Views & Reviews
Alemtemshi clarifies position on role in CM post scrap
I am constrained to issue this rejoinder to the perplexing news item, as appeared in the Nagaland Page issue of 10th May 2014 that has attempted to attribute the entire on-going confusion in the State, concerning the choice of the Chief Minister of Nagaland, to me.
I have retired from bureaucracy just a few months ago and I am surprised that there are some people, who consider me to be so powerful and important, to be able to influence the entire political process of Nagaland and to be capable of directing the Hon’ble elected members to split the NPF Party and the DAN Government. No doubt I am an outspoken person and free in expressing my views. In some of my personal and private discussions, when asked my opinion, I have mentioned that it may be good to have a Chief Minister from the Eastern Naga areas in the better interest of the prevailing situation in the State. But that is purely a personal opinion and I have not taken it up at any political or policy platform. The story however, as brought out in the news item, is ludicrous and tantamount to demeaning the wisdom and intellect of the leaders who have been elected by the people to represent them, especially the senior, seasoned, leaders and members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly. Surely they are mature people, with great political acumen and wisdom, who can make political decisions of their own and do not need the directions or views of a retired bureaucrat for any of their political judgements.Our family is grateful to the NPF party for giving a ticket to my son and the privilege to have been considered for a Cabinet berth in the Ministry. It defies logic that I would even think to try and dismantle the DAN Government or the NPF party, that too, at the behest of the Congress party. Whoever has thought up this story should at least try and input some sanity into their imagination and not concoct bazaar rumour as political stories or news scoops.
With regard to my alleged aspiration to be the advisor to the Chief Minster, let me make it amply clear that this has never been my desire, aspiration or intention. I have also not requested or suggested for such a post to anyone or even discussed such matters in the family. The reasons are simple. In my bureaucratic career of about 37 years, my tenure as Secretary to the Chief Minister under Dr S.C.Jamir, for ten long years, was not by choice and it was the most strenuous and trying period of my entire service. I had lived and worked under tremendous pressures, tensions and even threats to my life trying to keep the systems going, during a most difficult period of the history of the State. At the end of the day my reward was however, only to be branded as the author of the ‘Bedrock’ and declared as ‘Anti Naga and Anti National’- a story that is still being painfully repeated in the present news item. I emerged from that office politically ostracized and without a single friend in the bureaucracy. I have no intention of repeating such an experience again. It is therefore, not clear how and from where this story has emerged. Since sources in one of the political camps has been quoted, I can only request the leaders not to be misled with such rumours and act or decide such wrong conceptions. It would be very immature to take vital political decisions that will affect the future of the people of Nagaland, based on rumours and figments of imagination.
As regards my relationship with Dr S.C.Jamir and through him, with the Congress party, it is to be clarified that everything in life is not necessarily connected to politics. There are aspects of life that are social. It is also a known fact that after the demise of my father, late N.I.Jamir in 1996 and my cousin brother, late Imtimeren Jamir in 1998, none of my family members have taken any political privilege and benefits nor involved in politics under Dr.S.C.Jamir. It was only in 2013, after a lapse of over fifteen years, that my son stood for elections with the NPF ticket, that was magnanimously given to him by Shri Neiphiu Rio and the NPF Party, The people may judge the political reality of the press report and whether it is based on facts or conjectures.
Regarding the “Bedrock of Naga Society”, I have explained my position in detail through various press releases as also to the collective leadership of the NSCN in the presence of the Ao Senden leaders. The entire matter having been thus clarified, it is bewildering why and how the ‘Booklet’ issue has now been raised in connection with the present issue of Chief Ministership of Nagaland, which is basically an internal party matter of the NPF Party. The matter of the ‘Booklet’ being irrelevant to the present context, the mention of it is irrational and smacks of malicious and motivated politics.
I also find it quite uncharitable and unkind that the Reporter has stated that the attempts to take my views were futile. During my years in service it has been a common observation and even complaint that I was too accessible to the people and therefore, my refusal to meet or even talk to any journalist does not make any sense. I do not recollect any request from any journalist for an interview. I also wonder why that was even mentioned in the news item. It does not seem professional at all and makes me question whether the Reporter is himself biased and politically motivated. The people and the media expect high degree of integrity from policy makers and it would be appropriate, if the principle of “practice what we preach” is applied to everyone.
The news item ironically acknowledges that I was a “blue eyed boy” of both Jamir and Rio. It means that I have worked with bureaucratic integrity and with sincerity, under whichever Government the people have voted to power. My actions have been in consonance with my belief in the supremacy of the will of the people in a democracy. Now that I am out of office and without any powers or any means to defend myself, it is actually pointless to kick around a person who is down and out. Unless of course, the intention is to force me to join active politics, which is a matter for me to decide depending on whether I can contribute to the needs of the people of Nagaland. But for now, it is pointless to embroil a retired officer in news and stories that is baseless and needlessly mischievous and politically motivated.
Alemtemshi Jamir, (IAS rtd)