Friday, 22 January 2016

Digital Insanity Killing the Love - Kinitoli Aye, Asst Professor, Department of History

Writer: Kinitoli Aye, Asst Professor,
Department of History
Imagine our lives today without technology and we will become almost disabled. Few hours of internet break down and we start panicking. This is what has become of us today! We are at an age in which every one of us uses some form of technology and it has in fact made our life so easy; and just about everything is more convenient and accessible at the click of a button. However, on the contrary we are so dependent on technology that we are becoming less self-reliant. Many of us keep ourselves so engrossed in our mobile phones, laptops, etc. that we sometimes tend to neglect our real life. It is a very rare sight today to see the children sitting down together with their parents and interacting. Technology is a boon and indeed we need it for our society to progress; but let us not become slaves of it.

Digital Insanity Killing the Love

Times and people are changing. There are certain human universals that everybody shares like language, rationality, perceptions, and emotions etc. These universals of development feed the changes of our subsistence.We have driven our society to a whole new level of creative and intolerant morals. Why is it important to study the society? Because it construes our well being and that we are sweeping ourselves to an erroneous perception to live; of life as individuals with no moral obligations.

There are many daily social problems that we deal with; and generally ignore without consideration of good and bad, being rational beings. We are not socially impaired or clinically unstable to differentiate right from wrong. There has been a lot of change in our community. Growing up as a kid things were different and simpler back then. There were less evil ailments in the society, until the breaking age of technology and the more hideous side of the minds of men. What I am referring to is the way social media has erupted creating a catastrophic effect specifically with regard to a problem that appears to be predominantly emerging in our land – ie. adultery. The number of broken families; husbands cheating and wives on a thread of infidelity has increased manifold. There is no room and time for people to communicate face to face. I believe that is where the problem begins! I do not mean to say that mobile phones and technology are the only reason for the degeneration in family values but it is one of the many reasons. So many are addicted to cell phones and the number of mobile phone users have rapidly increased. The count is spiraling and people these days spend more time on their cell phones rather than with their family and loved ones.

Now, in an era where things are progressing rapidly, the simple entity of love is being shattered. Many people do not care for each other and this very phenomenon starts in the family. It was not common for a husband or wife to cheat on their partners; sadly these immoral feelings to cheat and betray have increased in our society with the freedom of internet through social media. Following such acts of immoral behavior was considered shambolic and disgusting. Marriage is holy as considered by us (Christians) and to maintain the sanctity and trust of marriage is our soul duty, taking vows to stand by each other in good and bad times. How many of those couples actually keep their promise as vowed on their wedding day and stay true to each other? This is where our society is reflected; to speak of the evil ailments that have set in our community as a virus that keeps reproducing without warning.

Infidelity is a rising issue in our society. There are countless hidden secrets in our society which is suspended with the knowledge that ‘IT’ being a social evil. This is becoming very common and people just do not give a thought to it.As an example let me generalize a common issue; an individual who is respected and has status, advocates about being true to their partner and keeping themselves astray from wrongful conduct, in which case the irony is that his own family is torn apart by his selfish act of infidelity. Is that rational? Why preach something when you cannot practice what you preach?

The introduction of cell phones and internet has definitely made our lives easier and durable but it has in a lot of ways also broken families and inflicted the society with social complications and unnatural conscious. It’s no wonder in the world filled with ‘I’Macs, ‘I’-Phones, ‘I’-Pads, which has separated the ‘Us’ and the ‘We’. Technology has made us more selfish and separate than ever. While it claims to connect us, the connection has gotten no better. We are living in a generation of media overstimulation where we are all participants in the pageantry of vanity. We have stepped into an age of digital insanity.

We are taking a step ahead into the future with every passing year. This advancement should be a source to connect us, bring us closer, share happiness and freedom; not distance ourselves from the world, from the people we care and love. The road for our future is taking a different turn separating us from the reality of life. Taking into consideration all of the destructive nature it has, it is indeed a sorry thought that we have the nerve to call this very destruction of our own, a progress. The ugly truth is “it can be denied but, it cannot be avoided.”

