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JULY2012

“If you want to see the change that we all hope for, invest in US - your children - today” - Children of Stepping Stones School

To Bring Change, We Need A New Song IMKÜMRA Nagas need a new song in order to recover our humanity. The Naga story has been dehumanized and distorted to such an extent that it is no wonder that Naga children learn to dislike their own heritage and negate their own people, history and existence. All too often these distorted representations of Naga life and culture force the children to find solace when identifying with the images and life of another society. In these compelling circumstances, the idea of Change as an antithesis to the status quo is indeed daunting. The Naga desire for Change is not just for today, it is for a future. Therefore, in the quest for change Nagas need to consciously and consistently peel away the lies that continue to suppress the truth. How do Nagas distinguish the perceived truth from the real truth, particularly now that the lies have become the perceived truth? These are difficult questions that challenge us, but it is part of the journey that we need to undertake for Change. The sheer will and power to revolutionize our lives and induce Change shall constitute our defining point. Or else the Naga people, as Steve Biko once said for his own society, would breed a race of beggars who smile at the enemy and swear at him in the sanctity of their toilets. Change in the Naga context is the assertion and determination of the Naga character. It is timely for Nagas to ask ourselves whether we are serious about making change. Are Nagas prepared to free themselves from the chains of bondage that have stopped us from thinking critically? Do we value human dignity and well-being more than the so called progress related to development, financial security and the institutions that are showered upon us by those who continue to keep us in chains? Are Nagas handicapped by our acute crisis of confidence that we are unable to take forward looking steps? Nagas are finding it extremely challenging to think outside of the present conditions and to contemplate Change, and

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the MUSE Third world rebel

envision a possible alternate future. The erosion of Naga confidence in our own future is destroying our present social, moral, cultural, spiritual, psychological, economic and political fiber. It is ironic that the once confident Nagas are beginning to lose faith in the very values that defined and shaped our future and purpose. It is time for Nagas to reflect and hear what the heart is saying. And it is reassuring to know that when one listens intensely to the heart, the self will be reoriented to the inner truth that recognizes how to pursue justice with dignity. We need to once again believe and find hope in realizing of our sense of purpose and existence. Hence, let us rise above our sense of victim-hood and overcome our self-indulgence and selfpity. Nagas need to dream once again and to find and create ideas that give confidence and meaning in our lives. Above all, we are required to rediscover the need to respect all forms of life and to end all actions that dehumanizes fellow human beings by healing the wounds that have separated and alienated one another. For Change to be real, we need to understand where we came from, where we are today, and what we are moving towards! And in order to do so, Nagas must reclaim our heritage, reclaim our stories; and erase the myths that have distorted our rights, identities and values. We need to begin addressing history in a way that embraces the richness of our cultures and one that will liberate us from the outdated parochial systems that continues to suffocate our lives. Finally, to bring change, we need a new song. Yes, while writing the new song, we may incorporate ideas, thoughts and practices introduced by others, but it is essential that we make the song ours, one that corresponds to the values and realities of our lives and aspirations. Hence, to bring genuine Change in our lives and in our land, we must engage in a process of freeing our minds and singing a new song. The idea of Change is rooted in the people and therefore Change must begin with you and me. Just as in the old days, Nagas need to “Stand at the crossroads and look; Ask for the ancient paths; ask where the good way is, and walk in it.” For in the end the greatest Change can only create what is historically possible to create. Let us act boldly for the common good and sing a new song!

The clock is dead. Papers on the floor. Empty cans on the shelf. The portrait of Jesus and Che Guevara Stares at me. Dissident or saints? You judge. I read a line from “Howl” by Allen’s Ginsberg “I saw the best minds of my generation Destroyed by madness, staring hysterical naked Dragging themselves Through the negro streets at dawn Looking for an angry fix”. I watch the silhouette of moths caught in a cobweb. I lit a cigarette and stare at the fake empire. I paint the pictures of my

dreams an abstract dreams to wake up all those beautifully asleep. a dream when we ignite a revolution. to those politicians who steals bread from the hands of the poor when your mouths are already full. To those mistress of the bureaucrats Weighed down by gold and silver, Caged in your luxury wall, Waking up every morning in linen sheets, Exported from some foreign countries. To those poor little children who walks 20km Just to reach school.

i Change for me in the Naga context…It has to be a transformational change and not just political. As people/individual, there has to be a change in perception/attitude, and on how we look at each other. Then only can we start talking of larger structural change. Change has to be from within. Amba Jamir Policy Analyst and Developmental Consultant …Nagas being able to live with dignity and respect. Vikheho Swu Politician We would see drastic change in our Naga society if we live up to our identity in Christ over and above our identity in our clan, village, tribe, denomination or social status. Pastor Razo Vasa Dimapur Christian Fellowship Change in Nagaland has been so rapid and abnormal…that Nagas have picked up Westernization as Modernization. Hence we have a ‘floating culture’, one which our resources cannot sustain. From a tribal independent state of life we have become a dependent society. I would wish for our traditional values of industriousness, honesty and ultimate sacrifice back in our society. Ahu Sakhrie Special Officer, Higher Education …Changing mindset, peace and development, for all and not a favored few. Abi-e Meru Naga Mothers Association President “They say Change is the only constant. I think the sooner we Nagas accept and adapt to the changes around us the sooner we can progress and move forward” Benry Kikon, Educational Management Professional, New Delhi

To those S(aint) self-righteous Church leaders. The flocks are lost Wandering in the wasteland While you count all your money. To those fathers who desperately Consoled and hugged his dying daughter Not able to grant Even the simplest of wishes Because of poverty. To those who fights for our land Is this what you call freedom When every inch of our land is turn Into graveyard. To those mother and wives Pulling on the veils of grief As they wash the dead. To society who knowingly pull wool over his eyes Turning blind to all vicious lies,

corruption, inequality The voices of Mahatma, Luther, Nelson, suu kyi Calls out to you. Or maybe we can be hero for just one day Maybe today we can ignite a revolution Maybe a change will come in this broken land. I’m waiting with my last matchstick. To ignite a revolution. I don’t want to us to regret dying in our bed Many years from now. For that one chance We could have change The course of nature And made a better future For a generation That looks up to us

