Freedom Of Expression

In response to NSCN-IM’s PR

I read “To set the matter straight” by NSCN (IM) (26th June 2013; Nagaland Post; Morung Express) with a great deal of depredation. At the height of warfare, when the whole population of Nagaland were desperately dodging the zipping bullets there was no time to express an opinion. The citizens of this great land however expressed their opinion in action by staunchly and prayerfully standing behind the National Workers and made supreme sacrifices in the face of great hardships both from the hands of Indian Army and the National Workers. Why would the people of Nagaland do that? They believed that the Naga cause was just. They believed that the Nagas had a God sanctioned right for self-determination. The Nagas were not backing the National Workers for the establishment of a restrictive Freedom; or are we struggling for sovereignty so as to lose our individual freedom? What is the rationality in this? It is about time that the National Workers begin to understand that the times have changed and we should try and change with it. Reason and not threat must now be the civilized norm of interaction. Threat is counter-productive and demeans the Organization.

It is obvious that the attitude of the past difficult times have still not been overcome where threats was the norm of sorting out an argument. I have had my share of differences with the views expressed by Kaka Iralu and Thepfulhouvi Solo and therefore those differences from my point of view have been ventilated in the public domain. I have not read what Kekhrie Yhome has written but the principle applies. It is for the readers to disseminate the information being shared and make their call. The truth however gets diluted and instead causes doubt if it is laced with a threat. Why let our baser instinct cloud our judgment?

The Moral Rearmament used to present a song that said “when you point a figure at your neighbour there are three more pointing back at you”. How true. I would gladly concede that circumstances do dictate our actions. Be that as it may, a line of decency has to be drawn somewhere. It would be much too presumptuous to think that NSCN (IM) is the sole custodian of the Naga opinion and expect everyone to conform to their ways of thinking. There are gray areas that generally concern our future for which the people want answers which are not forthcoming even from them. In a sense this is anti people. It would be proper for them to remember this and moderate their aggressive stance. It certainly is not right to dub every expression that is made as anti-national and a crime against the Naga people. While appreciating the efforts being put in by them, the Organization is not sacrosanct and blameless where their own action is concerned in some sectors that could be read as anti-Naga.

We need to accept the fact that the world is a diverse place where diverse points of views are bound to get expressed. Why insult your position with threats just because you hold the Gun? Replace that gun with brains. We may not necessarily agree with all that is said but in a civilized society the brain is given sway over the brawn. Information that are considered questionable should be rectified by clarifications with facts and leave it to the perception of the readers to ascertain the truth. We firmly believe that truth will prevail in the end. That is the positive and constructive way of thinking to bridge the gap.

Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd)

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