Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Strength of a ‘Leader’ - P S Reishangnim, BCom 6th Semester Management Honours

image credits- linkedin.com


The past few days in Nagaland had left people wavering between feelings of suspense, confusion, and frustration amidst hope or even lost hope for a favourable outcome to the prolonged gridlock between leaders of the Tribal bodies and the Government. Now, we can reflect on the nature of events that unfolded, with wishes that if there is anything else that can be gained from this episode it is that Nagaland and its people will become wiser and use wiser counsel to lead, to support and to do the right thing. The definition of who is a true leader is examined by PS Reishangnim of BCom 6th Semester. PS Reishangnim was awarded the Tetso College Student of the Year Award by Hon’ble Governor P B Acharya in January on Scholastic Day 2017. She is currently the General Secretary of the Student Council.
The Strength of a ‘Leader’
Let us redefine the word ‘leader’. In my opinion, it means a state of serving others and connecting people. It has the title of ‘leader’ but is a profession of service. But as we look around at the situation of today’s generation in any political groups, government, or in society, being a leader means being powerful and authoritative. Let us think again to rebuild our society and nation for the future, is being powerful enough to be a leader? Humility, empathy, patience, and a forgiving nature are much-needed attributes in a leader. But the question is do we have these kind of leaders?
First of all, a leader should not be proud, but always be thankful to the followers. If there are no followers, there can’t be a leader. Let us look at our generation, I’m not saying that all the leaders are the same, but I’m talking about the general concept that we have. Almost everyone thinks that a leader is someone who has wealth, power, connection, etc. We generally despise the quality of a leader being humble, kind, and persuasive.
Today our society is in total chaos. A time has come for us to question our beliefs, motives, concepts, and actions. We blame our leaders. Well of course, “a tree moves when the wind blows”. Some leaders are not honest as they should be. They practice biased living. They work for their own benefits and seem to forget that they are at their position because of who they now ignore.
Leaders should have the vision of the mission that they stand for. They should have the ability to think and capability to arrange and visualise for the future. Those with principles can stand up in every situation, regardless of the situation. Leaders should plan beforehand. They should have clear ideas of the responsibilities that have to be taken up.
Leaders cannot work alone, they always need co-ordination. Goals can be achieved only when there is unity in the team. A leader should maintain a good relationship with all and respect opinions. Communication also plays a vital role in the welfare of the society. A good society can be formed only when there is a proper flow of communication. A leader should make sure that no information is misinterpreted. A single misunderstanding can put the entire society at stake. Leaders should work selflessly for the welfare of the society. They should always be ready to help others in need and stay away from human greed. Being able to compromise, and remaining optimistic is crucial to the success of the leader.
A leader does not mean the burden has to be carried alone. Being a leader in the society shows the person’s capability to take up the responsibilities that have been assigned. It also shows the faith that people have in her/him. Leaders have been given the privilege to start the change that we want to see in the society.
We have talked about bringing change in the society many times, and every form of social media has posts about changes we long for. But are we practicing what we speak? Are we taking the responsibility? Everyone should be a part of the change and not the leaders alone. Yes, it is the leaders who should take the first step as they have the platform, rights, position, and opportunity to start the work. The scope for creating an impact as a leader is tremendous. No matter what, you may be a student leader or a church leader, or you may be leading any organisation, you must work to make things better for everyone.
Now let us ask ourselves, should we follow the footsteps of our ancestors in bringing changes? Yes, we have to, since we have our own culture and tradition to keep. It forms our identity. But since the world is changing and our living standard is higher, we should make certain changes in the way we think. We need to adapt. Those who can’t adapt, fade away! The world is just a global village, everything is interconnected. Though our mind may be manipulated by the current situation, we youngsters should be aware of what is right and wrong. We should have our own principles and be careful enough not to endorse any corrupt activity.
As the saying goes, “students are the pillars of tomorrow”, we are the leaders of tomorrow. We are the ones who will complete the unfinished work of our parents. As the future of tomorrow, what changes can we bring? The current scenario in Nagaland doesn’t paint a happy image. There is violence, anger, corruption, and it definitely isn’t what we want it to be. We definitely need a revolutionary leader. We can change this situation. We need a leader who is empathetic towards the people. This could be a man or even a woman.
And let us remember - Whoever we are, how great we may be, or how intelligent we claim to be, God, the supreme leader, is always above us all.
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 recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Anjan K Behera, Tatongkala Pongen, Nungchim Christopher, and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email: dot@tetsocollege.org.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Violence is Not the Answer - Pakinzinliu Chawang, Assistant Professor, Department of English

image credits- thenewword.co.uk




"Violence never really deals with the basic evil of the situation. Violence may murder the murderer, but it doesn't murder Murder. Violence may murder the liar, but it doesn't murder lie; it doesn't establish truth… This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the universe. It doesn't solve any problems." - Martin Luther Jr.
Violence is Not the Answer

