Decolonising ‘Christian Mission’ of the Tangkhul Nagas

By Taimaya Ragui

The history of Christian mission among the Tangkhul Nagas in Northeast India (NEI) is mostly recorded from the viewpoint of the colonials, specifically American Baptist missionaries and British administrators and/or ethnographers. When researching Christian mission, historians, clergy, and theologians frequently turn to colonial sources, such as colonial findings, reports, letters, articles (journals), and monographs, if not exclusively. They disregard regional factors, including indigenous occurrences, which influenced not only Tangkhul Naga Christians but also other populations. Given this reality, I propose decolonisation, or decolonial thinking, of Christian mission among the Tangkhul Nagas, which would re-look and give locals’ roles and the effects of local events more importance than relying solely on colonial sources. To make the case for decolonisation is to reclaim the voices that have been marginalised (the micro voices) as a result of colonial hegemony during the colonial era and ongoing colonial captivity in the contemporary environment. This is meant to make the case for the necessity of recognising the tribal-indigenous historical details and occurrences that aided in the expansion and success of the Christian mission among the Tangkhul Nagas. This is also a proposal for a colonial difference: highlight the voices that were silenced because of colonial dominance and captivity i.e., offer an alternative history of Christian mission among the Tangkhul Nagas from the perspective of a vision that was given to the Tangkhuls (a vision akin to a dream) and the revival movement of 1923.

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