New Politics

The present state of affairs is a clear indication of the crying need for a new politics in our land. The old politics of based on fear, exclusion and ‘the other’ is shredding away the possibilities of a shift in paradigm in how Nagas conduct our human affairs. As long as the old politics continues to prevail, Nagas as a people will find it difficult to transcend the divisions that divide us; and we will fail to embrace the deeper and fuller meaning of humanity. Nagas are in dire need of a new politics based on respect, truth, inclusion and above all a vision for a shared and common Naga future.
There is no doubt that we may first have to begin by decolonizing our minds. Suppression of the human body has often been characterized first by the colonization of the mind and spirit. The colonization of the mind is intended to cloud and internalize the human spirit with fear and sense of worthlessness, to condition behavior to the status quo which leads to acceptance of the normalization of the abnormal and where those suppressed don’t see themselves as makers of their own culture and history. Perhaps Bantu Steve Biko articulated this insight in the way which can be best understood, that ‘the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.’
Without a shadow of doubt, one must view the policy of suppression at a psychological level, because whatever else it does economically or politically, it creates confusion in the mind and weakens the human resolve. Any transformative initiative therefore must necessarily involve a deliberate process of decolonizing the mind. Transformation demands the renewal of a people’s culture, culture which is the carrier of a society’s values; and values that form the basis of a people’s self-definition. By culture, it implies the dynamic process of cultivating new life. Hence, there is a critical need to identify and reconstitute the cultural base and values which was fragmented by suppression. It means identifying what is and what is not and acting upon it.
Ngugi Wa Thiong'o describes it beautifully while responding to western accusations of the prevalent culture of corruption in Africa. He says “They wash their hands of what is happening, as if they have never had anything to do with the corruption, with massacres, with backwardness. My concern is with these colonial distortions. There are elements which are indigenous, but they are also external. You can't understand one without the other. The tendency is to leave out one of the elements in the equation. But an equation without all its elements is no longer an equation.”
Ngugi further emphasizes on the need to challenge and transform the system because of the terrible moral decay. He adds, “An individual can go, but the system continues.” To bring change, we need a new song, but to sing a new song, we need to decolonize our minds. If not, we will only be singing the songs written and taught to us by others. To bring out genuine transformation in our lives and in our land, we must engage in a process of decolonizing our minds. It is here that the birth of a new politics takes place.