“Muivah’s gang target GPRN/NSCN kith and kin again” GPRN/NSCN
“Muivah’s gang target GPRN/NSCN kith and kin again” GPRN/NSCN
In yet another exhibition of their anti reconciliation and anti unification stand, Hebron camp has once again directed their frustration on the kith and kin of the GPRN/NSCN member. The latest victim of the murderers is Nihol Aye, the adopted son of Brig Samson Aye of Naga Army. The Maruti van born killers arrived at his garage at Duncan Bosti and pulled the trigger 4 times, but thrice the gun failed to fire. The fourth pierced his left leg smashing the bone. He is presently admitted to the hospital nursing the shattered bone. Hebron camp has become a notorious institution for sowing divisive seeds in Nagaland. The greatest hope of the Naga People towards political solution is to first see all factions together. Unfortunately, the unification of Nagas is the greatest fear for those at Hebron camp. GPRN/NSCN would like to point out to the Naga people, the relatives of the national workers murdered by killers of Hebron camp in the last 3 weeks.
1. The highly decomposed body of Tatar Sadem Ao and his brother Kilensowa, a meter reader in the Power Dept was recovered recently, 4 months after they were abducted by Hebron murders.
2. On July 27, 2008, Sandeep Kumar Singh, the president of brickfield owner union and son in law of kilonser Hojei Swu was murdered at his gate by gypsy born killers from Hebron camp.
3. On 29 July, GPRN/NSCN official Vetoshe Sumi and his nephew Ghunato, a school student were killed at Signal Bosti, Dimapur
4. Qhezheto Sumi, GB of Yeshulto village and Avito Sumi, a civilian of Khehoto village wee shot dead because the supported the unification of all Nagas.
5. On 15 August 2008 Vihoshe Aye, cable operator, younger brother of Raju Peyu, Atoshe of Hovishe village under Niuland sub-division was abducted at gunpoint and shot dead later.
6. On 21 August PP Zeliang GB, Old Rly Colony was killed by Alto born killers for voicing the need for Naga unification
7. 23, Nihol Aye, adopted son of brig Samson Aye, Naga army was shot at and seriously wounded by Maruti van born killers at his garage
These incidents in the last fortnight amply demonstrate that those at Hebron camp have made up their mind to target innocent family members of GPRN/NSCN.
The Sumi national workers through the publicity cell would like to particularly caution handful of misguided Sumis at Hebron that their Tangkhul friends can, at any time, go back to Ukhrul, Delhi, Kolkata or Mumbai with their family but Nagas will eternally remain in Nagaland and therefore targeting family members at the behest of Tangkhuls at Hebron camp is serious error of judgement for those Sumi elders worshipping the Tangkhuls. The killing of relatives of National workers will not be tolerated any longer.
To call GPRN/NSCN as “Kitovi-Mulatonu-Azheto group is indeed a fine idea to breach tribalism in Nagaland. It naturally turns into a clarion call to Nagas to lay bare the inhuman crimes committed by Tangkhuls in Nagaland. Tribalism is best practiced by those who dare to ban Hohos and excommunicate respected intellectuals like Rev Dr. Tuisem Shishak.
It is also for the Naga Hoho and its constituent units, the ENPO, DBs & GBs forum, the NMA, NSF, NPMHR, the PAC, the NBC, the Forum for Naga Reconciliation and all peace loving Nagas to minutely examine who is for Naga unity and who is against it. The delegates of unity, peace and reconciliation meeting at Chiangmai, Thailand returned home thrice with hope of Naga unity, only to see bloody campaign reactivated at home by Muivah’s men. The greatest stumbling block towards unity, peace and reconciliation among the Nagas, from the very beginning is the tragic “I am the Nation” philosophy of Th Muivah and his trusted lieutenants from Ukhrul. Muivah’s directive to extinguish all who stands in his way was, is and shall never be the will of the Naga people. For decades they justified assassinations, countless kidnappings, murdering of the innocent Nagas “for working against the nation”. In the name of the nation how many innocent Naga community leaders, intellectuals, bureaucrats, Politicians and students have been killed? Howe long will the Naga people, particularly the Hohos, NGOS and civil societies, the church and the younger generation Nagas subscribe to “till all who oppose” theory breached at Hebron camp? This tyrannical mindset has infected many Nagas and GPRN/NSCN recognize Hebron camp as the source of all social and political divisions in Nagaland.
