Tribalism in the context of Naga people may refer to a strong sense of identity, loyalty, and attachment to one’s own tribal group within the larger Naga society. This sentiment often entails prioritizing the interests, traditions, and well-being of one’s own tribe over those of others. While tribal identity can provide a sense of belonging, cultural richness, and historical continuity, extreme forms of tribalism can lead to division, conflict, and impede the collective advancement of the Naga people as a whole.
Excessive tribalism, as we know, can lead to inter-tribal tensions and conflicts. Naga tribes tend to prioritize their interests over Naga cooperation and unity, which has resulted in divisions that hinders collective efforts towards achieving common goals, such as social development, economic growth, and political stability. The lack of solidarity among the Naga people today is fostered by tribalism, making it difficult to address shared challenges. Instead of coming together as a united front, all the different tribes focus on their own concerns, thereby weakening the Naga people’s ability to advocate for their rights and needs effectively.
Apart from that, excessive tribalism has even created difficulties in forming a cohesive and effective governance structure. If tribes prioritize their own leaders and interests, it can be challenging to establish a unified leadership that can make decisions for the betterment of the entire Naga society. This has led to an unequal distribution of resources within Nagaland. Resources for development are allocated based on tribal affiliations rather than actual needs, leading to disparities in development, infrastructure, and access to basic services.
While tribal identities are integral to Naga culture, nurturing cultural exchange and collaboration between tribes is crucial. We should not let tribalism hinder the Naga people’s ability to collectively pursue progress and development. Economic growth, educational advancement, and social improvements often require coordinated efforts that are challenging to achieve if tribal divisions are prevalent. Excessive tribalism can lead to negative perceptions from outsiders, as it might convey a lack of unity and cooperation among the Naga people. This could affect how external entities, such as the Union government or international organizations, engage with the Naga community for various initiatives.
To promote the collective good of the Naga people, it is essential to strike a balance between preserving tribal identities and fostering a sense of unity and cooperation. Overcoming the negative aspects of tribalism requires a commitment to dialogue, understanding, and collaboration among Naga tribes to address common challenges and work towards shared goals for the betterment of the entire Naga community.