By Witoubou Newmai
It is imperative for Naga society to introspect whether or not the public discourse is talking about corruption with abhorrence. Today, the practice of corruption in Naga society has gone up to the ‘next level’ in spite of the issue being the focus of many household discussions.
When it comes to tackling an issue like corruption, realizing and understanding the society’s position of its collective attitude, as well as, the depth and breadth of the moral vacuum are necessary. This is important because, as long as the collective attitude of the engaging society is indifferent towards such sordid indulgences, there cannot be talks of the issue with abhorrence towards corrupt practices. It is very important for the society to change its collective attitude towards corrupt practices if it is to engage in a genuine and effective fight against corruption.
The morality level of a society grounded in the lowest ebb engaging with an issue like corruption is something akin to attempting to grab a giraffe’s neck by a crawling child. So, campaigns against corruption cannot be effective as long as the moral vacuum is left unaddressed. It is high time for ‘concerned’ people to take this perspective seriously.
As commented earlier in this column, there are no quick fixes or smart strategies to address the challenge of corrupt practices and hypocrisy. The Naga tragedy is that, our present society considers slogans such as ‘Moral Soundness’ as another clichéd campaign since such slogans no longer stimulate the public mind. The society’s sense and loss of understanding to distinguish between morality and ‘otherwise’ is also responsible for this grim trend, thereby, making the campaign lay inert.
Sadly, such is the degree of moral crisis where our society is not in a position to appreciate someone’s progress propelled by talent and sheer hard work. Or for that matter, instead of raising eye brows in disapproval to the exploits of the powers that be, our society rushes to applaud them. In so doing, a sort of an aura around the corrupt is created.
It is high time our society realizes that, unlike other issues, the collective attitude of a society is indissolubly linked with the effectiveness of public campaigns on issues such as corruption.
When the attitudes of people towards corrupt practices begin to change, then, they become more conscious of the consequences of corruption. Hence, the case for supporting campaigns against corruption will become compelling to them.
The Naga dilemma is that, ‘a blind leading another blind’ narrative is now defining our sorry story. If the collective attitude is indifferent towards corrupt practices, then, where will the required stimuli come from? This is the pertinent question today.
This situation demands for stimulating concerted discourses on how to correct our attitude towards corrupt practices and should be initiated as part of the ground laying measures to fight corruption. This suggestion, however, does not mean to say that the ‘conventional’ or ‘traditional’ measures to deal corruption should be smothered.