Yet again, we Nagas stole the limelight in the last few weeks for all the wrong reasons. My head hung in shame as my fellow brethren considered violence as the only solution to a problem. I recall an incident when a couple of years back, the Nagas, who were not known to the world or even to our own fellow countrymen, created history as a result of a hasty, badly thought and planned course of action. Our state made international headlines overnight, with news of the lynching flashing in news media outlets around the world. Be it BBC World, Al Jazeera, The Times of India, all had images of our City Tower, a landmark which was now blemished by our actions. The Nagas made their entry into the world news as an anthropophagite for taking law into our own hands, and once again we have proven to the whole world we are nothing but barbarians. 

We take pride in calling ourselves hospitable and peace-loving people, and zealously proclaim ‘Nagaland for Christ!’ But, the irony is that we are incoherent and full of vengeance. Is it enough to chant in a chorus that we are peace loving? Are we not contradicting ourselves with our actions? Our actions build our identity. What has happened in the past few days is most unfortunate and unexpected, because the ultimate result was not to sacrifice lives, but to arrive at an amicable solution. I am neither in favor nor against either of the two segments of opinions, but I am one among the many confused spectators, who in the chaos is trying to figure out what has really gone wrong. Could we have avoided the whole chaos? 

There is always a solution to every problem, but violence is never the answer; it only aggravates the situation. Why do we always turn to violence and believe that ultimately it can only settle problems? We have experienced the outcome of violence in the past too, and I am saddened by the fact that we have not learned from our past. Like in the past, the social media has once again maneuvered the innocent Nagas. "One rotten potato in the basket spoils the whole basket". In our case too, a handful of selfish half-baked cakes has succeeded in manipulating the minds of the masses. Do our youth comprehensively understand the issues they are fighting for?

In the battle between Good and Evil, Evil has triumphed once again in ‘The Land of Christ’. Evil here does not connote to any of the two rivals; rather, it implies that both have surrendered to irrationality.

I am reminded of my mother's advice to always submit to our elder's advice for the virtue of them being older than me. I disagree because I believe rational thinking can come from any generation, and not from elders alone. Sometimes it's wiser to be kind than right. We are at a juncture where neither side wants to compromise. I stand on the sidelines and witness the hatred, and it pains my heart. How I wish that both parties had been kinder. Perhaps we would not have lost our two brothers.

Had the Government taken a wise decision, keeping in mind the demands and sentiments of the public, things would not have deteriorated to this extent. Our leaders have failed us, choosing power over their concern for us. The world has seen revolutions through non-violent protests. I wonder why we couldn’t do the same. What difference does declaring the elections null and void now make? What did we gain burning down public properties? Did it bring back the two precious lives?

What has been done cannot be undone. No amount of agitation and resentment shown through various means can ever bring back the two lives that have been tragically lost, and neither can the damage which was done to the image of the Nagas as a whole be reversed. We ought to realise that life is not a critical struggle between the weak and the strong, where principles of humanity do not matter. Everything simply does not boil down to victory and defeat. Having learned the hard way from past experience, we do agree on the futility of violence in every struggle; yet this incident perhaps has projected our true image: we are not what we proclaim to be- a peace loving community. We have fallen miserably. Violence is violence, and there is no justification for it.

 "Violence never really deals with the basic evil of the situation. Violence may murder the murderer, but it doesn't murder Murder. Violence may murder the liar, but it doesn't murder lie; it doesn't establish truth. Violence may even murder the dishonest man, but it doesn't murder dishonesty. Violence may go to the point of murdering the hater, but it doesn't murder hate. It may increase hate. It is always a descending spiral leading nowhere. This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the universe. It doesn't solve any problems." Martin Luther Jr.

We Nagas today need to reflect on this quote and decide judiciously if we want to traverse again along the same path. At this crucial juncture, I can only hope and pray to God that He gives us the strength and wisdom to accept and reconcile with our past, and choose what is best for our society. Nagaland is our state, let’s love it and make it the heaven we want it to be. It’s never too late.

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 recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Anjan K Behera, Tatongkala Pongen, Nungchim Christopher, and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email: dot@tetsocollege.org.



Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Of Internet and Safety! - Nivibo Y. Sumi, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology


Internet has become part and parcel of our daily life. One is in fact dependent on the internet and the benefits it affords to those utilizing it. The on-going ban on mobile internet in Nagaland has affected both the professional and personal front as the increasing dependency on its usage rises. At the same time, there is the question of personal security and data information which this week’s article addresses. How safe are we?