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The Anatomy of CHANGE Dr. Seyiekhrielie Whiso, Kohima Science College, Jotsoma How many blasts of life-changing units can a person take in any given 12-month period? In an intensive psychological study called the Holmes-Rahe Stress Test researchers found that most humans cannot cope with a full blast of 300 units. Some of these units or stressors are losing a spouse (100 units), losing a marriage (73 units), losing a family member (63 units) and so on. Losing a job or being diagnosed with a terminal disease also ranked high. Change, though need not always be as negative as the events just listed, is most of the time painful and demands sacrifice. “Our Naga society needs to change,” “our attitude has to change,” “we need change in our offices,” are said so much that they are almost clichés now. The average Naga could give a threadbare anatomy of this word called CHANGE. But how many of us have the courage or the willingness or the imagination to affect change? If we need change it’s in this area which requires us to give up something for a greater cause – a cause beyond and above my ‘self.’ It could be my money that is ill-gotten, my wealth which came at the expense of the public, my job that I did not deserve, my undue promotion, my social status build on demagoguery, my power sourced from intimidation, my time and concern that have been quite selfish. These things are no doubt seemingly attractive, but come with severe side effects (look at history) and in the context of eternity the consequences should deter any discerning man. As I see it ‘change’ is a very useful word if you love preaching; it is also a popular byword during elections. (I am not saying this in the context of the pulpit alone.) Many of us who talk of changing the world are not quite ready or willing to change ourselves. But unfortunately change does not come in that order. Change is inevitable though if we want change. We Nagas have a penchant for the ‘instant,’ ‘readymade,’ ‘a little adjustment’, but true change comes slowly and painfully. As Swindoll puts it “true change comes in first gear not overdrive.” When a famous performer was congratulated on his overnight success he replied that his “overnight success” was because of many years of hard work. I like that. “Change is the only constant” a wise man said. If we are mentally too lazy or morally too scared or materially too greedy to chart the change we need to see we will be forced to accept the changes that we may not necessarily

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like. And you don’t have to be a prophet to know that we are in for a churning at this rate. I shall not bore you by listing what are the areas that need change in our society, not that I know all of them. (And changes in these areas are all-the-more urgent since we call ourselves Christians who are supposed to have all these virtues that make the society and living in it pleasant.) But whatever be the area or areas that require change, personally, I feel we need to go back to basics. Let me start with ME. It’s as easy as that. It’s as difficult as that. And here in this most private recess of my psyche I need to be brutally frank and brave and ask myself again what exactly my worldview is. A clear worldview will answer crucial questions like “Who is my master?” “What am I doing here?”, and “Where am I headed?” These questions are inevitable and imperative for they give meaning to our existence, and meaning is the only foundation for real and effective change: the realization that life is (actually) meaningful and sacred, and hence accountable, is the catalyst. Otherwise we will continue to be careless, amoral, indifferent, arrogant and dangerously ambitious. (It’s true that one may be able to skirt around these uncomfortable questions for a time but the consequences will always catch up.) I see that the Christian worldview, which should naturally be predominant in a Christian majority state like Nagaland, does not have its hold here – at least not as much as it should. In fact, many of us seem to be just drifting along (mis)guided by the ‘anything goes’ philosophy. But a good worldview will invariably change how we do things, treat fellow humans, use one’s chair, manage resources (even if no one is watching), and run our churches and her affiliated projects and missions. I think we as a society are doomed if the Vigilance department is our only hope and deterrent. I believe that true change has to start with and from the individual. This may not be a popular idea, but do we have a better alternative? For too long we have neglected the individual and placed too much importance on projects, programs and ideologies. And important as they are, I personally feel that we need to refocus a little and pay more attention to the individual. We Nagas have sometimes big concerns matched with even bigger egos, but we forget to pause to see the parameter of our influence. And though it’s difficult to admit that my area of influence could be rather small, and much smaller than my area of concern, (For more on this see Stephen Covey, 1996.) we need to start from there if we are serious about real change.

CHANGE Vibi Yhokha

My cousin tells me of changes in the village. At one point of time when they were kids, wrestling was a favorite activity among the people. Everyday boys gathered in an open space to wrestle and improve their skills, it was the most respectable sport back then. Every year competitions were held among young and old and prizes were distributed. It was every boy’s dream to become a wrestler one day. Now in my khel, not a single wrestler can be found and kids wrestling in the vicinity of the village would be a rare sight. An old lady from my village came to our house one day, selling her potatoes. I saw the tired look on her face as she told me “In today’s time, everything has to be bought with money.” It’s a common phrase many of our elders use to denote corruption in our society that meaning jobs too have to be bought today. As I think of her, I realized how hard she might have struggled with the changing times. Prices of food, clothes and all necessary commodities keep on skyrocketing with very little increase in the prices of the precious local organic vegetables she produces. She is one among thousands of victims affected by change.

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A New Dawn In Nagaland: A germinated squash in its mother creeper. If only planted on ground grows healthy, be it a squash, a plant, a man or a state. N. Moa Aier, Lerie, Kohima.

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May we find the will to

CHANGE Bokali Mughavi

Leaving something behind and replacing it with something else/something new could be termed “change.” That something could be a bad habit, a wrong attitude, a distorted perspective about ourselves, about things and also about other people. Every society needs change in order for its people to keep growing in every way. Naga people and our society is no exception. Before we see better roads, cleaner and better maintained offices, honest bureaucrats, repentant national workers and promise keeping politicians, as well as better informed public/citizens, we better examine what is the most important change that all Nagas’ need. A section of Naga population wants to see changed politicians and national workers; another section wants to see corrupted bureaucrats change even as the other section wants religious workers to be more committed to their Christian calling and ministry. I could quote many more examples of our people wanting others to change except themselves/ourselves. One Bible verse that would seem helpful to us Nagas at the moment would be the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 7:12 - So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets (also found in Luke 6:31). The one thing that every right thinking Nagas (men and women) want is change. Perhaps the reason we don’t see much, if not any breakthroughs or major changes as we want to see in our society is because we have not been able to do unto others as we want others to do to us. We want everyone else to change, but we do not want to change as individuals. The only way we could even hope for change to happen in our families, our neighborhood, our churches and our society is for us to be changed and be transformed individually. If our mindset is one of negativity, our hearts unrepentant, our attitude is one of superiority, our weapon of warfare are of retaliation and violence instead of forgiveness and divine love. However hard we try to change others with our persuasion of words, very well written arguments in the media, justification of our hurtful actions toward others (in our case against our own brothers and sisters) and the attitude that we are somehow superior to others in some ways, the change that we Nagas so long for will only elude us for many more decades to come. A transformed person/individual is one who is aware that growth comes only after going through a process of change which could sometimes involve a lot of pain and discomfort emotionally, mentally and even physically at times. Most times change will happen in our lives when we are willing to move out of our comfort zone and not be complacent. While it is true that instant change in our attitude is possible when the Holy Spirit of God convicts an individual of one’s sins, a wholesome and matured person is one who has gone through a process of being transformed and changed through different experiences that are not always pleasant or easy. Likewise a society needs to go through a process of change one step at a time. Simple things like not littering, being respectful of our neighbors, helping others and receiving help without receiving or giving bribes, being able to stand in a queque with patience, having basic driving manners, conserving water and energy, constant hunger to learn new things instead aping whatever we watch on TV and movies, etc., will all go a long way into creating a culture of respect, hard work and a cleaner Nagaland (in every sense of the word). The change we all want to see can only occur if we have hope that change is certainly possible. This hope can only be found if our attitude is one of willingness to change in whatever areas we need to change instead of waiting for others to change first. Perhaps a re-examining of our mindsets is in order as to why the change that we all desperately want in all areas have been eluding us for so long. May we all find the will and the commitment to change individually so we can be agents and instruments of change that we truly want to see in our beloved Nagaland.

