Democracy Not Enough

Every elections that is held in Nagaland only reinforces the truth that democracy we may proclaim but in reality we are undemocratic in our thinking and way of life. This is true not only of our politicians whom we ridicule no end but also the so called ‘innocent’ public. Since Statehood was attained and we became part of the ‘democratic’ system, despite conducting periodic elections to give voice to the people, it has been a collective failure on our part to wed the Christian values with the principles of democracy, both of which we profusely cherish. Both our Christian teachings and Democracy is therefore confined to the books. The just concluded bye-elections to the 26 Aonglenden Assembly Constituency has brought to the fore, all the evils that raise its ugly head when we are divorced from our principles. In fact as a majority Christian State, the ideals and principles of democracy should have found ready acceptance among the Naga people. However, we have become the opposite of our Christian values—corrupt. As a Christian State, we should have become the best practitioners of democracy. Development, peace and happiness that we cherish could have come to us without the daily and constant problem that we are faced with today.
All of us, whether the public who make up the Church and society or the politicians who profess to represent the people, collectively we need to seriously ponder over whether we have lived up to the teachings of our Christian and democratic principles. The recent spate of allegations with regard to mismanagement of funds and abuse of power has led to debasement of our moral standards. This is true not only of the NPF but even the Opposition Congress who despite bringing out the failure of the present government cannot be absolved either given their long stint of mis-governance. Democracy in practice (in Nagaland) has led to oligarchy of the worst kind. Power falls into the hands of the demagogue, the grafter and the boss. Even the citizens are to be blamed. After all it is they who choose the more popular men based on his money and muscle power rather than able men to lead to. As in elsewhere politicians would claim that democracy is a government by the people. But is it really so? The voice of the people could very well be the voice of the devil.
To assume that representatives always represent the will of the people is a misnomer and as we today observe in Nagaland the scramble for power and patronage the general well being of our State has been brushed off in order to satisfy and fulfill some vested interests. If democracy is to remain genuine then there needs to be a high standard of honesty and moral soundness. Without clean hands and a pure heart democracy is bound to fail even if the politicians claim that they are all democrats. Eternal vigilance on the part of the people is an urgent requirement along with a strong and effective public opinion or else democracy will degenerate into mob rule based on money and muscle power. Can we change our State and society from the present hopelessness? As a Christian State it should be the endeavor for us to apply the moral lessons of honesty and hard- work. If we can do these simple things correctly in our individual and collective life, our democracy is bound to improve.