Nagaland – A trip to the eastern corner of India

Kohima. Nagaland. Contrary to what I had heard, a peaceful state. 16 tribes with individual langues, dress, musical instruments and culture. The tribes do not understand each others’ languages. They use Nagamese- a mix of Assamese and Naga to converse with each other.

No infrastructure to speak of. Though a four lane road is now being constructed upto Imphal. The locals are very happy that atleast some developments are happening after 70 years and the govt is paying attention to NE.

The extremist activities have gone down as the locals voluntarily have now stopped funding the extremists. Also negotiations are on between the central govt and various groups which will make the state more peaceful. Locals are optimistic about these developments.

The missionaries though have contributed to the high literacy rate in the state, they seem to have killed the tribal traditions and culture which is now on display only during festivals. Also the church has a big influence in the state. A few banners in markets proclaiming Nagaland to be a Christian State and asking people to be an example to the “non believers.” Very tolerant 

Good roads and a boost to tourism can do wonders to curb the unemployment and economy of not just Nagaland but also Manipur and Mizoram. The Hornbill festival which displays the local culture and takes place in the first week of December every year is a step in the right direction.

A visit to the WW2 memorial maintained by the commonwealth honors the soldiers (Indians and British) who fought for the British in WW2. It struck me that we do not have a similar memorial for Netaji Subhash Chandras army which was courageous enough to fight against the British. Realized that we do not honour our heroes enough. Come to think of it, our honour to the martyrs of our current defense forces is just lip service.

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