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In 2008 I moved to Delhi for my graduation, and have been there for 4 years. Within that time as I travelled back and forth from Delhi to Nagaland, I had already seen tremendous changes. Buildings with post-modernist architecture, shopping malls, and mega-marts have become common sights. A generation that had the least idea of how to use the internet except for the privileged few now has access to internet in their mobile phones. Within a span of four years, I saw worried looks on the faces of many parents, people becoming busier than before, and individualism was slowly creeping into a very united community-based society. I now see that people are too busy investing in things that will only produce capital and more capital, that they have less time for their families. I felt fewer warm welcomes even in the happy homes in my village. Most annoying of all, I saw more Korean lookalikes rather than the simple innocent young Nagas. My 13 and 12 year old cousin sisters are so influenced by other foreign cultures that they know little about anything related to Nagaland. They only talk of designers like Chanel, Gucci and Prada, and are always mentioning celebrity gossip in their conversations as if those celebrities were their classmates. In Kohima, open spaces are limited for kids to run about, play and just enjoy the simple pleasures of life. The kids in my neighborhood have to go all the way to Science College, Jotsoma, to play basketball. Parents are usually seen scolding their kids not to play on the roads, but where else will they go to play. As a kid, I grew up looking for four leafed clovers with my friends for good luck, we played “lock and key”, ”five stones”, went hunting for wild strawberries and collecting flowers growing out in the wild, back then there was

space to run in the wild. Today, in Kohima town, every extra space has been used to build houses, lots of houses and leaving no space for trees, plants or flowers to grow in the wild. In the future our kids will have no idea of their parent’s childhood where we could run wild. Change is inevitable, one cannot defy change, but we need to understand what change is all about, what it is doing to us and how we all make the best of change. Looking at changes in our lives and our land, has this change made us better people? Does this change make us smarter? Have we become more advanced so that we can compete with the rest of the world? Have we become more humane? Have the so called development changes improved our living standards in any way or uplifted the lower strata in the society? Has our health improved? Have acquiring acres of land, building multi-storeyed houses made us more content and satisfied than before? Is it keeping our values, culture and the precious traditions alive? Does change keep the good things intact? If not then we need to “re-change” Change…… When I was a little girl, I had often wondered in my small world how I could change the world when I had nothing to offer, no money, no extra-ordinary talent, no charismatic inspiration, absolutely nothing . . . But now in retrospect, I have realized, you don’t have to be a world famous leader, a billionaire nor do you need charisma or extraordinary talent to change the world. It’s just the small and simple things we choose to do that changes our world in the long run. It’s what they say in sociology and Christianity, It’s the “parts” that enables the functioning of the whole. And change starts with an act as simple as gathering the courage to pick up a small piece of trash on the road.

Towards Institutional Changes Joel Nillo Kath The only constant is Change. In the Naga context, a paradigm shift is the need of the hour. Politically, we’re still immature and ideology counts for nothing. Our work culture is almost nil and we don’t have an economy. The church is moribund, steeped in tradition. Society is in disarray with chaos being the only constant. The older generation is unable to comprehend the next generation’s undercurrent thirst for change in every facet of life. However, change should be a continuous steady process, because sudden change creates social upheavals or disorders. Change is a battle of the mind. Attitudinal shift are a necessary condition in order for change to take place. Nagas are in need of leaders and role models who can guide our society through the maze of corruption, mediocrity, and moral morass. But in a democratic set up as ours, institutional changes are paramount, such as, political reforms, ecclesiastical reforms, income tax policy, control of illegal immigrants and the economy.

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POLITICAL REFORM - The most important change required is political reform, not necessarily through an act of Parliament, but true participatory grass roots reform from the bottomup. The advanced tribes started the trend of inflating population census and consequently the electoral rolls, now vigorously pursued by most tribes. The 19,80,602 lakhs population of Nagaland is a fallacy. Over the years, inter and intra tribal competition for political supremacy ensured that we conveniently kept silent as the voters list kept on inflating. Therefore, the first change should be to correct this anomaly. Inflated population figures eat away the economy and invites corruption. The political and bureaucratic class, understanding the dynamics of population ratio will always corner the money meant for the targeted groups since any flagship programme or government policy is formulated based on the population, including inflated/inaccurate ones for either the state or country. Secondly, money and muscle power is integral to inflated electoral roll politics. If a candidate is spending crores - a colossal amount by any standard - in an election, it is thanks to bogus names where at least 50% of the money is spent buying non-existent bogus voters. Bogus electoral roll defeats the very purpose of democracy and the concept of equal playing field and electing an honest leader is next to impossible. Thirdly, if money means electability, democracy in this form means a government for the elite and by the elite as only the rich and the corrupted can ever hope to be elected. This is a closed and vicious cycle where no rank outsider can ever aspire to public service. Most importantly, inflated population and electoral rolls means that, somewhere one tribe is enjoying undue over-representation at the expense of the other or a village/range is enjoying prolonged dominance at another village or range’s expense. It will be interesting to see how the many districts fare once biometric population data for Nagaland is released. ECCLESIASTICAL REFORM - If there is any semblance of ecclesiastical authority in Nagaland, it’s only on the issue of prohibition. In progressive societies, the Church is a powerful institution, feared as well as revered. The church in Nagaland has shown little belief in itself and an inability for activism. It has failed to voice out against social evils or denounce endemic corruption and the present election system. It is unwilling and too meek to censure both individuals and organizations. Truth deficit is nowhere too apparent, but in the church through its silence on social and political degradation being witnessed. At no point should the Church supplant the State,

