Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Enduring Beyond: Hope for 2017 - Dr. P.S. Lorin, Principal

Nagas are fortunate people with a strong foundation open to possibilities in the future. We have English medium schools. In other places in South India, especially in the rural areas there are only regional medium schools where English language education is taught only from the 5th standard (class). As a result of this there is a lot of catching up to do by these students when they reach class 9 and 10, for the textbook terms and words are not familiar to them. This causes many to drop out and discourages them to study further. Despite this, we still find a number of them excelling. In comparison, Naga students are getting greater opportunities. Our education foundation proves advantages over many Hindi and Tamilian speaking students. The question is 'Can we excel'?

Enduring Beyond: Hope for 2017

When we talk about hope, we also need look at our shortcomings, realize them and work towards strengthening them. One disadvantage our Naga students have is that our Naga students normally do not talk in class or speak up with answers as fast as North/South Indian students even if they are 90% sure of the answer. Till today I do not understand where this timid tradition came from. Speaking from my own experience, I remember how timid I was when I was with Americans in the classroom. My presence was not noticed. I finally realized that even I needed to become bold like others. I had nothing to lose. And it was only when I became bold that I became a better student. It is sad but true that even these days I still notice this apprehensive behavior among students in my College as well. We need to tackle such attitude issues. We must know when to put ourselves forward and take the initiative. All this may seem like minor issues but take serious note, it is only from the minute and smallest things that differences are made and transformed into positive and negative consequences on the larger canvas. So I have a question for all of you today 'can we overcome this timid tradition'?

Another disadvantage with us is playing truancy and being regularly absent in the class with so called good reasons. On the other hand, one does not admit ones weakness. Promotions are demanded even if examinations are missed. More worried about losing years than the quality of academic standard and how well one has learnt, even parents or guardians seem to concur with them. I think this experience is found more common in the Colleges.

Many HSSLC and equivalent successful candidates who studied in HSSLC do not carry expected backgrounds. They are sub-standard and are equivalent to 5/6th standard of some medium standard schools in the cities or towns. Are those schools capable of producing only mediocre students?

Another practice I would like to see more of amongst our Naga people is ‘Dignity of Labour’. Foreign students are ready to work from the simplest of jobs like waitressing, janitoring and sweeping to baby-sitting while pursuing their studies. The other problem that arises is when we get our degrees; no one is willing to start work from the lowest rung. We want white collar jobs with big names. We don't seem to be willing to work our way up. Can we change this attitude? Today I am not here to give directives about what it is you have to do because in the end only you can figure out exactly what is best for you along with the education and maturity you gain. The choice is yours. But we should reflect on this and thereby act upon how education can change our society.

We have a lot of educated unemployed in a small state like Nagaland. The educated unemployed problem is going to frustrate many graduates. Many might get discouraged because they have the education yet cannot get jobs. They may feel that education does not guarantee them for a secure future. As we face a higher competition level, it seems that normal standards of excellence just cannot cut it anymore. There are jobs available but the questions are – are you eligible for them? Has your study prepared you to meet the challenges? Simply getting a degree is not enough since competition is high. For that you are going to have to compete with others (both within the state, outside state and even outside the country). Your marks or your grades must be at the same level with others or above them. A degree is not a guarantee for a sound future. You must be true to yourself, know your family background and financial position. Our Naga obsession, preconceived notions and prejudices of good life like the obsessive need to become instantly rich and possession of unattainable ideals of imaginary positions must be discarded forth-with.

Here is a very simple story but meaningful. We have a classmate laughing at a school boy who is wearing Bata shoes. And why? Because he was not wearing one of those known brands like Nike, Adidas or Reebok. No doubt this is absurd. This outlook may destroy the very essence of pursuing education. Simply coming to the city or towns, and wasting time without attending classes must be stopped. Instead, a clear plan with ambition and hard-work must be cultivated. Determination is the key to success. You may be thinking, that's easy to say but it has been nothing but strong determination and of course not forgetting the grace of God that has made many Nagas successful today. Despite all the setbacks and discouragements that become a part of the package to success, I strongly believe determination can guarantee success. I think that one is bound to face difficulties along the way but to give up hope or be discouraged would be taking the wrong way out.

We must make a commitment to endure beyond the challenges, setbacks and difficulties life throws our way. What is beyond for the Nagas? Naga history has taught us more than enough to endure beyond and become a successful educated person. There is no substitute for hard work, dedication, and commitment. Given the opportunities, Nagas can excel and are capable of competing with others. I truly believe that because of our turbulent environment, and because of the violent and bitter experiences, Nagas can manage better in the practical field compared to others. We must take up what we have been gifted with, what is available to us and transform it into a positive and successful future. For this you must be willing to face the realities of life. You must be able to face the truth, admit mistakes and shortcomings, take bold steps, and move confidently forward until you achieve your goal. It is in this way that our future is thus secured.

