Where do we Nagas stand today

Lumtsase C Sangtam, Japfu Christian College, Kigwema, Kohima

Nagaland as land of festivals was once united and strong. There was less tribalism and less fighting amongst us. We were united to face any problem that arises within and without our land and we were so strong and united that our unity was much stronger than that of the “great wall of China”.

Our forefathers made unconditional sacrifices for our land and our NAGA freedom fighters shed precious blood. We NAGAS have gone through numerous pain and sufferings when our villages was burned to ashes. Still during this painful stage we as a NAGAS were united and strong. But where does our NAGA unity stand today?

During those hurting years, every individual was willing to help one another because the individuals and the leaders too were truthful in every aspect fighting for a common cause. NAGAS who were employed in government sector too rendered their help for our land and do their best to mould our people by bringing different ideas and methods.

From the top leaders to the farmers, only one goal and belief i.e. “FREE NAGALAND” existed. At present many may have faith in the system and the history but not in individuals and present leaders.

Today where do we NAGAS stand? Was it the blood our forefathers shed in vain or is it that the feeling to stand for our rights is dying?

In the early phase of the NAGA struggle, we were real NAGAS because we were united and strong but today whom shall we blame? Is this the policy of “Divide and rule?” or the evil mindedness within us which instigates us to fight among ourselves or is this the illusion to bring greater surprise?

I wonder many a times and cry many a times by thinking about the sacrifice that our forefathers had made by giving their life and believing that upcoming generation will fulfil their dream. But today, we NAGAS are not yet ready.

And will it not be embarrassing to meet our forefathers after our death when they ask us this question; “Are the people in our land studying about how we struggle for freedom?” and we with a shameful face answer, “We are still not united”.

It is very hard to view our position today. Therefore it is high time for us to let GOD be first in every field and to stand for truth as one paving a good way for our younger generation.

NIGHT CLUB/ DISCOTHEQUE A MENACE TO THE NAGA SOCIETY.

By: Apem Hongvah

Dimapur,Nagaland

Before I write about the night life in Nagaland particularly in the commercial hub, Dimapur let me dwell a bit about the history and evolution of nightclub. A nightclub (also known as a discotheque, or simply a club or disco) is an entertainment venue which usually operates late night. It is generally distinguished from bars, pubs, taverns by the inclusion of a dance floor and a Dj booth where DJ plays recorded music. From about 1900 to 1920, working class Americans would gather at honky tonks or juke joints to dance to music played on a piano a jukebox. Webster hall is credited as the first modern nightclub.


During US prohibition, nightclubs went underground as illegal speakeasy bars with rumors circulation of police bribery. With the repeal of prohibition in February 1993 nightclubs were revived and the rest is history .Nightclub entry criteria may vary from club to club. Many nightclubs choose who can enter on the basis other than just age, e.g. dress code and guest list. This is used to make their status as a nightclub more “exclusive “quiteoften, there are no clear policies governing entry into nightclub thereby allowing doormen/bouncer to deny entry to anybody at their discretion. I for one had partied in different metropolitan cities in India and had also organized events in different parts in Indiaparticularly in the capital city Delhi and in NCR region like Gurgaon and Noida. Most of the party goers in cities are working people and of course the universities students. Cent percent of the party goers would hit the club either in the weekend or during their week off just so to relief themselves from their stressfully weeklong workload. There is no denying the fact there always are people who hit with club to gratify their sexual pleasure (depending upon the situation based on consensual).

The existence of club in the so called commercial hub in Dimapur had a different story to tell altogether .I had visited almost all the club in Dimapur which I am not proud of. Whilst I was in Delhi I heard a lot about the nightlife in Dimapur from many friends and I was actually fascinated by such stories which in reality turn out to be otherwise .Unlike the clubs in metropolitan cities there is no such thing called ‘AGE LIMIT’ in Dimapur night club. Most of the party goers are underage (you will also get to see lots of married woman and married man which I don’t object so long as they came and spend their own money) but the problem kicks in when a married man would try to hit a young girl (mostly wearing a skimpy dress) who would of actually been his daughter age. Since the club owner doesn’t check the identity card to confirm about the biological age cent percent of the clubbers are underage with no income or less income (most of them depends on their parents for their pocket money) what is more ironical is the presence of hordes of miya’s , marwaris, Indians (no pun intended- allow me to be a a bit selfish in this) .

I get to see lots of North eastern girl hanging out with the main land Indians, Nigerians, hippies, Russians in metropolitan cities and who am I to raise objection in such matter so long as they are hanging out with mutual consent .However, I never could imagine in my wildest dream that such trend would happen in my own land where I was born and raised. However to my dismay I get to see lots of young Naga girl hovering around with the miya’s or for that matter outsiders.one of the reason why our Naga girl hang around with them could be because they find it more secure with them plus they might as well be paying them (it’s just a speculation tough).

