Consciousness for Renewal

At the core of a peoples existence is its collective consciousness and perhaps Nagas must consciously and deliberately take the task to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception that is an alternative to the status quo. This consciousness should be a call for self-realization and re-examination of themselves, their value systems, their culture, their worldviews, their faith and their future as peoples. It should bring to public expression those hopes and yearnings that have been denied so long and suppressed so deeply that one no longer knows that they are there anymore. 

As Brueggemann would say, “hope is the refusal to accept the reading of reality which is the majority opinion; and one does that only at great political and existential risk.” Hence, a people’s consciousness must be in response to the necessity to inculcate a spirit of independence. It must grasp the notion of who they are and their readiness to assume responsibilities that emerges out of this realization, for one cannot be conscious and yet remain in bondage. It is essential that the attainment of the envisioned collective self is a free and dignified self.

Critical consciousness must relate the future to the present and to the past and reject attempts by the powers that be to perpetuate a deliberately arrested image of a culture as a static element. Culture when defined in concrete terms presents and demonstrates the historical and political evolution of a people which must be made to live in a real manner. Hence, Naga consciousness must empower them to overcome dependency and transcend the walls build around them.

Where does one go from here? Ones thought, behavior and institutions are made to fit into a pattern largely and often wholly determined by others. Originality and forms of thoughts have been dulled to the point where it takes extreme effort to act with reason even in order to follow one’s own beliefs and convictions. This has limited creativity and damaged the ability to act with will, generating a feeling of powerlessness which Steve Biko says “breeds a race of beggars who smile at the enemy and swears at him in the sanctity of their toilets.” 

Nagas must ask themselves whether they are serious about making change. Are they prepared to free themselves from the chains of bondage that has made them stop thinking? And so how does one address all these questions that define ones existence? Is it therefore not essential to become a living element in that popular yearning which is entirely calling forth for the freeing, the progress and the happiness of the Nagas? 

Decolonization of the mind with the willingness to accept that there indeed is a future by aiding and empowering each other into consciousness, and to be participants in the making of that history is a fundamental step. The Naga consciousness must lead to understanding; an understanding which is the understanding of differences through dialogue. A dialogue that appeals not out of our minds and dreams alone but out of experiences, which revolves around practical possibilities and realities so that one does not just give in to despair, but develops a hope and a sense of human security.