but it should be able to supplement the State deploying the full force of its moral authority which is found wanting. Is the church ready to analyze itself and ask why it has no visible influence over its members? Is it because of the organizational setup in the dominant Baptist denominational church, the all too familiar and traditional automatic-first-choice of Class 1 Gazetted officers ‘elected’ as deacons, people who may be “unsaved” and who bring their earthly bearings to an otherwise spiritual realm thus limiting the influence of church? The church should understand that its “rebuke” is one of the necessary instruments to impose social order, but because of its set-up such a rebuke is impossible. Another dilemma before our church is the issue of morality. It’s an open secret that most of our politicians are serial womanisers. So the question is, Will the morality of public leaders ever be an issue for our churches? Most importantly, will the church be able to censure candidates who’re openly corrupt, engage in extra-marital affairs and employ unethical means to win elections? The powerful Mizo Presbyterian church does it effectively. Is the feeble nature of our churches because of the nature of our Christianity itself? For Nagas, Christianity is a way of life. Is it safe to postulate that as high as 4/5th of Christian Nagas, including highly educated ones are but Biblical illiterates? Under the tragic circumstances, is it safe to argue that there is a direct and proportional relationship between social strife and degradation of moral values as a result of little understanding of our faith? In this spiritual vacuum, the church should have little or no influence over its flock. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the “Clean Elections Campaign” being undertaken by NBCC will be successful at all. The idea of children’s Sunday school is to raise the next generation of law abiding and God-fearing citizens through Biblical teachings. Therefore, it is not far-fetched to assume that development of Sunday school for Bible illiterate adults will go a long way in contributing to peace and respect for church authority. As an afterthought, glancing through the RTI documents in newspapers, one wonders at the large numbers of Baptist pastors and reverends, Baptist seminaries and Baptist churches receiving largesse under the SDF, Planning Department. There is nothing wrong procedurally, but ethical and moral questions are involved which the Pentecostals and other denominational churches would not dare even touch with a barge pole. Nagas can start paying income tax for a change. Unless we’re taxed by a popularly elected government, we cannot talk of good governance, and hence any prospect of change is wishful thinking. Paying tax assures the accountability of elected government officials to its citizens. Accountability ensures transparency and transparency means clean and responsible government. It’s a two-way traffic. Taxpayers’ money is used to built roads, hospitals, supply electricity, water, and other development measures. The government is constitutionally bound to utilize the money judiciously for the welfare of its citizens. In case this give and take between the taxed and the elected representatives is not honoured, the people vote the party or government out of power. This is the basic format of any democratic governance. In the Naga context, not paying taxes has done more harm than good, diluting the concept of responsible government. In the process, we lose on the development front, too. Since citizens do not pay taxes, the common man and woman cannot really demand that government repair the potholes or rebuild the bridge in Peren district with taxpayers’ money! Nagas are notorious spendthrifts, but taxation creates unexpected results - it encourages savings. Firstly, since salary or income is taxed, spending is drastically reduced. An income-tax paying family will think twice

before investing in non-profitable, but taxable luxury items like cars. Secondly, one is encouraged to save wisely for the future in banks, insurance and stock markets, where numerous taxfree schemes are available. Thirdly, savings is good for the economy as it acts as the engine of growth. Illegal Immigrants and Economy - The 1st generation came as poor, illiterate, agricultural labourers. Slowly, they diversified into various jobs like carpentry, masonry, trade and business. A generation later, the 2nd generation of illegal immigrants control the State’s economy. The fact that these illegal immigrants from Bangladesh now claim Indian citizenship, are wealthy, respectable, and control the economy means that Nagas face a crisis of unimaginable proportion equivalent to, if not greater than the issue of Naga nationalism. Illegal Immigrants or miyas now control many important sectors of the economy. Their business establishments are the some of the biggest employers of otherwise jobless local girls. The booming construction economy in Nagaland has benefited only these people since they’re a source of cheap labour. Talk about unemployment is cheap when every year hundreds of crores of rupees are spent on Bangladeshi labour. A short-term strategy to control immigration would be to deny illegal immigrants living space. But any long-term strategy would be inadequate unless local people control the economy. The topic of economy is invariably linked to illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants’ wealth is the cog which runs the wheel of Dimapur (and by extension Nagaland). This includes keeping every stakeholder happy from the numerous self-styled unions, petty politicians, government agencies to UGs, thereby serving the interest of the alien community which is never in the interest of the Naga people. Unless, the pre-wired Naga mindset for civil services over trade and commerce changes, the Naga identity will never be assured. After controlling the economy, the next frontier is the battle for the Naga identity. The 3rd generation of Miyas, mostly the adopted sons and daughters of local people or offspring’s of union with local women who speak fluent Naga dialects, carry Naga names and wear Naga identity on their sleeves. The third generation are the usurpers, the pretenders to Naga identity. They are educated and have imbibed the culture of the dominant community. Recently, they created a storm when one of their sons got through NPSC exams. Post 1947, the Assamese people welcomed Bangladeshi peasants with open arms as their labour was needed to till their lands, not unlike Nagaland half a century later. At that time, the stiff-lipped Assamese considered Hindu Bengalis as their competitors for lucrative government jobs (manual work was looked down upon) and were in conflict with the latter, not the poor, illiterate, Bangladeshi Muslims whom the Assamese considered their economic and cultural unequals. Again, the similarity with Naga attitude is stark. By the time the Assamese people woke up, it was too late. Bangladeshi Muslims are now a majority in 30 out of the 126 assembly seats of Assam. ST status for Nagaland in the future is never assured. Theoretically speaking, if the status is removed now, we cannot match the aliens and outsiders in numbers and hope to control political power. This is one game which we cannot win; after all, democracy is a game of numbers, not withstanding Art. 371 A. The Bangladeshis penetrated Nagaland with ploughshares and will probably end with the assimilation of Naga identity unless we wake up. We’re living in a transitional period, and to jump to the other side of a progressive and just society, sacrifices have to be made and necessary attitudinal and institutional changes cultivated so that Nagas are not viewed as an aberration.

