Polls to the Nagaland State Assembly seem inevitable, and in an ideal world, elections are a good thing. But we don’t live in an ideal world; and Nagaland is the farthest thing away from that.
In the newsroom, the current political situation in Nagaland state would be perfect fodder for humour and satire; only if it wasn’t so sad and dangerous as well.
The news folders are flooded with an odd collection of statements and reports that wrap up the Naga situation in a vortex of unending timeline circles and tired rhetoric.
Calls for the deferment of polls, organizations claiming to represent the ‘people’s will,’ politicians wearing the most hilarious of public facades, Naga nationalist groups issuing not so successful veiled ‘cautions,’ and the omnipotent shadow of the ‘State’ apparatus and its ‘laws’…Boy, it does get tiring!
At the end of the day, when (or if) we do manage to make some sense of this political clutter, all it takes is one statement the next day to usher in another compendium of disarray.
For instance, last week, all it took was one party to break away from the flock, and the rest have apparently seemed to follow. Election nominations will follow soon by the looks of it. Or will they? Such is the state of Nagaland now, that political punditry among journalists has become a dangerous pastime.
The confusion among a significant chunk of the Naga populace is no different, as noticed from discordant information and views all over the internet. Not that this is surprising, considering that this is the Naga people we are talking about.
Discord is always great in a democratic set-up. Ideally it should act as a platform for political catharsis. But what’s happening here is not a dialectic process. It is rather a web of impulsive grandstanding, unprincipled politics, and misinformation.
And stuck in the middle are the ones attempting to figure things out.
Many at times, late at night, there is silence here. Journalistic prowess aside, the torrent of callous and frankly dangerous information leaves the newsroom dumbfounded.
How do we make sense of it all? And if we can’t, do we just go to print, and let the pieces fall where they may?
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