“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email:”.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Paying for Air -Tatongkala Pongen, Head of Department of History

Some Chinese have started buying cans of fresh air imported from Canada. People once thought mineral water could never sell but now it’s one of the most sought after items because it is difficult to get clean trustworthy water. It is time to stop taking all the free stuff nature has given us for granted or our own state of Nagaland could be in trouble too. Air pollution in our state is increasing each year, surpassing the National Permissible Limit. According to National Ambient Air Quality Standards 2009, the annual average concentrations of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) should not exceed 60 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3); however, Dhobinullah recorded 158 and Bank Colony 111 in 2014, surpassing the 2013 record of 116 and 89 respectively. With this steady rise in pollution, a grim prospect awaits us in 2016, unless we do something immediately.

Paying for Air

“How clean is the air we are breathing now?” This is one of the biggest concerns that the whole world is debating about.  Air pollution has become a huge problem, especially for those people living in the urban areas. Getting a breath of fresh and clean air has become a luxury; and ironically, the air that we need to survive may instead be slowly killing us without us even noticing it. Any kind of pollution is harmful, but the pollution in the air disperses rather quickly and is therefore a threat and a matter of serious concern.

Nagaland, though a small state, is experiencing fast rate of growth in urban centres particularly in Dimapur and Kohima and we are experiencing the same problem of air pollution. According to the studies conducted by the Nagaland Pollution Control Board (NPCB), air pollution at Dhobinala and Bank Colony (both in Dimapur) exceeds the national permissible limit. One of the main causes of air pollution in our state is the increased number of motor vehicles. Thousands of vehicles ply on our small narrow roads everyday and the amount of hazardous gas that is emitted from the exhaust of these engines contains all kinds of pollution. We Nagas are fond of cars and almost every household owns one. Although it has almost become a necessity to own a vehicle, we should be sensible and responsible in how we use it.  Apart from the emissions from motor vehicles which is a major air pollutant, non black topped roads itself is a pollutant. And sadly there is no shortage of that in our state. When vehicles are driven on dusty roads, there are pedestrians inhaling the dust. These small particles when it gets into the lungs cause serious health concerns. Numerous incomplete constructions of buildings also add in causing dust accumulation in the atmosphere. The level of pollution in Nagaland has become hazardous that it is common to see people wear face masks to filter out the pollution.

Besides the outdoor pollution, Nagas are constantly exposed to serious health threats caused by  indoor pollution since most homes still use firewood and coal for numerous purposes; without a proper chimney we end up inhaling a lot of smoke. Going by the WHO report, Naga families are exposed to serious health threats since most homes still use firewood and coal for multiple purposes. We should give more emphasis on having proper chimney facilities, especially in the villages because in our Naga society people usually prefer to stay in the kitchen more than any other room.

Air pollution is also produced naturally; but the current rapid increase of pollution in the air that we face is essentially manmade. Though we cannot stop the pollution that occurs naturally; it is certainly possible to try and reduce the disruption it causes. However, manmade or unnatural types of pollution need a serious check. Just last year in December, the pollution in Beijing was so bad that the city was put on red alert. Red alert is a system instituted to keep people indoors on days when air pollution climbs to hazardous levels; it aims to reduce pollution and protect health on days when the smog is expected to be especially bad by limiting the use of cars, closing schools, shutting down outdoor construction site and closing certain industrial plants. China being the world’s largest user of coal practically caused this horrific increase in air pollution and fossil fuels, industrialization and an ever increasing rise in vehicles have all left the air nearly unbeatable in many areas. Some Chinese have even begun buying cans of fresh air imported from Canada. Realising the growing threat that air pollution poses, the Delhi government also came up with an ‘odd-even’ pollution-control policy in an effort to curb air pollution in the city that is increasing at an alarming rate due to different factors. Even though the ‘odd-even’ policy had a mixed response but nevertheless it can be considered as a move towards the right direction.

We often tend to take action only after a certain terrifying incident has happened. Instead we should take precautions before-hand. Nagas are bright, educated and creative young people with the ability to arrive at practical and innovative ideas, campaigns and policies to try and tackle this problem in our state. And our state should be ready to lend all the support that is needed when the time comes. Helping people to understand the causes and effects of pollution and what they can do to tackle the issue is very important. Air pollution is not someone else’s problem, all of us help to cause it and we can all help to clean it up, starting now. Nagaland is our home and we should do all that is necessary to make our homeland a better and a cleaner place. Let’s give Nagaland a breath of fresh air.

