one another can not be tolerated, in the name of Nagaland for Christ, taxes should not be collected and build individuals palaces, and in the name of Nagaland for Christ, they should not interfere in the village development program such as road construction, the life line of poor Naga villagers.

Such activities of the national workers reduced our national movement to mockery. The problem with Naga church leaders today is that they seem be confused on the issue. Confusion coupled with fear of the people, lead to helplessness to take any initiative & ineffectiveness of their voice. Our church leaders should not act like Pilate who surrendered the truth, Jesus to death, due to fear of the crowd. Let us know that we are carrying out the mission given by our Mighty Living God, who is above all the powers.

II) Naga church leaders must stand on one feet. Thread to church leaders by any group for reprimanding for their wrong behavior, should be taken seriously as an attack, not to the individual, but to the Church, and denounce with clear term. Naga churches should not be under the dictate of any group whether high or low except God. More over, church and Naga hoho should work hand in hand so that their struggle will be more effective.

Naga MPs & MLSs, along with Naga hoho and church, must play more positive role considering the long-term interest of the whole Nagas. No politician should play double standard game to save his or her skin. No political party should try to manipulate the situation to serve their vested interest and continue to sit in the seat of power and glamour.

Doing so is gamepling with the life of Nagas. They can have different views on the Naga political issue; to support or against it’ it doe not matter, but should not be double standard and behave like snake; changing their color according to their convenient. Such politics cause unrepairable damage to Naga society. The need of the hour is to take neutral stand with the Naga hoho and urge the different factional groups to reconcile.

When Naga hoho, Naga Churches and Naga politicians come together and urge all the factional groups in one voice, to reconcile, I believe, they will respond positively and that will pave the way for the lasting and honorable solution of our problem.

Second, situation demands honesty on the part of our respected leaders (Underground). Million of Nagas are eagerly praying for our leaders and are supporting them financially by paying taxes out of their meager incomes, sacrificing their desire to eat a delicious meal once in a life time.

Our leaders must be honest to them and to God, whether they are fighting for interest of the whole Nagas or they are fighting to fulfill their own hidden dreams. If they are honest, then they must come to the table of reconciliation because this is the need of the hour, desire of every single Naga and the only way to find solution.

Reconciliation involves forgiveness. Forgive is costly and painful but the fruit of forgiveness is wonderful. Jesus, in whose name we fight, Nagaland for Christ, cried bitterly on the cross and died- shedding his blood to forgive our sins. Forgiveness of Jesus reconciled us to our Holy God and gives us wonderful peace, joy and hope. This is not just a philosophy but practical truth.

South Africa could have been destroyed completely due to carnage of racial war between the whites and the blacks. But when Nelson Mandela, branded to be the heinous criminal and imprisoned for 21 years by the white regime, became the President, without any pre-condition, forgave them. (The whites) Mandela declared, ‘past is past, we have to look forward and build our nation; South Africa belongs to all, both whites and blacks’.

What a great man! The whole world watched with great fear anticipating; blacks would wipe out the whites within weeks. But because of one man, Nelson Mandela’s great heart of forgiveness, today South Africa is emerging as one of the most vibrant & dynamic and peaceful nation among the developing countries.

Forgiveness is painful and costly but the fruit is sweet like honey. We wish our Naga leaders to imitate the character of such a great man and forgive one another and reconcile among you. Though it’s hard and difficult, the day, our leaders come forward and shake hand with each other with big smile, every Naga soul, including our poor mothers who live in tears, also will smile together with you.

By doing this you would reveal your true greatness and love for us. Then Nagas will surely find lasting, honorable & peaceful solution which they have been longing for.

Kuknalim!


* Awungshi Angam contributes to e-pao.net regularly. The writer can be contacted at awungshi_angam@yahoo.co.in . This article was webcasted on January 05th, 2007.

The Challenging And Changing Face Of The Nagas

The Challenging And Changing Face Of The Nagas
By: L Kameih *

We the Nagas were once known for the good qualities we possessed. Self-reliance, honesty, straight forwardness, bravery etc, were some of the adjectives used for describing our characteristics.

We, the Nagas were a freedom loving people and known by the high standard moral principles we maintained. Our culture as reflected in the folk dances and folklores, customs and costumes, all bear this testimony. However, if we look at our society today, it is disheartening to see these qualities fast-dwindling from our ways of life.

Our society has changed tremendously since the advent of the British on our soil. The contact with the British brought mixed blessings to our society. Along with the establishment of administrative posts in various areas, modern education and a new religion – Christianity, the menace of head hunting was put under control.

However, with the coming of the British our independent existence was for the first time threatened by following the notorious policy of divide and rule.

