Dr. John Moha Razu
Read and re-read the column article written by Dr. Z. Lohe entitled Nagaland: The Paradise for the Corrupt appeared in Morang Express on the 9th of December, 2018 and in Nagaland Post in two parts on the 11th & 12 of December, 2018. It is one of the most candid, forthright, analytical and evaluative articles that appeared in recent times on corruption. The writer beautifully blends the notion of paradise in such dynamic fashion by bringing to the foreground as not just eschatological, but also very much right ‘here and now’. In this sense even John Milton’s seminal work Paradise Lost comes closer to his analogy. Nonetheless, the notion of paradise is construed as a place where it is devoid of anxieties and problems. To go there, a number of conditionalities/pre-requisites—do’s and don’ts to be followed. Nonetheless, a number of people converted their locales as their paradise right ‘here and now’. How could they do it, when for many the world they live is horrific hell and thus remain as an illusion, utopia or like a mirage to convert it into a paradise?
Dr. Lohe brilliantly weaves his arguments in such ways with facts and figures. Graphically gets into different domains where corruption is rampant and almost proves his thesis that the State of Nagaland is indeed in the web and thus infested with rampant corruption and in that for those who are corrupt Nagaland becomes the paradise which is antithetical to the notion of paradise of many. His analysis goes on by surveying the government tenders, contracts and host of others and pointing to the poor infrastructure and other basic facilities show the non-accountability of the corrupt. He supports his arguments with CAG reports and other data. As a result, money has no bar; it cuts across all barriers and boundaries. Many struggle hard to earn money by putting forth their labor, but only a few somehow make money and build their paradise right ‘here’.
The questions that emerge are: How do they make money and what are the means and methods being employed to garner money? Therefore, making money in and through unethical means needs scrutiny and merit examination. This is what the Dr. Lohe invokes and his article amplifies and thus sheds light to the whole notion of money and how money is earned! ‘How’ becomes the crucial one, because the ways with which the money has been gotten, by all means be explained and ought to be answered. It clearly pre-supposes that in what ways one earns the money (ill-gotten). How did those who live in such ‘paradise’ get there? Did they earn that money morally or immorally? Hence, the term ‘morality’ thus occupies the central place when it comes to acquisition of money—in proper ways or in dubious manner.
It further leads to others trajectories as ‘legal’ means or ‘illegal’ means–that the money earned in dubious ways hardly comes within broader legal purview and so it is illegally gotten. The money that one has should justify certainly ‘the means’. People say that money has no color, caste, creed, class so on so forth, but is tied up or entrenched with an important stamp ‘black’ or ‘white’ or corrupt or soiled. It is also easy to gauge the ways with which one’s life style, the life-style and other paraphernalia he/she has—the wealth both cash and immovable properties one has should concur with the job or work he/she engaged with. If there is something wrong such as if found there is no co-relation between what one earns and how one lives—mostly we find the total contradiction between earning, spending and bank balance (saving and properties) if there then it would lead to widening gap.
One should ethically prove how he/she got the money. Failing to respond leads to so many questions that revolve around ‘morals’. The money that has been acquired without working for it is called as ‘black money’—paid in return for favor or something to be done outside the legal framework. In other it is called as graffiti which paid for many things that encompasses social, economic, political, cultural and religious facets. Dr. Lohe clearly points out that to deal with corruption, it is not enough to evolve policies, instituting and creating more and more enforcement agencies such as anti-corruption bureaus. All these are regulated by humans. Therefore, there should be collective long-term interest to nurture individual values.
As pointed out wherever we see rampant corruption, it is quite obvious and natural to widening of inequality. In this context, I would like to bring in Adam Smith who used an analogy ‘invisible hand. What did he mean by that—a hand of corruption or what! India slipped to two ranks in the index since 2016 and five ranks since 2015—when it was placed 76 in the index. Therefore, India is a corrupt country. Nonetheless, Nagaland as rightly pointed out a corrupt state that accommodates the corrupt who builds their paradise ‘here and now’. I would like to commend Dr. Lohe for his daring and forthright attempt in exposing the NO 1 issue the state of Nagaland. Hope his article continues to invigorate those who are against corruption and others who keep questioning those who are involved in dubious ways of making money.