Mr. T. Sakrie, a Naga leader wrote the following about his people and their unique history and culture:
'Truly we are a peculiar people. We are equals. Men and women have equal social status. We have no caste distinction; no high or lower class people.. We believe in the form of government which permits the rule, not of the majority, but of the people as a whole.'
'We govern ourselves by government that does not govern at all. In the life of the village the family is a permanent living institution, a conscious unit polity. Every family is proud of its own and no family has ever been left by their fellow men to the mercy of circumstances.'
'Possessing his own house, built on his own land, …no family ever pays any tax. Forest and woodlands, rivers belong to the people…We cultivate as much land as we need or desire and there is no one to question our rights.'
'We have no beggars. Every family live in its village in its own rights. It has no landlord to harass it, and no revenue collectors to knock on its door; for the family is master of its own affairs. And, wonder of wonders we have no jails. We do not ‘arrest’, nor ever ‘imprison’ anyone. Our civil authority is God in the matter of life and death. And the murder is very rare. We fear nobody, individually or collectively.'
'We are a healthy people and fear corrupts the health of man. Our granaries are kept outside the village and no guard is ever needed, for there is no one to steal from them.'
An indeed, we saw no beggars during our entire trip around Nagaland and also witnessed roadside unmanned vegetable stalls where people could just take whatever they wanted and leave the money for the shop keeper to collect later !!
Migrant workers from Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal are also contributing to the construction of infrastructural projects in Nagaland.
Photo credits: Rupa Abdi
For Nagaland tour guidelines please read my article:
NAGALAND I : The Land of Valour and Beauty
My other articles on Nagaland:
NAGALAND II: THE NAGA TRIBES- Our Own Game of Thrones
NAGALAND III: The Mithun and the Hornbill - Motifs and Wood Craft of Nagaland
NAGALAND V: Beyond the Hornbill Festival