Is Nagaland Shining?

Nagaland like the rest of the Northeast Region has tremendous scope for economic development. More than 50 years of State hood and the reality on the ground however do not give us the confidence to project Nagaland as a developed State. Many times we hear our politicians complaining about meager funds being given by the Centre i.e. the Government of India. In fact the truth is that we get enough or even more to actually build our State—schools, roads, hospitals etc. But it is embarrassing to actually learn that we still lack even the basic infrastructure. The recent demand by the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) for a separate Frontier Nagaland State points to everything that is wrong in Nagaland. The truth of the matter with regard to the ENPO demand is this: While none of us want our eastern Nagas to separate, yet everyone will admit about the genuineness of their grievances—the years of neglect as far as development and distribution of resource goes. And actually this backwardness is not confined only to ENPO areas. For instance, there has been report that some villages in Mokokchung District still do not have roads of their own and in fact they have to travel from Assam. 
And even before the ENPO demand officially surfaced into the open, the Morung Express had time and again highlighted about the government’s failure to deliver the fruits of development to these un-reached people and regions. We have brought to the notice of the government about the pitiable condition of government hospitals in Kiphire and Mon or the condition of primary education in places like Peren where most of the schools are run with single teacher. We had even commented that the “disconnect between the State and the ordinary people especially in places beyond Kohima and Dimapur” is real and that this statistic needs to be changed. However those who run the affairs of the State obviously have not seen the writing on the wall. They have failed to grasp the mood of the public. Our leaders have ignored the suggestions and plea appearing in the newspapers, including this column.
The answer that many people want is this: Where is the Development? It is clear that there are enough funds available to drive development in Nagaland and the backward regions thereof. And it is not that development funds are available only now—they have been flowing in since Statehood and even after more than fifty years nothing has changed much in terms of economic progress and development. And if the decades of fund allocations had been used in a judicious manner our small State should have reached a higher level of economic growth that is at par with some of the more developed States in the country. But all of us know that this is not the case. The demand for a separate Frontier State of Nagaland is the outcome of our collective failure. We cannot only blame one person or one government. It shows the miserable performance of our successive governments, failure of our leaders, public apathy. We should hang our heads in shame. As the old year has left us behind, we need to look to the New Year with more sincerity, look where we have failed and correct them before it is too late. Otherwise the future well being of our State and its people will remain a mere illusion.