Of Internet and Safety!


Media-saturated lives! That’s how an individual exists in today’s technologically advanced society. It is not uncommon to see people today, young and old alike, to drift around, having recently discovered the idleness that a simple internet blockage could bring. This is not the first time that the government initiated ‘Internet-gagging’. The last time this policy got implemented was during the infamous March 5th incident of 2015. Having been suddenly caught in this myriad of new adjustments that one has recently been experiencing, it can now be said that the internet is the new drug that the modern world offers. Today it almost shares equal importance with that of essential elements like breathing or ingestion of food and water. Shopping, travelling, banking, business, research, information on health care, education etc. are some of the few advantages that the internet offers.

One of the most commonly used and abused means of internet in Nagaland today are social networking sites like FacebookWhatsAppInstagram, Twitter and Snapchat, where the majority of the populace spend their productive hours in socialising wirelessly. Accessing social networks through the internet is not a new thing, it had a humble origin when Yahoo! Messenger was launched. This revolutionised communicating around the world, and Nagaland was not behind in catching up with the new fever. Kuknalim.com offered the newly internet-fuelled generation with chatting over the computer, locally. Besides, Hi5 and Orkut emerged. These social networking sites fuelled the internet engine and kept it running till Facebook came into the scene and took over as the new king of social networking.

Studies reveal that today, 2.4 billion people or roughly 37.3% of the world’s total population uses the internet; 70% of which uses the internet every day. 8 new people are introduced to the internet every second. It is estimated that the internet usage has increased by 566% since 2000! This huge upsurge in internet usage can be attributed to mobile devices that an individual possess, serving both as the essential means of communication and also a symbol of status for some.

Mobile phones became a revolutionary instrument in 1996 when a Finnish company first introduced mobile internet or ‘Mobile Web’. This was the Nokia 9000 Communicator via the Sonera and Radiolinja networks. However, it was not until 1999 that the first commercial internet, i-mode, was launched in Japan by NTT DoCoMo. Nokia took advantage and introduced their highly coveted phone, the Nokia 6600, running on Symbian S60 Operating System, and with this sealed the fate of the “Holy Grail” of the modern technology. This would eventually lead the way to the ‘smartphone’ era.

Amidst the plethora of various apps, and with smartphones getting smarter with each passing day, how safe is a person on the internet today? Free access to the internet, it does come with a price: a heavy one where various elements, including the governmental agencies, exploit users. Privacy needs to be maintained as humanely as possible. It is mostly violated by both the anti-social elements and the government alike. This has been a serious social concern for the world. How private are our lives in this era of technology?


And while the rest of the world celebrated “Data Privacy & Protection Day” on 28th January, here in Nagaland we celebrated our uniqueness in the form of “internet gagging”. The very purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness and promote privacy. It was first initiated by the Council of Europe in 2007. As Internet became easily accessible, more and more personal information accumulated online, mostly through these social networking sites. It’s increasingly important that users all over the world understand both the benefits and potential risks of online data sharing, and the tools at their disposal to control and manage the data they share. This is a global issue. Take, for instance, Instagram. This seemingly innocent app saves information based on our ‘hashtag’ searches and prepares a profile for each user, based on which ads are displayed. Why should a third-party keep track of my online activity?


Civilisation today has arrived at a stage where one constantly and unknowingly keeps validating oneself on the basis of emotional gratification. This is done primarily through the mediums of the social networking sites. No one is to be blamed here because it is the very essence of our identity as a human, the need to love and be loved. The internet, much like the fire, can ‘either melt you or forge you’. So should we stop using it?

Civilisation today has arrived at a stage where one constantly and unknowingly keeps validating oneself on the basis of emotional gratification. This is done primarily through the mediums of the social networking sites. No one is to be blamed here because it is the very essence of our identity as a human, the need to love and be loved. The internet, much like the fire, can ‘either melt you or forge you’. So should we stop using it?

On the one hand, it is a powerful weapon if used wisely, and on the other it has the potential to destroy an individual. Phishing scams, cyber-bullying, revenge porn to name a few, are so common in today’s world. Sharing personal information through e-mails have resulted in individuals enduring losses in many areas. At the end of the day, it’s the choice that people make. It’s very much like the sins and dangers that lurk around, so should one stop living or stop using fire because it’s dangerous? The answer definitely negates the very question, which is almost illogical. The same principle can be applied to the internet usage amidst the danger that it poses. If one is still confused then to stay safe online, one can go back online; “Google-Baba” is the answer and it has the solution to every query you have. Safe Browsing!



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 recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Anjan K Behera, Tatongkala Pongen, Nungchim Christopher, and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email: dot@tetsocollege.org.


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