The British divided the Nagas and put them under different administrative units to suit their colonial interests. The encroachment of our land took place as a result of British imperialistic design despite the stiff resistance offered by our people.

Nagas could never be reconciled with their losses and Naga leaders made it clear before the Simon Commission when it visited Kohima in 1929, that Nagas should be left alone in case, the British thought of leaving India. The British did recognize the Nagas as a separate and independent people, different from Indians.

However, as events turned out the British had to leave India earlier than expected. Thus by time the British left, they had bequeathed the legacy of unsettled questions and problems of integration of Nagas and territorial boundary to the question of Naga political sovereignty.

Taking the advantage of the situation, the newly formed independent Government of India had asked Nagas to join the Indian Union.

Negotiations between the Nagas and the Indian Government were held and various proposals were made by the Indian Government. However when the Naga refused, to accept anything less than independent status as declared in their 1947 ultimatum, the Indian army forcible occupied our land.

More than five decades have passed since our struggle began, against the aggressive policy of India. Many precious lives have been lost while many were disabled and degraded as result of indiscriminate killing and brutality by the Indian Army.

The torturing and suffering of our people continues even today. Should we forget our rights? Where do we stand now? It is time for every one of us – Nagas to realise our predicament.

Since from the very day of India’s freedom from British yoke, we have witnessed dramatical changes in our society. Under the successive plan period, some development have taken place in the field of education, health, housing, transport and communication, etc.

But the big question that still remain unanswered are: have we really progressed? Have we changed for the better or worse? What price are we paying for all these development? Today if we look at the social, political and economic set up our society, it is ridden with maladies.

Our social fabric has changed and its equilibrium disrupted. Some people managed to get rich overnight.

When the majority of our people still live on subsistence level, the few rich people can afford to buy the latest electronic gadgets, vehicles, build palatial buildings and other things which are fast becoming symbols of social status and powers. Today as a result of easy money many of our people are living with false consciousness and in a fool’s paradise.

At the political front, our politicians are well known for their lack of scruples and full of corruption. Nepotism and favouritism have become rampant. Floor crossing and in-fighting among our MLAs to get minister-ship is a common phenomenon.

As a Minister, their first priority is to get rich quickly by accumulating public money into there coffer. At the administrative level, bureaucratic red-tapism, inefficiency and irregularities are the order of the day. Misappropriation of public funds and our bureaucrats and politicians involving in scandalous deal commonly occur.

In effect, corruption has become the accepted norm in our society. A special type of crime of modern days known as the white collared crime is also not a new thing in our society.

Economically, we are still very backward. We do not have any industries worth mentioning. Our economy is largely sustained by grant-in-aids from the centre and by importing manufactured goods from outside.

In the rural areas, our farmers continue to use the same technology and the age-old mode of production. Despite the various Rural Development programmes being launched, the rural economy remains as backward as before. It has failed, because the fund allocated for the rural developments do not reach the farmers in the villages.

Today, we pride ourselves in becoming more modernized that our outlook and attitude has broadened. Thanks to the influence of modern education. But, in reality, if we look at our society as a whole the degree of modernization that has taken place is still very superficial.

Our material set up, despite a marked change still remain poor and backward. Besides, our willingness to forgo the traditional values and beliefs, we have not been able to assimilate modern values into our social ethos. Neither too, the values and ethics of Christianity, notwithstanding our harping of ‘the followers of Jesus Christ’ and ‘Nagaland for Christ’.

Thus, we are faced with a lack of consistency in our social and moral values. Thereby causing the degeneration of moral standards in our society. Non conformity to social norms and juvenile delinquency (for instances drug abuse, sexual immorality, drop-outs etc) has become a matter of concern in our society.

We Nagas were exposed rather suddenly to the various cultures of the world. This suddenness has shaken our indigenous cultural pattern. While we are very prompt in adopting western culture, we are forgetting our own culture, whereas we are well acquainted with the coke and jeans cultures that is latest western rock music and fashions, we are neglecting our own folk songs and dances.

However, it should be realized that our identity depends much on the preservation of our culture. Therefore, it is extremely imperative that we preserve the good values of our indigenous culture, while importing the good elements from outside.

It is high time for every concerned Naga to re-examine them and work for the restoration and preservation of the good qualities of the past.

We must learn from our historical experiences and whatever mistakes we have committed should not be repeated so that what we Nagas were once known for, fought for, are not lost, and the sacrifices made by our people is not in vain.

In the end, I quote the words of Milton, ‘Awake, arise or we will be for ever damn‘.


L Kameih wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on March 15th, 2007 .