‘Let us begin this New Year with a pledge to speak the truth,’ The Morung Express’ first Editorial in 2018 noted with a caveat – if the people in it are not prepared to face the truth and more so, to speak the truth, then the change for better from the present condition will not happen.”
As one turnover the final pages of 2018 calendar and reflect, there were many ‘truths,’ and competing narratives, each stakeholders pedalling their own versions in one forms or other.
On polity and governance, it was first tested during the Assembly Election in February, with each party ‘selling’ their manifesto to the voters.
Eventually, a party promising ‘deeds not words’ assumed power in alliance with other ‘like-minded’ parties and individual.
Once in office, commitments were made and decisions adopted. In realms of public affairs and governance, changes in the usual status quo were adopted with stressing on transparency, accountability and accessibility as well as a meritocracy.
One hopes such pledges are manifesting in deeds though they seldom materialize in toto as a result of competing obligations and imperatives.
In retrospect, it is still hasty to give a definitive assessment as 2018 can be considered a transition phase for the new government – the truth is yet to be tested comprehensively, but concerns remain.
In another ‘political’ front, a step towards common aspiration and forging unity among Nagas across borders manifested in the form of historic Naga Day in January. It was the occasion to “Remember, celebrate, embrace, and uphold the spirit of the Naga Memorandum submitted to the Simon Commission on January 10, 1929,” an awakening of Naga political consciousness.
However, another occasion coinciding with another momentous political legacy – the formation of Naga Club, was unfortunately marred with competing narratives in the second half of 2018.
As a New Year beckons, the spirit of unity and shared humanity should prevail over other considerations to persevere towards a common legacy and shared future. The cry for ‘peaceful and honourable’ to protracted Naga issue also resonated throughout the year, starting with the electoral pledges and culminating with the rally by the Naga Village custodians. Yet, a decisive outcome remains elusive. Perhaps, 2019 will bestow a better outcome.
For the populace, it was a bumpy ride – literally and figuratively –interspersed with many lofty promises but with often dodgy outcomes. The corridor towards progressive, inclusive and transparent society is still in a hap-hazard state, just like the roads.
The New Year hopefully will generate positive momentum for change, as the pending ‘roads’ near completion and offers the citizen a smoother ride.
A new year means a new beginning – a clean slate. And, as one usher in 2019, let it be an opening to think afresh and act anew. For a change, let every citizen be an agent or bear witness to change with an innate obligation to engender positive transformation. The wind of change blowing naturally, not merely in words.
Here’s wishing for a very Happy and Purposeful New Year. “May you bear fruits of humility, kindness, compassion, justice, progress, friendship and goodwill to all.”