In addition to Dr. Tuisem Shishak and the response of the NSCN (IM)

12/08/07 In addition to Dr. Tuisem Shishak and the response of the NSCN (IM)

If there is anyone to come out boldly like Dr. Tuisem Shishak to confess the misdeeds of his tribe, I know I am not the person to do so for my tribe, the Sumi Nagas; as such I am making no confession for my tribe. But if anyone can call himself a Naga than any Naga. As a legitimate son of the soil Mother Nagaland and a Naga youth whose future would depend on how we respond to present scenario today, I am compelled to share a piece of my thought on this issue.

I was and am expecting the elders and intellectuals of every Naga tribes to come out openly like Dr. Tuisem Shishak because no tribe in Nagaland is righteous. By confessing our wrongs and forgiving each other, I don’t see why Indians should take advantage on us. The Indians would rather be shaken by the strong bond and unity we maintain among ourselves.

This write-up is not meant to defend Dr. Tuisem Shishak of his past or future, but only a commentary on the present write-up. I have never met Dr. Tuisem Shishak as such not acquainted to him. My intention is to condemn the reaction, but presenting my thought to the Nagas.

It would be wrong if we do not acknowledge the pain and suffering of our National Freedom Fighters of all times who have sacrificed everything to fight for the Naga cause. It would also be wrong for those organizations who want to claim the new cleared road as their road, when someone has taken all the pain to reconstruct a new road from a dead end!! Under such circumstances we must surrender our pride and follow the new leader rather than to claim as ours. But if the new leader is expected likely to lead the people to another dead end, suggestions must be regarded as worthy rather than insult! Nagas know Nagas problem more than the outsiders (Indians). A dirty minded man throws too much praise on others so that they never catch up.

In my 27 years of life, I have seen Naga families, especially; families having Naga Freedom Fighters living in ‘fear and mental trauma’. Who are they afraid of? NAGA BROTHERS!! In the past Indians were seen as our sworn enemy, as such they were much feared, but today we have realized that we can be friends with even our ‘occupational forces’ and have a political dialogue with them, because this is a world of ‘wisdom and reasoning’ rather than brute force! “Pen is mightier than sword”. Is this notion applicable in Nagaland?! Now I ask our RESPECTED leaders of all NATIONAL ORAGANIZATIONS; why do you all seek peace with a foreigner, but can not have peace within yourself? The simple answer is, you can not forgive what you have done to each other yesterday, yesterday is more important to you than us (the Naga youths), and if I am not too harsh, the NSCN (K) and NNC/FGN can not admit what the NSCN (IM) is doing for the Nagas today! The NSCN (IM) on the other hand can not create a room for these organizations to unite. How can anything happen when the heart is not willing to come down and is only expecting others to bow down.

The Bible interpreted in the Naga context; “First make peace with your own Naga brother and seek peace with a foreigner (Indian).” We’d like to see the other organizations also having indefinite peace with India, but is more interested in seeing real peace prevailing between Naga Brothers. Can we reason together Dear Respected leaders?

Truth is bitter, and I must say that apart from the national cause most of our underground leaders do not know the truth because you do not want it. Which organization is not self righteous? Nagas are divided into different belts where people (intellectuals or ignorant) supports this or the other group. When I interact with my fellow Naga people I never carry guns (because I don’t have one!) that’s how I get to know the truth. I keep saying that there is no tribe that can claim complete innocence because we are all responsible for creating our Naga problem. I also keep saying that no tribe is less a Naga than the other, but do you know what other people say? It’s for you to comprehend.

As a Naga youth with less credentials I have been able to meet only few Naga Soldiers and Officers; in most cases the soldiers just follow orders, but are brainwashed to hate others, and the officers are very honest in ‘pointing out the mistakes of other factions’ and are even ready to forgive, but most unfortunately fails to admit their own mistakes!! That’s where the problem lies.

‘At the moment’ I must say that the NSCN (IM) is on the highest steps of the ladder, but does that mean that IM should become so self conceited? I tell you many Nagas who wants independent Nagaland do not want to support you; I hope you take this constructively. Why can’t the NSCN (K), NNC/FGN and NSCN (IM) humble yourselves and unite among yourselves, and why don’t you stop associating with the Indian Intelligence to find out about each other?! You are all a laughing stock in the eye of the Indian Intelligence, for sure.

