A divided Tangsa society

[ Tom Simai ]
The disunity and disharmony among the sub-tribes of Tangsa is gradually gaining momentum. The dubious minds working towards the downfall and divide of the fragile society is growing by the day.
The cataclysmic socio-economic scenario of the tribe clearly shows that the destructive minds are winning ground in creating the roadblocks for harmonious co-existence and collective societal growth.
All the idea, knowledge and experience have been diverted towards the prosperity and popularity of the sub-tribes. For instance, earlier, using the word ‘Tangsa’ was a symbol of pride and a generation has flaunted that pride by naming their commercial or social venture after the tribe. These days, they prefer highlighting the name of their sub-tribes or clan, indicating the change of wind and shift of loyalty.
The other districts of the state might not understand the social conflict because they are one tribe, speak one dialect and celebrate one culture or festival. Tangsa is different; it has colossal sub-tribes that speak different dialects, wear different traditional dresses and follow different customs.
The differences have ignited the rat race among the sub-tribes and everyone has joined the competition to occupy the topmost berth of the social hierarchy. It has also triggered the animosity among the sub-tribes that was unheard until few years ago.
The divide is a mammoth mistake and the mistake lies in the community doyens and public leaders. Societal unity has become the victim of their short sightedness and sordid attitude. In order to achieve clannish glory or political mileage, they forgot that they have compromised the future of the entire tribe.
In the meantime, the educated clique is also playing its part in dismantling the harmony and unity. Elsewhere, education is treated as a way out from misery and educated folks, the guide navigating the way out. But here, some of them are indulged in sowing the seeds of discontent and division, a trend that is horrendous enough to demolish the united front of the tribe.
According to old timers, when the literacy figure was low, the thought of social integrity was extremely high. The elevation of literacy figure has somehow altered that mentality and shoved the greed of separate social identity shattering the very foundation of stability.
Besides all these factors, it can be said, Tangsa as a tribe has also made many mistakes which have eventually instigated the downfall and disunity. The prominent mistake was the failure to create a single platform to address the socio-economic issues, regulate indigenous laws, heed and solve the grievances of the many sub-tribes and prevent any act of transgression against the tribe.
The most acrid part is that currently there is no effort of creating a single platform to reinvigorate the divided society or uproot the flaws that has divided the society. There is hardly any convention to resolve the issue by deflecting the drawbacks.
In absence of any solid mechanism to acknowledge the local achievers, the sub-tribes created their own platform to recognize the people who brought laurel in various fields and profession.
The social recognition is a phenomenal concept to encourage the local achievers, unfortunately, Tangsa as a tribe has failed phenomenally in this noble act. As many believe, perhaps, this is one of the many reasons that have compelled the sub-tribes to curve a different path.
Ironically, the locals don’t have time for events that demands their presence as a Tangsa, but they can sacrifice every second of the clock if it was for their sub-tribes. The perilous practice has become the habit of the masses and the mushrooming welfare forum of sub-tribes substantiates their individual inclination.
Why cannot we work with the same passion for a united Tangsa society and sideline the abhorrence that we nurture for each other? Why the divide? Why the differences? Why the animosity?
Before the horrific trend completely devastates the spirit of unity, it is time to roll up the sleeves and begin the reform process. In the end, the choice is ours- whether we create terrific or terrible times for the future generation. (The writer can be reached at simaitom@gmail.com)