A prayer for Nagaland

Young people have become very negative, our leaders in high places say. But the gospel of positive attitude which they preach is actually Blind Positivity. They want their followers to close their eyes and say that all is well. Having a positive attitude is admirable. But you look to your left, right, front, and back and what do you see? Does the evidence of the present situation foster an attitude of positivity? Our leaders think that they can scold you ng people to obedience. But kids have eyes and minds. The spirit of negativity is the making of the leaders who have failed us. Now, rather than old leaders blaming the young people for becoming so negative, it is time for the young people to tear down the towers of lies.  Government of India, don’t bail us out of our financial mess. Let the last remaining road turn from potholes to river-beds. Let the transformers burst to flames. Let the last bridge collapse and be washed away.  We pray for safety and food

Why I believe

I had my times of doubt even though I have never considered to renounce my faith. The doubt was like a background noise, soft as a whisper but it was there. Since childhood, I have remained within the church circles. I was an obedient Sunday School kid, and an active church youth member. In college, I was a member of the students’ fellowship. In fact, through college I have always been in the executive committee of students’ fellowship. But it was during those college days that I started to have this doubt: 'what if all this is not true'. What if this whole Christianity or religion thing is just a construct of humans? I think faith is not the absence of doubt. But there can be doubt/faith in the midst of faith/doubt. Gideon knew about God's merciful dealings with Israel. But he had his doubt and had to double check before putting his trust on God. On the first night, God made the fleece soaking wet and all the ground around it stayed dry. The next night, God did

'Don't send us funds. They will never reach us'.

Officials from central government (GOI) and regional office had a program with a farmers group in Nagaland. I did not attend the program but I was told when I sat with the same farmers for another meeting recently.  In that program, the officials from outside heard the plight of the farmers and offered to help through financial support to their work. How the farmers replied to that offer is something which needs our attention. They replied, 'DON'T SEND US FUNDS. THEY WILL NEVER REACH US' . It was not that the farmers did not need the money. But their reply said it all. They have lost faith in the State government. What they were saying is : the central government will sanction the money, the State politicians will take their share, the departments will have their cut, and some connected people (contractor, relative, party worker) will pocket the left-overs with fictitious documents.  That same group of farmers are now trying to search market on their own to s

On special songs in my church

Let me share another thought (with my church WhatsApp group). Again not because anybody asked for it😆. It is about the typical special songs presented in the church by Ciezo Mepus (colony fellowships). My idea of a special song in church is that it should be presented by someone (or a group) who is gifted in music, and ideally by a good musician who loves the Lord. And frankly I don't have much taste for the typical songs presented by various colony fellowships. Many of the songs sound like unfamilar Dieliekevi (hymnal) songs and quite a number of them are self-composed and in local dialects. There is a similar pattern about them that from the first line, you fairly know how it is going to be (with exceptions of course). I think many young people will identify with my feeling expressed here though out of respect for elders we may not show it. I wish that special songs get better musically, and hopefully they will with the passage of time, but I have come to some kind of unde

Demone(di)tization remembered

Brothers and sisters, give me 50 days, he pleaded almost breaking down to tears. Punish me if I fail you, he said assuredly. I gave up everything for you, he reminded emphatically . What they have stolen over the last 70 years, I am going to loot back for you in 17 months, he promised. And boy, oh boy, he did it. It was a thumping success with a score of 99%. The goalposts had to be moved but it was still a goal!! Lest we forget

Science as a Christian Vocation

Published in Eastern Mirror and other newspapers. Reposted here with permission from author “ The single greatest sin any young person can commit” , said William Temple, the then Archbishop of Canterbury “ is to choose a career on selfish grounds without a sense of calling. For it is the deliberate withdrawal from allegiance to God of the greatest time and strength .” Perhaps not many Christians consciously choose science as a vocation in obedience to God’s calling. In fact, many young people, particularly in low-income countries, choose science mostly on economic grounds and social prestige and not mainly for using their talent and knowledge for the betterment of humankind or ‘out of love, care and concern for their neighbours’. Even poorer countries, such as India, pour a considerable amount of their GDP into scientific research which are closely tied to military power and commercial interests. Many adolescents are, therefore, pushed into careers that are based on science no

'Your underwear is our underwear'

'Your underwear is our underwear'. This is the most creative slogan that Nagas have come up with in a public protest (in Zunheboto some years back) against extortion and molestation of women by a UG group. In a magazine article called ' Wages of war ', the detailed rates and means of extortion by various Naga underground groups were documented. It was estimated that the collective revenue of all UG groups is about Rs. 1300 crores annually. Not a rupee of this goes back to, say, maintenance of even 1 inch of road in the State. Where does this money go? Surely it doesn't need that much amount to negotiate peace with government of India. The source of money to fund the palatial buildings and luxury cars in the posh suburbs of Dimapur belonging to UG leaders is not hard to guess. But the above slogan goes deeper than that. It says: 'Not only your house, your car, or the luxuries that you enjoy, that underwear which you are wearing right now is also paid by us'.

