Dr. Tialiba Longkumer
Nagaland is a reverse democratic state where both wealth and power are accumulated in the hands of the elites and few leaders, where poor are becoming poorer and rich are getting richer every day ever widening the gap between the rich and the poor, where justice and equality is overshadowed by traditional entitlements, where there is kinsman-ship administrative set-up in the village well protected by Article 371(A) ,where people are drunk with spirituality and fanaticism so much so that they are blind to reality, where there’re more churches than the sum total of government offices, where the government is a slave to the church for been the major vote bank, where politics is a football of corruption and politicians are glorified according to the goals of corruption they scores, where church don’t care from what source the money comes into their coffer and have turn most of the institution of Christ into an exclusive club of haves and their promotional activities, where the church and the corrupt government are always in the same page and often in the same bed. The Clean Election Campaign (CEC) by the church in collaboration with the corrupt ridden government seems to be yet another trick to put the rope of tyranny in the neck of the common men who are not only poor and helpless but voiceless as well. CEC seems to have been carefully engineered in such a way that the rich and powerful are baptized in the institutionalized water of mighty and wealthy church and the poor voiceless have-nots are blamed for all the sins of Nagaland that are committed over generations in the name of democracy. In spite of all these obvious evils, any commoner will agree with the campaign of Clean Election. After all who wants to carry the yoke of slavery forever? In fact, commoners want clean election more than the mighty and all powerful, all knowing church. But why only the poor have-nots and voiceless are to be targeted and blamed for all the political sins of the government and the church? The poor commoners are already overburdened with taxes and lack of opportunities to earn their livelihoods. Election is usually not a time for them to feast and earn like it is for the rich church members or elites. Instead, for the poor commoners it is a time to run and hide for safety. They are filled with fears and worries wondering what will happen to them if they don’t abide by the calls and orders of the rich and the powerful. They are shifted from one place to another and are made to stand in line all day on voting day without a clue what is been cooked inside. On the other hand no church or theologian even with doctorate degree will voice a word against the rich and powerful though they are fully aware of what is going on in Nagaland but would rather choose to remain silent preparing sermons to appease the poor have-nots for reasons best known to them and God. Therefore if the CEC is what the church really wants then first let the church led by NBCC come out clean and independent. Let the church stand with the commoners and mobilize the poor and have-nots from the grass root without the involvement of government of any kind. Let them come out openly against corruption. Let them declare the list of corrupt leaders and openly oppose them. Let them say it on their face to stop victimizing the voiceless poor commoners for their wicket scheme. Let them organize revival and spiritual awakening crusades for political leaders like they do it for directionless and often innocent commoners. Then only one can say that Nagaland churches are from God and works according to the principles of Christ.
Did Christ ever shook hand or sign a document with the government to spread His kingdom? What’s going on with Nagaland churches? Majority and wealth is not always right. Theologians and church leaders are in majority among all NGOs and public organizations. But that does not mean that they always have to side with the high and mighty and manipulate the voiceless commoners. Where will the poor man go if the corrupt politicians on one side and the holy mighty church on other side crush them at the same time? Therefore, it is high time for the church to come down from the high and mighty place leaving aside the palatial church offices and identify themselves with the poor and voiceless commoners, study and understand the reality at ground and mend their ways. Then only we can bring about a favorable change in Nagaland through CEC. It’s only when the church stand with the commoners and fight against the corrupt high rather than shaking hands with powerful few in a conference room in Kohima for publicity sake, the CEC will see the light of the day. The public want change. Scholars, social reformers, thinkers all want change and freedom from the bondage of corruption and tyranny of the corrupt elites. When will the church wake up to the expectation of the people? How long will the church fancy with the idea of democracy when the reality is a Reverse Democracy and kinsmen-ship? How long will the church live with illusion that the power lies in the hands of the commoners who in reality are the silent, helpless victims of the few corrupt elites.
To make democracy better we need democratic means. But to change Reverse Democracy and kinsmen-ship into real democracy the church must understand and must dissociate itself from the few mighty elites and stand with the commoners and if required the church must lead a revolt to destroy the Reverse Democracy and establish a truly democratic state in this so proclaimed Land of Christ. It’s time the church go deeper, shun away from copycat culture and to do so they still find it as tough as high school science and maths, then they should better stick to the holy books and sermons instead of unnecessarily adding on to the weight of common man’s burden by siding with corrupt politicians and whip the common man with the most unholy whip of CEC. There are enough educated and good committed people in Nagaland. All that we need is a church that can see, hear and understand the pulse of the people and stand by them against the few corrupt high and mighty in order to make the clean election campaign a reality. Otherwise, CEC will be another act of crucification of the poor have-nots by the church to please the people in power.