Another drawbacks of nightclub in Dimapur is it doesn’t have any time limit.so long as the party goers continue to shell out their money and buy drinks the club will remain open until morning and thus it gives an opportunity to people who came with ulterior motives to finished their unfinished business taking maximum advantages of those drunk and happy going kids who party like there is no tomorrow and doesn’t mind sharing their bed when given a ride or offer some assistance. I had been told that some young Naga girls had been chased out from their parents because they would sneak out at wee hours almost like every day to hit the club and would return home in the morning (some end up sleeping at their friends place /hotels). The parents couldn’t condone such behaviors which eventually force them to take suck extreme steps in a bid to either keep them at bay or just so to let their child learned a lesson. Such girls would end up living at their friends place or they would group themselves and stay at a lodge or lives in a rented apartment with no income to support which eventually force them to give paid services even. How cheap have we become? As opposed to club in metro cities most of the club goers in Nagaland goes to club like thrice or even more in a week if my source is correct. So you can imagine how do they manage to get the money in the club when most of them are underage with no income or with very less income (I know there are many children from a well to do family as well) keeping in mind the exorbitant rate charge by the club in any alcoholic beverages (in a tax free -so called dry state, underground might as well have their own share ).

There are hordes of hooligans in the club as well. Most Guys would end up flexing their muscles by hitting each other. They would drink like there is no tomorrow and the more they drink the more boosts full they are likely to become which eventually leads to individual fights or group fights. Fighting’s in the club is common phenomenon everywhere but at least in other parts of the world they maintain some level of decency. Group fights can even results in the loss of a life. Most of the Dimapur club doesn’t have a proper lift system and walk over. Any drunken person could of easily fall and hit the ground (I am just saying). Looking at the way things are changing around the world we too want to become one yet the way we behave and act is just so pathetic (pathetic is the word I would want to use).

My whole point being the existence of club is doing more harm than good. I for one wouldn’t recommend having a club in Nagaland at the moment because it still is not at a par with the rest of the world in terms of maintaining a standard and the way we behave .Let us be civil first even if at all there has to be a club in Nagaland (depending on the consensus of the people).while appreciating the Announcement of banning of nightclub in Dimapur by the NSCN (IM) ,it is also requested to enforce in letter and in spirit less it becomes a mockery .In this venture the involvement of civil societies, students activist ,youth leaders is much needed .A holistic approach to address the problem is the need of the hour. It needs a concerted effort from all and sundry. Am certain that the club owner (I don’t have any personal grudges) might try to offer something to let things run as it is. But for posterity sake it will be best to ignore when such offer comes in their table. If the NSCN leaders can manage to do that and if the civil societies can co-operate by not only raising their voice but give their time and energy by educating the masses we can say that we are cleaning up the mess for real .

 

President Mukerjee to inaugurate Hornbill Festival of Nagaland

KOHIMA, Nov 11: Nagaland prepares for the biggest and the hottest ever Hornbill Festival to be inaugurated by President of India Pranab Mukerjee on December 1 to be held at Kisama, off Kohima. Usually the festival is a 7-day affair but going by the overwhelming response worldwide, the Neiphiu Rio government has extended this year’s Hornbill Festival to 10 days. A hefty Rs 2.5 crore is usually spent during the 7-day affairs for events alone. It is not clear how much money is spent for the infrastructure. Abu Metha, an active organizing committee member of the Hornbill Festival confided to Newmai News Network that the 2013 Hornbill Festival is going to witness a strong presence of The Great Britan. “Yes, the British government is taking keen interest in the festival,” said Abu Metha who is also the media advisor to Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio.
According to Abu Metha, it has been confirmed that diplomats from several countries will participate the forth coming Hornbill Festival. India’s noted lyricist Javed Akhtar will also attend the mega festival. Bands from Korea are also performing in the 10-day long event. Corporate world leaders from Yamaha, Airtel, JK Tyres and many others will also participate in the Hornbill Festival.otor Sports will be sponsored by JK Tyres, Music Festival will be sponsored by Roland and Yamaha and Rock Show will be sponsored by Airtel. There have been new items in this year’s Hornbill Festival. The Film Festival, Hornbill Dance Competition, Hornbill Master Chef Competition and many others.
Literally speaking, the kicking off of the Hornbill Festival on December 1 marks the commencement of Christmas parties in Nagaland which will be a one month affairs ending on January 1.Every year, large number of tourists from several countries swoop down to the Nagaland capital for the festival. Hotel managers are busy these days dealing the hectic bookings of rooms in Kohima and even in Dimapur. The Hornbill Express, Senapati

 

Social Institution and Responsibility of Naga society

By UA Shimray 

Social Institution and Responsibility of Naga society

Social responsibility is one the great assets of humanity. It manifests love, caring and collectiveness.

A sense of social responsibility is not sanctioned by the society but evolves with the conscience of individual action. This action later translates as collective duty.

In other word, individual intervention in the society is the basic foundation of social consolidation. And this individual action is moulds through social interaction and communitarian attitude. However, bad intervention could attract disturbing trend inviting chaos and confusion.