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 recognized Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Anjan Behera, Dr. Salikyu Sangtam, Nivibo Yiki, and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email:

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas in Nagaland - Kahor Raleng, HoD, English Department

The month of December took off with a combination of activities and incidents in Nagaland this year - the Hornbill festival, night bazaars coupled with the effects of demonitization, the PDS scam and ACAUT, and more. Now with just a few days left for Christmas, here’s a reminder of what December is all about for Christians around the world. This week’s writer takes us back to her sweet reminisce of Christmas day and also reflects more on the spirit of Christmas in Nagaland.

Christmas in Nagaland

It has taken me a tremendously long time to come up with this article. One specific reason for that is maybe because I don’t have any good things to write for Christmas. Now I associate Christmas with the onset of the Hornbill Festival, traffic jams, dust, endless night bazaars, noise, the rush of bodies jostling around in the markets, drunkards, rash drunk driving, parties, accidents, a reminder of growing older with another year gone by and to further add to the list this year, the demonetization drama. The magic of Christmas seems to have disappeared. It feels like Christmas is just another festival in our calendar and not the most important day for a Christian.
It was a different scenario when I was a little girl. Christmas was the time of merriment and fun; but in that entire hullabaloo, the importance of Jesus’ birth was never forgotten or overshadowed. Prayer and worship were the most essential part of any gathering. I remember my siblings and I staying up on every 24th and 31st Dec and as soon as the clock struck 12 we will wake up Dad and Mom so that Dad can say the prayer for the family. That moment was the most important part of the whole festive season. After that, we all snuggled up in our beds and slept with hope in our hearts for a wonderful year ahead. The assurance of God’s presence in our life was always renewed with prayer. We attended church services, visited family and friends and invited them for dinner. And in any of our gatherings, some amount of singing hymns and worship was ever present.
The word Christmas means Christ’s Mass, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Old Testament prophets like Isaiah revealed many centuries before that Christ would be born with a unique purpose…a purpose unparalleled in human history. Christ was born unto us so that we will be saved from the consequence of sin. In the Gospel of Luke 2:11, it says “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” The true purpose of Christ’s birth is to save us from sin, to give us eternal life. He brought with Him not only everlasting life but also peace, love and hope. Christ is God’s precious gift to humankind, the ultimate sacrifice. God gave us His only Son as a gift. This fact calls us to be grateful and show our gratefulness in return. This Christmas season presents before us an opportunity to give and share a smile, a little kindness, love, hope, joy, and peace to make a difference, in our lives and in the lives of others.  
How many of us realise the true essence of Christmas? Today, Christmas as a whole has been commercialised and romanticised. Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, the carols have all been commercialised. It has become more of a competition where you show off your wealth, showcase your creativity and it appears like we compete how to best show how materialistic the whole Christmas season is about. Some individuals or organisations seem to be in a rush to cash in on the season and make some profit out of it.  Young people today associate Christmas with parties and outings and are reluctant to spend time in the church for worship. The true spirit of Christmas is lost and the essence of Christmas is fading gradually. Either people are too rich that they take pleasure in showing off their wealth or they are too poor to afford one square meal and Christmas is just a shadow. There seems to be desolation everywhere along with the cold winter.
This Christmas also seems to be overshadowed by the demonetization brought upon by the Modi Government, the rampant corruption exposed by the ACAUT, the constant wars in Syria, Iran and the disturbances in Kashmir. Surrounded by all these happenings it is hard to visualise a Merry Christmas with all its merriments and good tidings. The environment was similar in the first century C.E. when Christ was born. But His birth brought transformation in the lives of those who accepted Him and His gospel. There were also who rejected His love. But even today the same transformation can be experienced by all those who accept Him. It is a matter of our choice, and the choices we make today make us.
Christmas is a time to rejoice and be glad. It’s a time to share, a time to give back hope to the lost and lonely, a time to bring back God in our lives. What are your plans this Christmas? Are you planning to do something different?  What can we do this Christmas to make it meaningful? Let us contemplate on these questions. And if you are surprised to realise that you are in a far better place than so many people around you, be grateful. But remember gratefulness does not only end in being grateful but in the act of being grateful. Reach out to the downtrodden this Christmas; help the needy and the lost. Go out of your way in helping others by sacrificing your time, money and your pleasures and you will see how satisfying that will be. Let us ask ourselves this question “Is there something I can do to give back hope to this horizon?” like the band Gothard sang in their song Merry Christmas.
Let us recapture the magic of Christmas and in all our Good Samaritan works let us not forget God, which we tend to do quite so often. God should be the focus and the purpose of all that we do. Wishing you all a blessed Christmas!

