Friday, 26 February 2016

The Right to Freedom of Speech - Ahyulo Khing, B.A. 4thSem (Pol Science Honours)

Ahyulo Khing,
B.A. 4thSem (Pol Science Honours)

North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, prohibits anyone from speaking against their country or government. Those who dare to do so, are promptly arrested and sent to “re-education” camps where they are forced to accept “superiority” of the country. India is a democracy, yes, and for a democracy to function, its citizens must be allowed to voice out their opinions. The arrest of a student leader belonging to JNU, one of the most prestigious academic institutions of the country, for organizing a protest in their campus itself has left everyone questioning the concept of freedom of speech. However, is granting citizens complete freedom of speech dangerous to the welfare of the state?

The Right to Freedom of Speech

Every state today is not entirelypeaceful because some people or groups have different demands and desires for their own community. These demands and desires clash with the freedom of others, which results in conflict. This gives birth to instability of law and order in our country. In India, law and order of the union territory is administered by the Central Government and as mentioned, public order comes under the state lists. If instability arises there is a blame game between the Centre and the State.

At present, the news channels in India are reverberating with the crisis in JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Delhi, where the President of JNUSU (Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union) Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested by the Delhi police on charges of sedition. He was arrested in connection with an event at the university in which anti-national slogans and those in favour of Afzal Guru a Kashmiri Muslim, who was secretly hanged for attacking on the parliament in Dec.2001 was allegedly raised. This controversial issue has led to huge student protests both at the university as well as in several cities across the country. Incidents like these are an eye-opener about the role of the government and the people in working together to resolve issues in our country.

In the fateful March 5 incident of 2015 in Dimapur, we are reminded of how brutal and inhumane people can get and how the use of force, indiscipline and illogical thinking can result in utter chaos. Dimapur was finally mentioned in news channels across the world but for all the wrong reasons. We are granted with certain basic rights like freedom to assemble peacefully without arms, freedom of speech and expression without hampering the unity and integrity of the nation, and have to use these rights without overriding the basic structure of the constitution. However, instability arises when people resort to violence and fail to realise their rights.

India being a secular country lacks tolerance in many ways.  Article 48 of the Constitution of India mandates the state to prohibit the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle. However, these are guiding principles and it cannot be enforceable by law as it falls under the DPSP (Directive Principle of State Policy). Nevertheless, some Muslims were killed for slaughtering cows thereby displaying the intolerant behaviour of our country. Secularism is all about harmony not about how much control one religion has, over the others.

Denial and delay of justice is another major problem in our country. India has the world’s largest number of pending cases which by estimates exceeds to 30 million. Cases in India often results in the accused spending a part of his life in jail, irrespective of whether the accused is found guilty or not, but the time taken to pronounce the final verdict often leads to the delay of justice to both the accused and the victim. This issue also arises because of inadequate number of judges. In order to solve such issues fast track courts should be even extended to district level; and more LokAdalat should be established by the government in order to lessen the issues of delaying justice.

Law and order can be stabilised in our country if people adopt peaceful means and follow the policy of non-violence, as resorting to violence gives birth to aggression. Though the process of peaceful method is long, it always results to a better solution and government on their part should also execute the law and order efficiently.

Lastly, as a student I believe we have a bigger role to play in our society. It is our responsibility to ensure that our rights are not violated. We need to be aware of our rights and limitations; because we cannot afford to be swayed away by political agenda. At the same time, as students who comprise of the future generation of our country, I believe we must also not allow others to use us as an agenda. We all have the freedom to express our opinions, butopinions also need to be sensible. After all, at the end of the day, I think all we want is a better country that we can be proud of. 

India: A Cultural Melting Pot? - Monjit Roy, Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce

Culture is always dynamic. It absorbs new elements into itself and keeps evolving. The cultures which don’t do this, die. However, there is a downside. Often the society starts to mimic foreign cultures and in doing so, loses its essence. What results is a faulty imitation of an alien culture. This week’s article looks at how Indian culture has been influenced by the West. There are several advantages yes, like the undoing of the Sati custom, and women’s suffrage movements. There are downsides too, which undermine Indian culture as inferior, and imitate Western cultures.