Women groups reach out morungexpress
Lady wife of CM, Kaisa Rio seen here distributng a blanket to an elderly woman at a medical camp conducted by the NVWA at Gariphema on August 24. Kaisa is also the president of NVWA.
Gariphema, August 24 (MExN): Term it women empowerment or simply feminine gestures, there is no doubt Naga women have been playing pervasive roles in the development of society. Today, several women groups are instrumental in reaching out various welfare packages especially to rural areas.
One such initiative is the effort made by the Nagaland Voluntary Women Association (NVWA). In a benevolent gesture, the Association carried out a free medical camp here today, that evoked deserving response from the villagers.
NVWA conducts Medical campThe Association is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation’ said NVWA president, Kaisa Rio, lady wife of Nagaland Chief minister Neiphiu Rio, during a medical camp. “We do voluntary works with the satisfaction of knowing that we are helping people through the blessings that God has given to us,” she said.
The Association comprising of wives of various officials like Directors and state legislators, provide voluntary services by taking part in various social activities. A landmark achievement of the association is the establishment of Working Women’s Hostel at secretariat road, Kohima. The hostel houses women of lower income group with a minimal charge. “Through this, we want to come closer to the common people” Kaisa said and informed that the association at present is assisting ten girls from the lower income group.
As an NGO, Kiasa informed that they are also involved in raising fund that would contribute to the benefit of people in the rural areas. Also revealing that many members in their association are ‘good cooks’, she said the Association is planning to hold cooking classes where preparation of various Naga dishes, will be imparted, including in-serving and arrangement methods. It also plans to take up measures for fruit preservation and mushroom cultivation.
In the just concluded medical camp, around 233 people benefited. Apart from extending free medical treatment, the Association also provided the villagers with free medicines, blankets to village elders, toothpaste and brushes to children, sweets and other basic commodities. While an awareness programme on birth control and TB was conducted.
Meanwhile, the Association is planning to hold similar activities across the state.
‘NU has lost its objective’ morungexpress
Dimapur, August 24 (MExN): Expressing concern over the Naga University imbroglio, the All Nagaland College Students’ Union (ANCSU) today lamented that the University has lost its objective and that the students are made to become innocent victims for no fault of theirs. The ANSCU expressed concern that the Nagaland University has almost come to a stand still with the Nagaland University Non-Teaching Staff Association going for a pen-down strike for a week now and the University teachers resigning en-mass.
“…It is most regretful that our University has lost its objective and the students are made to become innocent victims for no fault of theirs. This amply depicts that there is something fundamentally wrong in the University system,” the ANCSU President Wati O Jamir and Speaker, Kuzoto Lohe stated in a press release received here today. Asserting that a university stands for the welfare of the students, the release stated that the Nagaland University issue has “become a serious concern” to the ANCSU and the students’ community as a whole.
In this regard, the release stated that ‘any internal problem, differences or grievances should be settled internally and should not take its toll on the public’.
“If the University authority cannot handle the needs/manage its Kitchen affairs, what more can we expect,” the release stated.
Furthermore, stating that the students require a number of documents from the University for higher education and other purposes, the ANCSU urged all concerned ‘to resolve the issue immediately and regain normalcy in the greater interest of the students’.