Dr. Tuisem by coming out openly seeking forgiveness from each other and heal our land I do not understand why we should extremely exaggerate our reaction out of proportion! No one can restrict the Nagas to become truly righteous in the True Love and Spirit of God. When a Sümi speaks a word of healing should another Sümi draw others also to join the chorus to condemn that man?

When all Nagas should truly forgive each other and unite not in words but from the ‘heart’ to press forward the Naga issue, should we condemn a man to the point of death and proudly profess our faith in Christ? I guess we are no better than Pharisees.

I repeat the word of Dr. Tuisem; “Simply shouting Nagaland for Christ will not do”. The NSCN (K) and NNC/FGN also must acknowledge what the 1M is doing and unite among yourselves, and correct if you must. All the Naga underground groups and Naga Populace should also admit our mistakes by surrendering our PRIDE if we really consider ourselves as NAGAS. Our self righteousness would only drag our issue further to the point of no return. What is the use when Nagas have no unity; it is only going to be another replica of Military state like Burma or Communist China where you can speak no truth! All I can say is Democracy is not likely favored by our leaders of today; be it underground or overground, what they want is Dictatorship or Autocracy. We can’t trust ourselves but can trust even MIYAS!!

I want to earnestly request our Leaders to rather stop accusing each other through cheap publicity and intellectually dumb write ups, which is mostly irrational and illogical with no humane values. Your acts mostly override the Principles of Natural Justice, but you always try to justify yourself, as if the Naga populace are ignorant. Every sensible Naga public who understand the Naga issue supports the Naga movement, but not your stupidity. “As much as we need you, you need us too”. In most cases since your guns are pointed towards the Nagas more than the Indians, your trigger happy acts have made the Nagas too passive to respond honestly. Do not blindly call yourselves ‘People’s Army’; win the hearts of the Nagas, especially youths, only then Naga dreams can be translated to reality.

In my few exposures I have always identified myself as a Naga, even when my friends introduced themselves as Chinese or Koreans!!! Whenever I join the Internet, I don’t give a damn with whom I am chatting, but I always identify myself as an Independent Naga politically under the temporary subjugation of the Indians. If any faction or leaders are working to sell the Naga future they must give up on moral ground.

I must say that, as a general observer, I can admit that the confession of Dr. Tuisem was rather harsh on the surface, and too much indication to the extent of rubbing salt to the wound, but over all rating, the literal translation of his write up, read in whole, shows that it is very logical and reasonable.

If only you quote a particular sentence or few words out of a sentence you can see lethal poison out of a most beautiful sentence or paragraph or write up. If Dr. Tuisem in anyway is against the Naga National movement, may he be corrected by God. He is a man of God, so we can be sure that he must have read thoroughly Mathew chapter 7 and James Chapter 4 till the end. I hope our Naga organizations NNC/FGN and NSCN (K) would also be open to criticism and suggestions of the Naga intellectuals if you want unity among the Nagas.

Unless Nagas stop killing Nagas, I will not promise, but I can say that you will be missing out some real good stuff, that is ‘intellectual back up from the innumerable well balanced and not lopsided Naga thinkers’. As of now, a balanced man will always be seen as suspicious, but a divisionary a party!

If anyone wants the best for the Nagas and truly wants Nagaland to be called, ‘Nagaland for Christ’. I am for one who would want to see it becomes a reality. Elders, intellectuals and leaders from all tribes, can the Naga youths expect you to heal the bedridden Nagaland by coming out openly with the mistakes of your tribes? God forbid if you claim your tribe to be Truly Righteous.

Lest we want Nagaland to be another African States like Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, etc where civil wars and problems have killed all the old and wise people and their land is now in chaos and confusion.

If Tangkhuls have done wrong to the Nagas, all Naga Tribes including my Tribe have also done wrong to the Nagas. Can we hear our Naga intellectuals now? It is rather a time to reason both ways than to issue threat both ways!

Joshua Sumi, Sümi Naga, 6th Semester, Kohima Law College.