India: A Cultural Melting Pot?

India has a rich cultural heritage and is one of the most popular cultures in the world. People belonging to different religions, races, ethnic and linguistic groups exist together. Guests are considered God here and people welcome them with joined hands and a smile on their face.
With the change in time,Indian culture has evolved. The impact of westernization has great influence on our traditional Indian society.The impact of Western culture is clearly visible in all forms in our society today like in our food habits, the way we dress etc.Change is inevitable and it is natural that the society adapts to new things. However, in the process of all this, we must not disregard our own culture and tradition. Sometimes we tend to imitate the foreign culture at the cost of our own culture. Our Indian culture has impressed the world for thousands of years and its richness is widely known.Even students from different parts of India and abroad come to gain knowledge and education in the famous universities of ancient India like Taxila and Nalanda.

Great scholars and teachers like Chanakya,Aryabhatta,Baskaracharya,Varahmihir,Dadhichi gave light to the history of India.Our Indian culture is rooted in the idea of moral values, honesty, discipline and respect. And these ideas can be seen in the famous epic like Ramayana where there are instances on the importance of relationship, high moral values etc.

When we look at our present society, are we still following the same values and practices which our ancestors practiced? Instead, what we see today is quite the opposite. There isa lack of moral values, discipline and honesty; which of course is the reason for one of the social evils we find in our society, that is, corruption. Moving towards modernization is essential and adapting to western cultures has become a part of our society. And this is bound to happen more rapidly with the change in time. Every culture has its share of good and bad and, we need to be rational enough to differentiate the good from the bad. Inculcating western culture in our Indian culture is not a bad thing provided we do not forget our roots and blindly follow the western culture.Because when we do that it could have a negative impact on our own culture. It is not surprising to see that today, with all the technological developments it is very easy to follow the western cultures; and many people mostly youths have more liking towards the western cultures than their own culture. This is quite scary because if they continue to do so without looking back at their own culture and tradition, the roots will be soon wiped out. Sometimes, peer pressure could also be one reason that the young people tend to move more towards the western culture.

I do not mean to imply that the western culture is bad and we should ignore it, but giving more preference or blindly following someone else’s culture and neglecting our own may drown our culture to a great extent. Both the Indian culture and the Western culture are different in their own ways, and there is a lot to learn from both these cultures. In fact, we have learned and adopted many good qualities from the western culture and we will continue to do so. Likewise our Indian culture is also influencing the culture of the west, especially in food habits or in the field of meditation and good health like Yoga and Ayurveda.

Cultures dynamic and we cannot ignore or stop the western cultures from influencing our own. However, let us not just blindly imitate the culture of the west but try to understand and inculcate the good things the western culture has to offer. Yes, our Indian culture is not the purest of all and there are some qualities that will diminish with time as cultures and societies keep evolving. However, one’s roots and origins should not be forgotten. Let us encourage one another, especially the younger generation to uphold and appreciate our culture and to be a proud Indian.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Money Can’t Buy Love - A. Eyingbeni Odyuo, BA 6th Semester (English Honours)

 A. Eyingbeni Odyuo,
BA 6th Semester (English Honours)
Hearts, red roses and cupid! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Many people, mostly youngsters are anticipating for the day to arrive, looking out for the best gift for their loved ones. Being pampered with the best treatment and the best gifts can make us happy anytime. However, these are just momentary happiness. So for a change, why don’t we celebrate this Valentine’s Day by showing our love to our family and friends; sharing it with the less fortunate and making the day less materialistic. What better way than to give out the greatest gift that money can’t buy.

Money Can’t Buy Love“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” - Robert Frost.

