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Dr. Asangba Tzüdir
The year draws to a close and we wait the approaching New Year with heightened anticipation. More so because of the way the year has been. We have seen the heights of everything, and a sincere reflection is called for because as a State we seem to have lost every sense of direction beginning with governance and the political and also the ‘will’ to own and act responsibly. Comparatively, to a certain extent it has not been a year of blind celebrations like the previous year. The various issues related to corruption have affirmed that the level of corruption has seen the heights. Ironically, ripples were created in the fight against corruption but it was the state machinery using unwarranted force. It was a clear case of the ‘right thinking’ citizens being treated as an enemy of the state and to the extent of ‘criminalizing’ those who voiced out against corruption.
From the many religious, cultural and political issues, Article 371(A) attracted a lot of attention though on divided lines and was ‘intensely’ debated. Yet, it somehow failed to bring out the essence of the article. As such, a lot is left wanting contextually to deliberate further upon. The 33% reservation for women in urban and municipal elections got connected with Article 371(A) and found strong opposition especially from Naga Hoho and Ao Senden which created a lot of divisions even as it was seen as a celebration for the womenfolk. It is ironic at least on two counts – Firstly, on the failure to understand the content of the Article and secondly, it is high time to address issues related to women ‘mis-representation’ rather than celebrating reservation. These are instances that call the need for democracy where each and every voice of the people are taken into account rather than just the ‘voices’ that represents the people. Often it fails to attract the collective will of the people and thereby create further division along with violence. The idea of a good life of the people should be democratically represented rather than those at the top defining how a good life should be. It raises issues related to ‘misrepresentation.’
Somehow, the year has put us in a moral dilemma and rightly so because of the difficulty of addressing a way forward for the New Year out of the present Naga condition and maybe, trying to start afresh won’t be the wisest thing to do. Nonetheless, it is never too late to start afresh at least for all the missed opportunities. Thus, there will be lots of problems and issues to juggle with in the New Year because this past year is surely going to haunt the State and the people. And unless the government and the people fail to fearlessly speak the truth, our society will never see the change, rather, the issues and problems will continue to haunt us.
As a teaser, the immediate challenge of the State government and the legislators would be to have a clear vision and to provide visionary leadership and good governance. Most pressingly, it is quite a difficult proposition to talk about promoting a ‘citizen centric inclusive and accountable government’ when its citizens itself, the right thinking one’s that voices out against corruption of the highest degree, are being seen as a ‘threat’ to the State. Let it be known that, humans are governed by survival instincts especially when pushed beyond limits. And such instincts should get translated into morally responsible acts by ‘coming together’ in ensuring that the government be ‘legally and morally’ accountable to all.
(Dr. Asangba Tzüdir is Editor of Heritage Publishing House. He contributes a weekly guest editorial to the Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to email@example.com)