This War of Words Must End!

By Rokovilie ChakhesangIntroduction:
Of late, I have been through certain topics in the forums of http://www.kuknalim.com, some of which have been published in some local dailies in Nagaland. I’m a newbie (new user) in http://www.kuknalim.com but I would like to share a few thoughts which I believe would be contributory towards bringing a solution to end the ongoing war of words…

The real world has always been and will always be full of conflicts of varied intensity. The Naga people have been witness and victim to inhuman, unthinkable and sadistic atrocities perpetrated upon us by the Indian Armed Forces. The past more-than-half-a-century has been the bloodiest period in the history of the Nagas. The Indian Armed Forces have inflicted grievous wounds not only on the physique of the Naga people, but also on our psyche. After all these decades of bloodshed, there has been an attempt to resolve the longstanding conflict between the Nagas and the Government of India.

Recognizing each other’s uniqueness:

In February 1993, when the then Prime Minister of India, the late P.V. Narasimha Rao, came to Nagaland, he actually said that the Naga issue is a political issue which needs a political settlement. In pursuance to the desire of successive Governments of India and the Nagas to come to the negotiating table, the NSCN (IM) entered into a formal ceasefire agreement with the Government of India (GoI) effective from August 01, 1997 while the NSCN (K) also entered into a formal ceasefire agreement with the GoI effective from April 28, 2001. The road towards attaining lasting peace and an ultimate honourable solution is long and winding. Both the Nagas and the Government of India continue to pursue the desired goal for permanent peace and an honorable settlement acceptable to all sections of the Naga society. When the then Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Nagaland in October, 2003, he recognised the uniqueness of Naga history which has gone on record. In the course of his public speech, delivered on October 28th, 2003 at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima, Vajpayee further said (and I quote), “Who can forget that in critical times of war in 1962, 1965 and 1971, Naga undergrounds did not fire on the Indian Army.” The wars are an obvious reference to the Sino-Indian war of 1962, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. This proves that the Naga people are a valiant yet respectable foe. The crux of this issue? Recognizing each other’s uniqueness!

My point here would also conform to the saying, “One good deed begets another.” Throughout a long history of violent struggle, there have been chivalrous moments such as those mentioned in the preceding paragraph and that is exactly what has sown the seeds of trust and hope towards attaining a permanent peaceful solution to the vexed Naga political issue which has graduated from a jungle war to the negotiating table. A small step taken from each side has led to the progress towards finding a solution to the age-old conflict.

Case Study of Cause(s) and Effect(s):

I have noticed that the ongoing issue in http://www.kuknalim.com has stemmed out of differing views and opinions of the members and guests vis-à-vis the Naga political issue. I understand and respect an individual’s right to freedom of thought and expression, but it is unfortunate when he/she should choose to arrogantly express his/her thoughts at the expense of the pain and suffering of other people! I have noticed certain member(s) quoting the Naga “freedom fighters” as “gun totting extortionists” besides making fun of the Oral Tradition of the Nagas by terming it as “hearsay”. When a member expresses his/her views without understanding the CAUSE which led the Nagas to take up arms in the first place, and dwell only on the resulting EFFECTS (as to why they carry guns), I cannot help but perceive such a member to be intellectually bankrupt when it comes to the Naga issue. Every cause has an effect, and every effect has a root cause. I have also noticed some member(s) relying/banking heavily only upon the writings about various Naga underground organizations posted on http://www.satp.org (as quoted by them) without attempting to understand the ground realities the other side(s). I find this part amusing. Why do some members harp only on the writings there? Now some member(s) are so pathetically bankrupt intellectually that they have turned into parasites who feed off the highly questionable intellectual integrity of some retired Indian Police Service Officer vis-à-vis the Naga issue.

Since the member(s) concerned have openly declared the source of their self proclaimed knowledge over the Naga issue, I can’t but help think that they are more or less mere parrots, repeating the voice of a bigoted system to undermine the Naga political issue. I am sure that the license to extreme violation of human rights under the guise of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 cannot bring about any superficial or realistic calm over the Nagas. The views of the member(s) concerned would be more substantial if they themselves would come to Naga inhabited areas and do a case-study. First hand views of any issue hold more weight rather than diluted accounts aimed at negating the facts. Or in simple words, come, see and study the ground realities and then judge.

