Showing posts from August, 2015

Who is a free person?

Morung Express Editorial   The Nagas’ fight for that thing called ‘freedom’ is as long as the lifespan of an average Naga. But it doesn’t seem that ‘absolute freedom’ which we also call as ‘political sovereignty’ will be possible in our time or anybody’s life time. But in this many, many years of freedom struggle, how many of us ponder on ‘what does it mean to be free?’ How do we define a free person or people? Besides the political and economic rearrangements, how will that freedom taste like to the individual?  In our present set-up, who do we think is the freest person? In the WordWeb dictionary, ‘freedom’ is defined as ‘the condition of being free; the power to act, speak or think without externally imposed restraints’. To go by this definition, none of us experience complete freedom because we all suffer from restraints. Even the chief minister or the governor of our State cannot act, speak, or think freely all the time. We often have the misconception that only if we

A confusing time

Morung Express Editor ial   Is it a time to rejoice or fear? The signing of the ‘framework agreement’ between the NSCN-IM and Government of India, even before the content is made public, seems to have a polarizing effect. It resulted in a thanksgiving candlelight program in the southern Naga areas, scratching of heads in the north, a lot of speculations in between, and flexing of arms in the neighboring States. But, it sure is amusing that there should be a thanksgiving program before the content of the ‘agreement’ is even made public. It speaks of the general sentiment of the people in those areas. Meanwhile, in Nagaland, there were ‘no celebration or bursting of crackers, no banners or festoons to mark the occasion’, as reported by the Indian Express. A lot of speculations are doing the rounds meanwhile as to the content of the agreement. Some speak of extension of Article 371A, forming Pan-Naga Council, while some talk of armed battalions for surrendered IM cadres, and

Living beyond our means

Morung Express Editorial  When the last State general election came knocking, there was talk that BJP might come to power at the Centre in the next Lok Sabha election. So, if the NPF wins in the State and BJP at the Centre, some believed that money will start pouring in again. One reason which people believed to be the cause of our perennial budget deficit was that NPF government in the State and Congress government at the Centre are opposed to each other. So, Nagaland was never given enough money. The expectations of positive change came through with thumping victories for both NPF and BJP. But from the first State budget (2015-16) since the BJP took over at the Centre, it seems like the financial situation has not changed.    What could be the reason that money has not poured in as expected? One reason could be the factional fight within NPF which led to induction of Congress legislators into the ruling coalition. Nagaland earned the status of being the only State where BJP a

Childhood Obesity

Morung Express Editorial   Before, children used to play outside. Now, they play indoors. What constitutes ‘play’ has changed that ‘playing’ mobile games require minimal physical activity. The lack of physical activity causes obesity which is a risk factor for lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, certain cancers, etc. But what we might be missing here is that children have stopped playing outside not only because they have got newer playing tools like video games, smart phones or laptops. They stopped playing outside because the playgrounds have been vanishing. Every small open space is used to construct a building. When I go to Pfutsero to the locality where I was born and raised; right in the middle of my childhood football ground, there is now a staff quarter building. It is very important for town and city planners that in each locality, there is a park or an open space where children can play and adults can walk.                 Price of healthy

Land of Contradictions

Morung Express Editorial During the days of State Road Shows, Chief Minister Neipiu Rio would give titles to the districts as he saw them. To Phek he gave the title ‘Land of Tradition’; to Mokokchung ‘Land of Music’ and so on. Nagaland is showcased as ‘Land of Festivals’ while we see some car stickers saying ‘Land of Mission’. While they carry positive messages, there are undesirable titles which are also applicable: ‘Land of Taxation,’ ‘Land of Unions and Associations’, ‘Land of Potholes’, etc. Let me also propose, although there is nothing new about it, that Nagaland is a ‘Land of Contradictions’.  Padma Seth said in a health research report, ‘There are still people in our country some of whom are in the 2 nd century India, 9 th century and some others are knocking at the emerging 21 st century India’ . Professor Dipankar Gupta calls our modernity ‘mistaken’ because although we equate being modern with having the latest electronic gadgets and wearing branded clothes,


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