Post Mortem

Govt alone cannot suffice development

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/23/2019 1:14:52 PM IST

 Over the years, I have seen and heard people blaming and cursing the govt. for the lack of development in the state. Sometimes laymen and sometimes even learned men complaining and comparing our state’s development status with that of other developed places. Of course, I very much agree, that it is the responsibility and the bounden duty of the elected govt. to provide and facilitate development in the state, to usher in progress. But, does the matter end here? Do we as citizens have no role to play in the betterment of our own place and people? Can the govt. alone be blamed for the lack or low pace of our progress? I guess it will be somewhat immature and ignorant on our part to think or believe so. Here, I, myself, irrespective of my affiliation to a political party, and solely as a concerned citizen, would like to humbly come up with some of my views and concerns, for the kind retrospection and reconsideration on our part as responsible citizens.

A state as small as ours with hardly any financial sources of its own at present, has long been struggling to come at par with the other developed states. The state govt.’s own revenue being quite meager, makes it mostly dependent on the central govt.’s fund allocations, and which is quite insufficient considering the enormous developmental activities that are needed to be carried out. Furthermore, a huge share of this amount goes towards the salaries of the govt. employees, thereby leaving aside only a humble amount to materialize developmental works. Here, I would like to appreciate our present govt. for its notable developmental activities which are visible in the various corners of our state, and that too within a single year of its rule despite the hurdles and shortages. Their achievement becomes even more significant given the situation of the huge financial deficit left over by the previous govt.

The govt. has its own responsibilities and priorities, and it is bound to fulfill them. But, we, the people also have certain duties to perform as citizens I believe. Here, I have categorized some problems/ obstacles that we as citizens seriously need to reconsider and evolve.

“Well begun is half done” it is said. But here, the situation seems to be quite the other way around. We begin contaminating the system from the very beginning. We misuse the most important right and opportunity given to us, the people, in a democracy, that is the right to vote. The power to elect the govt. of our choice. I am not blaming everyone, but the fact is that most of us have lost our moral integrity in this sphere and this is the bitter truth. Come elections and the most of us tie a ‘ For Sale’ board on our necks. We suddenly tend to become very important personalities, who need to be fed meat in every meal, treated with free booze, transported in vehicles etc. This is not all, we further expect/ demand cash, backdoor appointments, promotions, transfers, etc. etc. in return for our votes and support. After all is done, we further expect full scale development too. And when our expectations are not fulfilled, we audaciously blame and curse our leaders and the govt. Now, how irresponsible and selfish is that on our part? We start the corruption in the roots and then expect full honest performance to grow. This attitude of ours of ‘ having it all’ is not going to take us anywhere I strongly believe.

The next shortcoming on our part as citizens is our proximity to personal benefits while being indifferent towards the general welfare. The reflections of which can be seen in some land/ property owner (s) demanding exorbitant compensation rates from the govt. in exchange for their land/ property to be acceded for developmental works. Compensation is the right of the property owner I strongly believe but, provided it is genuine and logically acceptable. Or else, we will just end up delaying or stalling the development.

The last but not being the least, is the most common face of anti- development attitude that many of us possess, in the form of lack in Civic sense in maintenance/ sustenance of govt.(public) properties. Destruction and defacing of govt. installations is rampant in our society. Stealing of materials meant for developmental projects, destruction of street lamps and road dividers, scribbling, spitting, and smearing lime on the walls of govt. buildings etc. are just to name a few. How can we even claim  to be moving ahead towards mordernisation or advancement, when we are yet to evolve from our uncivilized behaviors? When will we understand that the govt. properties belong to the people, and is meant for the people. And that is why it is referred to as ‘public property’.

The govt. needs to do what it has to do. But, don’t we as citizens also have a role to play? Is it not a fact that it takes two hands to clap? God bless Nagaland! 

Note: The views expressed in the column above are purely the writer’s own.

Paul Angami, 

Central Secretary, CEB, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party

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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