Coming to the case of Oral Tradition of the Nagas being referred to as “hearsay” by the particular member, I deem it as charity to feed the knowledge-starved mind of a pseudo intellectual. Oral tradition is the transmission of cultural material and other knowledge through vocal utterance handed down from generation to generation with the intent to keep the culture and tradition vibrant and safe from erosion or obliteration. Are not the epic poetry of the Iliad and the Odyssey examples of the combined oral literature and oral history of the Greek Civilization before it was recorded in writing? Whereas, on the other hand, “hearsay” is pure and simple rumor or gossip with the intention to indulge in mere idle talk which creates more damage rather than bringing about any benefits.

Comments, from a particular member, who has the traits of a pyromaniac hell-bent on igniting the wrath of the Naga people with seditious comments, are found in many topics relating to the Naga issue. Perhaps the most demeaning comment towards the Naga people and the Naga political issue which I have come across till today is a comment from that particular member which reads like this: “I jeer the idea of sovereignity based on the power-hungry ambitions of a few, imposed on their larger ethnicity (which is but ONE of MANY ethnicities in this country) under the garb of a “difference” based on superficial grounds of race and religion (both of which are to be found in good measure amidst the “others”).
and It is my RIGHT to jeer….as long as Im not making personal attacks on anyone.( which is more than what I can say for a lot of the people “posting” in the threads)
I doubt if that right to jeer will be guaranteed in the “promised land” of the divinve-right-invoking insurgents.”

Now, let’s try to assess the brazen display of mental dysfunction from some of these lines:
(1) “…… power-hungry ambitions of a few….”: Who are those few? Care to name them? If the concerned member can’t name those “few”, his claim is no more than an erroneous perception.

(2) “…imposed on their larger ethnicity..”: Imposed? What does the concerned member know of the solidarity towards the Naga political issue? To use the word “imposed” means that the concerned member must have conducted a plebiscite or poll as to how many Naga people actually support the Naga political issue and how many don’t. I seriously doubt he conducted a poll on the matter which compels me to aver that his view is another instance of parasitic feeding off diluted information.

(3) “…….(which is but ONE of MANY ethnicities…): Whoever disputed the fact that there are MANY ethnicities “in this country”?

(4) ….under the garb of a “difference” based on superficial grounds of race…”: Difference on superficial grounds? Ever heard of Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India? Does the concerned member understand why it was incorporated into Constitution in the very first place? Ever tried reading it? If the particular member has read it, it proves his incapacity to understand. If he has not read it, then it proves his ignorance as well as his arrogance. Further, it’s an irony that the concerned member thinks that the “uniqueness” and the Naga “political issue” is superficial when former Prime Ministers of India like late P.V. Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee have acknowledged the Naga issue as “political” which needs a “political settlement” and recognized the “uniqueness of Naga History.”

(5) “…….It is my RIGHT to jeer….”: Some definitions of “jeer” are “make fun of”, “deride”, “scoff” and “taunt” etc to name a few. So the concerned member is hell-bent on contemptuously provoking the Naga political issue at the cost of all the blood spilt and the pain and suffering faced for more than 50 years. Is this “RIGHT,” which is bereft of any humane approach, but rather fuelled with sarcasm, justified? SARCASM IS THE GREATEST WEAPON OF THE SMALLEST MIND.

(6) “….as long as Im not making personal attacks on anyone.”: Very true. This line proves my point. The concerned member is not making personal attacks on anyone. He is attacking the entire Naga people with his verbal tirade!

