Assembly Election is knocking at the door in Nagaland. Messengers of the so-called ‘Honourable Final Solution of the Indo-Naga Political Problem’ have been arriving in the state since the last twenty years. The talk of imminent ‘Interim Government in Nagaland’ is a chimera undermining a confused Naga society of bewildered, simple, naïve and credulous people who fear being left out like the five foolish virgins of the ten virgins, gone out at night without Oil in their lamps to welcome the Bridegroom on the Way in the Gospel parable!
Just the other day, all of a sudden, the people got an embarrassing jolt as one Minister physically assaulted a high-ranking Government Officer and exposed as it were, the tip of the immense danger iceberg of callousness and contempt for decency lying underneath the surface of Nagaland Government.
The Minister then got scot-free just by offering a cursory and hypocritical apology for an unforgivable offence. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also failed to give even a hint of displeasure at such an atrocious conduct of a senior Cabinet Minister.
This is the first time ever in the State; that people at the helm of the state governance brought such unacceptable reputation to the State. Can one ever imagine a human society where anything hardly functions? Even gangs of criminals have their codes and rules. Nagaland has -no rules, no law, no codes– and development funds miraculously disappear. Nagaland is indeed a “Miracle State!”
Mud slinging at another is a favorite game of the politicians and often the Public get entertained, at the same time the muck that lies hidden in the dark recesses of “statecraft” also is exposed. The recent outburst of the Chief Minister’s Office however is utterly intemperate and shows gross lack of decency.
People in Nagaland are now sick, tired and angry, moronic and irresponsible old political materials in the state. The People deserve a government of much higher quality. The state deserves a Chief Minister of much higher caliber.
A respectable senior citizen said that a state must have a Chief Minister of ‘excellent caliber’. “‘Excellent Caliber’ is more an academic term than one that includes moral and ethical qualities”, said widely known woman, “whereas a Chief Minister must also have a high degree of moral and ethical values”, she said.
Another decorated Naga Woman said, “The Chief Minister of Nagaland should not only have high Caliber for management of the State, he should also have a strong sense of ‘native Naga Culture and Nature’”.
The Netherlands touches the cold Arctic Circle, it is a small country 270 times smaller than the USA, yet it is one of the leading producers of Vegetables, Tomato and Potato in the World with 20 Tones of Potato from a single Acre whereas USA produces only 10 Tones per Acre. One hectare of land produces 1-ton Soy protein; the same area in Holland produces tons of Grasshopper Insect Protein for its Cattle. 20ft of Tomato vine in climate-controlled scientific Green Houses in Holland consumes only 4 Gallons of water whereas open cultivation requires 16 gallons. Holland uses mainly Rainwater and fiber root medium enriched with symbiotic bacteria in its wonder Agriculture.
We acknowledge Nagaland would take centuries to attain the standard of management and development Netherlands has attained.
However, More than half a century after attaining statehood, due to gross mismanagement, Nagaland Government is unable to pay its teachers regularly, pay scholarship to the students regularly or make full payments to contractors for completed works; rather serious doubts have become known about massive fraudulent payments for non-existent works. The financial condition of the state is in complete disarray –“No fund” is all that the People hear; and the state survives barely by begging for extra doles from the Union Government, but never arrives at a condition of being able to bridge the financial deficit even to a tiny degree.
The Government of Nagaland has no control over the rampant collection of “taxes” by Extra-Constitutional bodies in the state. This condition has led to uncontrolled price increase in the market, victimizing all the citizens in the State.
Shame upon shame, government buildings all over the state even in the capital city are gathering Moss and Lichens lying half-finished for years in ruins, bridges have collapsed and are collapsing! Cows sleep in school buildings. Office buildings are dilapidated and dirty. Road conditions evoke spontaneous cursing. No water supply, Power supply is at best erratic. The list goes on. Nothing works. Without exception, all who travel outside Nagaland, after seeing the progress in other areas of development in other states, feel sad and despondent when they come back.
The Public Service Commission is the Core-machine of the State Craft of Governance; members’ statutory selected very senior experienced usually retired renowned person operates the Commission. It deserves the highest and most careful management of the Government, but Government has used it most casually as collateral political self-Interests of the Politicians.
The Nagaland Public Service Commission has become so run-down in its Reputation. Come to think of it: The candidate Students recently in protest formed a Committee and submitted very sensible suggestions to revamp the whole sorry condition of the Commission.
Oftentimes people tend to think and say that everybody from the grass-root level to the top is responsible for this sorry state of affairs in Nagaland. This is not true. Leaders are responsible, and the onus is on the head of the Leaders.
The Assembly Election in Nagaland, the mother of all sorts of maladies and evils recycled afresh, is knocking at the State door. It is high time for Nagas to think and act decisively to have a Government of high quality and Chief Minister of high caliber.
LET NO NAGA FEAR TO STRAY OUTSIDE THE BEATEN TRACT.
Dr. LM Murry
Retd Director of Health Services & Family Welfare,Nagaland
Retd. IFS (RR-68), former Principal Secretary Nagaland
Retd. IAS, former Commissioner Secretary Nagaland
Former Member, Public Service Commission Nagaland