Like an old fashioned writer, I took a pen and started to retrospect the charade of Valentine’s Day. The week of love before Valentine’s Day gives me hiccups. Love hovers all around. The most awaited time for lovers, it is a week full of roses, candle light dinners, and shockingly red teddy bears. When I was a child, the phrase ‘Valentine’s Day’ didn’t exist in my vocabulary. It often confused me. Why were boys and girls giving each other gifts and blushing on this day? And most importantly, why was everything in bright shades of pink and red? Various advertisements finally taught me what this day is all about. The days itself suddenly changed and bore a sweet aura. We live in a postmodern era where everything has become so advanced. Children are so blinded by blatant consumerism that they don’t hesitate from asking money from their parents to buy gifts for their ‘loves’. This of course becomes a headache for their parents. The world has become so materialistic and people seem to be more concerned about money than emotions.

Falling in love is the happiest experience. Attaching a monetary value to it however ruins it. Hence it is not surprising that some people believe that love is an illusion, something that exists only in fairytales. In romance fiction and movies, the ending is always almost perfect. The man becomes the saviour who takes the damsel in distress away from her sorrows. But the reality is rather different. Uncomplicated fairytale love stories only exist in the fantasy world. Love doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. True love should consist of powerful emotions enough to tap at the artistic sensibilities of man.

William Wordsworth defined poetry as the spontaneous flow of powerful feelings and emotions which are recollected in tranquility. The true love which is selfless and giving comprises of thoughts and imaginations which are strong enough to create wonderful poems of love. Love can’t be seen but it can be felt. Romantic poets like Shakespeare, Lord Byron, and Keats immortalized their love through poems. We too can express our love through poems, given that we make the attempt to write something sensible. Shakespeare in his play ‘Twelfth Night’ has quoted, “If music be the food of love, play on”. An urban saying believes in the key to women’s hearts is in their playlist. “Everything I do, I do it for you”, sang Bryan John. I cannot remember having heard more romantic lines than these. I’d choose a romantic song over a teddy bear which says “ILU” any day. The trend of composing romantic poems and winning hearts through lyrics is perhaps getting outdated. Some of my friends have never even written a love letter their entire life. As a student of literature, I think this is unfortunate. Poetry is the most beautiful way of expressing our love. Music and poems can move souls.

I often find myself wanting to travel to the era of Queen Elizabeth, when poets composed verses dedicated to their muses, and those eternal lines of love have reverberated through centuries. Even though there was no day dedicated to St Valentine, I think love was celebrated in a much better way back then. We spend thousands of rupees buying the most costly and meaningless gifts. I have often wondered why can’t the same money be used to spread love among those less fortunate, like donations to orphanages and other charities on account of this day of love. For just a thousand rupees, we can sponsor the mid-day meal of a child through charities like the Akhshaypatra Foundation. I think that will be the greatest gift, to help someone in need. Everyone is gearing up for the upcoming Valentine's Day and some will be in a great dilemma of what gifts to buy. Our love and care will always be more precious than whatever money can buy.

Let’s celebrate this Valentine’s Day with grace and make the one we love feel sweet and pampered, not by giving him/her the most posh gifts, but by expressing our love through poems and music. Gifts will vanish with the snap of a finger, but the lyrics of love will remain in their heart forever. Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to the ones we love. Let us not forget our friends and family. Love doesn’t confine itself to the romantic notion alone. This time, let’s wish our parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, friends, teachers, and everyone we love. May hatred and jealousy melt away, so that our world does become a better place to live.

Tourism in Nagaland: An Untapped Market - Amar Ranjan Dey, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Commerce

Ama Ranjan Dey,
Assistant Professor Commerce
The highest number of tourist flow in Nagaland is during the Hornbill festival in the month of December. But what about the other months? Nagaland is a beautiful and exotic state with a colourful and vibrant history of cultures and culinary treasures. This culinary strength however has not significantly translated into any tourism centric benefit and it has largely remained an untapped area. Amar Ranjan Dey, Assistant Professor from the Commerce Department writes “The need of the hour is to identify the tourist circuits without tribal and political considerations, and develop them as much as possible. The local community must be trained to capitalise on this. Without proper training, sensitization, and a community sense of ownership, even gold and silver won’t mean a thing to us.”