It is time to stop the Buck! Tera Varethan Vashim One hot summer day some of were sitting in a small rented room in Delhi where we started discussing the various problems that ail our society which further increased the heat inside the room. From politics to the economy, from civil societies to churches, from nation to village, we touched it all. We all agreed that corruption is rotting our society from within and that Naga society is no longer the society that was once known for its integrity. We all wanted some kind of societal change, but were clueless as to where this change should begin. The reason being that there were too many problems! Many of us are frustrated and infuriated by the way corruption has streamed into our lives. We cursed and blame those corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, social leaders, church leaders, etc., for the mess that our society has become. In our tea time conversation, while walking in the park, in Facebook, in every gathering of two persons, we will criticize those whom we think are corrupt and pour out our anger in the form of words. If there is no development in our land, it is because of the corrupt politicians; if there is problem in our society, it is because of the corrupt social leaders; if there is problem in the church, it is because of the corrupt church leaders; if there are bad roads, it is because of corrupt contractors. The list goes on and on … However, the other side of the truth is also the fact that many of us have accepted corruption as a way of life. It is something that is necessary - a necessary evil!! Many of our parents no longer see corruption as evil and immoral act, but a change brought by time to which we must all adapt to in order to survive. We have accepted the fact that it is okay to pay bribes in order to get state government jobs. This has happened so much that the job brought through corrupt means we will later give thanks and praise in our churches; even the pastor would pray for us. This might be read as funny, but this is the fact of our society. However, this does not mean that we do not want change, we do! We all want change in our society and are all suffocated by the endless corruption that we face in our day to day lives. The problem is that we seem to have no clue as to how to bring this change that we desperately seek. How do we change and remove these corrupt elements from our society when we all seem to know whom to blame for the heaps of problems that we see in our society? But then again, exactly who is responsible for all the dirt in our society? Is it the sole responsibility of these few corrupt individuals or not?? Is it not true that the society is made up of the collective whole? If it is so then should it not be a collective responsibility rather than blaming the few visible individuals?? We need to look deeper within ourselves if we want change! Many of us, including me, are in the habit of pointing finger at others for our problems rather than looking within our own. We all must have read about the young man who wanted to change the world, but found it too difficult. So he decided to change the nation, then seeing the difficulties his desire to change came down to his town, then to his family. Alas, in his old age he realized that, if long ago had he changed himself, he could have made an impact on his family, then his family could have made impact on the town and so on and ultimately change the nation. If we want change then we should stop looking at others for or to change. Instead of passing the buck it is time we look around our own backyard and start the cleaning the dirt there! The change that we all desire must begin from us and our homes. When you and I change so will our society and nation. Before we accuse another’s father or mother let us look at ourselves! Before we start blaming others for their shoddy corrupt work, let us look at our own. Ask ourselves if we are able to deliver the things that we expect from others. As educated youth, do we stop our parents when they are ready to pay bribes in order to get a job for us? After all, they are doing everything for us. And as students, we easily blame everyone, but remember those who we call corrupt now were also once a student just like you and me. They must have also wanted to bring change, but instead of changing the system the system changed them. I guess their integrity was not strong enough to stand against the storms of life. I remember once when I went to a friend’s farewell dinner who was leaving for a job in Delhi, the pastor said that over the years many bright, God-fearing youth from Delhi got big government jobs and left. He expected that they would bring a change, but after a few years in the system he was disappointed! Are we any different as students from our seniors? The present state that our society is in needs change! But we cannot bring this change by blaming and expecting others to change. We have to change first. Change must begin from us and our home. “The strength of a nation lies in the integrity of its homes.” Confucius

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“A fish cannot drown in water, A bird does not fall in air. In the fire of creation, God doesn’t vanish: The fire brightens. Each creature God made must live in its own true nature; How could I resist my nature, That lives for oneness with God?” Mechthild of Magdeburg

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the voices for

CHANGE I want to see change in governing system and in leadership. ALO WANTH Musician

People grow only through change which means leaving behind what is familiar and comfortable, to be risk takers and if we are not changing, we are not growing and that means we are taking no risks AOSENLA IMCHEN

MTh. in Old Testament, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute Chennai

I want the people of Nagaland to change their concept and attitude of development. Development does not merely include infrastructural development but also human resource which is more important of all developments. BITO YEPTHO

Student, Kohima Law College

There should be change in the transportation system. In place like Dimapur, common public transport like city bus especially for students would help to ease the traffic problem and also save time and money as well. But most importantly, one should obey traffic rules.

AOAKUM KICHÜ

APELE KHAPE

There should be change in the trend of price rise in the market especially of commodities and cars which mostly affect the common people. There should be a proper system of fixing price for the convenience of everyone.

To me change is just a mere word if the change is not brought about individually within ourselves positively. Change in the society will develop automatically when we accept and mutate with the change within us

Chairman, Incessant Welfare Society

AZUNGLA IMSONG

BENLI LONG’S

I would like to have a change on the present road condition in our Dimapur, it is worse than the road in villages.

I want to change the feeling of “tribalism” among the Nagas.

Considering the human tendency to get influenced by people who we think are above us. I would like to see competent leadership, capable of inspiring integrity and dignity, in both spiritual and political affairs.

EASTERLINE KICHÜ

There should be a change in the ‘civic sense’. The concern authority should maintain drainage system and waste bin properly. Citizens should take care of public property. Students can bring about this change in ‘civic sense’ by practicing what they learn in their educational institutions. IDABUI JAMES PAME

Secretary Education, Dimapur Naga Students’ Union

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Housewife

AJUNG LONGKUMER

Nagas are ‘zero’ in civic sense. I want to see a change in that. We can start being the change by using dust bin for litters. ESTHER YIMCHUNGER

A LOLIA, President, Senapati District Women Association

I don’t want Naga people living in hatred and killing each other. So my view on change is that I want to change my Naga people’s thoughts and start living in Peace and Harmony together and make my Nagaland silent and beautiful State. Don Bosco School, Cl- IV

I want to see Nagas become more fearless to endeavor any kind of change. Change is something that many people fear, but we never should really fear if the change is for better.

There has to be a change in the trend of how deforestation is taking place in today’s world. We need to preserve our forest and love our environment.

KIKRUNEINO TACHÜ

Don Bosco School, Cl- IV

Student, Kohima Law College

One change which I want to see in the Naga context would be for all the national workers to come under one umbrella and work for true peace.

I want to see the present unplanned Dimapur change into a well planned city.

BOKAVI SWU

KENEI ANGAMI

Theatre Artist

Social Worker

MATSUNG JAMIR

Asst. Executive Engineer (Reservoir) ONGC Andhra Pradesh

I want to see change in the development aspect especially in Dimapur. There should be more flyovers in some locations in order to ease the traffic problem. N LOMONG CHANG Church worker

Nagas are afraid to ‘Speak the TRUTH.’ Nagas are afraid to ‘Stand with TRUTH.’ Politicians, church leaders and general public have all become victims of untruthfulness. Let us CHANGE from being slaves of ignorance to liberators with the power of TRUTH. RONGSENWATI JAMIR Government Employee

I want more change in the Naga society especially taxation and corruption. These things are needed to be corrected in the greater interest of the public. P VANMI

Social Activist

We should change our lifestyle where being a civilized State with modern culture and style in our mind, yet we lack in civic sense in cleaning our state with extortion, demands, robbing, murdering, raping and bluffing each other.

