‘Why Clean Elections will fail’

Dr. Asangba Tzüdir


Looking at the different voices of the people in relation to Clean Election, one gets caught between hope and despair. The need for change from the present ‘Naga condition’ to a better tomorrow draws hope, but looking at the intricate ground realities, it injects scepticism leading to despair and despondency.


While, the activities related to Clean Election slowly gains momentum, stray incidents of violence have already marred the process of Clean Election. Such stray incidents will gather momentum because of the very nature and structure of our society and the past references is always going to take precedence.


The issues related to dominance of clan and tribes and the divisions on various sinister lines will only flare up; and the corrupt practices will once again become the order rather than the rule of law. For many there are no other alternatives, while there are those at the mercy of the politicians and the government at large and not to forget the ‘illegal’ beneficiaries. This is just the tip of the many problems.


Coming to the idea of Clean Election, it is not only a difficult concept contextually but also a self defeating concept. Not to mention the absence of a clear objective. As such it is an unexplored concept in both theory and praxis.


Nonetheless, the absence of a clear objective is also an indication of the difficulty of the underlying concept both in theory and practice, and the fact that it cannot trespass its domain as a religious institution is a limit to the very struggle. It can only persuade to act upon certain moral and Christian principles within a value based system for well-being, and for the larger communitarian good.


But, NBCC being the lead author in the campaign for clean election, the idea of what it means to be clean is also a food for thought for NBCC. As such it becomes a paradoxically self defeating concept. Seriously, nepotism has badly infested the Church and the fact that there is a yawning gap between what the church preach and what it practices. On the whole, it is time to reflect on our identity as a Christian which seems to be standing on erroneous beliefs and therefore a farce.


Notwithstanding it’s limits, and while it should not be expected of the ‘clean election’ lead by NBCC to clean the various forms of corruption along with the corrupt system in Nagaland, what the NBCC needs to do is to reach out to all the various sections of people at different levels to address the core issues practically.


Further, the NBCC should try and reach out to different village councils and act as a mediator between the village council and the villagers and sensitise on the need for clean election and also persuade them to strengthen the democratic principles in choosing and electing the right leader through the application of moral principles as a Christian. That, a greater sense of responsibility should be imbibed in them as the agents of change and that the onus of its success or failure of Clean Election lies on them. Further, a model of ‘communitarian good’ needs to be adopted which can only evolve from the village level.


But on the whole, unless every individual, the various civil society organisations, political and religious institutions sincerely address the question of what it means to be clean, then clean elections will fail, leave aside the bigger task of cleaning the mess in Nagaland.


(Dr. Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to asangtz@gmail.com)