TODAY -

The courage to be 'yourself'
- Construction of Man of Tomorrow for New World

Dr. Aniruddha Babar *



I have been leading a life full of incidents and coincidences. I have been a Sportsman, a Lawyer, a Legal / Political Advisor, a Motivational Speaker, a Corporate HR consultant, a Columnist, an Artist, a Meditation Teacher, a Reiki Master, a Healer, a Poet, a Singer, a Mystic, an Adventurer, an Explorer, a Counsellor, a Theologian, a Seeker and now a 'Professor' who has permanently settled in one of the remotest states in the northeast region of India- The Nagaland.

Whenever I do rigorous introspection I come to realize that the roles that I have 'consciously' played from time to time were nothing but necessary responses to the demands of 'creation'. It is important for a man to learn to be responsive to 'creation', this, I believe is an only path to the 'Right Growth' that the custodians of ancient wisdom and the grand teachers and wisdom Masters of humanity like Buddha, Krishna, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mahavir, Zoroaster, Bodhi dharma and many divine souls that appeared on this planet from time to time have revealed and spoken about in different ways. Acting upon God's voice can not only change our destiny, but by the "Rule of Divine" also transforms everyone and everything around us in a drastic way.

Man is spiritual in nature. We are essentially spiritual beings because we are naturally and consciously oriented beyond our material life toward transcendent norms of truth and goodness. This is the ground of our dignity and value over other, non-spiritual animals. If a man learns to open himself to the frequency of the creation he elevates his inner core to receive a wisdom underlying all 'religions' when they are stripped of accretions and superstitions which renders life intelligible and demonstrates that justice and love guide the cosmos.

This self-discovered wisdom is the revelation of the latent spiritual nature in the human being, without dependence on any external phenomena. This unique discovery opens us up to the endless possibilities in this ever-changing creation and man becomes a vehicle of God- and finally ends up playing a role in life as a response to the creation.

Nagaland and Naga society have been undergoing a process of great transformation. New world can only be created through a vision of 'transformed' people under Godly wisdom. The colleges and schools in Nagaland are fully and completely responsible for the creation of the new breed of "transformed" Naga souls. As a man who has been constructively playing multiple roles in our Naga society for the last many years, I have observed some very disturbing trends in the local education system.

Not only school education, but also the higher education system needs to align itself with the higher objectives and goals of building a new man for tomorrow who not only will contribute to the nation building process but leave their strong imprints in the timeless history of ever transforming 'creation'. To achieve these higher goals, teaching pedagogies, teaching psychology, teacher's approach and most importantly institutional psychology needs to be altered, changed and transformed.

In the great history of this nation, educational institutions and teachers have been understood as the necessary agents of change. As Prof. Mark Stevenson, an Astrophysicist once quoted, "Teacher is neither a human resource, nor a school or college is a 'Business or Industry'.

Teachers are human beings, and there is no point to reduce them simply at the level of human resource as we have seen such things happening in other industries where productivity is measured in terms of 'produced units'. In the entire history of the world, education was never a business nor money making activity- rather it has always had a charitable touch and an aura of 'service'.

As I traveled in nook and corners of Nagaland and have understood our society better, I discovered that the needs of Nagaland and Naga society are different- where students ALSO need the THOUGHTS AND IDEAS not simply measured academic lessons 'injected' in terms of 'billed lecture hours'.

As my mentor, philosopher, a great name in the field of International Law, Prof. V.S. Mani would often say, "Great ideas, thoughts and actions are produced in freedom of body, mind and soul-an environment where noble goals are valued more than paths". Teachers and education institutions holds a cardinal responsibility to create a conducive environment for students not just to enable them to score some marks but also to help them to construct themselves by offering them the 'natural freedom' which our traditional academic culture always 'protected' in the past in great academic institutions like Nalanda, Taxila, Vikramshila and many more-when half of the world was wandering in the darkness.