Charter of Peace
morungexpress 25 August, 2008 09:13:00
The 10-Point “A Covenant of Common Hope” adopted by Naga participants during the latest Naga Peace Summit III at Chiang Mai, Thailand needs to be welcomed. Though not specific and lacking some clarity—yet the importance of the document as a guideline for ensuring peace and mutual understanding cannot be overlooked. And as rightly mentioned by the participants of the Naga Peace Summit III—representing Naga political groups, frontal Hohos, Churches and Civil Societies—this is in response to the general desire of the Naga people for peace and “there is no turning back”. With the summit in Chiang Mai drawing to a close, one is not surprised to hear the pessimism expressed when it comes to peace among the UG groups in particular and the Nagas in general. This tells a lot about the total frustration of people. And they cannot be blamed if they have lost faith in the good sense of our UG leaders. Leaders should take the high ground and consider what is good for the over all interest of the Naga people.
As far as the doubts expressed about such peace summits—while past negotiations (and there have been countless number of them) have failed to address the issues—no one will disagree that bringing the UGs in a common platform has not been an easy task. In fact it is a thankless job. Every one from the Naga Hoho, Church, civil societies have burned their fingers while dealing with this issue. It will be only fair to give time to the latest initiative undertaken by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation. It is very easy to criticize. But we must show the courage of conviction and prayerfully support the cause of peace.
And given the cynicism and hopelessness that has been expressed due to past failures of such peace initiatives, it is all the more a challenge for the Naga participants and the signatories to this 10-Point Covenant, to doubly ensure that the same is implemented both in letter and spirit. Noteworthy among them include the need to “exercise utmost restraint and shun all forms of confrontation and violence (Point 4) that may result in further divisions among the Nagas” and instead—as rightly mentioned—to “constructively work together (Point 4) in addressing differences and difficulties of the ground realities that stand in the way of Naga reconciliation”.
All concerned parties must take immediate steps to end violence and create the conditions for lasting peace. An unconditional ceasefire goes with the spirit of the agreed covenant and therefore the public will expect a positive decision on this front sooner than later. It is also suggested that one of the first things that needs to be done by the concerned national groups/UGs, tribal hohos and civil society organizations is to review on their policy or orders/Azhas that has been detrimental to peace. For instance the quit notice/s, banning of organizations, excommunication order/s, threats etc. must be immediately revoked. Further the information wing of the respective groups must stop all unnecessary acrimony through the media. All this should be seen as a natural corollary to the 10-Point Covenant.
Making a public commitment “before God and fellow Nagas” is no ordinary undertaking and would require the highest degree of maturity, restraint and responsibility, which hopefully will be demonstrated in the days to come. In response to the 10-Point Covenant, one comment posted in the internet reminds of the Biblical verse that “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, Exodus 20.7”. The onus now lies on the signatories and it is hoped that they will consider the 10-Point “A Covenant of Common Hope” as both sacrosanct and inviolable.
As for the Forum for Naga Reconciliation—due credit goes to them for taking up the role as peace mediators at a crucial and difficult period. Their unwavering commitment, diligent effort and positive energy to create real, lasting peace among the Nagas must be appreciated. At the same time their task is far from over and would require them to be engaged in the process to its logical conclusion. This will demand meaningful intervention—necessary monitoring/verification mechanism—and appraisal when it comes to implementing the peace roadmap. Without reciprocal compliance on the ground, the peace charter will remain a mere paper exercise, which will become a mockery and an embarrassment for Nagas. At the end, cooperation and collaboration is required so that people at long last come to enjoy the dividends of peace. This golden opportunity should not be missed.
(The above article is purely a personal analysis of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinion of this newspaper)
Rev.. L. Suohie Mhasi should clarify his statement Nagaland Page
Rev. L. Suohie Mhasi should clarify his statement before the Nagas because such false statement can not be tolerated by the NNC/FGN and the family members of Tatar Venyiyi Rhakho Chakhesang (who was not a signatory of the accord). Rev. Suohie Mhasi stated that “NNC/FGN had sent Federal troops to the border led by one of the signatories and attacked their fellow workers, killed many people and compelled Isak and Muivah to resign from the NNC”. (which appeared in Nagaland dailies on August 21, 2008)
In his statement, he challengingly and falsely accused the NNC/FGN for the starting of killing among the Nagas. The NNC/FGN takes his statement as very serious and therefore, he should come to our leaders, give explanation and testify his statement by giving two or three names that were killed by the Federal troops which compelled Isak and Muivah to resign for the NNC. We never find such a lunatic and lying Reverend in the world. Why should he tell lies and adding more fuel into burning fire/fratricidal killings? Killing is not a funny game. Why should he play for more bloodshed among the Nagas?
