By: Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd); Forest Colony, Kohima
Nagas have reached the edge of our hope. We have been building a house of confusion brick by brick that adds to further confusion and confrontation rather than solving problems. We no longer have a platform where sensible discourse can be had. There is no uncontaminated social organization strong and upright enough to initiate actions that could transform and protect the rights of the common man. Without doubt, a true frontal organization free from political bias is the need of the hour. How we create this is the key issue.
I still strongly hold the view that the Naga Hoho had its origin with the Nagas of Nagaland and got bogged down in the later stages, transforming into a Pan Naga platform and not the other way round as some would have us believe. The destiny of the Nagas of Nagaland should not and cannot be dictated by Pan Naga Organization, however much we welcome them into our fold. The irrationality of the Naga Hoho in its present form, representing all Naga Tribes from elsewhere, dictating terms as to whether Nagas of Nagaland can or cannot have a forum is pathetically presumptuous, disgusting and downright insulting to say the least. Who the hell do they think they are to pass such a judgment!? The camel and the Arab scenario is being enacted here. The brothers from other States has overrun our tent and we now stand out in the cold. With what brains are the Tribal Hoho representatives of Nagaland in the Naga Hoho participating in this tomfoolery? The Nagas of Nagaland do not need the blessing or the permission of a Pan Naga Organization to structure a platform to deal with our own kitchen problems…period!
Having said this, let me reaffirm that having a Pan Naga Organization is a necessity to comprehensively deal with Naga issues in the National and International stage. It should carry itself in an entirely different plane instead of meddling with the internal affairs of the Naga community of Nagaland. It should find a different loftier identity that befits and defines the collective status of all the Nagas from everywhere: call it Pan Naga Federal Assembly; Pan Naga Federal Hoho call it anything but not usurp Naga Hoho which is the property of the Nagas of Nagaland. This is an identity that the outside world defines the Nagas of Nagaland. In the disappearance of an apex platform exclusive to the Nagas of Nagaland it is my presumption that the move to launch NTC has been prompted to fill up this vacuum. This is also considered a need under the present pilfered circumstance of the lost ground by the Nagas of Nagaland. We do need an exclusive apex body to deal with our own internal pressing matters. The Naga brothers from other States should consider one simple truth that as long as Nagas of Nagaland are unable to firmly stand its ground our weakness will conversely impact on their ability elsewhere. It is as much in their interest as well to ensure our well being. My father used to say, “It is downright stupid to stand at the edge of a cliff and challenge others.” It would be wise on their part not to push the Nagas of Nagaland to the edge of the cliff less we all fall together down the precipice. So consider what have been said about forming a meaningful all encompassing Pan Naga platform rather than corrupt the honourable origin of the Naga Hoho.
In as far as the formation of NTC is concerned, what bothers my mind seriously is the aftermath escalation of ego clashes between the Tribal Hoho and the NTC, both existing within each Tribe. It must clearly be understood that each Tribal Hoho, even if affiliated to the Naga Hoho, would still remain the apex body of that Tribe however wayward and visionless it has become. They would definitely define their existence as a welfare representative of their Tribe as much as the NTC would express itself likewise while considering the Tribal Hoho as an entity outside their concern. Saying “NTC will have nothing to do with the Tribal Hoho” will in fact start the first confrontational note, because they are there nevertheless. When each begin to assert itself we usher in Mr. EGO presently sitting patiently on the fence. The base objective would get undermined and Mr. Welfare of the Tribe would be thrown out of the window. Confrontation, friction, differences of opinion and approach within each individual Tribe that otherwise does not exist as of now would emerge. It is just but human nature to do so. Do we need this?
It is on this analogy that I felt NTC should first take a matured steady step as a “conscience platform” before irrevocably launching its existence. As a ‘conscience keeper’ NTC should first facilitate a brainstorming session of all the Tribal Hohos of Nagaland, other NGOs and senior citizens inclusive of the ENPO brothers and see what they feel about the loss of our identity platform. The outcome of the discussion should provide us with the way ahead minus confrontation. Give ourselves a chance to find a path of least resistance as the first option rather than take an aggressive uncompromising stance. If constructive efforts ultimately do not bear fruit, NTC would still hold the option to go ahead with what has otherwise been pre-designed but not before.
“We mean well for our people” is often said while doing just the opposite. Let’s mean well and do well for our people for a change. What is the hurry?