Stop ‘talking the talk’

Witoubou Newmai


There is no gainsaying, and the people have been saying this for years and decades, that majority of politicians are only good producers of “moving flights of rhetoric” (in the words of Noam Chomsky). Most of the politicians are scavenging away forever for brownie points in wrong areas fueled by trifle issues, taking the situation to absurd limits.


It also goes without saying that behavior of most of the politicians illustrates covetousness guided by destructive impulses. But the glaring irony is that, which is also a collective tragedy of our society, the voters often bring back elements, who they consider as recalcitrant, to power over and over again for years.


Now, the question is that, we have been saying that these insipid politicians, not even daring to invest their energies to address many existential questions lurking for a long time now, find much stimuli and energy in fighting over trivial matters. When we are passing through a time where we cannot decide even our kitchen/food menu, it is an experience of much frustration that our own legislators are busy displaying callous attitudes. It is time the people stop ‘talking the talk’ and start ‘walking the walk’ or ‘walking the talk’ by using democratic means for a common good of the society. There is enough space in democracy for people’s intervention.


Assembly elections are just months away, and this is one moment the people can express how they are being subjected to disgraceful treatment. This is the best way of contribution in democracy to assuage problems.


A society such as ours is a peculiar one. In this, a benign intent from certain quarters has also a chance of attracting tribalism or sectarian politics as we often experience. With all of this in mind, the people and politicians ought to act maturely to avoid the subtle nature of the Naga society from getting ruffled.


In discussing this issue, it is pertinent to bear in mind that, as long as hypes and auras are continued to be built around politicians reviled by the people as ‘unfit’ leaders, our campaign will not go beyond the ‘talk the talk’ limit. This is to say that, it is time for the people to tune their attitude according to the demands of the situation towards ‘tagged’ politicians.


Since there is no squarely fitted system to address all issues, the position of attitude is extremely important when an issue such as this confronts society, as with wrong attitude we cannot expect right actions.


One need not consider such an extreme case but since we are discussing about things under democracy it may not be out of place altogether to remind some notable comments of two political scientists on how many things do not work in democracy.


Ian Shapiro and Casiano Hacker-Cordon in their book ‘Democracy’s Edges,’ say that “democracy has many deficiencies”. They also say that “it seems impotent when faced with questions about its own scope”. According to their observation, democracy is “all too easily held hostage by powerful interests; it often fails to protect the vulnerable or otherwise to advance social justice; and it does not cope well with a number of features of the political landscape.”


However, we cannot take advantage of such observations for our failures. What we need to urgently consider is, it is not only about how well or badly the prevailing political system/the system in democracy succeeds/fails in accommodating the people’s sentiment in running the ‘public affairs’ but it is also about how well the people strive or how assiduously the people work-out things to their advantage from the system according to situation.