chapter  6
30 Pages

The Notion of Progress and Contemporary Nagas

When the West forced its ‘civilized’ and ‘superior’ culture on the Nagas, especially with regard to religion, law and political administration, the Nagas suddenly found themselves ignorant and powerless against the arbitrarily imposed dominant paradigm. Many of their age-old values and traditions become somewhat outmoded. They found themselves at the mercy of the colonizers who had the knowledge and skills of a new way of life in areas such as education, religion, law and governance. While ignorance of the newly imposed paradigm disempowered the colonized, the knowledge of it afforded power and authority to the colonizer. As Musa Dube aptly noted, ‘the cultures of the empire are also used to maintain power over the colonized’ (2006: 299).