Asangba Tzudir

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I am what i am...The Bright Side - "So Others May Live" And The Not So Bright Side - "Impatience."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dreary Blues

The moon beams make a crazy fall,
Misty eyed twinkles and brightens the ail within.
Ease… Ease... thou!
Suppress the wings beneath the brimming potion,
Lest I sink in nothingness to come.
The perplexed tussle within,
The illusioned open and the real.

Yet, in clear moments,
Only can I sublimate.
Tease me not for I have shelved thee.
Here I am… Like a calm before the storm,
Am about to lull… Wake me not,
For while the dreary blues spun around
A dead slumber will feel no more.

Asangba Tzudir
3rd Jan’ 2011, JNU

Monday, December 27, 2010


Like the flashbacks of a fool forced out of nostalgias and the calculated fears of the approaching new year’s day based on previous empirical footing, It culminates into mixed feelings and specially, the moral dilemmas ingrained in the last days of the year for which I got no words except for a dry and barren sigh. I look at the years back pages in scrutiny. Happy “feet” passes away in a fleeting moment without being chiseled in the mind. Seldom can I erase the memories that put me down and leave me in distress and the next moment I am trapped in emotional callousness. With my mind’s eye flashing various experiential scenes at the speed of light, I was tempted initially to bring out a diary narrative but the realization that some things are best forgotten gave me the hindsight to look ahead in self assurance and also the fact that life goes on till the last gasp no matter what. It was a topsy-turvy year indeed. Things can go worse but one can’t expect to start off the New Year in the Old Delhi Railway Station with a tensed preoccupied mind and devoid of a space - within and out, to say Hello heavenwards. I’d say, the year was nothing short of disaster, trapped within the deepest chasm and worst was living underneath the surface of disguised smile.

On a redeeming note, as I went through thick and thin, at times from frying pan to the fire, it was always a learning experience and also a slow but humble realization that it was he who carried me through. Everlasting hope and his esteemed grace is the only thing to look up to beyond which lies the realm of madness and insanity.

As the year draws to a close, my burdened spirits suddenly brightens up and I can only thank all my friends, near and dear ones who stood by me and gave me ample shoulder to lean on to and above all, the one above who gave me the courage to discard my “unwanted baggage” as I move on in life.

He allowed pain so that I become stronger once out of the temporal pain. He broke my heart...that I learn to patch it up. He kept me in suspense and confusion that I could only increase my faith and trust in him. He failed me at times and then I realised that I need to only humble myself. He left me alone so that I could really know and value friends. In sickness, I learnt the meaning of suffering and to take care of myself. Bad things happened which only gave a glimmer of realization of his greater design. I am nothing but in his Grace.

Asangba Tzudir

27th Dec' 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Trotting along the dead street all alone,

Turning their faces to the dawn,

Stretched beyond eyes vision.

Faces around are but a hazy collage.

A burdened soul that draws a barren sigh

Trammeled within an impasse.

Oh! Loneliness, a tick seemed an eternity

The light of reason plagued by madness and insanity

Oh how I crave for the brimming sublime…

On the extracted face of smiles and reason.

- Asangba Tzudir, 4th Nov' 2010, JNU.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Gods Must Be Going Crazy

Far beyond the ‘polluted spaces’ of talks on ‘peace’ and ‘sovereignty’ lies a greater problem called the state emergency – Our state has plunged into a precarious state of emergency beyond law and order situation not because the security of the state is threatened but in the state government’s callousness and failure to respond to the current fiscal crisis in addition to its emotional callus vis-à-vis the revision of pay (Are the reasons given by the finance department of the government of Nagaland in response to CANSSEA’s demand for 6th ROP, out of bounds of scepticism?) and corruption of the worst degree. It is not just a law and order situation, rather a grave constitutional breakdown.

The state emergency under article 356 of the Indian Constitution which comes under the state of emergency is also known as the ‘Presidents rule.’ In India, a state of emergency refers to a period of governance under an altered constitutional setup that can be proclaimed by the President of India, when he perceives grave threats to the nation from internal and external sources or from financial situations of crisis. State emergency is declared on failure of constitutional machinery in a state. In layman’s language, this means when the government in a state is not able to function as per the Constitution, the state comes under the direct control of the central government, exercised through the governor of the state. Article 356 allows the president to dismiss a state government on the advice of the governor of the concerned state or on his own if he is satisfied that the administration of the state cannot be carried out according to the provisions of the constitution. Article 356 gave wide powers to central government to assert its authority over a state if civil unrest occurred and the state government didn’t have the means to end the unrest. During such an emergency, the President can take over the entire work of the executive, and the Governor administers the state in the name of the President and the Legislative Assembly can be dissolved or may remain in suspended animation. Another kind of emergency coming under the state of emergency which can be declared by the president is the financial emergency coming under article 360. If the President is satisfied that there is an economic situation in which the financial stability or credit of India or any of its state is threatened, he or she can declare financial emergency. Such an emergency must be approved by the Parliament within two months. It remains enforced till the President revokes it.

