Post Mortem

A peoples’ governor

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/19/2020 12:51:40 PM IST

 The state of Nagaland is already 56 years old. And it is only now, after more than half a century, that Nagaland State gets a mirror to see its real picture. There can be no arguing as far as the mirror is concerned. The reflection is what it is. Giving credit where it is due, the Modi Government can be credited for showing us, Nagas, the mirror through its initiative of formulating the Good Governance Index (GGI) for all the states of India. In the latest GGI of 2019, even among the North East states, Nagaland consistently remained at the bottom in all the key indicators like transparency in fiscal management, economic governance, commerce & industries, social welfare and human resources development among others.

Let us also not forget the Public Affairs Index (PAI) of 2018 which had evaluated the performance of all the states in India, and where Nagaland had the distinction of being ranked at the bottom in the most important and critical categories such as fiscal management, economic freedom and human development.

The GGI and the PAI has mirrored to the Naga people exactly what Nagaland is. The image is not surprising given the extent and intensity of corruption in the state. No wonder, there is hardly any real development or even any semblance of good governance in the state for all these decades even as neighboring states have leapfrogged in all spheres of development.

Naga politicians of all hues have, for all these years, been hunting with the hound and running with the hare. Instead of doing justice to the mandate given by the people to provide good governance, they have left aside this constitutional obligation only just to cover up their corruption with the very convenient sloganeering for early solution to the Naga political issue. This cancer of corruption and then parroting for Naga political solution has now spread far and wide, down to even our student organizations. 

One day we have a student leader spewing venom and fury against corruption of the political class and the Indian constitution itself only to find the same student leader in his next avatar swearing by God to abide by the Indian constitution as a member of the state legislative assembly only to, later on, parrot for early Naga solution in order to camouflage corruption. The cycle goes on. Where is Naga pride and true sovereignty which is democracy in this cycle of deceit and hypocrisy? 

The main root cause of corrupting the Naga people, or rather, the Naga politicians, is New Delhi. Our pioneering leaders in the NPC, in all sincerity, signed the 16 Point Agreement with the GOI in July, 1960. A very important point in the Agreement stipulated that the Governor shall have special responsibility with regard to law and order during the transitional period  and for so long as the law and order situation  continued to remain disturbed, and that, in exercising the special responsibility, the Governor should act in his individual judgment after consultations. This special responsibility was to cease only after normalcy returns.

Inspite of the straight forward agreement, New Delhi never appointed a Governor who could exercise this special responsibility even as normalcy in Nagaland remained a far cry. It goes without saying that corruption needs to be checked for there to be development and this can only happen if there is law and order. Since the attainment of statehood to this day, Nagas have been living without law and order just because Governors appointed to Nagaland were never in sync with the special responsibility of the post which the 16 Point Agreement had envisaged.

Many Governors have come and gone, and they all, as if on cue, talked about the two cancers in Nagaland – the cancer of corruption and the fear of the gun. They all had urged the Naga people to do away with corruption and the fear of the gun so as to usher in an era of peace and development. Neither New Delhi prompted the many Nagaland Governors to exercise the special responsibility of being a Nagaland Governor, nor did any of the Governors acted on their individual judgment to bring about good for the state and its citizens. For all these decades, New Delhi had appointed regular Governors to Nagaland only to further its own interests in the state and not for the people. It was simply, all talk and no walk.

In a multi-tribal society like Nagaland where ever tribe is so very unique and differs from the other, our pioneering fathers had that foresight to understand that the common denominator for all the Naga tribes to usher in oneness and development for all in challenging times can only come through the direct initiative of an unbiased Governor with special responsibilities. It is New Delhi that failed the Nagas by going against the spirit of the 16 Point Agreement by appointing Governors to Nagaland only to fulfill the constitutional obligation.

It has not been long since R.N. Ravi got appointed as the Governor of Nagaland. It is only good for Nagaland that he is also the interlocutor in the peace talks. It is safe for a lay person in Nagaland to feel optimistic to the fact that Governor Ravi already has good knowledge of the ins and outs of Nagaland and what plagues the state – and the remedial measures thereof. For many of the past Governors, their term ended by the time they actually got to know Nagaland. New Delhi, for once, has appointed a Governor for Nagaland who clearly appears to be in sync with the special responsibility of being a Nagaland Governor.

The common people of Nagaland are least bothered about what the Central government gives to the state because, as it is, the state is riddled with corruption without any transparency or accountability. Naga people continues to live in lack amid plenty, and this is pushing the vulnerable youths to desperation and which is the major contributor to the multiplying social problems. For how long can Nagas allow its politicians and the 1.4 lakh government officers and employees to manipulate and fool the remaining 18.6 lakh Naga public with their rhetoric that politics is the be-all and end-all in Nagaland? For once, the 18.6 lakh Naga public needs to stop listening to the political rhetoric of the 1.4 lakh government officers and employees, and force change. After all, it is the 18.6 lakh Naga public that is bearing the brunt of corruption and taxation in Nagaland.

Morning shows the day and Nagas certainly are optimistic about Governor Ravi. Already there are clear indications of reforms in the administration, police and the judiciary. The people even got to hear the Chief Secretary lashing out at government employees stating that most of them serve their own interests. Governor Ravi has also made no bones about walking the talk when he had declared “roads” to be one of his priorities as a Governor with special responsibility. Unchecked rampant extortions by various armed factions have become an industry in Nagaland where even road construction is not spared. Governor Ravi has to be applauded for his individual judgment as a Governor to check this evil. It is in the public interest that the crackdown is not simply “talk”, and not just confined to roads built under centrally sponsored schemes or the NEC, but also of the roads built under PMGSY.

Nagas are freedom fighters. We need freedom from the bondage of corruption and the fear of the gun. And fear of the gun does not literally mean the gun itself, which is very much there, but also fear from the religiously and socially induced intimidation which, at times, kills even more than the gun. Yes, Governor Sir, it is all long overdue.

Dr.Kakheto Zhimomi, 

Chekiye Village, Dimapur

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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