Nagalim: Groups Affirm Unity, Shared Future
The “Journey of Common Hope” initiated by Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) for reconciliation among various Naga political groups seems to have reached a point of no turning back as three Naga political groups made a solemn reaffirmation of their commitment towards Naga unity and a shared Naga future.
The kilo kilonsers of the three groups - NNC/FGN, GPRN/NSCN and NSCN/GPRN - in their respective Christmas greetings on the occasion of the advent Christmas programme organized by FNR here at Town Baptist Church on Wednesday under the theme “Celebrating Christ”, stressed on reconciliation as the common hope for the Nagas.
FGN kilo kilonser Zaleo in his Christmas greetings said the festive season is also a time for Nagas to do some self-introspection as Nagas have strayed away from the course which their forefathers have set out in such a holistic manner, pledging their land and people to Christ under the banner “Nagaland for Christ.”
“Yet under this banner let us see how we live in the name of nationalism. Is it in conformity with the principle of sovereignty that we butchered each other for the past 29 years brining agony to ourselves? He asked and added that as national workers, it is their foremost duty to observe and honour Christian principles and to be in conformity with the pledge “Nagaland for Christ.” Conveying gratitude to FNR for arranging the pre-Christmas celebration, the FGN kilonser sincerely wished that Nagas succeed and prosper through the Reconciliation process.
‘NSCN/GPRN’ kilo kilonser Keditsu Tsuzuh in his greetings message, which was read out by MIP kilonser Vikiye Sumi, called upon Nagas to lay aside differences and look forward to the future.
“Let us than thank God for His unfailing love to us. Let us forgive one another and praise God in one chorus and let this gathering be the beginning of our Naga family journey to our destiny in one accord and one voice. Let us lay aside our differences and look forward to what our Lord has prepared for our nation,” Tsuzuh said in his message.
He further thanked the FNR convenor and members for their “tireless service for the cause of our nation.”
GPRN/NSCN kilo kilonser Azheto Chophy in his message said it is only through the “common hope” that Naga people can experience real peace and harmony, while also paving the way for a political solution between Nagas and Government of India.
“The great sense of urgency towards unity and reconciliation among the Naga political groups is a natural progression towards our desired political destination. GPRN/NSCN’s commitment and resolve to unite all Naga brothers is a lofty yet attainable mission and a firm pledge,” the kilo kilonser said.
While congratulating FNR for continually insisting on upholding core human values and Christian principles in Nagaland as opposed to killing and bloodshed, Azheto also thanked other Naga frontal organizations for being the sources of strength in seeking unity and commonness in the Naga struggle.
NBCC general secretary, Rev. Dr. Anjo Keikung, in his advent message conveyed his pleasure in addressing the joint congregation and said how good it is for God’s people to live and worship together.
Reminding the congregation of how Jesus, the son of God, had come to the world to redeem mankind, Rev Keikung said Nagas as Christians must have the “commitment and clarity in a very living and personal way.”
FNR convenor Rev. Dr. Wati Aier in his closing note said Nagas are no longer bound by anxieties and hopelessness, but that they are in an advent world. “For the Nagas it is a moment of active waiting - filled with joyous anticipation. This is so, because, Nagas have made a treaty with God and with each other. In this treaty, we have broken down fences built between Nagas, of anger, hate and contempt. In the Advent community, there is no more East and West, yellow and brown, A and B. We are all one in Christ.”
Rev. Wati also said that to be in the advent community “does not mean for you and I to be sitting next to someone with whom I am in agreement, but next to one for whom I am not in agreement. On such fronts can today find the creative reality of love.” He further said that when one respects the image of God in his opponent, then there originates the “true Naga-hood in Christ.”
Highlights of the programme included gift exchange among cadres of the three groups, “advent medley” presented by students of Oriental Theological Seminary, music and jokes by cadres of GPRN/NSCN, “Kuknalim” a song by OTS students dedicated to the Journey of Common Hope and prayer of dedication. President Dimapur Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship Loli Kape read out as passage from the Bible and offered invocation prayer.
FNR member Rev. Pughoto Aye chaired the programme. A grand feast followed the service.
Representatives from churches and civil society such as the NBCC, Nagaland Christian Forum, Naga Mothers’ Association, Naga Women Hoho Dimapur, DNSU, ENPO, United Naga Council and Naga Women Union Dimapur, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, Naga Students Federation and many concerned Naga citizens also attended the celebration.