Mediocracy in Nagaland Assembly

Jonas Yanthan

Nagaland Assembly is expected to improve in its standard of deliberations year after year and elections after elections but instead, in recent regimes, we seem to witness serious deterioration and discords of all sorts. This is happening because of absence of two vital democratic reasons. One, lack of opposition members in the Assembly. It is a fact that opposition members tend to think more realistically, intelligently and rationally and in the process keeps the ruling members alert mentally.

Secondly, there appears to be negligible number or none among the present MLAs with a critical mind judging from what transpired during the second session of the 14th Nagaland Assembly on 12th September 2023 in regard to Wokha elephant-human conflict raised by MLA, Achumbemo Kikon. It is unfortunate that it is happening in this 21st century at a time when elected members are expected to be better informed people, fit to take the State forward by strides.

Fifty years ago, the Nagaland House was manned by “novice”, by today’s standard, in politics but they seemed to have done better than today because they were straight forward, honest and more conscious of who they were, as elected Members. Today, in the year 2023 a Legislator in the likes of Forest Minister, CL John who thought he was making an intelligent point but turned out to be pure mockery of himself and the members of the Assembly. When CL John said Achumbemo Kikon just became an MLA after 15 years of struggle and with accumulated issues was expressing in the Assembly and to which the Assembly members, curiously, laughed not realizing that CL John was actually insulting an honorable Member of the August House. The demand of the moment for the House was not laughter, because it was not a joke, but outright need for correction of CL John’s indecorum. Not only that, the way he delivered his reply to the MLA’s query was not only substandard but also made with an attitude of scorn and malice against the august House itself and the most incredulous thing was none of the MLAs seemed to have realized the sarcasm of the Minister’s expressions. CL John’s insolence should have been immediately interrupted and corrected, at least, either by the Assembly Speaker or the Leader of the House but alas both failed to do so for reasons best known to them. 

Worst still was CL John’s reasoning of putting animal’s life greater than human life revealed his utter irrationality and insolence as a Minister. He continued to suggest that the loss of eight human lives in Wokha to elephant carnage was not an issue because people were able to kill twelve elephants, which according to him, was a victory. Wasn’t this not the height of idiocy? But again, curiously, the Hon’ble Members laughed as if it was funny. In point of fact, CL John had made the August House a common place which the Hon’ble Chief Minister should have reprimanded him there and then. CL John has proved himself beyond doubt his inefficiency, lack of vision and lack of understanding of the responsibility as the Forest Minister. CL John is both a disgrace to his constituency and the State as a whole. CL John’s behavior has gone so viral that mainland Indian YouTube blockers are full blown outraged by his insubstantial and insensitive mentality. Anyone who watches the episode of his deliberation on YouTube, will be find it absurd and with no substance. Minister John must be corrected and made to apologize to the victims’ family of elephant carnage or be stripped off of his portfolio to prevent further damage to the image of the Chief Minister, who appointed him, and Nagaland in the eye of the Central Government and particularly the Union Ministry of Forest.