Besü Kape, Asst. Secretary,
Federal Govt. of Nagaland
The Baptists of Nagaland morungexpress
And lastly, in Nagaland, where more than 90% of the population embrace Christianity and where majority live in the rural areas, every village has the Church dominating its landscape. An e.g. here is the Baptist Church, Alichen Village, Mkg.(Nicole Titus)
There has been an attempt to claim that the religion of the Nagas was inherently biblical before the arrival of Christian missionaries. “The Konyak Nagas recognized ‘a deity of highly personal character associated with the sky more than the earth’ who ‘stood above all others.’” “The Naga also had prophets who arose among them from time to time.
An author named Phyveyi Dozo, himself a Chakesany Naga, describes one prophet, a woman named Khamhinatulu, believed to have lived in the 1600’s. Dozo claims that Naga culture featured amazingly biblical customs such as the erection of memorial stones at special places, ‘first fruit’ offerings, blood offerings, holy animal offerings, eating unleavened bread, ear boring, keeping sacred fore’ burning continuously, special regard for the number seven, harvest feast, and the blowing of trumpets after harvest!”
Although many of these practices of the Nagas seem strikingly similar to the biblical customs of Israel in the Old Testament, a closer like will reveal otherwise.
Life in Nagaland before Baptists Arrived
He (Edwin Winter Clark) was told that an enormous rock, standing vertically and alone and in which dwelt a mighty influential spirit, was up there, and no one must pass that way. Clark kept to the ridge, and to the amazement of his attendants walked back and forth unharmed before the sacred boulder.” This encounter the missionaries had with the “sacred boulder” would indicate that the memorial stones of the Nagas represented something entirely contrary to the memorial stones of God’s people in the Old Testament.
There were many religious practices or the Nagas that served as a “dynamic equivalent” or cultural key to prepare the way for the missionaries. “The Ao’s define sin as ‘unclean,’ ‘foul,’ a ‘stain,’ a ‘spot’ and greatly abhor anything they denominate sin. They live in great dread and fear of it, and cleansing of sin is costly in sacrifice and time. Atonement for sin among the Ao’s costs something, and no strong argument is required to convince them of personal sin and the need of salvation.” Among the Ao tribe there was a folklore story about a tree of life. Two boys went fishing and began to boil their catch. They used a leaf from a nearby tree to stop the hole in their bamboo pot. The fish were revived after being put into a boiling pot of water.
To find what caused this unusual happening the boys used a different type of leaf as a stopper and boiled the fish. After the fish were boiled the other type of leaf was replaced. When the boiled fish were put back onto the pan they were revived. Soon the tribe of boys began to flourish due to the leaves that heal. Another tribe was angry and killed all of that tribe except one small boy. The boy did not know the secret of the healing and thus the “tree of life” was lost.
Religious festivals and celebrations played a major role. Some of the occasions for religious festivals were; change of season, worship to Deity, secure good crops, worship and sacrifice at sowing time, demon worship to avert calamity, worship of mountains, worship the village, worship at the skull tree and others. “These worship rituals are a process of cleansing before god, making things worthy, asking god to bless them again, asking god to take away these intrusions (curses), from the community.”
“The Naga animism has had a great influence both on social cohesion and on the development of the individual’s character.”
This tribal animism may at first glance appear to say that the early missionaries would have difficulty bringing the message of Christ to a people of this religion. According to Mrs. Clark this was not the case. “Religiously, these hill people south of Assam. Not being grounded in the old systematized religions of the East, and having no caste, are far more ready to accept the simple story of Jesus of Nazareth.”
