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The governance of Nagaland


Thepfulhouvi Solo, IFS Retd 


When some of us went to the Raj Bhavan Kohima on 9th August 2019 to appraise the new Governor of our thought of welcome, the first thing we did was express our wish that he become the Anti-Corruption Governor of Nagaland.


He very humbly and very beautifully replied he may not be equal enough to such a great task; we promised we would pray for him and he thanked us for that.


It is surprising to find Botswana in Africa among the top best-governed Countries of the world like Denmark, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore according to a BBC Report my son emailed to me. Canada ranked higher than America because of less violence and New Zealand a little higher than Australia because of its political stability.


Will Nagaland be a new well-Governed State? This is a question both the governed as well as the governors need to deeply be concerned.


The new Coalition Government of Nagaland was caesarian delivered.  


The NPF having obtained 18 Seats in the last Assembly Election had the right of being asked to form the Government first by the Governor but the BJP and the NDPP got married first and had their baby by caesarian delivery and immediately named him NPA, Nagaland Progressive Alliance.


The BJP, though not the biggest partner of the coalition demanded LION SHARE of the Cabinet and Ministerial  Posts, that too of choice Departments including rarely practiced post of Deputy Chief Minister. In addition, they wanted both the Raja and the Lok Sabha Seats.


Nagaland felt a embarrassed at the lack of democratic decency in the BJP.


The Lion is a social Animal that goes by family-groups with a family more or less number of reproductive female Lions and young ones from the bloodline of the dominant Lion. The dominant Lion does not tolerate any other male Lions to share his harem of lionesses in the family.


The odd thing in the behavior in the species is that the dominant male lion does not normally do the hunting; it is the female Lions that do most of the hunting. Nevertheless, whenever the female lions kill an animal, the dominant lion would come and eat first. It is only after he had eaten his full and retires to the shed of a tree to rest and only then the other Lions and the Cubs feed on the kill.


In the after-election Post sharing in the Government, the BJP behaved like the king of the Beasts.


In Naga tradition of sharing a kill however, whoever participated in the group-hunting gets a traditional customary piece of the Meat; even the hunting dogs get their traditional customary share of a piece of the meat each.  


The Naga culture of sharing a common commodity of the society is different from that of the dominant Caste in having higher privileges in the Community.


It was very proper that he being a member of the NDPP, Mr. Pohwang Konyak in the internal Meeting of the Party forthrightly stated the feeling in Naga Culture that the BJP is demanding too much.


Barbaric and primitive they may be, the Naga traditional core-principle Polity of shares common Property is in Equality among the Members.


There is a saying among the Naga that teaches a person whenever a he or she divides something common among the members, that he/she sees to it that his/her own share appear less than that of the others to be actually equal to the others.


It is a shame, uncalled-for and even an anathema for a person to demand more privileges or shares over others of a common property. It is dishonorable for a person to do such.   


All Tribes of Nagaland big or small are equal in social polity and should equally share the governance of their State.
However, on matters of political representation, it is improper for a Naga of one Village or of one Tribe or of one Community to represent another Tribe or another Village or another Community.


It was generous of the Konyaks of Tobu area sometime ago, to offer their Seat in the Assembly to an Angami so that the latter could become the Chief Minister. Many Angamis were acutely apprehensive they would become uncomfortably obliged to the Konyaks at the move and were expected their concerned member to decline the offer with thanks.


Such offer or practice in Nagaland parlance is like plucking unripe fruits for consumption. The governance of Nagaland State does not belong to some Tribes alone; it belongs to every Tribe of Nagaland. At least one person from each tribe should be present in the governance of the State during the tenure of the Government.


This is difficult since there are 16 indigenous Tribes in the State but with only 12 Ministerial Seats. Therefore a Term of Office of 5 years may be shared by two Ministers of different Tribes one after another for 21/2 year each.


This may not be French democracy or British democracy. This is the Naga Democracy Principle of Polity of the wild barbaric headhunting Naga the creators of the Magna Charta described in the early 19th Century as having “the Purest Form of Democracy”.


Nagaland -created on 1st Dec 1963- is the oldest State of the Northeast  Tribals, with beautiful geography and sylvan environment, salubrious climate, with affable if gullible Christian population with easy humor, a casteless society highly emphasizing equality, encouraging literacy percentage and a special constitutional provision for its governance not available to other States of India.


The State should have been one of the nicest places in the country, except for its ill-governance.


Small States like Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Sikhim in Alliance with very big, powerful, rich neighboring Nations not very democratic in nature like China, or Burma or too big  Society with a culture of unequal Castes like in India, find it rarely easy to manage themselves and avoid interference in governance of the State.


The Chief Minister of Nagaland appears to have acquired a heavy millstone of Political Alliance on his neck and now finds it difficult to bear the millstone or find it too early to ditch it into the sea!   


For small States like Nagaland, it is politically more sagacious to remain at a safe distance than in uncomfortable Alliance with of big State.  


Can Nagaland make a first Step in its journey of a thousand Li to good-governance like the one Botswana of Africa did with their indigenous materials?

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