Views & Reviews
Election to the State Legislature Assembly in Nagaland within Sniffing Distance
As we usher into the New Year with a mixture of doubts and anticipation for a peaceful and progressive Nagaland, the present hype of much publicised and often acclaimed partyless Government that often portray a picture of ‘marriage of convenience’ will soon be embroiled in the combat of live or die. One will witness infighting among themselves in scrambling for party tickets for the next Assembly Election and those who are denied of party tickets will join other parties but carrying the pangs of bitterness in their chest. Many aspirants also must have actively involved in the recent Christmas celebrations in visiting their respective constituencies and some joining the congregation in singing Christmas carols of “Joy to the World” though the spirit of Joy will hold them no good in the matter of incoming Election hassle.
Participation in the election, both National and the State is the prerogative enjoyed by its citizens in a Parliamentary form of Government as we have in our country. Such Election is also an opportunity for a candidate in elevating himself or herself from ground zero to the seat of power from where they enjoy the privilege of scurrying the area of serving the people.
In our State, Election specially to the State Legislative Assembly is very hotly and often bitterly contested that results in creating chasms between individuals, class, tribes and various unions and unfortunately those successful candidates are made to spend precious time during the next five years not only in reimbursing the expenditures incurred during such expensive elections but involved in the issues of recognition, negotiation and reconciliation between the individuals and various parties. Every stage of election, beginning from declaration, nomination and actual Election entails huge expenditures so much so that a candidate is made to invest most of the time in defrying expenditures on Election related matters but less time on programmes for the Welfare of the people.
Another issue of concern is the practice of voters not exercising one’s franchise freely on grounds of conviction but more on grounds of its proximity to Tribe, Clan or individual relationship or in some cases on cash consideration. We have gradually evolved an Election system that may be named as the ‘Silent Election Manifesto’ where good candidates are often ignored but those that use money and muscle powers are sadly elected and release them in exploiting the affairs of the State for the next five years. This is one of the reasons why in many constituencies there is hardly any developmental works taking place. Another unfortunate phenomenon tied to the Election issue is the employment or selection of personnels on grounds of favouritism so much so that they fail to deliver goods to the people but survive as liabilities.
The next Election to the State Legislative Assembly is near. There is, therefore a need to vote for the right candidate who will work more but talk less. There is also a need to refrain from supporting an incompetent candidate that can create only problems not only for himself but for their people during the coming five years. To be more realistic, there is a dire need to concentrate more on the aspects of Naga unity and development rather than on issues such as Frontier Nagaland Tribe or Central Nagaland Tribe and vice-versa. Nagaland as a whole should be treated as one unit and the entire citizens of the State should lend their support in building a strong and vibrant Nagaland that requires dynamic and capable leaders in leading the people to a goal of meeting the people’s needs but much less the needs of it’s leaders.
Tali Longkumer (IAS rtd)