I may be proved wrong, but the government seems to be cold footed about the current situation and the people unwilling to come out of one’s own comfort zone or maybe the governmental technique itself leaves them out as helpless and voiceless subjects of the government. One wonders whether the governmental technologies and policies of our state have “normalized” the current crisis into a normal “exceptional situation” which is out of bounds of constitutional law. Has it become a paradigm of our government? The theological understanding of salvation and the idea of pastoral power as ‘God for all and all for God,’ when framed in secular context, can be aptly cited as a governmental technology in manufacturing subjects to their “sovereign power” which gives them the “right” to rule over its citizens. Our own people have started to stake claim for even their basic rights that are most generally as well as naturally given. Nonetheless, on the flip side though, I do not have a righteous statue but we tend to look for our rights and fight for the same. We also have various human rights groups. But, have we ever pondered upon the umpteen human wrongs?’
The question goes, ‘Where are you from?’ I am From Nagaland, comes the reply. Where do you live in Nagaland? Questions further… seriously, where do you live in Nagaland when the whole of its area of 16579 km square is almost covered by fishery projects itself. The great rains and floods during the time of Noah had a thorough cleansing effect on the sins of the Earth; another cleansing should come through the Presidents rule and a CBI raid to cleanse the sins of all the facets of corruption. I am obnoxious, though I may not be politically or diplomatically correct but constitutionally speaking I might be injecting some impregnable sense.

I did not divulge in empirical instances to expound my arguments, nonetheless the minds of the right thinking citizens can do an imaginative analysis on the complete breakdown of morale credibility, transparency and responsibility of governmental machinery and various functionaries brought about by complete mess of financial mismanagement in the state that goes far beyond the govt’s inability to pay the 6th pay. Simpler still – ‘WHERE’ is all the Money sanctioned to Nagaland going? It may sound too strong a claim but I am tempted to say that we have reached a stage from which it is really difficult to imagine a pragmatic future, and going by the records of the current state of affairs of our state, only makes my claim, justifiable. Even the ‘Gods must be going crazy.

It is no doubt important to assess the inappropriate imposition of the Indian 'exceptional' machinery on the indigenous people over the years, but the current situation of Nagaland can be analyzed by looking into our society and ourselves and see how we have spoiled ourselves/or how we have allowed others to spoil us. If we refuse to become willing subjects towards a self reflection then an external intervention from the Indian Union becomes pertinent.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Climb

The sea existed... before me,
And i have to cross it before the sun sets.
The mountains t'was even before me
...the climb must be rough, tough and high...
I strive to cross and reach the 'unseen' end,
Climb and reach the 'unknown' top,
It'll be worth, for the 'view' be great.
But, and one thing for sure,
The sun will must i endure...
While in the light,
To reach the 'unseen' and the 'unknown'
Before I go and last.

- Asangba Tzudir

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


“Air India has imprinted the picture of Ao Naga shawl in its aircraft.” Now, how does one look and also react to this at the prospect of seeing ‘Tsungkotepsu’ – The Ao Naga traditional shawl flying atop the wings of Air India Aircraft? Its good, its bad… But I’ll leave it open-ended, for you to say. My question goes beyond the yes-no domain and raises certain issues related to epistemological trespassing which demands due warrant. Firstly, the Ao Naga traditional Shawl have been imprinted on the body of the Air India aircraft without the permission of the Nagaland Government, as reported in the Nagaland Post, dated 29th March 2010. On concerns about permission and channel… since the Shawl belongs to the Ao Naga tribe, what about the consent of the Aos and for that matter, the highest governing body of the Ao’s – The Ao Senden? I think, there has to be a proper consensus between the Government of Nagaland and the Ao senden and concerned unions and units (possibly) on this issue of legitimate permission. This is a serious case of hijacking of our culture on the part of the Air India. At the moment, the word ‘hijacking’ might sound synonymous with a cannonball but what if some larger integral aspect of our culture is hijacked in the near future…Shall we wait for a larger scale hijack?