Social Life The location and climate of Nagaland has played a role in the social life before a Baptist witness. Nagaland is located in the Mountain region on the coast of Burma. The area produces the highest rainfall in the world. “This heavy precipitation upon an extremely fertile soil causes excessive vegetable growth and decay, and induces, as would be expected much malaria fever.”
To the Naga before a Baptist witness there was a strong social tie to the family, clan and village. “The Naga social unit was not the tribe but the village. Each village was inhabited by two or more clans, each usually occupying its own area. Each village was responsible for its own economic, social, religious, and political needs.
In those days there were no inter-tribal organizations to cope with the needs of the tribe as a whole. Thus in such a society it was necessary to train and teach the young people within the village community itself. In the Naga society two institutions were mainly responsible for indigenous Naga education: the family and the morung”9 The “morung” was a type of dormitory the single males lived in with the primary purpose of defense.
One of the most striking social characteristics to the western mind was the practice of headhunting. According to Alva Bowers Nagaland was “the paradise of the head-hunters.”10 “They were dubbed by the Assames, ‘head cutters’.” “Men were dubbed women or cows until they had contributed to the village skull house.” Although the Naga villages were known for their headhunting practices thee was no known case of cannibalism. Some felt that the aspect of “head cutting” among the Nagas has been overemphasized. “The positive remarks wee always left behind or ignored by the missionary and other writers of the nags. They in fact over-emphasized the negative aspects and painted the Nagas as the Head Hunters of northeast, India.”
The taking of a head was representative of courage. “To the Nagas there is nothing more glorious than bravery and success in battle, which meant the bringing of an enemy head back to the village.”14 It is because of these savage practices that the British would later encourage missionaries to work among the Nagas in hopes of bringing them under British rule.
Song was an important aspect of Naga culture. “Naga people used to communicate through the medium of song. Often in disputes they would even dialogue and fight with songs.” “Singing and dancing were essential qualifications which a Naga boy or girl had to acquire.” The boys were kept busy with sports and dancing to keep alert and fit. To be alert and fit had more than recreational value in the early Naga culture. “The young warriors slept with their battle-axes for pillows and their spears close at hand.”
Security was always on the mind of the Naga. They did not want to risk their head being taken by a nearby tribe. Women and children in groups brought wood from the jungles and water from the springs far down the hillsides, never going singly, as the lower springs were favorite lurking places for enemies seeking human heads.” It was not uncommon that weaker villages were ravaged by stronger simply for heads.”
“Opium smoking (introduced by the British to weaken the Naga militarily) sapped Naga initiative.”20 Rice beer was also a common staple among the Nagas and its excess would cause drunkenness.
To the Ao’s of Nagaland there were important social implications from the “Chunglizmti” which means six stones. The belief is that the six Ao tribes originated from the six stones. “Because a tribe member came from one particular stone this meant that he could not marry in his own tribe. The tribe held that one was brother and sister who came from that stone and for this reason must seek marriage in an outside tribe.” When it was time for a couple to be married it was a time of festival and celebration for the Naga people.
The social life of the Nagas before the missionaries was intertwined with the religious life. The religious festivals had a profound impact on both the religious and social areas of life and it is difficult to divide out the effects of the two. As we will see it is just this type of problem that faced the missionary upon arrival in Nagaland.
Baptist Arrive in Nagaland Change in religious life
The first American Baptist missionary to arrive went to Assam by the year 1836. Rev. Bronson arrived in Assam but did not reach Nagaland himself. “There was a burden and constant intercession for the Nagas. He wrote a letter to headquarters, ‘O God, pity these perishing tribes and dispose the board of missions to send them help’.” The first Naga Christian was baptized on September 12, 1847. He was named Hubi and died of cholera within a month of his baptism. He was baptized by Godhula Brown in Sibsagor. The second Baptist Christian also baptized by Brown was Longjaglepzueck an Ao. He too died before he could carry the gospel to his people.