YOTINGLA SANGTAM Primary Teacher

PROF. WALOTEMJEN JAMIR

TEKAREN KICHÜ

Al Shaddai Academy, Cl-VIII

Asst. Professor of Church History Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute, Chennai

I wish to change the way people dress in the society. We should wear our own clothes maximum and promote our original attires.

"Change can happen only when one begins to show honour"

VIKEYIENUO TSEIKHA

I want my Naga brothers and sisters to change the attitude of getting jobs only through backward quotas or reservation. We can also be the best if we really work hard like any other people. “Time changes things but you actually have to change them yourself.”

“In tune with time the Nagas must change their mindset to constructively responding to the existential socio-politico and cultural instability.”

WAPANGTOSHI

AYO Market, Kohima

Pastor, Naga Christian Fellowship, Chennai

Nothing will happen unless the change is first effected in the mind

I want to see change in the traffic system. Traffic rules and regulations should be made in such a way that there is smooth commuting.

TOKATO K. YEPTHO

MTh. in Communication Studies (2011-13) Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute, Chennai

TIAKUMLA LEMTUR

Student, Kohima Law College

V. THUIREI

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead 5

Transform the Naga Tribal Hoho Into an Upper House in the Legislature’s Dr. B. Henshet Phom, Longleng This paper is a call to establish an upper chamber in Nagaland’s legislature as a means to bridge the gap being created by its present electoral (political) system. Nagaland’s present political system is observed as not being suitable to Nagas as a whole. We claim that our form of government is democratic, however, when closely examined, the true ideals of democracy are missing from our system. Democracy stands for equality, liberty, fraternity and rationality, which means that all citizens are equal, all citizens are free, all citizens are brothers and sisters and that the government makes decisions based on reason. But practically these ideals are not found in the present Naga democratic system. A system needs to be created that promotes a just society and that works for growth and development in every quarter of our land. Under the present electoral system it is very difficult for a small village to elect an MLA (legislator), no matter how competent their candidate may be. Under the present system, an individual has no freedom to exercise his franchise. The village councils make the decision as to who should be the candidate and for whom to vote. The citizens are supposed to abide by the village council’s decisions. Often persons who fail to abide by their decisions may be excommunicated from the village. This is a harsh reality which in Nagaland amounts to becoming a social outcast when an individual’s citizenship is denied by his/her native village.

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In most cases those villages with a huge voting bank are in a better position to permanently own an MLA (legislator). Ultimately those villages in power and strategically positioned have the advantage of securing more funds, more development projects, more employment opportunities, etc. Some villages in Nagaland are derided as opposition villages. The hard fact is that these villages are at the grave disadvantage on all development fronts. In this way the present ‘modern’ electoral system in Nagaland has created gaps between the villages and a class among its citizens. These gaps further separate and divide Nagas from each other and undermine democratic values. According to Mahatma Gandhi, democracy is the government of the majority; it is not the government of all the people. That is why he propagated Sarvodaya, which means welfare of all as an alternative to democracy. Gandhiji advocated this alternative, because he saw the evils of democracy even in his days. Nagaland is called the conglomeration of the village republics. Each village is a nation or state in itself. Therefore, the needs and aspirations of each village must be represented and addressed. If these needs are not addressed then our claim of having a vibrant democracy is a farce. Therefore, in order to have a vibrant functioning democracy across our land, our present democratic system needs to be re-examined. One answer I find to rectify the defect in our political system is to introduce the bicameral legislature in Nagaland. Forming a bicameral system of legislature means that the legislature will consist of two chambers: the upper house representing the village republics

and the lower house representing the people (citizens). The upper house is also called the legislative council and the lower house is called the legislative assembly. If it is properly regulated, then the tribal hohos can also be given the status of the legislative council by statute. The upper house must be a non-partisan permanent chamber of legislature. In the new system each tribal territory can be declared as a province. The tribal council (tribal hoho) can be formed by a representative from each village assembly. The tribal council can also be called a provincial council or any name that suits it. The members of the provincial council would be able to elect their representative(s) to the legislative council (upper house). Some members with distinction in certain fields such as the arts, science, literature, social service, etc., may also be nominated as a member of the provincial council. Certain minimum criteria, for example having a bachelor’s degree, as the minimum educational qualification may be fixed to be a member of the provincial council. This will make the legislative council truly a refined house. The representative from each village must be elected by their village assembly through the system of adult franchise for a fixed term. Each member of the provincial council must be allotted a certain amount of funds depending on the size of the village for implementing various developmental and welfare programmes in his own village. A proper mechanism will need to be created to make the developmental works as transparent as possible. This is also one way to strengthen our grass-roots democracy. In this way the voice from every nook and corner of Nagaland can be heard through

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves” - Anatole France

establishing the Upper House. We can also call this system the most represented form of government, because each village has representation under this system. This can be the stepping stone towards realizing our dream of a vibrant democracy. Some of the states in India like Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, as well as Jammu and Kashmir have bi-cameral legislatures. These are models that can be examined when designing our own system to see what is more workable and appropriate in the Naga context. I am not an expert in the field and am putting forward this proposition to help us make deeper study and wider consultation on the issue that may offer viable constructive options to the current electoral and legislative systems. If creating a new system is favourable, then an Expert Committee may be formed to work on it by consulting the working of the bicameral legislatures of the above mentioned Indian states, as well as both houses of the Indian parliament and other bi-cameral legislatures of the world. However, most importantly the traditional and present political realities of the Nagas must be taken into consideration when designing any new system. I am of the opinion that the new proposition would have relevancy even after settling the Indo-Naga political issue. This proposition could also be examined as a means for helping to bring the Naga political issue to a successful conclusion which could help stabilise Nagaland when facing future transitions. Interestingly, the ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) has also developed a similar kind of proposal settle their political issues with the Government of India in their latest round of talks.

CHANGE? Wangshi Lemtur Change? Why? For better life. Change? Who? First ourself. Change? For what benefit? Betterment of our society. Change? Whose responsibilities? You. Change? Who! You? Word call me. Change ? Why me? Change can be brought if only you and I take the initiative. Why not we start from our self? As the proverb goes “Little drop of water makes a mighty ocean.” Why not we start with the word call “I” which will change the whole community.

