DIMAPUR | December 10, 2012
‘Naga Day,’ a publication of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) was launched as an introduction to ‘Naga Day’ that will be celebrated January 10 of every year, starting 2018.
The Day is envisaged to be one where all Nagas—irrespective of arbitrary borders that divide—come and stand together as one people. On January 10, 1929, the Nagas had, for the first time, articulated the Naga will to live as a free people to the Simon Commission.
The book released today at DABA’s Elim Hall here will be distributed free of charge. It is a compilation of writings and poems by Naga writers, social activists and entrepreneurs.
“What started as an attempt to introduce the Naga Day through a small booklet turned out to be much bigger than imagined,” stated Dr. Lanusangla Tzudir, part of the publicity team of ‘Naga Day.’
“This book will speak to us about the aspirations and imagination of the people and I hope that this book will allow us to embark on a journey of reconciliation and healing and also allow people who have already started a journey of reconciliation to continue on the journey,” she expressed.
Young Naga voices
Representing young Naga voices, three participants shared their thoughts on the abstract of the book. Ikali Sumi, BA 3rd Semester student from Patkai Christian College, termed the occasion as a day ‘to embrace a new ideal which hitherto was unheard of.’
The Naga history is a unique, heroic and spectacular one. “This book has immensely inspired me to know more of my roots. The vibrant writers of the book with their exquisite intellect, determination, and passion have filled my spirit with patriotism and a desire for Naga reconciliation. The idea for Nagalim to me seems real and I sincerely admire and applaud the FNR. I also urge every Naga to learn from our history and act for a glorious future,” she stated.
“As a youth I must say that my generation comes from a different time –we never experienced nor can imagine having lived through the historical Naga struggle. That is why I feel that this book will help us enrich our knowledge in understanding the situation much better,” stated Nentile Kath, BA 6th Semester, Tetso College.
“When I look at the condition of Nagaland around me, I wonder what we youths can do to help make things better. I’m standing here as one of the voices that want to spread awareness and great hope. The book is perfect for any person who wishes for genuine progress of the Nagas,” she said.
Vitoka Chophi shared his personal conviction and a challenge. He stated, “This legacy –a legacy that has claimed lives stands in the forefront of our society headed by prominent leaders. I gladly and willingly intend to take forward this legacy. And so my young peers gathered here today- will you choose to do so? To join in this journey for free and rightful claim to what is rightfully ours.”
Vitono Gugu Haralu chaired the programme and Rev. Dr. VK Nuh invoked God’s blessings. The book will be available at the Heritage Publishing House Stall, Kisama, on the last day of the Hornbill Festival, December 10.
While the book has no charge, free will donations are welcome. Funds will go towards organizing the Naga Day. Donations can be made through Heritage Publishing House in Dimapur. For those interested to donate, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Imagining the future begins now’
“I often contemplate how history will view the Nagas many years from now, especially among those who lived when the Naga Day was born. Will history despise us, see us as people who lacked imagination?” asked Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, Convener of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation at today’s book launch.
He said, we are making history in the light of the future. Imagining the future begins now, as we gather together and sacrifice ourselves for the Naga nation. By gathering together, we give up our “toxic and contemptuous culture” of focusing only on our differences.
“Nagas are determined to move forward from such a culture, and are determined to participate in a shared humanity of belonging,” believed Dr. Wati.
When the needs for survival and belonging are nurtured, as FNR is pursuing, identity is affirmed. In strengthening our sense of belonging and identity, we reinforce our confidence in who we are as a people.
“The future ahead of us is vast and formidable. It is best we approach it with our arms-locked together, in solidarity and as one,” he suggested.
Source: Morung Express
Featured Image courtesy: Vitono Gugu Haralu Facebook Page