Constitutional But Undemocratic
Nagaland has yet to, far from practicing core concept principles of democracy. The Indian Constitution through Article 371A, allow us to practice ‘Naga customary law and procedure’ and as such, certain section of village heads from certain constituency determines which among the individuals should contest in the elections. It is alleged that any aspiring candidate who fails to come to terms [Monetary/Allegiance arrangements] with the village heads, are bound to face consequences around the time of elections; allegedly vandalizing his/her [unarranged candidate’s] resources with mob power, to distort his/her movement to reach out to the voters. Until now, the section of these alleged village heads, claiming the provision of Article 371A (1) (a) (ii), exercises this and other practices and justifies their act as constitutional, thus distorting the very fabric of our system to conduct Clean Election.
However, they have to be aware of this- that the Indian Constitution itself was framed under the principles of Secularism, Democratic republic… to assure its people of justice, equality and liberty and to promote fraternity among them. Thus any provision to customary law, should itself have roots of democracy and other ideologies as inscribed in the Constitution. It is also to be noted that every constitutional law exist only so to deliver the due natural justice to the people and not for sociopaths to salvage and surpass the law and justice.
Ergo, it is uncertain as to why the certain alleged village heads of a constituency choose to believe that the ‘Act’ provides them to practice illogical behaviors which could be considered as irrational and undemocratic in every sense of the term. As our democratic constitution states that any citizen who have attained the age of 25 years, is eligible to contest the election and could hold the offices.
Thus with this due clarification, it is made known to those authorities, who subscribes to the provision of Art371A (a) (ii), that as NJS chief judicial magistrate and secretary KDL-SA, Victo Sema has urged upon, during one of the recent conduct of ‘workshop on legal activities’, to the DBs and GBs to implement customary law in uniformity, rationality and certainty- that failing to do so could invite counter on their authority as per the norms and principles of democracy, since Nagaland State itself is a creation of democratic ideology.
In the current politics of game of throne, where both faction seems to present a validate case in their pursuit for the post of CM, where one of the leader from the majority numbered legislators group have alleged that, …Dr. Shurhozelie was responsible for the present situation- if this was also to be one of the reason why the present CM has to abdicate… the question arises, since Dr. Shurhozelie was appointed as the 17th CM on 22nd Feb, 2017; whether the present situation of Nagaland started escalating since the day he was sworn in as the CM of Nagaland.
The opposing leader TR Zeliang should have to present a concrete reason as what have failed short of the present CM to continue his terms and also what makes him the better candidate to hold the post of CM, since in a democratic nation, the people have to be assured that the mechanism of inner party conflict is also democratic. The appeal of Zeliang to direct the chief secretary not to issue appointments and payments besides (except) salaries, could be highly speculated as to what the motive is. Is it so that after he inevitably becomes the CM, he could control all the flow of the funds? Their failure in governance should not be an obstacle to continue the flowing of central schemes, which are meant for the public. Also if the tussle seems to continue further without any bearing, then the Governor should also heed the voice of the public as what ought to be done for the state.
With the clearing of doubts about legal structures, we should aim to progress further by implementing the special provisions like the customary procedures in the right direction and even ULB, with accordance to the political climate.