Thursday, October 6, 2022

Is Govt. not a liability to the State?

After every State Assembly general election, a new government is formed to govern the State of Nagaland for five years according to the Constitution of India. The primary and mandatory duty of the very established government is to take care of the welfare in respect of healthcare, education, basic amenities such as electricity, drinking water, food security, etc. for the citizens of the State. It is mandatory for the ministry to preserve, protect and maintain the existing properties and assets of the State. It is also the duty of the ministry to bring new and innovative developments to Nagaland at par with the rest of the other States in the country. It is supposed to be the endeavor of the Govt. to make Nagaland self-reliant after all it has been in its 59th year of Statehood and being the second oldest State in the NE India.
Besides, it is mandatory for the Govt. to have the accountability to the citizens and transparency in governance. The written directives and guidelines for governance in respect of Legislature, Executive and Judiciary so enshrined in the Rules of Executive Business which is the bible for the transaction of any public business is supposed to be adhered to by both the elected and appointed authorities in the Govt. The Govt. is duty bound to enforce the rule of law and to ensure that favoritism, nepotism and injustice are disallowed to have its foothold in the land. Such Govt. is expected to be proactive in enforcing the disciplinary rules so as to checkmate corrupt practices and promote deliverance of justice to the people. So long as the established Govt. performs to the general satisfaction of the public, the citizens in Nagaland are supposed to remain loyal to the authorities in that Govt. In Bible, Romans Chapter 13:1-7 admonishes the people as to how each individual citizen of the State must have allegiance to that authority who governs the State since that authority has been established by God. Being Christians, we, the citizens of Nagaland, are supposed to be more ardent in submitting ourselves to the established authority in obedience to God.
Nevertheless, when the present Govt. is found to be anti-people as it has totally lost sense of care and concern for the people of the State of Nagaland, one is virtually perplexed as to whether one keeps the tolerance and allows the perpetrator to continue suppressing the bona fide citizens for no fault of theirs. The question arises as to whether the prevailing system of allowing the rulers to destroy both the present and the future of the generations is the kind of democracy the people had voted for? Should people have unconditional allegiance to the very Govt. which treats the wellbeing of the citizens to be secondary to one’s personal interest?
The specific instances of misgovernance and the magnitude of corruptions are too obvious and numerous to compile in a single write up. Yet, to substantiate the contention, let me cite few examples. Firstly, look at how the 4-laneDimapur-Kohima road has been stalled. 50% of the total distance has been in shambles as the road is almost abandoned. Despite, who is the elected member who has shown concern or which bureaucrat has taken interest for improvement and progress of the road. Thanks to the Justices of Kohima High Court who are having immense concern for maintenance and early completion of the project. Secondly, look at the pitiable condition of the infrastructural developments of the Kohima High Court. The funds meant for the High Court project were plundered in broad daylight, and yet no authority including CBI could do anything since the corrupts are immune from punitive laws. Thirdly, look at how the infrastructural developments of the Medical College at Kohima which has been mismanaged from the start of the project till date. It is doubtful as to whether this project can ever become a Medical College. Fourthly, Look at the 16 years old State Stadium in Dimapur. This Dimapur Stadium has become the Colosseum (the Amphitheater) in Rome which attracts thousands of visitors, and yet in our case it should attract NIA, CBI, etc. Adding to miserable failures in the completion of projects after projects, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that Nagaland has a debt of Rs.15,620.8 crore. What a governance when its employees are not paid of their salary even for a year now in certain Department. These few instances are to say the least.
Whereas, in respect of delivering justice in governance, there has been rampant nepotism and favoritism. Due to large scale anomalies and discriminations, the Govt. employees are forced to seek justice from courts. The solid evidence of injustices meted out to the people of Nagaland is that 99% of court cases filed in Kohima High Court are against the UDA Govt. as divulged by a sitting judge on 22.5.2022.
When even the Govt. employees have been facing discrimination and the recent agitation of the staff of the Nagaland Assembly Secretariat is one of such evidences, the fate of the general public can be imagined. In democracy, the welfare of the people is supreme. Therefore, the priority of any established Govt. is the welfare of the general public. Whereas, during the last two decades, care for the public welfare by the Govt. of Nagaland has slipped to rock bottom. Individualism and selfishness have topped the list that led to unabated corruption to the extent of privatizing the Govt. offices and Departments. With due respect to a very few God fearing authorities/employees, the elected members and the appointed employees have formed a strong syndicate to collectively loot and plunder the public exchequer brazenly without any respect of the law of the land. These looters and plunderers have particularly destroyed the system of governance and the most pathetic victim being the young children of school dropouts in thousands. Nagaland is ruined today.
The former President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa was ousted from office by the general public recently because he miserably failed to take care of the welfare of the people of his country. Due to his corruption, the country’s economy plummeted to food scarcity. Very fortunately for the rulers in Nagaland, the bona fide inhabitants are proved to be the most timid and venal lot with due regard to honest few. Had it been not so, who, the general public, would remain silent when the people are informed of sitting upon a bombshell of debt of Rs.15,620 crores and the Finance Dept. stopping the release of regular salaries to its employees at the moment. Thus, when the State Govt. becomes the sole creator of miseries for the citizens of Nagaland, it is indeed the liability of the State.
What is then the remedy? The State of Nagaland can be healed with only one medicine. There is no other alternative as for Nagaland’s healing is concerned. That is the Naga political solution. The political solution is indispensable. Here, the GoI knows it too well that solution will be the answer to several, if not every, problems adversely impacting the lives of the people in Nagaland. However, due to reasons best known to GoI, the solution has been inordinately delayed. The promise made to the people of Nagaland that “election (is) for solution” by BJP in 2018 is conveniently ignored. Nevertheless, as for the bona fide citizens of Nagaland, whether solution or no solution, we have to survive, and therefore let us not forget the big promise of BJP.
I wonder as to whether the GoI has a mind to preserve Nagaland as it is, the most corrupt State in the country, as a specimen and a module of lawlessness. The BJP as a political party always claims to be the champion of transparency and probity in governance. The BJP is the alliance partner of NDPP in Nagaland, ruling the State for several years now. The BJP is relentless in using the law enforcing Govt. agencies against/in booking the suspects of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and business people across the country in its fight against corruption. Yet, the BJP allows its Govt. in Nagaland to indulge in all anti-people activities. The double standard policy of BJP is that it exhibits that it does not tolerate misgovernance and corruption in other States and yet it permits massive misgovernance under its rule in Nagaland. The BJP cannot claim that it is the second fiddle to its partner NDPP in governance as it has 6 Cabinet Ministers as against 4 from NDPP. Therefore, all the anti-people activities have been committed in Nagaland at the nose of the BJP leaders in Delhi and yet they prefer remaining indifferent to the plight of the people in Nagaland. Does BJP consider its electoral prospects more important than giving peace to the people of Nagaland?
Z. Lohe