Meribeni Kikon My name is Meribeni Kikon. I belong to the Naga tribal community, I live in Kohima. For many decades, the Naga tribe has been fighting for a separate country. Gun battle, army actions and curfews are an everyday reality for my community.
The media is very quick to report on any conflict or political unrest that happens within my community. For example, when an underground leader holds a negotiation with the Indian government, all TV channels and newspapers will give large coverage to that. But there are so many other issues, like violence against women, shortage of water, shortage of power supply, but the media hardly reports those issues. So when people think about Nagaland, they only think about guns, violence and insurgency, and nothing else.
I personally have experienced a lot of discrimination, and problems that exist in my community. For example, there is no water where I live. I have to hire a taxi to go to the other corner of the town to fetch water for washing and drinking. I have also been a victim of repeated gender violence and discrimination. My experience provides so many stories to tell, that's why I came here.