The paper further carried, “We are glad that they are popularising our culture, and it is the pride of the Nagas that the picture of Ao Naga shawl has been used on the body of the aircraft” Rio said. This disturbing statement triggers my second concern. In this context, I have certain reservations on the idea and issue of ‘popularising’ culture. I won’t call it popularising unless it is properly represented. Even in terms of gaining popularity, how can anyone other than our people know just through the design that is a Ao Naga traditional shawl? As of now, it stands nothing more than a misrepresented design for cheap publicity. The world knows Taj Mahal as a monumental Architectural marvel and Peacock as the National bird of India. But what about our shawl? Can the Air India “accommodate” the essence of the rich cultural heritage inherent in the ‘Tsüngkotepsü’ or even write something on the design as a marker of the identity of the shawl. They are just interested in the ‘eye catching’ design rather than representation of the traditional essence of the shawl. Pray, it does not happen but we never know, what if the Air India patents the design of the shawl? We won’t be able to use or put on even our own shawl. Our culture was never a showpiece culture. It was fully embedded with rich values – moral as well as aesthetics.

Contemporary times and trends have opened up various forms of commersialisation and commodification devoid of a human face, without any consideration for the moral and cultural values. A serious reflection is thus pertinent.

- Asangba Tzudir

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Community and Resurgence of moral values in an age of globalization.

In this era of the so called globalization, materiality has taken precedence over moral values. The very idea of being good, goodness, goodwill, responsibility, care and concern for the other has been thrown into the dustbin of history. As the title suggests, the intent of this paper is an attempt to regenerate community and moral values in an age of globalization. Wendell Berry in his book “Conservation and local economy” gives a strong claim that the end to disintegration of community can be made possible through the resurgence of local economy. I am skeptical about local economy bringing an end to disintegration of community, which is quite romantic. So my contention is that the problem lies in culture and I bring in the allegory of marriage as understood and seen in the contemporary times. Nonetheless, I do, subscribe to his definition of community as it includes both people and place which is characterized by responsibility towards one another and also responsibility to the land. This sense of community is threatened by globalization, which is dangerous because it exalts the individual over community and exploits the land. I would like to trace back to liberal teaching coupled with some basic Christian perspectives so as to preserve community as well as to regenerate Good in an era of globalisation.

According to Berry, community is a “neighborhood of humans in a place, plus the place itself.” It is noteworthy that Berry uses the term neighborhood to describe a community, because neighborhoods imply the belonging - to people and to place - of members who not only know each other, but depend upon each other. Virtues like cooperation and responsibility are vital to being neighbors; the community is not merely a geographical region, but a participation in the very act of neighboring itself. In this sense there is some kind of a harmonious existence among the members of the community.

Globalization poses many threats to the community. The global worldview conflicts with the kind of intimate and neighborly relationships of people to each other and to the land as it gives priority and exalts the individual over the community. This has become the mantra of modernity. The global worldview detaches us from responsibility and living as a community. This is highlighted in John Milton’s ‘paradise lost’ and the fall of man, when Eve, in order to “achieve what might lead to happier life,” breaks communion with God, her husband, and the whole purpose of creation. Milton accounts that God made eve superior and Adam inferior. Eve proposes that the garden being too big, they should work in different parts of the garden. This can be aptly translated as the emergence of ‘I’ the ‘self,’ ego and pride. The idea here is not just the ethics of working together but what emerges out of working together. The world today prioritizes utility over responsibility with the empty promise of achieving personal happiness by material means, thereby negating human dignity and moral responsibilities.

The capitalist framework concerns production and consumption and not the growth or even the preservation of community. Thus, Community cannot survive in an age of globalization. For Berry, the only thing that can save community is this local economy – an effectual end of globalization. This is largely because, for Berry, economy is community. But globalization, I presume, is not going anywhere. I am now concerned with how communities can resist the disintegrating forces of globalization, and how the ingredients of community i.e. responsibility towards each other and land can be preserved. I am convinced that the problem facing the survival of community warrants a different approach rather than economic solution and so liberal education and certain Christian perspectives might offer some solution.

People must relearn the meaning of “good,” and consequently, the significance of community character. It seems to me that this task falls to liberal education and certain Christian teachings. People have lost sight of the dignity and calling of community which is clearly illustrated by the modern approach to marriage, which has fallen prey to utility and not love. Marriage has become another global gimmick to satisfy personal desires and to meet personal needs. In a way, the individual is exalted instead of the community and thus in most cases it becomes a contract of ‘mutual exploitation.’

So how are liberal education and certain Christian perspectives, a solution to the disintegration of community? Firstly, liberal education teaches us to embrace value, and make us capable of empathy and also awaken to the realm of human dignity. Secondly, Christian perspectives like, love your neighbor as yourself can create a kind of community bonding. The former can teach us the good and the latter can teach us to embrace it. In sum, the problem threatening community is not entirely economic, but cultural, which I suppose, stems from our detachment from our being as humans to be responsible for each other and for the land we belong to. The task then is to invoke the intellect and recognize the good of the community in providing dignity and meaning to human life which can inspire a desire for the good. Community will only survive in an age of globalization if people are taught how to value it and why to strive for it.