Prof. GT Thong
Elections have been announced and the rat race has begun, with criminalisation in full swing; opposition camps are at it again, as usual. In fact, Dirty Elections began a few months back, and continued through all the condemnation by society. Insanity struck again some days back with two groups clashing. Some papers now report that one person was shot at. During these trying times a Clean-Election proponent was forced to withdraw his candidature. So much for Democracy and Clean Elections in Nagaland!
This time we hoped there would be more of Christ and less of Evil in our electoral lives, but we are sadly mistaken. Criminals still rule the roost. Money still pours in, in abundance. This can be seen in the vast number of vehicles (new and second-hand) being distributed in many parts of Nagaland. Wine (not what Jesus made out of water, but the stronger varieties that tickle the brain to lead us to act abnormally and start quarrelling like street dogs – Whisky, Rum, Vodka, etc. for the uninitiated) has already started flowing like water. The deafening chant is, More, More, More! And we have just the people to give them exactly what they want – more money, cars, guns, and booze. Some of our candidates are indeed wise in the ways of the world; and because of these miscreants, the other candidates are forced to do exactly the same or stand to lose their support base.
The Church gave its best to cleanse the system of the filth; it is now up to us to follow up. But we have miserably failed, as a People and as a Race. We have not only let the Church down, we have shamed the Lord with our misdeeds. We are not fit to be Christians.
It was hoped that some decent, capable people would step up and sacrifice their time and energy for the sad place we today call Nagaland. Rev. Dr. Mazie Nakhro would have been the wonderful start in the cleansing of the filth accumulated in our system, but, it was not to be. He probably came onto the scene too bare; others had already invested too much. So much for Clean Elections! This proponent for Clean Elections came all the way home from so far away, for our youth, only to be shunted out. With the good Reverend and similar individuals, one also hoped that anti-corruption crusaders like the ACAUT and other organisations would also set up candidates to bring some semblance of change to Nagaland. These are people who will not spend money on criminal rubbish (buying votes, supplying alcohol, etc). These people have it in them to change Nagaland for the better. But, I guess now everyone else is also afraid of being shunted out.
Today, dare we dream of a beautiful Nagaland, with the kind of candidates and electorate we have? Criminals who have looted our development funds dry will be re-elected or elected. We are so happy with some of our present Legislators because they have cared for our constituencies. They have visited the ailing, attended every possible wedding or funeral, and donated generously. So, they should be re-elected! But we ignore the fact that these are the people who have looted Nagaland dry and have only thrown the crumbs of their dirty overflowing plates to their electorate. It really is a choice between criminals and clean candidates who will glorify the Lord through development that Nagaland sorely needs. Not all the present or past MLA’s though, are rotten. A few have really done their bit for Nagaland. But these people are vastly outnumbered by crooks. New parties have now sprouted up. Check the candidates! Some have track records of extensive corruption, manipulation, nepotism, etc. If we can reject them and the proven offenders of the present Legislature, we are truly on our way to a dream Nagaland. BUT, can the electorate change (many sell their votes for proxy voting in the towns where they dwell and rush off to their villages to sell their OTHER votes to the highest bidder)? It surely is a daunting task and will need a new crop of leaders. Change the upper echelon, at least, and we truly are on the way to a brighter and much happier future.
Fervently hoping that we can truly put up our heads some day and proclaim NAGALAND FOR CHRIST!