Bronson’s prayer would not be answered until 33 years later in the form of Edwin W. Clark and his wife. “They sailed from Boston on October 20, 1868 in Bark Pearel via Cape of Good Hope under the Missionary Union as Missionaries and Printers. They arrived in Sibsagar in March 1869 and relieved William Ward who had long need of furlough.”
During their stay at Sibsagar the Clarks had opportunity of meeting some Nagas roaming in search of food. Like Bronson the Clarks developed a burden for the Nagas and wrote the Home Mission Board in 1871. “Tribe upon tribe of Nagas are accessible to the Gospel. It is certainly painful for us at Sibsagar to be unable to lift our eyes without seeing these hills and thinking of them who have no knowledge of Christ.”
Clark sent an evangelist to penetrate the Naga Hills. The evangelist came down with nine others and they were baptized by Clark on November 11, 1872. Clark was at this time not permitted to enter Nagaland by the British Government and his own mission board was hesitant to approve his plan to enter the Naga Hills December 23, 1872. That very day Clark organized the first Baptist Church of Nagaland.
It was an important day in Naga history when the first Baptist Church was formed. It is no wonder Clark knew his calling would henceforth be with the Nagas. “’I believe I have found my life-work,’ exclaimed Mr. Clark, as he entered the old press bungalow on his return from his twelve days’ absence in the wilds of barbarism.” The glorious moment for Clark was not without troubles. The village became divided over the new religion. Some felt that Clark could not be trusted because he had the same white face as the British military. The Nagas were opposed to anything that would promote alliance with the encroaching British power. Clark was determined to dedicate himself to the people and trust the Lord alone for protection. Clark was able to keep his head through the difficult opposition.
Clark concentrated on developing a good knowledge the language, their character and medicine. These skills proved helpful in soul winning and opened doors in many homes. Clark also would encourage the Nagas to pray for the sick and the recovery of a sick person would lead to a renunciation of animistic sacrifice.
“In 1894 Mulong became the center of missions to further the evangelization of the Naga tribes. Mulong is the first Christian village in Nagaland. Then in a later year Clark moved his mission center to Impur which is presently known as Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang.”
In the Ao culture every act of worship was accompanied by a gift. It was not difficult to convince the people to contribute to the Lord’s work.
In the schools the Bible was the textbook. The Naga would excel in the area of prayer. “A Naga prayer meeting is a prayer meeting indeed. The Nagas came to pray, and they do what they come for. There are no long, killing pauses. All kneel during prayer and at the end join in a hearty A-men.” In 1905 Clark saw a record one hundred and ninety baptisms. The work was truly blessed of God but Clark saw that better days were yet ahead. “Thirty years ago I took up residence in these Naga hills in a village where some work had been done by a native evangelist. Save at this place, over all these ranges of hills hunt the black pall of heathen, barbaric darkness. Now from some twenty of the fifty or more villages crowning the mountain crests floats the glorious banner of Christ, held by his Naga disciples. The softening twilight of Christianity is here. Soon the broad daylight with its transforming power will reveal a Christianized people.”
Chang in Social Life
In the year 1835 Major Jenkin, Commissioner General of Assam wanted to explore and map out the native hills known as Nagaland. He knew the difficulty involved in this because of their headhunting practices. Assam became part of India under the British Government in 1826. To fulfill his dream of making Nagaland part of India he used the plan of first Christianizing them to pacify their warlike tendencies. The response for missionaries came fro the American Baptists from the invitation of the English Baptists.
The Nagas were well aware that to accept Christianity would mean drastic changes in their social life. “Adherents of the old, cruel faith were quick to see that the gospel of peace and love would rapidly empty their skull houses and put to rout most of the old customs handed down from forefathers, for whom they held the greatest reverence. The missionaries presence and his teaching had spread like wildfire from mountain peak to peak and everywhere was fostered the suspicious spirit.” The Nagas saw the important benefits that Christianity would bring including education and economic benefits, sanitation, but not all were willing to extend open arms to the new missionaries. In many ways the Nagas have been compared with the Indians of North America. As the Nagas would value a trophy of a head so the American Indian would value a scalp.