Written by Tatongkala Pongen, Head of Department of History

“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email:”.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Young Minds of 2016 - Losin Lorin, B. Com 4th Sem (Accounting & Finance Honours)

It is the year 2016 - another year for new year resolutions, new dreams and hopes. Although this may sound like an echo of the previous year, the significance of new years are meant to bring in exactly that and more – a renewed hope, a new commitment or stronger determination towards making our lives and the society we live in more meaningful. It is our hope that 2016 brings in a positive change for a Nagaland that we can be proud of, and so for our column this year, we begin it with a young minds’ perspective about her wish for the youth of 2016.  

Young Minds of 2016

Everyone has a different past and now as the year begins, everyone is probably starting this year with different views, hopes and dreams. But I believe there is something common we all share.  All of us want happiness, peace, love, protection and all the good things in life. We do not desire sadness, despair, pain and suffering. That is what makes us all human. The fact that we love and care about our family, friends, kids and elders makes us equal. The beginning of the year may be sad for one and may be the best one for another. Though we all have different experiences it is our hope that brings us together.

The importance we give in social gatherings especially during the Christmas season brings each and everyone together. As we value our experiences we learn from the mistakes that bring out the depth of true living. I believe that the depth of true living is the unity of different minds. We all have big goals but one mind can only aim up to a certain limit. Two minds can dream bigger goals. I believe that as the two come together we will learn more and achieve more, which can motivate us to aim higher and bigger to make a difference.

What do I expect this year? As a youth, I would want our generation to grow up and develop with a humble mind set. I would really want to begin this year with a better connection, understanding and love within the Naga community. Not forgetting the mistakes we made but accepting them and beginning with fresh and positive thoughts. We always talk about unity, but are we really implementing that, excluding the unity between family, and friends. Is our society united? I don’t think so, I honestly feel we are still very selfish and dishonest but what can we do to change that? I hear from elders about the problems of tribalism, favouritism besides the other problems of corruption, bribery, politics etc. in our society and it makes me wish that all these problems could be erased. But how? How should we move forward? With what attitude? What do I as a youth really expect?

Though I can’t give advice to people about how to mould our attitudes or how we should move forward; I can share my views on how I wish we can move forward.

We need change. That’s the word we all fear, whether it is a good or a bad change.  I would like to welcome change whether good or bad into my life. To mould myself, to learn from good experiences and bad ones too. Someone once told me that the little things we do in life creates a greater impact than the big tasks we perform. Our behaviour, our attitude our habits inspire one another. Therefore, I wish that we, the youths begin this year by making small changes in our habits, ethics and attitude. The little changes we make in ourselves will inspire people and that in turn will make our state a respectable one.

By simply being honest everyone’s life will be easier; by simply being clean and avoiding littering will reduce so many sicknesses if you really think about it. As a youth I really expect this year to be an eye opening year for the Nagas, especially the younger generation. I always hear our elders talking amongst themselves about how smart the younger generation are and how with every new generation they are becoming smarter and smarter. But I sometimes wonder if we really are smart enough to understand the real problems of the world and not just our society?

What drastic changes can we make? Thus, I believe the younger generation has a huge responsibility and high expectations from elders to grow up with inspiring experiences and attitudes. I really hope that this year all our past experiences will mould us and that will be the foundation for an amazing result. As they say that with each generation the knowledge, confidence and smartness level is drastically increasing, I also hope that we witness improvements in our behaviour and our personality too. What I am talking about is giving importance to the spoken word. How effective are our words?

The motto of the London stock exchange market “my word is my bond’ really inspires me. The fact that such a big market can function with just being totally honest with his/her clients and financial transactions shows the value or importance they give to the words once spoken. The only way to improve our society is to value our word. To value whatever we speak and to be positive.
If from now itself we cannot think positive, and doubt ourselves when we are still young, we will never be able to change later. Similarly, the way we perceive others will not be positive either.

Therefore, although everyone is beginning this year with different experiences, whether bitter or sweet we all have the same desire - the desire to have a happy life; and that we can achieve it, but only with true unity, humbleness and hard work, and not forgetting honesty.
I know it sounds so easy to say but it is hard to do. But so are the bad things, yet we manage to do them. Maybe we just need to change our concept. Make the good things easy to say and easy to do by simply accepting changes and learning from it. By forgiving and loving one another.

Life is too short to do good things in life so why should we waste our time with the negative? My wish for 2016 is to develop positive change as the year begins. 

The Missing Principles in Naga Society - Zuchano Khuvung, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Moral and ethical values as social categories are crucial for generating a sound culture in any given society. However, people tend t...