It is precisely such kind of successive, egocentric propelled comments on a variety of Naga related issues by irresponsible member(s) which CAUSE dissension in http://www.kuknalim.com while the reactions of the other members are the resultant EFFECTS. I would like to ask those perpetually cynic member(s) some few questions. “Have you ever been caught in a crossfire and have had to run for your life?” “Have you ever turned a dead body over only to see his brains spilling out and a dead eye staring at you in the face?” “Have you ever seen a man struggling for his life even though his head has been partly blown apart?” The pain that I have felt after witnessing these incidents myself has been more than enough for me to understand in depth why our society needs healing. If I, an unknown person unrelated to the unfortunate victims, can feel this way, imagine the hurt their family members must have felt. Only God knows why He destined their fate to be so, but as a Naga, it pains me to know that the fratricide goes on. Its easy to comment from a distance, but to actually understand and feel what the system is like, you have to be there to witness first hand, live through it, and continue to survive. I hope logic will pierce through the thick veils of conceit worn by some particular member(s) so that they refrain from committing similar mistakes henceforth.

Solution-based approach:

Let us be pragmatic and adopt a solution-based approach to the various issues particularly the ongoing War of Words. Hence this post is necessitated because THIS WAR OF WORDS MUST END. Let us find the solution instead of pointing fingers. Let us try to heal the wounds instead of picking at the scabs. This suggestion goes out to all responsible, matured and understanding members in general and some member(s) in particular who constantly provoke our sentiments in various unwarranted ways as cited above. The solution to the ongoing war of words lies within ourselves. While I respect every individual’s freedom to comment, I request that he/she be responsible and maintain atleast a modicum of decorum while posting their comments. On the other hand, we have numerous challenges to face in the contemporary context. The Nagas have had to bear the onslaught of bullets, ill effects of drugs and alcohol, and in addition to all these problems, the present generation faces the biggest challenge whatsoever to the very existence of mankind: the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The answers to these issues are not easy to find. Let us put our heads together and be the harbingers of change in our society. Put your opinions across, but kindly do not revive the long suffered wounds or racially discriminate your fellow friends. Let’s be diplomatic and humane in our approach and accommodative in spirit. The battery of hate posts directed towards the Maos and the Tangkhuls and others (if any) is totally unwarranted and uncalled for. Let’s refrain from being misanthropic and work cohesively to do away with the thorns of tribalism. As for the Site Administrator and the website being blamed for “promoting” tribalism, I would negate that allegation because it is only meant to create more confusion. If the site was promoting tribalism as alleged, no right thinking person would have continued to be a member. So, on a positive note, I want to suggest a more comprehensive formula. Since http://www.kuknalim.com represents a community, every member should participate in the tedious task of identifying and weeding out the inflammatory posts instead of leaving the responsibility entirely up to the Site Administrator or the topic Moderators. The basic concept of community participation, in this case, being empowerment of the kuknalim community members to conduct effective policing against anti-social elements besides constructively utilizing the various facilities provided by the site. LET’S JOIN HANDS TO KEEP KUKNALIM CLEAN.

Bottom-line: We are pointing fingers at each other because of certain members who believe in Chinese whispers! I believe that it lies within our power to be more responsible members with our comments and inculcate a positive outlook towards finding solutions to all the issues that plague our contemporary society. Let not the future generations question us.
I believe that God has created everyone differently with a purpose. Like an artist, he has painted us in various hues and colors. I believe that it has always been and is the honest intention of the founders/administrators of http://www.kuknalim.com to project us as a beautiful bouquet of wild flowers. Instead of pointing fingers, let us join hands together towards keeping our home on the net cleaner and free from discrimination. Instead of taking a step back, let us come forward in unison towards a common goal – to make http://www.kuknalim.com an even better home for Nagas on the net.
Let us remain beautifully united in our diversity. Let us put the theatrics to an end and allow good sense to prevail. To err is human but to forgive is divine, it is said. I believe that to err is human, but to admit and rectify one’s own mistake(s) makes one a better person. A wise man learns from his own mistakes. A wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.

P.S: THE POINTS MENTIONED ABOVE ARE NOT MEANT TO IGNITE A HATE CAMPAIGN AGAINST ANY MEMBER(S) IN ANY WAY BUT IS INTENDED AS A CASE STUDY AND THE QUEST TO BRING AN END TO THE ONGOING BARRAGE OF VERBAL ABUSE SO AS TO FACILITATE A BETTER AND HEALTHIER ATMOSPHERE.

source:kuknalimcom on 20/07/07

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