A collective experience of loss


On July 4, 2023 tragedy struck the Chümoukedima stretch of the NH 29 when a rockslide caused by heavy downpour claimed two lives and wounded three. Immediately after the incident, the video captured by the dash cam of a car following behind, went viral. #Nagaland went trending in twitter as the video was tweeted by multiple users. The less than four second clip of the deadly and horrific incident required viewers discretions and trigger warning. The devastating scenes captured by the dash cam stirred real emotions.

Such heart-wrenching incident often catches all by surprise. No one anticipated or foresaw what occurred on Wednesday. The most common question that perhaps arises was WHY? Why did the incident happen, why was there no travel advisory or caution, why did the victim die? The struggles and pain that invades human lives may come from own suffering or that of others. But no matter the source, no one sees it coming. 

It has been more than two months since the violence erupted in Manipur on May 3, 2023. In solidarity and lament of the utter despair felt by common people and their fear, a candlelight vigil standing in prayer for Manipur was held at Nagaland Baptist Church Council Convention Centre in Kohima under the aegis of Kohima Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship on June 26. Likewise, the whole world is afflicted by one or the other form of suffering. War, sickness, poverty, natural disasters are wide spread and the world is broken and disoriented. With all the suffering and conflict, there is sorrow, pain, and confusion.

The July 4, 2023 tragedy in Chümoukedima is a collective experience of loss and it calls for lamentation and solidarity. The incident should not just become about finding the answers to the many “WHYs” but also letting it become the pursuit of justice. It should force upon everyone the questions of why the systems have failed the people again. 

Comments can be sent to akangjungla@gmail.com