The ancient universities of India have produced such gigantic literature which no other university was able to produce. One Naga historian rightly pointed out in one of the seminars I have attended, "The time has come for Nagaland and other states in India to revive and adopt the ancient 'teaching-learning' model which proved successful for over thousands of years in India". What model was he talking about? He was talking about academic discipline and at the same time freedom to walk a "PATHLESS" path to learn.

I am an advocate of pathless paths to learn. This concept revealed in my mind when I was wandering in the Mon town with my disciple Haiguing Kuame during our "Eastern Nagaland Motorcycle Tour'' which we both undertook to educate our Eastern Naga people about their constitutional & legal rights and also to learn & document the painful ground realities through series of meetings with Tribal organizations and leaders in headquarter of every Eastern District.

Haiguing could be more educated, knowledgeable about the facts, evidence and realities of Eastern Nagaland than any of his B.A. Political Science Honours classmates. Haiguing could be in a position to talk about Eastern Nagaland much better than any professor in Tetso College who never ever visited the remotest regions of the state. Is this not an education? Exposure to the world is a real education, experience is a real teacher- this was the tradition in Indian academia for centuries-where Master would take his disciples on long journeys for months to cultivate their mind and liberate their soul. I am proud of the past and present members of my Mountaineering Club who became disturbed whenever they visited and discovered Eastern Nagaland.

"Sir, these problems are not given any weightage in the media ''. "Sir, why is the Government not building a good road from Pungro to Thanamir, we should do something". My students shared their sentiments during their Nova Iter"22 Expedition last year. Similar sentiments and views expressed during Mt. Khelia Expedition too. "It is unbelievable that there is no PHC", "Let us file complaints Sir, these are our people, they deserve all facilities' '. "Sir, it seems Drugs and HIV is a big issue here, what Govt is doing", "Sir, where will poor students go to study since there is no college in Noklak, isn't that violation of Fundamental right". The burst of emotions and passionate inquiries that I witnessed during Mountaineering and Motorcycle Expeditions with my disciples convinces me that I am on the right path as a Mentor and Teacher.

Our Naga students' needs education through right exposure and experience. The rigid, non-academic approaches and systems that may work in education institutions in Mumbai or Bangalore or Pune or USA, made functional on the basis of some European business model will not work in Nagaland- this is fact. Educational institutions need to be more flexible and accommodative if they desire to build a new generation that will take the society and the nation forward.

I feel teachers and educational institutions in Nagaland need to create more constructive "free spaces". These spaces can be created by taking views of students, faculty members and members of civil society into consideration. What students needs and demands along the line of what does the society and the nation needs and demands is something that should compulsorily shape the policies of any academic institution as every academic institution be it private or government is a social asset, a national asset; certainly not a business organization or a company especially in the context of state of Nagaland and the Naga society.

It is important for academic institutions all over India to interact with each other to understand similarities and differences. Moreover, institutional tie ups with Government organizations, Government Departments, Policy making bodies of government, government research institutions, Police Forces, Defense Forces helps students to discover their role/roles in the complex ecosystem of the nation-state.

New Nagaland will be a reality when we grant our students, our young generation sufficient freedom to enable them to listen to the voice of GOD. Voice of the GOD is heard from within through a holy silence and holy silence can only be experienced in "free spaces" where noble goals are valued and sacred demands of 'creation' are met.

Nagaland needs free spaces- in schools, colleges, universities, tribal bodies, unions and in families. A seed of life can nourish and flourish only in the God given freedom of creation-we need to respect that. If the individual evolves, the chains, prisons and mental asylums of society dissolve. The prisons, chains and the mental asylums of society exist only because the individual is not allowed to evolve.

I showed my friends and disciples a bright light of freedom, I taught my disciples the path towards self-discovery, knowledge and the new world. What about you? When would you all contribute to the construction of the "Free Man" of 'new' tomorrow?


* Dr. Aniruddha Babar wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is at Dept of Political Science, Tetso College, Nagaland
The writer can be contacted at aniruddha(AT)tetsocollege(DOT)org
This article was webcasted on 13 May 2023.



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