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 recognized Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Anjan Behera, Dr. Salikyu Sangtam, Nivibo Yiki, and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email:

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Demonetization’s Impact on Students - Losin Lorin, B.Com 6th Semester (Accounting & Finance Honours)

In radical move on 8th November 2016 Prime Minster Narendra Modi announced the withdrawal of high value banknotes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 from public use and ever since, demonetization has created a stir all over India. Varied opinions have been voiced on this issue, shocking amounts of money have been recovered, and even as the nation tries to move on with normal life it is apparent that different regions and sections of society have found it challenging to cope with this change. On 22nd November, Suresh, a B.Sc. student at Panchnehi Memorial College in Uttar Pradesh committed suicide after he was unable to withdraw enough cash to pay his examination fees. He had stood in bank queues for days trying in vain to get the money. How has demonetization affected students in Nagaland? This week’s article analyzes just that.

Demonetization’s Impact on Students 

Demonetization has, in some ways, affected everyone in India and has changed consumers’ spending habits. I decided to ask some of my friends to find out their views on demonetization of old currency notes. Many are happy with the steps the government has taken to expose black money. And many believe the government has finally taken a step to stop corruption in India. Some opined that it may not expose all the black money in circulation, but at least a little will be exposed giving initial steps to create a corruption free country. It was interesting to hear differing views on interacting with students of Nagaland from different backgrounds and mindsets.

So it appears that the biggest problem students are faced with is the process of exchanging old notes at the bank. Exchanging the old bank notes can be very frustrating given the amount of time wasted waiting in queues and sometimes even banks run out of the new notes . The government policy to limit the amount of money one can withdraw also causes  much inconvenience for the students and their family, since most are unable to meet the needs of the family with  the limited amount of money. Even to pay the fees, students now have to visit the banks at least two to three times, sometimes even more, within as many days just to pay their tuition installments.

Some of my friends also think that the demonetization of money will not create any difference in Nagaland. According to some, since people, i.e. local tribal people, don’t pay income tax in Nagaland, it will not affect the people drastically and that corruption cannot be stopped. The only difficulty is that the standards of living will change because in Nagaland credit cards are not commonly used. And even if one decides to use debit or credit cards there aren’t enough facilities to accommodate the use of cashless business transactions. Thus, it only perpetuates the difficulties of not having enough cash supplemented with the problems related with the exchanging of old bank notes.

A junior from my college told me, “I went to the bank on 2nd of December in the morning at 10 am and had to wait for 4 hours in the queue to get the money!”
Another friend of mine said “I had to wait for 2 hours in line to get the money. While standing in queue some people were even trying to cut the queue to get inside quicker and that created a commotion and it took longer!”

Some also mentioned that it may be cruel for the public now as it is very difficult to find change for the large denomination, such as 2000 rupees note, and even to exchange the old note is also a big public inconvenience, but at the end of the day, they maintained, it is for a better future. Many are happy because black money will be exposed and in that way corruption will be stopped to an extent.

Everyone has different ideas regarding the demonetization of money; therefore, according to me, I believe that this first step taken by the government is the beginning of a new era, a beginning that will bring concrete changes. And hopefully, such steps will instill values of honesty and trust in our society. Money is not a bad thing, but the greediness is. The greed for money brings about evil in the world. People are bought with huge sums of money for political or social reasons.

Honesty is now a rarity, especially in Nagaland. Seldom do we trust one another. Today, our society is lacking in trust  since most of us fail to keep our words and are unable to be truthful and honest because of social obligations, for reputations, and so on. Thus, I hope demonetization of money will create a positive change in India.

Yes, people don’t pay income tax in Nagaland. But things should not be taken for granted. We should know what is right and have good values. Finally, the government has taken a step to stop the most pervasive problem, ie, corruption, and I hope this step will create a positive impact in India and in Nagaland, specifically. The problems of exchanging notes from the banks continue to be a big concern; thus, I think if the government has made proper plans prior to the implementation of its new policy, the government needs to be aware of the situation and make sound decisions to meet the demands of the public. For me, this might help the government in earning the support of its citizens. Some people even say that this step was taken by the government to promote clean elections, as politics, in India, is connected with money.

Positives and negatives will always exist in policy matters of the government. The step we need to take is to quickly adapt to the situation such as using credit cards, upgrading facilities that support the use of cards and other digital means, for instance, paytm. These steps are not only easy to use but they’re also convenient. For now, it may be too early to predict the outcome of the decision made by the government, but let’s hope that over time, there will be a positive change.