Indeed, the most colourful ingredient in Naga society is its “community life.” Traditionally, Nagas work in groups, hunt in groups, eat in groups and sleep in groups.

One classic illustration is the Morung Culture (Youth-Dormitory). Morung constitutes significant social and cultural institution which also serves as basic educational foundation.

However, this institution has been totally de-linked and left to its own mercy of natural extinction with the incoming of formal education and Christianity. Even the present educated Nagas continue to neglect the important of Morung values.

Noted Naga scholar Shishak points out that:
“No human society exists and grows without education of some kind. Nagas were no different.
Since there was no tribal or inter-tribal organization to deal with the needs of the tribes as a whole, each village became solely responsible for its own economic social, spiritual, and political needs.
Such needs required that the young be taught and trained within the village community. One such training center in Naga society was the Morung”
[Shishak, A. Tuisem, “Nagas and Education” ].

Certainly, time spent in Morung can be categorised as – purpose and pleasure. The purpose is to prepare the young ones for all the tasks and responsibilities of life. The village elders often visit Morung to teach techniques of agriculture, basketry, making weapon, hunting, blacksmith and taught them folk-song-dance and narrate folk-tales.

The pleasure activities are social-interactions like playing, dancing and competition. Through such activities, Nagas developed their unique traditional folk songs and folk dance and different styles of spear and dao [knife].

In girls’ dormitory, weaving clothes is one of the important activities. Such practices and collectiveness imparts knowledge and skills. A beautiful Naga shawl is the sole production of the Naga women’s creativity.

Nagas’ Feasts of Merit is also one important cultural phenomenon. Performance of Feasts of Merit is rather expensive [In terms of commodities spent like paddy, buffaloes, pigs and rice beer]. The essence of feast indicates the host’s generosity.

Another important of the occasion is winning the “right” to wear special garments, ornaments and decorate his house in a special way.

This special decoration manifests certain ritual status. The house front gable, which is often furnished with heavy beams carved with heads of Mithun or men or women breast. The erection of stone at the host’s house is to commemorate the feast and symbolic status.

Today, the important of Naga traditional institutions like Morung and Feast of Merit is slowly vanishing in the Nagas memories. Also, considered no longer important.

In fact, no nation can maintain its greatness by disowning its roots, values and legacy. Like other traditional societies, Nagas also possess rich traditions, value system, culture and heritages. With the spread of Christianity and formal education brought a wing of change particularly in belief system, mindset and attitude. This change eventually discarded traditional social institution.

Moreover, Christianity re-modelled the Naga traditions by abolishing feast of merit, ceremonies and rituality. The feast of merit, disapproved by the missionaries in fact has important social and economic significant.

Given feast of merit is a social reciprocal system manifesting generosity, compassion and concern to the fellow community. And most important is sustenance of social responsibility and communitarian feeling.

Anthropologist Hai-mendorf (1978) comment: “It is a pity that the American Baptist Mission had little sympathy with the aims of the Government and even less appreciation of the valuable elements of Naga culture.

Many of its aspects conflict is no way with the principles of Christianity, and I believe that even some of the old feasts and ceremonies… certainly agricultural festivals… could have been adapted to the new faith, given a new meaning and retained by Christian communities” [The Naked Nagas. Calcutta: Thacker Spink & Co.1978: 57]

The parable…

Naga had already acquired the concept of “love your neighbour,” before the advent of Christianity. As mentioned, Naga communitarian is sustain by the various social institutions and festivity activities.

For instance, sharing of harvest [crops, vegetables, etc] between the neighbours and relatives is common in Naga society. Also, visit sick persons and helping poor family is regular event. When a man killed wild animal during the game, he has to share his catch to the entire hunting group.

Even share small piece of meat to the people who happen to pass by or witness the game [It is believed that if the flesh is not shared, the hunters become unlucky in their future hunting expeditions]. There is no individual cultivation nor harvest, and no individual house building.

One can remember the parable of the “Good Samaritan” [Holy Bible, Luke, 10: 25] to understand the meaning of neighbour. So what the word neighbour really means… It is someone who bonds with you and society you lives. It is not necessarily the man next door to you.

Lawyer wanting to test Jesus Christ and ask what shall one do to inherit eternal life. Jesus countered by asking what the law said. And the lawyer replied to love God with all his heart, soul, strength and mind and to love his neighbour as himself. “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live,” Jesus said.

Not satisfying, the lawyer countered again, “And who is my neighbour?” Then Jesus told the lawyer the parable of the Good Samaritan- and its important.

In the parable, it was the Samaritan who helps the man who have been beaten and robbed by thieves [In fact, Samaritan was hated by the Jews].

Now Jesus ask him, “who was a neighbour to the man?”…the lawyer did not want to say “The Samaritan” because that was distasteful and replied, “He who showed mercy on him.”

 Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

source:e-pao.net