Dr Asangba Tzudir
‘God is dead’ is probably Nietzsche’s most hilarious yet thought provoking statement. However, Nietzsche was not signing the death certificate of the Christian God. What he said was not only profound but horrific especially in the context of the post modern crisis of truth.
A more precise way of this expression would be ‘truth is dead’ which doesn’t sound horrific as the statement ‘God is dead’ but it lucidly captures the postmodern horror. A scene of a busy road intersection where the traffic signal lights – Red, Orange and Green are all lighted together, presents a classic rendition of the horrors of the postmodern moral crisis - a truth crisis.
In a condition where truth finds dead, we have only exposed the devouring vacuum of nihilism. It all began in the Garden of Eden where the serpent questioned the authority of God – Did God really told you not to eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden? The serpent said, “you will surely not die, but you will become like God.” Then began the questioning of propositional truths and fusing one’s own meaning into the statement. That is how mankind started playing God and began to define truth in their own convenience and terms. The reader then became the author and postmodernism was born with the deconstruction of truth.
In context, it also begs the question – What kind of modernity is Nagaland getting attuned to? With changing times, advancements and innovations, is it not the case that modernity should present a seamless ride? Taking the case of the commercial hub, the roads definitely have gotten better, the seemingly unending growth of shopping malls, major clothing brands having penetrated into the city have really given a transformative outlook.
The cultural past and the identity markers, and the value based truths are getting reduced to debris having gotten mangled with the so called modern. The all pervasive electronic/social media has promoted a kind of revivalism. From local to global, food is no more simply a means to satisfy hunger but the food carts, KFC, burgers and pizzas, Korean, Chinese, continental etc. keeps one entertained. Once upon a time not long ago, very early in the morning, the Church pastor after a simple pronouncement as husband and wife would be followed by a cup of tea in bamboo cups and a piece of the ‘S’ shaped cookie’ for those attending the ceremony as witness. Today, the transforming effects of modernity have resulted in big, fat celebrity weddings with ‘fashionable food,’ and the whole idea of the vows and the meaning of being a witness to the vows have taken a paradigmatic shift.
We have defined truth in our own terms declaring as the author from being a reader, and to concise the very nature of modernity in a nutshell, the fast food carts are mushrooming right outside the entrance of the shopping malls. Call it a hybrid or a re-mix like the pure soulful music of the 80s comes loaded with techno-jarring effects that one cannot differentiate whether it is music or a mad man screaming, having lost the nostalgic content. This re-mix is an interesting metaphor of our times and within the newly crowned authorship we shift from the need to re-live the past to shedding the past of its moral authority and the truth.
The just concluded NLA election was a testament of the horrific Nietzsche’s statement - ‘God is dead’, or more precisely the ‘death of truth’. We have once again ignored our human will to power and ignored and thereby missed the larger encapsulating truth, and instead defined ‘truth’ in our own terms, that money became the truth.
Today, the remix coupled with the no morality and no truth proposition has created a very untidy modern - a postmodern crisis of morality and therefore God is dead, for we have killed ‘God’ as the author of the moral principles and thereby truth.
(Dr Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com)