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 recognized Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Anjan Behera, Dr. Salikyu Sangtam, Nivibo Yiki, and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email:

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Stop the Blame Game! - Vizolie Khatsu, BA 2nd Semester (English Honours)

The essence of democracy is founded on the freedom of expression of the citizens. This is symbolized by the citizens’ right to vote. The democratic process and its legitimacy depends on impartial expression of the citizens’ views through their votes and for the candidates to respect their judgment of the voters. This requires elections to be free and fair, where electoral processes are respected. The first step to democracy is not clean but free and fair elections.

                            Stop the Blame Game!

When observing the prevailing scenario of the political situation in our state, my mind conjures the image of an overfed pig. The public is fed by the candidates with money to further advance their interest of accomplishing their quest of dominating the seat of power. Pigs enjoy the food that is provided to them, and they grow fatter with each passing day. They oink peacefully and remain completely oblivious of the impending doom, its eventual murder. In the same way, the public too is blind to the future, being too caught up in momentary pleasures and false promises. We are behaving like pigs when it comes to the democratic running of our state. In this way, our society faces a metaphorical death.

During the elections, like the pigs who get aroused by the smell of food, the whiff of cash makes people forget all morals. The notes are gathered in a hurry, like savages fighting for food, and later people throng to the church and pray ceremoniously to wash off the guilt. In searching for the cause of the inefficient governments, we are swift in lifting our hands and swinging it left and right, trying to pin the blame on someone. The fault lies in us. We are filled with the vice of self-righteousness and pride, and cannot look beyond the realm of our own self-interest.

The money that the politicians sway in front of our faces to lure us is much like the traps set by hunters for wild animals. This unscrupulous method works as people willingly approach the money in spite of being morally aware that it is a bribe. The society thus falls into the hole dug by the hunter, and we get trapped by the politician who has been “elected”. The metaphorical deep and dark hole, full of pain, is the situation we live in today.It seems like a never-ending process and is deeply embedded into the very thread of our society. In this “darkness”, corruption and malpractices prevail.

Now there are metaphorical holes, and then there are real ones, like the thousands of potholes in our roads. Any driver from our state could race in the Formula One sporting event! The potholes in our state’s roads heighten the senses and skills of the driver as he swerves and veers, trying to avoid the potholes. This is the only benefit I see from this utterly sad predicament. Nagaland has been a state for 53 years now, and yet the roads remind one of the lunar surfaces. How many years more before we get proper roads? This should be taken as an eye-opener to the deteriorating condition of our state.

Roads create the first impressions of a place. I wonder what’s the first impression that people have of us as they enter Nagaland. I bet the tourists feel like a new species as their internal organs get rearranged while traversing our roads, which almost look ravaged by some war. Most roads are temporarily fixed in December before the coming of tourists to our state. If they stay for a few months after the Hornbill Festival, the true colours shall be visible. These patchworks are like putting lipstick on a pig. Who are we trying to fool? A chain of corruption exists, and its end product is pitiable roads like ours.

In our elections, there are honest candidates. Sadly,they seldom win. The ones who have a reputation for being shrewd and corrupt are the ones who mostly win. They are well-to-do and thus provide “gifts” to the voters. The moral and good candidates refrain from such practices, and so it is an inevitable continuous cycle that keeps on repeating itself. It is no longer considered as something illegal but as the norm. Bribing voters has become so common that it is an open secret, which no one is abashed to admit of taking part in it.

And so in our collective waste, we roll around like swine, comfortable in the evil which has been now normalised. And in doing so, the society suffers as a whole.

The money that the corrupt candidates give the public is a slow poison that will kill eventually. Government employees not receiving their salaries, huge sums of money disappearing from airports, horrible roads, and lack of women in the government are perhaps side-effects of this poison. The problem may be credited to the corrupt political candidates as they are the ones who are bribing their way towards power. But this is not totally justifiable, as, without the voters, the candidates would remain without power. In reality, the power actually belongs to the public.

The problem of the electoral malpractices has more to do with the individual voter. We are the ones making the choices. If we want to see a change, we need to get rid of our short-sightedness and put on our new metaphorical glasses to be able to get a clearer view of the path ahead of us. We simply cannot be swayed by momentary persuasions, and be involved in practices which would be a spit on the faces of our past leaders of our nation who fought so hard for our future and the glory of the Naga hills. Only by doing so, one can hope to achieve a society devoid of tyranny and justice. Nagaland is a beautiful state, with good people. We can, and I really believe that we will create a better tomorrow.

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 recognized Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Anjan Behera, Dr. Salikyu Sangtam, Nivibo Yiki, and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email:

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...