‘Dr.’ on sale

What I’m about to say will make some people unhappy. But it is something which needs to be said. It is nothing new but those who are aware are not very vocal about it. If I say that what I am about to say is nothing personal, I’d be partially lying. I speak from the view point of highlighting a general pattern, but specific encounters influence the viewpoint I hold.  I speak about the people who had it relatively easy to put a ‘Dr.’ before their name; while some would struggle through hades to achieve it. We hear of cases when such title can be bought with money. Ph.D thesis which can escape plagiarism detection software can be bought from a photocopy shop outside the university gate, as per a news rep ort . Honorary doctorate can be sold by bogus and even non-existent universities, in the guise of payment towards attending a super conference in a hotel somewhere away from the 'alleged' university. Accreditation bodies can also be 'manufactured' by nexus of ‘univ

Who to blame? Let us be specific

When we say that the public is also to be blamed for messy situation we are in, does that mean that the baby girl who was born last night in a remote village in Myanmar border is also to be blamed?  Let's be specific. 'Public' is a heterogeneous group with angels and demons and every type in between. Generalizing the blame is not just for those who are not corrupt yet suffer for someone else's faults. Blaming the public is a favorite prop politicians use to legitimise their ac tions.  But let's face this truth: Politicians are homogeneous in so far as corruption is concerned. By virtue of their power and position, the magnitude of one's corruption is larger than that of a hundred corrupt public. Therefore, let us be specific as to who is at the root of the problem. If what they say is true that what they accumulate goes back to the people during election, what about the mansions they build? Do those palaces ever go back into circulation? Do th


Ok, so you are a regular government employee and your job is so secure. You have been working in the same job for over a decade and you know your job well.  A visitor comes for some work and he is confused which room to go to, or how to process his request. He asks you questions. You meet such people everyday in the workplace. Sure, some people won't get you at first and will ask the same question again. Some questions will sound silly.  It feels nervous for anyone to go to a new place. Some people are worse in sense of direction and may need extra help. Some will have problem understanding the words, terms and abbreviations used in the office, which would be easy to employees.  Some would have travelled from far-off places to meet you. Some wouldn't be that educated and are already nervous before stepping into the office.  My sincere request is: please let us be polite to people who come for help in our workplace. Of course, this doesn't a

Copy Paste Era…From Distraction to Stillness

The future will look back at our time as the era of ‘copy-pasters’ and ‘forwarders’. There is a possibility that through research, we will be found as the generation when the average human brain size reduced –which is unprecedented in history - due to reduce in usage. It is possible that we are living at a time when the average human creativity (or can be any brain activity) level is at its lowest. There is no lack of creativity for some. But the creativity of one is copy-pasted and forwarded a million times. And artists are ‘inspired’ mostly by the works of other artists. Opinions in discussion forums are actually opinions/echoes of others in some other forums. Wild speculations are dispersed in countless social media groups and swallowed as news. The bulk of our knowledge and opinion formation comes from status updates and rants, quotes in jpeg formats, and short videos. We live in a time of countless distractions. We do not have the earlier luxury of focused engagement. W

Early bird

Rhododendrons at Tsazu I browse articles on entrepreneurial skills and things like ‘how small changes can improve your life considerably’ and one common advice I find is this: Early to bed and early to rise. This goes out even to people who say ‘but I am a night person’. The advice comes with this practical guide: set your alarm 30 minutes early. If you wake up at 6:30 am, then set it at 6 am. I think this advice is important because we follow Indian Standard time which is set in Allahabad. We might be 1 hour ahead of it. At 4:30 am, it is bright already here. We may be losing around 22,000 minutes per year of day light, which translates to 365 hours or 15 days approx. Bangladesh, which is west of us is ahead of us by 30 minutes! This advice is said to be for the busy person as well who never has enough time (and work into the night). There is hardly time to meditate or think of matters that matter eternally. I was also reading about the person who wrote the beau


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