Winners along with organizers and judges at the inter college Speech & Debate competition held on September 12 at IMC Hall, Dimapur (Photo courtesy: Social Media)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 12
The discourse and initiative on clean and fair election is mainly restricted to larger platforms like formal state assembly or general election. But it is also much needed for smaller platforms in the Naga society.
This was the outcome of the Inter-College Dimapur District ‘Debate & Speech Competition’ held at IMC Hall Dimapur on Tuesday. Organized by the Naga Spear & the Nagaland Forum, both online Facebook groups, students from 14 colleges participated in the event.
The Collegians were deliberating on the possibility of clean and fair elections in Nagaland State, besides debating whether the process has been successful so far or will be successful in the upcoming State election.
Before eying the bigger pie, we should first tackle the home hearth, young scholars noted as they partook in the competition.
The election or selection process in student bodies, as well as other organizations, are often shrouded in mystery.
The cleansing should start at election and selection process in village councils, tribal organizations, students’ bodies and other entities, one student argued.
When the grassroots level changes, it will automatically lead to a change in the wider platform, another elaborated.
The cry for ‘One person, One vote,’ is a far cry for many citizens, a student from SD Jain College said, while participating in the speech competition.
“Change ourselves first. Individual and family first and join hands together to clean the society,” she concurred.
Come election, we condemn ourselves by gambling away our vote and falling prey to propaganda of the politicians, said another student.
Some students located the ongoing state of affairs to the entrenched and rampant corruption in Nagaland State which is affecting every sphere of the society.
Clean election is not about literally sweeping poll booth or State Assembly but changing the mindset and the system, one student noted.
Towards this end, most of the young scholars called for choosing candidates wisely being the need of the hour.
For this, aggressive campaigning through various media and the involvement of the youth were considered most important.
Devoid of such actions, another student noted, nepotism, backdoor appointments and other affiliations will continue to plague society.
As money and muscle power spreads, the collegians lamented that the room for freedom of speech is becoming increasingly scarce.
There is no platform to have discourses on conflict of interest, another student lamented in his speech.
As a result we are living in a sort of autocratic state – where we are mere subjects rather than citizens, he added.
Without cleansing the system at all levels, another student said, Nagaland, the Land of Festivals, will become a ‘Factory of Corruption.’
Debating on whether the Clean Election Campaign will be successful in the next election, the students also noted some positive changes like lesser declaration of candidates by villages, khels, clans, tribes or community as well as the progressive stand taken by the media fraternity to stop publishing news or advertisement of such endorsements.
Changes are gaining ground gradually, some students noted.
After a heated competition from the participating colleges, a student from Tetso College emerged winner in the Speech Competition, with Dimapur Government College and Patkai Christian College bagging the 1st runners-up and 2nd runners-up respectively.
In the debate competition, Patkai Christian bagged the first prize while Sakus Mission College and SD Jain Girls College took the 1st runners-up and 2nd runners-up respectively.
The event also featured clean election message from Zehovire Avi Kichu, the Clean Election ICON of Dimapur District, as well as performances from Liviho Swu, winner of Naga Hindi Voice Season 3 and Bokugha Zhimo, winner of Nagas Got Talent 2012.