Every human society emerging from the dark past have had the courage to shed all of their bruised, worn-out and negative image in pursuit of reinventing themselves into new image befitting the battle of redeeming themselves from the bondage of the dark past. No nation,
no society worth the quote was ever born with silver spoons in their mouths.They went past struggle after struggle on the strength of their character- imbued as they were with spirit of true humanity – strong and large enough to absorb and withstand all challenges and differences.
History tells us that movement built and sustained on strong connect between leadership and people is what sees the light of the day as against one thrust on the people on highly polarized dogmatism. Small and weak that we nagas are in terms of everything, we should never allow ourselves to suffer consequences of tribalistic culture, greed-driven leadership, petty and narrow partisanship etc. History is replete with movements whose much larger picture of vision of what the future ought to be like, got completely overshadowed by urgency and immediateness of extracting loyalty, allegiance to me/my group/my organisation/my tribe. This is how, instead of of going strong on ideas/ ideals of the movement, they went strong on doctrine of ‘tooth for tooth, eye for eye’ and thereby directly facilitated adversaries rubbing in on our vulnerabilities (economic, social, political) to play up ‘divide and rule’ with consequences most unwelcome. People particularly inteligencia knew this was in the coming and yet ignored for reason that things (baits) offered on their plates in terms of powers, positions, names and all that go with it were far too strong to be resisted. Many among them were of course, ‘hangers-on’ freaking out in the limelight of their bosses. At this rate, even people-oriented movement got replaced or rather displaced by a ‘Quid-pro quo’ wherein the hangers-on kept on extolling and exalting the leadership for every damn thing and the leadership, in return doing everything possible to keep the so-called hardcore in good humour.
History bears unequivocal testimony to the truth that going forward and higher on the ladder of civilizational climb is given to those who not only dared dream big but most importantly acted big. There is complete synchronisation of dreams with life in action-freed up of all acts of hypocrisy, double-standard, pettiness, power-mongering, ego-centricity etc. They are where they are far way up because they are humane enough to understand the absolute human need to conduct reality check on themselves on sustained ongoing track, with a view to self-introspecting, course-correcting and self-refining. In their relentless search for ‘the best of the best’, the most excellent, they never shied away from shedding extra-weight, extra-baggage of the past.
On the reverse, we seem totally driven into harping on the past just to get a small ‘good feel’ of whatever little good was there in the years/ages gone past. Past digging wherever and whenever as often done is only limited to crowding our memory space with things bitter, hateful, hurtful, unsavoury and divisive leaving no space for things positive, constructive and inclusive. I am certainly not against revisiting the past with a view to sharpening our sense of historicity as we stay focused on shedding unwelcome past (whatever that was)- main focus being on learning from the past and building a robust future thereon. However, we seem completely oblivious of historic task/ responsibility that we live in the present with the sole mandate of fixing societal needs/problems in pursuit of a safe and secure future.
Where are we and what are we doing for the future? The poser doesn’t sound comfortable because it simply doesn’t gell well with the ground reality of our situation. For reason of willful and belligerent promotion of vested interests of individuals, groups, organisations, tribes, villages etc. inclusive interests and collective well-being are given a go-by leading to eventual demise of future – the future legitimately hoped for.
Sword Vashum. Retired additional deputy comptroller and accountant general. Views are personal.