Tourism in Nagaland: An Untapped Market
This winter the Commerce Department of Tetso College went for an exposure trip to Lonavla (a hill station near Pune) and Goa. All of us enjoyed the trip, and most of my students are proposing for another excursion to a new place in the coming year. So, as a Commerce teacher I began to ponder deeper. We are ready to bear the expenses of travelling to view and admire the natural beauty of another state. Similarly, do other tourists feel the same about viewing and enjoying the beauty of our State? Ours is a mountainous region with an interesting topography. One of the major assets of our State is its natural beauty, which manifests itself in the lush green vegetation, having a diverse flora and fauna, and deep valleys with clean rivers, amidst natural lakes, terrace cultivation, and relatively pleasant climate. In addition, we have a vibrant tribal culture reflected in folk dances, music, festivals, and handicrafts. These are major tourist attractions. Given these array of choices, we are no less in natural beauty compared to cities like Lonavla.

The only difference I notice is the mindset of the people in Nagaland, and the lack of proper strategies for promoting tourism systematically and effectively. The only time tourists visit the State is during the first week of December. This is because our Government is desirous of promoting tourism once a year and has embarked upon an ambitious project to exploit the cultural assets of the state. Hornbill Festival has been aptly tag-lined as “Festival of Festivals” to encompass the collective celebration of the colours and vibrant elements of all the tribal festivities, and give a glimpse of the Naga life. I believe tourism is the only industry in Nagaland that has the potential to grow if given the right thrust and political commitment.

The need of the hour is to identify the tourist circuits without tribal and political considerations, and develop them as much as possible. The local community must be trained to capitalise on this. Without proper training, sensitization, and a community sense of ownership, even gold and silver won’t mean a thing to us. We need to do the publicity and market it effectively. If the hotels are full than we can always pitch tents and camps, but let the tourists know they can visit Nagaland. Let us train our young people and help them learn to face challenges.

Tourism in Nagaland may not be able to boast of heritage buildings, educational tourism, and wellness tourism currently, but we do have what many others do not, and that is the scope for rural tourism. Rural tourism is a variant of ecotourism, in which the tourists come to visit and experience the rural setup. Opportunities exist in eco-tourism, anthropological tourism, and ethnic culture tourism. Setting up of more tourist resorts, private air taxi services, tour and travel packages are ideas that must be considered. This would lead to the augmentation of present tourist influx.

Our state does have some wonderful sites which are always of interest to tourists. Heritage sites like the ruins of the Kachari Kingdom in Dimapur are alibi to the monolithic culture of the region. The famous Kohima War Cemetery commemorates the soldiers who sacrificed their life in one of the fiercest battles of World War II- The Battle of Kohima.  Other places of interest include the scenic Dzükou Valley, Japfü Peak at Kohima, Saramati Peak at Tuensang; all of which expose us to the extremely beautiful natural environment that exists in serenity. The tourist village at Khonoma, Shilloi Lake at Phek, Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary at Peren, and the Zoological Park in Dimapur also have great potential for the tourism industry. In the special supplement page of Nagaland Post dated 17th January 2016, the Shilloi Management Committee (SMC) stressed on the historic and scenic beauty of Shilloi Lake. The article also pointed out to the facilities made available for visitors- guest houses, meeting halls, playground, helipad, etc. These amenities can truly attract tourists.
“India’s North East – Paradise Unexplored”, is the punch line used by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in promoting tourism in North East region. I wish our state Nagaland too could be separately promoted in the media. In addition, development of other facilities like a rope way, rock climbing facilities like that in Darjeeling and other parts of the country, and horse riding facilities as is found in Kufri - Shimla can help boost tourism.

