“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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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
The Morung Express