Inner Strength

Against the onslaught of many things modern, whether it is popular culture, political system or the bureaucratization of the individual and society, there is much truth in the saying that something’s are left untouched and be preserved as time honored assets of a particular community. In this context, it goes without saying that the Naga way of life has much to offer by way of providing the answers to many of the dilemma that the people are being confronted with today. Whatever is the issue in whichever field it may be—social, economic or political—the intelligentsia should take on the responsibility of encouraging adaptation—of traditional knowledge and way of life—to modern influence rather than supplanting through cultural genocide, the time honored practices and ways of the people. As such, the Government, Church, Civil Society Groups and the local Media should use their respective platform in facilitating this adaptation process and encourage the use of traditional knowledge and practices in finding application for them particularly in the broad area of conflict resolution, governance and decision making. 

It also goes without saying that the State Government machinery should have as its agenda, the high priority of reestablishing that vital link with the people and also use the tremendous power latent in traditional knowledge to meet its development goals. It will be in the fitness of things for policy makers to turn their attention ‘inwards’ towards tapping the traditional ‘technologies’ or assets of people rather than depending solely on the systems and programs brought in from outside. Governance must be developed within the context of Naga society and due consideration should be given to traditions in order to allow the Naga people to identify with their government. As is the case with communitization and village development boards, such positive elements of the political heritage of the Naga people should be adapted in order to form and sustain a governing model unique to the Nagas. 

It will be noteworthy to mention here the two-day Tangnyinn Aoyea (festival) held recently at Lungwa of Mon district. One of the stated objectives of the gathering was to unite the Tangnyinn kinfolk arbitrarily separated during the head-hunting days. By using the inherent strength of culture, the Konyak Nagas from Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar and Nagaland converged at Lungwa in an effort to revive and renew their bond. As such, if Nagas can develop such cultural meetings like the Tangnyinn, gradually, there will be a meeting of the mind, which can help nurture a feeling of oneness. Likewise similar ‘peace models’ should be replicated to help resolve disputes such as the one in Tobu between the Konyak and Chang communities. 

Besides initiating inter-tribal and cultural meeting points in the specific area of conflict resolution and peace building exercises, the knowledge base found in the traditional institutions such as the Village Development Boards (VDBs) should be tapped to harness the social capital of people in rural areas. By re-directing governance, as adapted to local needs, to take shape at the grass-root level, there is greater assurance that it will bring about the all-round social empowerment for the people. What lies beneath and drawing from the well-spring on one’s inner strength and resource is as much of importance to harness the collective energy of the people towards its stated objectives.