Therefore, in order to develop tourism in the state, there is a need of co-ordination between the factors determining the growth of tourism industry viz the government, the local people, the media and the department of tourism, Nagaland. Finally, the most important of them is to popularize the tourism attractions of Nagaland and to create a tourism friendly environment throughout the state.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

A “Naga” of Value - Khathila Y. Sangtam, B.A 6thSem (English Hons)

Student of the Year 2015
Khathila Y. Sangtam
Education, Electricity and Employment – the 3 E’s of progress were stressed upon on Republic Day in Nagaland this year. For this, human skills are key in achieving our targets. And with human skill sets is a very important factor that determines the quality of our targets – our values. As a society, the value system we adhere to goes a long way in shaping our choices and decisions, our workmanship, our dedication or the sacrifices we are willing to make to succeed. Values as basic yet important as keeping our word, being responsible and accountable, being punctual, honest and sincere may be the answer to the problems of corruption, extortion, bribery, nepotism, etc. that we keep hearing about in our State. Maybe being a “Naga” of Value, as suggested by B.A. 6th Sem student, Khathila Y. Sangtam is the answer to a progressive society.

A “Naga” of Value

I sometimes wonder - do Nagas have a strong value system? Values are usually norms of behavior set by our society for us to follow. They are formed according to the needs and demands of the society. Values revolve around human beings; it is one of the deciding factors of what type of person we are and is a reflection of one’s society. Values are socially approved desires, goals and objectives which internalize in the learning, conditioning as well as socializing of one’s personality. A socially valuable person always does his work and lives according to the desires and needs of the society. The society requires the presence of socially valuable people for they are considered as an agent of change and development.

As man is a social being, we cannot live in an isolated place by ourselves. Thereby, we live in a society with societal norms and principles. Social characteristics such as love for humanity, universal brotherhood, sincerity, honesty, integrity are the duties and responsibilities assigned for us to fulfill. To live a socially valuable life, our practices must uphold the difference between right and wrong, undesirable and worthwhile.

In my opinion, outsiders usually characterize our Naga society in two different ways. For some they still see Nagas as headhunters. They consider our present society to be brute, uncivilized and least desirable. On the other hand, some others depict our society as well cultured and developed when they see some dignified Nagas doing really good and being responsible.
Which of these observations do you think is more applicable to the Nagas? If you feel strongly about the latter then what would you suggest to prove them wrong? Or if you agree with the former, then how would you rate our value system. Looking at the current state of affairs, I would sadly say that the value system of the Nagas is not at all desirable or noteworthy. If we objectively look at our Naga society today, we will see that it does not provide an atmosphere for nurturing the right kind of values which is needed for creating a healthy and prosperous society. Corruption is like our cup of tea, and bribery and extortion are like our bread and butter. This has a very negative effect on the younger generations, as it discourages them from working hard and having positive goals. They feel that no matter how much they work and try to do better, there will always be someone at the end who will beat them to the top because of their so called ‘connections with higher ups’. This is also probably one of the many reasons why there is an alarming increase in the number of drop outs among our people.

It must be noted that, if we want to see any positive growth in our society we should do away with all the blame game and start within our own homes. Parents and elders should realize that only when their children achieve their goals through proper means, through their own sweat and hard work will they become socially valuable citizens in our society. There is no shortcut to success, and only when this kind of positive mentality is enshrined in the minds of the people; our people will truly become socially valuable and give way for a productive society. The trick is to ensure that the right and deserving candidates are given their place in office. Promotions and employments must be made according to ones achievements and capabilities. And for this to happen, the people as a whole must be wise to voice out their concerns and ideas.

Lastly but not the least, the saying goes “man of value rather than man of success”; this means  that we should not be a mere successor for you have money to pay off, but rather, be a man of integrity and selflessness which are the general acclamation for societal value system. As an educated social being we should inculcate value education and its importance to our fellow Nagas who are less fortunate in understanding the importance of social values. We should realize that being a leader or even a member of a society does not amount to much if one does not possess good social values. I conclude with a quote from the book of 1 Timothy, “But you man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant now to put their hope in wealth, which is uncertain, but put their hope in God, who will richly provide us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to give/share”.

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...