Dr Asangba Tzudir
Plato’s Republic was written at the backdrop of man’s desire for power and its dangers for both individuals and societies. Athens, considered as the greatest democracy in the ancient Greek world had lost a catastrophic war to its rival, the militaristic oligarchy Sparta. In its aftermath, the Athenian democracy suffered an oligarchic coup supported by Sparta bringing in a contest between democracy and oligarchy.
However, after the coup, the restored democracy executed Plato’s teacher Socrates. Events as such led Plato to conclude that neither democracy nor oligarchy, nor any other existing order, could bring happiness or political stability for its citizens, because all of them were founded on the inherently corrupting desire for power.
Contextually, in the political domain or more pointedly politics of the day, the desire for power or the pursuit of power has reached such a level that it only attests to the intoxicating or corrupting ability and the blinding effect that power can create. A case in point is the ‘shifting loyalties’ over the years just to be in power.
Beyond the understanding of power as the ability to create positivities, one still unsurprisingly questions the pursuit of power knowing fully well the other face of power and its long term negative impact that comes with the dirt of corruption. This in itself defines the length and breadth of politics where the ability to create positivities finds lost.
In the build up to the 2023 NLA elections, there have already been instances of violence. So much for the want to ‘represent the will of the people’. Is it only that? Once any intending candidate is projected, prominent questions thrown are – Is the intending candidate ‘politically’ capable? How much money does he have? Hardly a question is posed on the moral integrity of the intending candidate. This also illuminates the matrix and the web of power relations in which people and the various mechanisms comes in to play.
Coming to the situational context, the politics of the day is such that anything can happen in consideration of the ruling party at the Centre, and the ‘need’ to be aligned with it. On the contrary, to be in the ‘opposition’ bench in whatever capacity is simply a reduction to being ‘politically inactive.’ With all the ‘anti-Christian’ sentiments against the ruling party at the Centre, a certain perspective may be drawn from the seat sharing alliance in the state probably to project the status quo while also avoiding the creation of heightened anti-Christian sentiments.
However, an overnight ‘windfall’ can even happen once the ‘waves’ passes by because anything can happen ‘anytime’ to politics and the government of the day in Nagaland within the game of the musical chair and the change in color.
Sadly, the most integral aspect of ‘representing the entire will of the people’ continues to be elusive. A lot needs to be addressed on the issue of representation beginning with a process of re-orientation in order to create a shift from ‘representing the people’ to ‘representing for the people.’
The pursuit of power however intoxicating comes with its short term blinding effects while being on the seat of power. But a day will come and it will be the dawn of a sad realization of something that is uncomfortable as well as something that is not commonly uttered. That, the inconsequential being that charts their own importance and a purpose beyond the ‘will’ of all the people who also dream of a just-society, will face the realm of nothingness.
(Dr Asangba Tzudir writes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to [email protected])