The assassination of former Director General of Police Hesso Mao in the State Capital yesterday by unidentified gunmen is a shameless act of cowardice and one that has shocked the entire Naga population. The cruel manner in which he was shot in cold blood without any respect even for the inner sanctorum of his home and family only goes to show the malicious mindset of the killers. Sadly, this open defiance of lawless elements roaming about the streets freely with weapons to shoot at anything and everything has today come to symbolize the society in which we live.
More than anything else this is an opportune time to critically address the problem of violence, gun culture and the ideologue of Might is Right and the dangerous notion that power flows from the barrel of a gun, which has been embedded into the psyche of Nagas in general. We are not far off from becoming a gun wielding and violence ridden society in which the power of human reasoning is giving way to what the 17th Century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes described; the ‘state of nature’ or the state of men without civil society, a state of continual warfare.
If a government does exist, it must nab the killers who ever they are without any hesitation or compromise before the credibility of the present dispensation goes down the drain. For once let there be no ‘political’ excuses. Any government worth its salt has a duty to effectively put in place and implement the rule of law.
Whatever the motive behind Hesso’s assassination the government should also now realize in the general interest that there is a near breakdown of law and order in the State and the very legitimacy of the State’s power to enforce its authority has come into question. If this government is sincere that it is here not just to occupy the chair but to perform its due responsibility, then this is an opportune time to demonstrate and also to prove as to who really runs the show. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio’s political credibility is at stake and the sooner he realizes this the better it would be.
The Neiphiu Rio led DAN government would also do well to understand that their political legitimacy is derived not only by way of its mandate when it came to power, but also on whether it can effectively protect those who have consented to obey it. Political obligation ie the right to demand obedience from its citizens would end when protection ceases. To avoid the prospect of being branded as a lame duck government it should put into use its authority more seriously or else it would simply mean the hijacking of political authority by the laws of the jungle.