Nagaland and Naxalites

On 12th September, local Quaker meetings were asked to participate in a day of prayer for the Naga people.  Several members of the meeting spoke (‘gave ministry’) on this issue and David, whilst recognising that ‘pride comes before a fall’, felt that Quakers could take some pride in their Peace Activities.

It would seem that the prayers were answered (no, I’m certainly NOT claiming this was a result of the prayer!) – see the News from Nagaland for 18th September here.

But mention of Nagaland took my mind back 33 years. I had been in that part of India then (1977) but couldn’t remember if I had been to Nagaland itself until I looked it up on the map and realised that I had almost certainly passed through Kohima (the capital) on my way to Imphal from Gauhati under ‘house arrest’ by the Indian police. I can only remember flying out of Imphal (to Calcutta?) under orders from the police – I assume they must have arranged the ticket or paid for it as I’m sure I would have refused to pay on principal (not my wish to leave that way). I had been arrested for taking photographs (in the vicinity of an impending Congress Party rally with Mrs. Ghandi) and whilst the police were courteous, gave me tea and sweets and didn’t keep my camera, they did take the film (and writing to request return of the prints received no answer) and insist that I got on that flight from Imphal. As far as I know I was not arrested because I had earlier been accompanied by a Naxalite sympathiser but…? In any event, I don’t have those photos of the beautiful Brahmaputra river.

Now, the Naxalites are in the news too:
Naxalites, in the Independent, April
Naxalite Revolution – the view from the other side
Naxalite Homepage on Blogger
Naxalite Homepage on WordPress
Naxalites in Wikipedia
Violence and injustice (in this case by the state and establishment of India) begets violence.
Judge (non-judgementally?) them (whoever) by their fruits.

For quaker work relating to naxalites see this. (pdf)
New Internationalist item
Common Ground – originating in USA
A common word – from the Islamic world

(Still ground for hope?)

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