Kahuto Chishi Sumi
Khaghaboto Range, Dimapur
The Chinese curse which says,”May you live in interesting times”, has fallen onNagaland. Let us look back at the incidents of just the past few days:-
1.Some of our elected representatives chose to camp with their kind, the wild, untameable and unteachable animals of Kaziranga, for God knows what reason. But the best guess seems to be to save their skins and protect their Diety, The Almighty Pillai. The alternative explanation seem to be the usual hunger for power and ministerial berths that can best fill their pockets.
2. The so-called Naga Students’ Federation (for if there ever was a misnomer, its the NSF, for they neither care for nor look out for the welfare of students, all they seem to have concern for is their political future) either deliberately or idiotically, scheduled the felicitation programme of the recently declared board exam toppers on the Sumi festival of Tulini. When it was brought to their notice, their arrogance was displayed in the off-handed explanation they gave to the Sumi Kiphimi Kukhakulu (the All Sumi Students’ Union) for the insult/ mistake. When the matter threatened to snowball into a major crisis, the NSF took three days to cook up a number of excuses, one of them being the death of the late lamented Mr. S.S. Khaplang.
3. The bridge connecting Niüland, Showaba and United Naga Village collapsed, causing the tragic deaths of four people and injury to many others.
All these incidents may seem unconnected on the surface, but they are all due to one factor,”ACCOUNTABILITY “. Accountability means having to bear responsibility for each and every thing you do. The lack of accountability has left every person in Nagaland with the impression that he or she can do anything he or she pleases, without having to answer to anyone or face the consequences of any mistake or misdeed he or she commits.
Our elected representatives think they can do anything they please and play all the power games they want. But they are accountable to their constituents. The voters must bring them to book by not voting for the candidates who they know will indulge in dirty politicking. It is no use complaining about our representatives playing their dirty political games and bemoaning the lack of decent infrastructure in Nagaland, when we vote for the same set of parasites again and again. I have repeatedly stated that we must vote for ,”The Individual who will listen to and address our grievances”, not the party. Look at how our ” Oppossitionless” government is functioning? I am not concerned about how our present lot of Legislators work things out among themselves, all I care about is who will stand for elected office in the next polls in my constituency. I intend to vote for the person who will give an ear to the sufferings of the people.
Although the SKK has accepted the,”apology” by the NSF, published in the papers, it is unacceptable to me. If the delay in handing over charge by the previous office bearers, on account of their attending the funeral of Mr. S.S. Khaplang, was a factor, why was it not mentioned in the first letter to the SKK? If it were mentioned then, the matter would have rested, but I am of the opinion that it is a blatant lie cooked up to cover up the furore caused by their arrogance in the first letter. As to Saturdays, second or otherwise, I remind the NSF that many other organisations use them for meetings and functions. It is not unique to them. But other organisations check to see that the Saturday in question does not conflict with any programme of its members. As to the family members of the toppers being inconvenienced by any postponement, the issue would not have risen but for your insult/idiocy in scheduling the programme on that date. Whatever the case, does inconveniencing a few people matter more than hurting the sentiments of an entire Tribe? Students’ Organisations are where many aspiring leaders first hone their leadership skills. If they do not practice accountability, what does it say about our future? The SKK must demand the resignation of the person/persons who set the programme on that date OR the NSF must apologise for lying to the Sumis when it gave all the above excuses in its,”Apology”. If not, I intend to keep my word not to pay the union/association dues of my children to any Student Organisation which is affiliated to the SKK.
The collapse of the Bailey Bridge connecting Dimapur to Niüland involves many factors. That the Roads and Bridges minister has owned Moral Responsibility is a step in the right direction, for it was pure negligence on the part of the State Government for leaving it unattended, despite many concerns raised in the past about its safety. And the Government must compensate, suitably, the family members of those who died, and all those injured. But the Government of Nagaland must question the Oil and Natural Gas Company, who built the bridge. I’ve seen Bailey Bridges across Nagaland which were built way before this bridge. All still stand, unless disused or dismantled ( as in the case of the Purana Bazaar Bridge). So why did this bridge collapse? Those accountable must be brought to book.
Accountability is the key to eradication of all evils that beset us. For every person will be circumspect if he/she know that he/she may be punished for any mistake. I will make sure that the Legislator/Legislators who represent me are accountable to me in the coming elections. I call for accountability from the various Sumi Students’ Union to who I pay dues for my children. They, in turn, may or may not call for accountability from the SKK. The State Government must call for accountability from the ONGC. All the aforementioned may choose any path, but I have chosen my path, the right to dissent in the face of injustice; for, to paraphrase the famous American Civil Rights Leader, John Lewis,”If not I, then who? If not now, then when?” It ends with me, right now and ends with you, right now.
God save our Nagaland.