There were other practices that would by today’s standards be considered unclean that the first missionaries encountered. The eating of dogs’ flesh and dead animals was problem faced by the early missionaries. The Nagas were also not in the practice of burying their dead.
The early missionaries attacked the vices as part of their work. “Every form of demon worship, open or suspected, was attacked—Sunday-breaking, rice beer drinking, licentiousness, and all social vices.” What has caused problems for some is the missionaries’ attack on all social vices. Some have claimed that these early missionaries lacked anthropological insight and understanding of the culture. The missionaries may have confused western culture and tradition with biblical Christianity in some cases. In asking the Naga to reject animism there was a requirement placed on the Christian to give up much of his culture. Even if these early pioneer missionaries did make mistakes discerning between animism and culture much of what took place among the Nagas was positive. Christianity was of major importance as far as integrating the once warring Naga tribes as can be seen from the British military report. “An American Baptist Missionary, The Reverend Clark, has for some years past settled in the Naga village of Molar Kay, south of Amguri, and his labours are apparently bearing fruit in leading to the settlements of blood feuds, and a desire on the part of those villages which have come under his influence to live at peace with their neighbors.”
It must be noted that it was Christianity that brought an end to the practice of headhunting. Although the results were dramatic they were not always immediate in the early days of mission efforts. “In short the government did not get the hoped for benefit of tribal pacification that was the primary motive behind the early support of missionary efforts. The missionaries attacked certain cultural practices among the Nagas such as wearing of ornaments and the abolishment of Naga folk music. The arrival of missionaries also meant the arrival of a written language. Thomas Bronson prepared a spelling book and simple catechism. “These were the first books written in any Naga language.”
Life in Nagaland after Baptists Came Clark’s vision for Nagaland came true. We can see the broad daylight of a Christianized people from the growth statistics:
It should be noted that during this period (1890-1960), that the number of foreign missionaries was never above ten. “By 1980 the Naga population was 572,742 and the Baptist population was 185,987 according to the Baptist Atlas; Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1980.” It is not surprising that today with such a high church membership to discover that the Nagas face a unique set of difficulties as compared with the past. There is an increasing need for leadership. There are one thousand churches and in some of these churches there is no pastor. There is also a problem keeping the young people involved in church.
Today Nagaland is known for its church movement. Nagaland is still growing spiritually in reaching out to people who need the message of Jesus Christ. The main denomination of Nagaland today is the American Baptists. There are some other denominations, but they are only the minority. Nagaland is virtually closed to the Muslim faith. “Only Punjab, Orissa and Nagaland did they (Muslims) constitute less than two percent of the population in the 1980’s.”The American Baptist denomination in Nagaland is in some ways different than that in the United States. They are more charismatic orientated, practice laying on of hands of the sick and hold healing services. The evangelical zeal has continued with the Nagas and they hope to send out 10,000 missionaries by the year 2000.
Rapid westernization has occurred since the coming of the missionaries. The cinema has a big effect on the Naga culture. The young people seek to copy the westernized movie stars. The Nagas were once a people of virtually classless society and now the rich and poor classes have emerged. There are some Naga folklore that are still held on to in today’s Christian community. In the Ao tribes one is not allowed to marry in his or her own tribe. The folklore that one is a brother created from the same stone has still remained within the Ao culture. The Nagaland today is not the same Nagaland of 1836. There may be some negative side effects in the culture from the transformation of a savage people to a Christian state, but there has been a glorious transformation of a people.
“If anyone be in Christ he is a new Creation, behold old things have passed away the new has come.” Corinthians 5:17
KSU decries mining haste OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Shillong, Aug. 23: The Khasi Students Union (KSU) today criticised the Centre for its alleged apathy towards the problems in Meghalaya and the rest of the Northeast, a day after Union cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar and Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar met the NGOs of the state on uranium mining.
“We do not understand the hurry on the part of the Centre to start uranium mining. The same seriousness is not shown towards solving the problem of influx, which is affecting all the northeastern states,” KSU leader Samuel Jyrwa told The Telegraph.
