Monday, June 20, 2016

Rooting hate out of the soil of NE India, 10-14 June

Siloam retreat haven beside Umiam Lake, Barapani, Meghalaya

Around half of the 80 young people, representing six North Eastern states, who attended a dialogue in Siloam, Meghalaya, declared their resolve to dissolve hates, resentments, grudges and bitterness that tormented their lives - by apologizing!

A sure glimpse – and promise of the best future anyone could want – of a pained, neglected region of India becoming a hate-free region.

The outline of this vision becomes more visible when you hear powerful decisions like:

  • NE India Dialogue on ‘The Future We Want’ participantsI’ve been a very bitter person since childhood, having been hurt by so many things done to me. From here, I’ve said sorry for my bitterness. And I’ve taken a decision that I will forgive everyone who has hurt me till now. It has been 18 years since I’ve had this bitterness. Today, I’ve found this inner strength to forgive all, who have caused me so much pain. Also I see lots of weaknesses in me. I want to transform them into strengths and help people.
  • I need to calm the storm in my heart – and forgive my father.
  • My anger is gone after coming here and the first thing that I will do is to ask for forgiveness from my mother.
  • I want to make a promise to all of you: I have hurt my sister and I wrote a letter to her about it.  Also, I’ve never appreciated my dad. So I called him and did that. Wherever I go, I will continue this.
  • I have decided not to call myself an Ao, Lotha, Sema, Chang, Angami or anything for that matter, unless the situation demands. I am a Naga first and my tribe, second. It gives rise to more barriers when we insist on being hardcore ethno-centrist.

Father GeorgeFather George, Director of Siloam and visionary partner of Initiatives of Change for this Dialogue, immediately agreed to collaborate again - on super generous terms - in response to the overwhelming wish of the participants to have the next Dialogue at his centre from 11 to 14 November. An innovative, twinned ‘Buddy System’ is already working with 20 groups of four participants being in touch by WhatsApp, sharing how they are actioning decisions from the Dialogue. So, the momentum of this N E Enterprise, ‘Change hate, Change history’ looks as if it may roll on further.

Above is an extract from the full report - download the full report here.