I sometimes feel a little respect for Mrs. Shusma Swaraj though my compass needle generally points away from the direction of the BJP. She is engaging, fresh looking, has a good voice and maintains a friendly demeanor even when in serious contest with her enemies. But when she threatened to shave off her hairs in protest against Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s possible elevation to the Premiership of India some years ago because she claims: “she is a foreigner”, I felt aghast! How could such an educated dainty Lady in this civilized age contemplate to do such a thing?
At the beginning of the Naga Political Movement, when the educated were precious few, it so happened two fellows -friends from their childhood- of an Angami Village joined the Naga Army. One of the two did not even had the slightest idea of the English people have a 26-letter Alphabet and the other could only barely differentiate A from B. On joining the movement, the
literate one immedia-tely got the rank of an Instructor and Army Code demanded Recruits to salute their Instructors. The non-literate fellow was dumb founded at the prospect of saluting his bosom friend and true to his cultural trait; he would not bring himself to salute his friend. He promptly went to the higher-ups and told them: “I am prepared to do things you may require me to do, but salute my friend, I will not do.” “You change the Rule”, he said in no uncertain terms and left.
Later on Tangkhul College educated boys and girls joined the Movement and the atmosphere in the Naga Political Movement changed for a higher and more efficient gear. And despite the concentration of power in a few and a shocking lack of a Reverence for Life particularly for the Human in the Organization; all the Tangkhul top leaders of the IM are highly educated and most other less educated Nagas grudgingly got the indication whenever they coughed. Therefore when, one prominent in the Society [Society includes Government also] -Rev, Dr. Tuisem A. Shishak made an open free liberal critical analysis of the
Naga National Organizations and the Naga Communities; including his own Tangkhul Community in particular rather incisively, it was perhaps a golden opportunity, a first cue for all the other Naga Communities to ask themselves: “what does the people
say of me”. Instead, surprisingly the IM Government vehemently criticized Dr. Tuisem and even gravely threatened him physically. Many Nagas of good sense in their mind questioned the sagacity of the Organization. But now, on top of that; the Tangkhul Long has Ex-Communicated Rev, Dr. Twisem A Shishak!
This is a very sad thing; it sends an unfortunate message that transcends the Naga Communities beyond the Tangkhul Long. What is surprising is the completely identical view of the IM and the Tangkhul Long. Ex-Communication -differentiated from Exile- in this modern free civilized age smack of archaic tribal traits and fundamentalism. The most unfortunate and unbelievable part of the Ex-Communication is that Dr. Tuisem is prohibited even from “religious” worship of God from the Church in the Tangkhul Community. The Ex-Communication is unfortunate not only for Dr. Tuisem but also for the highly educated Long as much; it indicates a veiled threat to its member’s Freedom of Expression and sends an unwritten message to them that it would not entertain criticisms it does not like to hear.
The Tangkhul Naga Long may perhaps have to be a little more tolerant, expansive and a little more liberal than this before other Naga Communities look up to the highly educated Long.