“For the last 15 years, under the banner of North East Students Organisation (Neso), we have been asking the Centre to to solve the problem of influx, but without any tangible results,” he added.
Jyrwa said saving the Northeast from illegal migrants from Bangladesh would be saving India.
“I don’t understand the logic behind pursuing the issue of uranium mining by the Centre, while it is turning a blind eye to the problem of influx and other issues affecting the Northeast,” he said.
Jyrwa said every terror strike in India had its links with Bangladesh and added that the rise in the number of illegal migrants in the Northeast is a cause of concern as far as the security of the nation is concerned.
Of their meeting with central officials yesterday, Jyrwa said they had reiterated their opposition to uranium mining. “We will continue to oppose uranium mining and want the Centre to cancel the project,” he said.
“According to the documents and evidence with us, uranium mining will be harmful to the people of the state. We will convince the cabinet secretary and the chairman of atomic energy commission to tell the Centre to abort the uranium project,” Jyrwa said.
He also flayed the UCIL for giving a wrong report that an overwhelming majority had favoured uranium mining during the public hearing held on June 12 last year in West Khasi Hills.
The media reports of the public hearing had said a majority of the people had opposed uranium mining whereas UCIL was misleading the people, Jyrwa said.
State Cabinet endorses SoO agreement with Kuki militants The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Aug 23: The state Cabinet today approved the Suspension of Operations agreement that was signed yesterday with KNO, UPF on one side and the state government and Centre on the other.
A Cabinet meeting held under the chair of the state chief minister O Ibobi Singh late today evening also approved a proposal for expansion of the NH-150 from the present width of 100 ft to 125 on both sides.
The trilateral agreement which was signed between the KNO including UPF and state government and Centre yesterday was thoroughly discussed by the Cabinet meeting and gave approval to the same for enforcing in the state.
Mention may be made that the agreement was signed yesterday at New Delhi after the state Cabinet had given approval on July 25 to the ground rules to be enforced under the SoO which was agreed in several rounds of talks with the KNO, a body comprising of 11 Kuki based militant groups and representatives of the state as well as Central government represented by officials of the ministry of home affairs.
A highly reliable source said that there was a slight modification in the ground rules with regard to the maintenance of allowance per month of the cadres of the outfits included in the SoO agreement.
The Cabinet in its July 25 meeting approved the provision of Rs. 2000 per month but highly reliable sources said that today’s Cabinet approved the payment of Rs. 4000 per month to the cadres during the transition period while Rs. 3000 per month after the transition period concluded.
The expenditure to be made by the state government in the payment of allowance to the cadres would be refunded by the Centre.
The source also hinted at commencement of the peace talks at the earliest and the government also discussed initiating talks with other underground groups operating in the state.
As per the agreed ground rules, the SoO is initially agreed upon for a period of one year which may extend by mutual agreement thereafter.
The enforcement of the ground rules would be the responsibility of the state government with the help and assistance of the Central police organizations, Assam Rifles and army deployed in the state, as per the agreement.
Among other agendas discussed by today’s Cabinet meeting expansion of the NH-150 from Keishampat bridge to Churachandpur town was one. The Cabinet approved to expand the highway to make it 125 feet wide from the current 100 ft.
It also agreed to take up steps for demarcation of the land and to identify the land to be affected by the expansion.
Provision of adequate compensation to the affected land holders was also discussed at the meeting.
Other agendas like appointment on contract basis of short staff in various departments was also approved.
Appointment of 19 staffs of different category of posts in the state directorate of information and public relations, 11 staffs in the state health department for Centrally sponsored mental health programmes in Chandel and Churchandpur districts, 11 staffs in the MPSC etc. were also approved by the Cabinet.
The Cabinet also approved incurring expenditure on the payment of staff salaries of the State Land Use Board from the non-plan instead of its earlier payment from the plan amount so as to avoid irregularities in the payment of the salaries of the employees.
Frans on 08.24.08 @ 09:43 PM CST [link]