Changes C In Life Naro Walling

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Change . . . where do I begin? My thoughts? My behaviour? My attitude or my perception of the events and decisions that occur each day in my life? When I stop & reflect upon my life and the impact of changes, it provides me with an opportunity for greater self understanding. Changes in life whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually are inevitable and necessary. For without change, we cannot survive. There is a saying that ‘when one door closes, another one opens.’ I don’t know I really believe that. Throughout my years growing up, I had been devastated by a series of personal crisis. The loss of two loved ones in the family, a major financial upheaval and personal emotional hurt have overwhelmed me with feelings of despair, resentment, anger and discouragement. The lack of support and being rejected by people that I cared for and loved when I needed

them the most has influenced and changed my attitude towards people and towards life. There were times when I’ve felt that all my strength was gone, times when I’ve prayed and could not pray any longer. I have also struggled for many years with my self-esteem and self-worth. There were times when I’ve felt the fear of being shamed, embarrassed and rejected by society. Maybe that’s why I’ve sometimes become so set in my ways and way of thinking that I have missed many opportunities to walk down a new path. I could not adapt with the changes in my life, because I did not believe in myself. However, I have reached a new place in my life where I am trying to release myself from the past and move forward instead of dwelling on something that I cannot change. Now, as I look back and see how all the pieces fit together, the dots connect, the good and bad choices I made, then I understand that everything happened for a reason. Even now, I sometimes feel like I’m being judged for what I do and say and become afraid of everything. But throughout the years, it has taken a lot

of strength to believe in myself again after everything that has happened. I am now more determined that I will see the world in every aspect that may be possible for me. I have experienced what it is to live with rejection. But this person that has been rejected will carry on and go on to see more mountains and swim in more waters and keep on counting the stars. Somewhere it is written that I must continue to live my life the way I know how to for I’ve learnt that any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. I hope sharing my thoughts with others will provide an opportunity to encourage them to examine the changes that have occurred in their lives. There are many changes that come to us whether or not we act, but being in a place to accept change gracefully and move forward with confidence allows us to embrace change instead of merely tolerating it. The world that we live in is rapidly changing and we need to keep up or life will pass us by. The question is: Are you going to give up or get up?

my notion of

CHANGE

Kezhazer Angami, Former Student Activist The word ‘Change’ has become the catch phrase for any proposer who dares to alter the dynamics that constitutes the existing situation in a given time. Every generation have their privileges and challenges, fears and hopes. Every generation attempts to influence and alter the underlying principles that cause the situation and constitute the structure existing in that period/era. This attempt to better the privileges, overcome the challenges, allay its fears and fulfill the hopes happens through advocating for change. The present Naga Society and generation enjoy the privileges of a Landmark Change with the advent of Christianity and Modern education, as the Naga Society was ushered into the modern era from a primitive civilization. This quantum leap in Naga civilization was a quick shortcut journey through a wormhole in social evolution from a level to another bringing it face to face with more advanced and overbearing cultures such as Western and Sanskrit cultures. The exposure and transition period of about 139 years put to peril the social, political, cultural, economic and religious aspect of the Nagas. As Western and Sanskrit ways of life became the moulding principles for Naga society and the younger generation. The present generation living in the midpoint at the confluence of these three cultures has become confused and dazed regarding which culture to adopt. The titillating influence of the alien culture on the younger Naga generation had ensnared them to its trap resulting in the gradual depletion of Naganess among the youth. The Nagas, known for their virtues of honesty, simplicity, diligence, selflessness, hospitality, self-reliance, in short a Unique Culture, had become corrupted, arrogant, lazy, greedy, conceited and dependent. The conflicts created when these cultures collided combined with being overwhelmed by alien cultures have blotted the Naga Image and loss of Identity which needs serious pondering and deliberation. A mass movement is needed to reverse the trend through the call for change to revive the Naga Customs and Tradition. We need a Change which is a Cultural Revolution of sorts that is suitable to the Nagas in the modern context. Change cannot happen through mere propagation of thoughts and ideas. These thoughts and ideas need to be translated into action through a mass movement where each and everyone should take the task as an obligation, as a duty to re-establish the Naga Identity. Every Naga needs to become a catalyst of Change where we become the change to see the change. Only then, the erosion of Naga virtues can be contained and restored, the adulterated traits by alien cultures and characters can made to become pure Naga. Let us not dilute our Naga way and life with illusions of better life by adopting alien culture. Let us bring about a change to the Naga society beginning with you and me. KUKNALIM………

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Broken but not defeated: “You can’t CHANGE what’s happened in your past, so before you let it destroy your future; learn to live with it” Imcha Jamir

On Revolution and Equilibrium Barbara Deming Do you want to remain pure? Is that it?” a black man asked me, during an argument about nonviolence. It is not possible to act at all and to remain pure; and that is not what I want, when I commit myself to the nonviolent discipline. I stand with all who say of present conditions that they do not allow men and women to be fully human and so they must be changed - all who not only say this but are ready to act. When one is confronted with what Russell Johnson calls accurately “The violence of the status quo” - conditions which are damaging, even murder-

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ous, to very many who must live within them - it is degrading for all to allow such conditions to persist. And if the individuals who can find the courage to bring about change see no way in which it can be done without employing violence on their part - a very much lesser violence, they feel, than the violence to which they will put an end - I do not feel that I can judge them. The judgements I make are not judgements upon men and women but upon the means open to us - upon the promise these means of action hold or withhold. The living question is: What are the best means for changing our lives - for really changing them?

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once” Albert Einstein

Can We Practice What We Preach?

That is the change we want!! BD Bapao, Class- XII, Sainik School Punglwa At some point of time in our life, we wish to pontificate our ideas and views, but the still small voice inside hampers our actions to do so. Last month, when I saw the Opinion tabloid, I decided that I will definitely write in the next publication. However, as I made my pen to jot down on a piece of paper, a dilemma swept over me as to if I should write or not. The little still voice kept on striking me, till it created a space in my subconscious to realize that my conscience was telling me something that really made sense. It said, “Write if you can practice all that you write otherwise put your pen down.” I thought it over a couple of times keeping in mind that I’m doomed if I do not put my proclamations into actions. My mind kept racing from plot to plot and finally I found myself writing this. If we wish to see changes, we must be able to carry out what we speak, talk and write. And that is the Change we want today. It is easy for anyone to write or speak pages of tedious lines drawing close to the topic Change. But I don’t find any point in writing these words if we do not practice them. I could have written thousands of lines on the topic change just for the sake of my publications. However, my conscience stopped me from writing those odds and ends. This is the message I bring forth to all the preeminent writers here.

