Venue: Kerünyüki, Sechu Zubza
Date/Time: 8th of October, 3:30 PM – 7 PM
The agenda for bringing people together:
- Sharing of what has happened since Dialogue-1 (June 2016)
- Planning for Siloam Dialogue-2 at Siloam, Meghalaya
Mr. Niketu Iralu briefly shared about IofC since some of the members present during the meeting were first comers.
- Rügotsono Ago Iralu: She shared that renewing her relationship with her father was challenging for her. The sharing of her shortcomings to her father rather than pin pointing his mistakes was a new approach she took in dealing with this relationship. To be humble and not bitter were some of her learning’s from her experiences.
- Tutu K Jamir, Teacher: She had a really hard time in dealing with her students as they became mischievous. She prayed for a chance to share her thoughts with them. Then one day, the Chaplin who usually conducts the morning assembly asked her to take up the assembly. She did not have time to prepare but up there on stage in front of all the students and colleagues, she apologised to them for her shortcomings as a teacher and a Christian. Her apology brought tears in her students as they realised the troubles they have brought to her.
- Wetshete Joseph Thopi, Professor: He met IofC in the month of May in Kohima Village. That meeting changed his perspectives as an individual. He grew up in a troubled family, his dad an alcoholic, a gambler and at times would verbally abuse his mother.This continued on for 27 years, but after his meeting with IofC he gathered his family members and shared about the ideology of IofC. The family had a time of sharing and he decided to apologise to his father for his bitterness towards him. His father then apologised to his family for the trouble and pain he had brought for 27 years.
Robert Solo: He shared the recent steps taken by the Village Chairman of Barabasti, the mega-village at the heart of Kohima, along with members from the village council, going out to couple of villages and apologising for the wrong things the Barabasti village had done all these years. They vouched for working towards a new relationship.The next step is going to the Sumi Village and apologising for killing a villager of theirs at Barabasti; to be honest about where they had been wrong.
Zhanuo, Teacher: She met IofC during a programme at ATI in the month of July. She shared that before meeting IofC she had thought of herself as a good person already. When she had a time of inner listening she realised all the wrong things she had done. She further mentioned that it scared her to discover her ‘wickedness’. She laid out a question while in tears - Is the inner voice always right?
- Samuel Vaiphei: An officer of the Indian Revenue Service replied to Zhanuo’s question by stating this: “In order to be sure that the voice is authentic, I usually rely on two tests:
- Does it offer me an easier way out in the short run viz a kind of a face saving formula? One that makes me looks good in front of others...
- Does it embarrass me for the moment i.e. one that is tougher at the moment while yielding long term fruit?
The later non-easier option that makes one die to the impulse of self-preservation is the authentic one. The tougher choice that militates against the easier way of reinforcing one's comfort zone is usually the right one in a world where our natural instinct is to hear voices of self justification and excuses for choosing the less nobler path.”
Politics and Corruption
- Moba Langfhoang, BDO: He shared his experiences of being posted at Tobu, a remote village bordering Burma. It was only in the past 15 years that the people of the village started thinking of development. During the past elections people would ask for guns but in 2003 people gave away all their guns. They had then decided to look beyond guns and think of other ways of bringing in development.
- Mordecai Chase, Teacher: He shared the experiences he had with corruption, especially when it comes to scholarships. Although he had taught his students that if their parents’ income is above the stipulated amount, they should refrain from applying. The time the scholarship forms are out, all of them would apply. He stated that the parents play a role in encouraging their children to apply. Secondly, in order to gain a higher scholarship some students would apply for a hostel form even though they stayed in their own homes. To add to this, the hostel owners would sell these forms for a sum if Rs 100-200, encouraging many more students to take part in this act.
- He shared his personal experiences in dealing with corruption. His house is under construction and there were bricks lying beside his house that were meant for construction by the government. There were instances where people took these bricks for their personal construction and no official notices it. He had this urge to take these bricks also but his own personal commitment against corruption stops him from doing so.
- In another instance, a friend drove his car and met with a minor accident. The car had scratches on it. He had the thought of getting the insurance company to pay for it. His friends on the other hand shared that if he is not driving the car, the insurance company will not cover the damages. He could have easily lied and told the insurance company that he drove the car but it's his commitment that had yet again stopped him from doing so.
Wetshete Joseph Thopi, Professor: During elections the villagers would be given Rs 25000/- (each household) by the candidate for their votes. His family also took part in this act by taking the money. He made his family realise that by doing so, all the schemes meant for the villages were being eaten up by the candidate. The family then have taken a pledge to not involve themselves in such practices from the next elections. His hope is that the other villagers would also take on this pledge.
Zhanuo, Teacher: She always looked up to her uncle who is a Reverend at the Baptist Church. He is the caretaker of his sister’s property in Dimapur. Without prior permission he sold off the property. His sister on enquiring for the reason behind him selling the property, he responded by mentioning that the property had some legal issues. On enquiring further about the money collected from the sale of the property, he mentioned that he and his colleagues have shared the money; and none was left.
Other significant sharing
One person through his experiences, states that the UPSC training institutes equip people with knowledge, not with character. He mentioned that since 1947, 60% of the people who get through the UPSC exams are from well-off families.
He says that once a person becomes a civil servant, they tend to not listen to anyone.
A devoted Christian, he sees a need in the way Church defines success. Churches should start praying for a person who will work ethically, not just someone from their own tribe.
His commitment to work ethically, made him challenging for others. Even then he continues doing what he believes in, clearly stating that - “ I work for God, not for the commissioner!”
- Nunu Chase: A business executive/trainer from Youth Net, shared her experience of working in almost all the districts of Nagaland. The challenges they face especially when collaborating with the Government.
The state of Nagaland has a staggering number of (2.8 lakhs) unemployed youths. Youth Net conducts various programmes and has various initiatives that it undertakes. One of the few initiatives is instilling the value - dignity of labour.
She further expressed her concern that despite Nagaland being a Christian state, the conditions of the state are pathetic.
Tutu K Jamir, Teacher: The ADC of her district has taken up the initiative of organising awareness campaigns with regards to coal mining. Invitations have been forwarded to the village councils to take active part in these campaigns.
Many of the participants present at the meeting were new. They shared their interest in being part of the Siloam conference.
The people who were part of the first one have taken up the responsibility of inviting friends and people for the conference.
Further planning of the dialogue will take place in the coming weeks.
Wangyal Damko and Peno Hiekha will be leading the planning.