One thought on “In addition to Dr. Tuisem Shishak and the response of the NSCN (IM)

  1. Response to Tuisem Shishak

    I read Tuisem’s “A Confession” article on the run, so to speak, as since receiving it I have been traveling.

    Tuisem quoted from “An Appeal” published last February in Nagaland dailies. The appeal was to save innocent lives and promote dialogue after NSCN (K) had issued their QUIT NOTICE to Tangkhuls residing in Nagaland State and killings had started followed by threats to repeat them. As one of those who signed the Appeal it is in order for me to respond to what Tuisem, a cherished and respected friend of many years has said with such conviction.

    Put together after agonizing over it for days, as he indicated at the beginning, the article is a much needed contribution of great value for our society’s growth. The discussion it should kick-start should get all Nagas who care involved in unpacking and unraveling the multiple complications of our crisis which all tribes together have produced – the “advanced” tribes contributing the major share. It shows how each one of us can first acknowledge where we and our tribe have been wrong, thus inspiring others to do likewise. Can we deny that our loudness about the wrongs and mistakes of others and our silence about or denial of where we are wrong or failed which has hurt others has created vengeful hatred and finally resulted in “Nagas (being) at war with Nagas”? The answer lies in those who are concerned coming out with what we truly feel and learning to listen to God and one another with respect, tolerance and even appreciation so that the truth or what is best may win. An awkward and unpopular line to take, it may often be, but there is no other way for God to help us.

    Tuisem has certainly risked being wrong, misunderstood, misinterpreted and vilified because, not only he does not want his silence to be misunderstood, but he also passionately wants our multi-tribe society to communicate truthfully and develop caring for one another. This is my reading of his intention and I do salute him and express my humble solidarity with him.

    His strict impartiality is clear. And making no reckless or motivated generalizations Tuisem has exercised his right and moral duty to say what he has been seeing and wrestling with. His challenge to the “other underground factions, and other Naga tribes” is direct and justified. He asks, “Are they not also participants in today’s Naga mess?”, and asks, “I am not the one to answer these questions. All I know is that somewhere we have to stop blaming each other, and start confessing our sins to each other if we ever hope to see peace in our land”.

    We must correctly evaluate and appreciate Tuisem’s all-out sharing of his concerns and beliefs as a Tangkhul and as a Naga at this critical juncture when we are torn between the forward pulls of the vision of peoplehood and nationhood, and the counter-pulls of the deep mental reflexes and attitudes of the past that have produced vigorous tribes down the centuries. Costly, ceaseless struggles to survive have naturally deepened our defensive fears and made us distrustful, cautious and fiercely combative. Yet, though coming as we do from such a background a compelling desire to become a people and a nation has taken hold of our imagination for which so many have suffered and died. However, not surprisingly, walking together is proving to be such a strange, difficult exercise and we are tempted to give up the attempt and just “enjoy life” trying to ignore questions that refuse to go away.

    By speaking up frankly Tuisem has brought right into the middle of our crisis the refreshing simplicity of what is right and wrong, straight and corrupt, what is Christian and what is not, and what is wise and what is dangerous shortsightedness, and therefore will not work. If we do not provide our society with such a foundation on which to reason and search together how can we create a safe future for the coming generations?

    On September 28, 2006, in Dimapur, NBCC called for the beginning of a process of “Honest Conversations” among the Naga people for the healing of our relationships. The “Confession” has given a powerful impetus to this fledgling conversation.

    Honest Conversation is an idea whose time has come. President Clinton launched it in his second term to get the American people to address the inter-racial, cultural difficulties in their society at a deeper level. The experiment has proved its worth and Hillary has pledged she will continue it should she become the next President. International diplomacy has started to give serious attention to the potential of this untravelled road for finding sustainable solutions to conflicts. His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke for this emerging thinking when, welcoming the 21st century and the new millennium, he proposed, “The 20th century was known for terrible conflicts and destruction. Let us make sure the 21st century will be known for dialogue, mutual respect and just progress for all mankind”.

    What we Nagas are also trying to do now is in keeping with this dialogue alternative having been hurt so badly already by the ways that have not worked. Let us inspire one another to do that which is right and needed. We will be surprised by the result if we want nothing for ourselves.

    By Niketu Iralu.


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