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Night Queen: Under a luminous moon, Kohima is enveloped in clouds and mist. When we talk about ‘Change’ we can only think of negative things and do not hesitate to give disheartening criticisms. I believe change can come by loving our own land and appreciating the better side of life. This photo is an inspiration that came from the need to ‘Change’. I named my shot ‘Night Queen’ for Kohima truly looks beautiful at night, in day…at all times. - Megozeto Punyü

CAN WE ALL PRACTICE WHAT WE WRITE?? It appears as an easy question, but I find the answer so intimately close and yet difficult. Maybe the same goes for you. I deliberately asked this question to all the writers in this tabloid, for I believe that people writing a masterpiece on the topic Change here understand the changes society requires. You are the one who is going to change the fate of the society. You are the most valuable article which contains the changes we want and the changes we need to make, which is enough to direct the change in our society and humankind as a whole only if you and I can tread on the heels the words we speak and write. I believe that the change you are talking of is all that we need today because your article has not been a product of a day or two. You have spent and used your best thoughts and intelligence in writing it. Maybe no one has ever thought the way you did. So if we consistently follow and practice the preaching, the outcome will be just watching and seeing how things change because of you and me. Believe in yourself and follow your dreams because there are no impossibilities to stop you from becoming a dynamic leader someday. Every change we wish to see lies within you and me. The change will be decided by how much we make our words into actions and not by the number of pages we scribble. HAPPY CHANGING!!!!

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Think change? Think pen!

GLORY PEAK:

GREENER OR GREYER PHOTO & TEXT: Thekhro Mero

Jetilo Apon One of the most powerful agents which moved the invincible British Empire during pre-independent India was the “PEN”. The Vernacular Press Act 1878 failed to suppress the fountain flow of wise opinions and thoughts from the minds of Indian writers. They were no extra ordinary writers; they just rewrote the ancient text and wisdom of their forefathers. Hats off to ‘Indian writers, editors, contributors . . . ’ who ignited the minds of the sleeping public. Well, to bring change in Nagaland, Nagas had already taken the most radical step and the AK 47 has been doing its own part (failure and success the general public know the best). I salute the martyrs in awe. I, as for one, think that it is time for the ‘pen’ to start writing for the future of the Nagas. ‘Change’ is what everyone is longing for in Nagaland to be particular. What if we now give chance to the pen to express freely what to condemn and what to recommend? Not for enmity and not for selfish purpose but for the sake of change, can the government, both the underground and over ground allow the pen to express what is flowing in the writer’s veins? Blessed are those who write for change without bias and fear. Think change? Then don’t poke out the hands of a writer from the paper with the barrel of gun or with destructive rejoinder in the next issue. What if one of us gives an honest comment about the present condition of Nagaland, the naked truth of the present governing system at the highest level or the so called about Naga National workers. Think change? Please think again! I believe the wind of change will start to blow in our land when writers are given open platform and freedom to express their precious opinion/thoughts like The Morung Express and others alike are doing so. Think change? Let the writers write!

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Change in the Context of Young People in Nagaland Lezo Putsure Chief Strategy Officer, YouthNet Founder, Smarter Nagaland

Something we are aware of but, have decided to remain silent, or take any action about is here in our midst. If you are living in Pfutsero Town or maybe be just passing by, you will at least notice its once proud and glorious natural beauty. Yes right! I am talking about our once proud Glory Peak. Now you can visualise the effect of our collective ignorance and negligence. If you have been living in Pfutsero you will understand what I mean. Looking at the Glory Peak now just fills us with sadness and hopelessness. It was once the pride of Pfutsero Town. Tourists come from all over just to have a glimpse of the town below from the top of our Glory Peak. Not only that, even the local people walked there with pride because of its unique beauty. We were so proud to show visitors our Glory Peak and felt like we were on the top of the world as we saw them smiling peacefully. But sadly, what was once glorious and beautiful now lays bald. Many trees have been cut down denuding the hill sides. The once forest-covered mountain is now surrounded by cul-

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Over the last couple of years, it is clear and evident that the mindset of young people in Nagaland is progressively changing for the better. According to the India Census 2012, 65% population of the country is below the age of 35 years which is mirrored in a similar State ratio which indicates that the population is very young. Our young people have been sharing information and ideas and have become smarter, more informative and are breaking barriers of old school thinking François de la and, at the same time, are bold enough to try new things. Technology in the form of the internet, television, and interactive social networks has made it possible to interact with ideas and people around the world. Ten (10) years ago we would never imagined that Naga people would have professions such as photographers, designers, bakers, event managers, etc., with more and more people moving into private sectors. Young people are tired of conflicts which have only slowed us down,

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Are you a writer, photographer, illustrator, or just have an opinion? We want to hear from you! Submit an article, photo or illustration by August 10, 2012 and see your work in print!

tivation. Its natural beauty has been snatched away without thinking of future consequences. What remains of it is more like a wounded soldier, helpless to fight on its own, unaware of its consequence. Is this how we treat our fellow soldiers who are fighting for us? Is this how we treat something which has given us much pride and beauty? Are we going to accept this situation? Battered and wounded? What remains of it is more of a pity and shame. How would we react if people come from afar just to see a deforested mountain? Would we blame our parents? Don’t we share the responsibility and the blame? Or are we just going to watch it continue to disappear? Nature has its own course of change, but we humans are forcing it to go in another direction where we are all doomed to face miserable future. Imagine an environment without fresh air to breathe, water to drink, and smoke all around us? Now is the time for us to act, for everyone, for our younger brothers and sisters, for our future. Let’s hold our hands together to make our future brighter. Let’s take a step closer to the nature by taking action together.

and are now eager to keep pace with the rest of the world by steadily progressing. There have been many success stories of our young people doing well outside Nagaland, as well as people locally and many returning home to contribute to society. The paradox is that good change is slowly coming. A small example of young people initiating change took place when ‘Nagaland Job Consultants’ was launched early this year. It opened doors for many people who were clueless about career development, internships, jobs opportunities, etc. It is convenient to blame the systems and young people Rochefoucauld for being lazy, however, it was an eye opener when many young people walked in everyday looking for jobs and livelihood opportunities. On the other hand it gave young people a sense of direction with a platform and space where they could visit, talk, listen and get advice and given job placement. Unlike many in the older generation who like to think and live in the box, today’s young are not afraid of change and thus completely changing the rules of the game and succeeding as well.

“The only thing constant in life is change.”

Issue Theme for August: PRohiBition Deadline for Submission: August 10, 2012 Date of Publication: August 18, 2012

The Morung Express monthly supplement ‘Opinion’ will be published on the third Saturday of every month. In the Opinion, you are the storyteller. Please share your story by responding to the theme of this month’s issue: “PROHIBITION” Contributions can be in the form of photography, illustrations, photos of artwork, essays, first-person accounts, poetry, reported articles, and any other form of expression that can be printed.

A PRoDUCTIoN oF

write to us at opinion2mex@gmail.com

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Morung Opinion