Nagaland: Clean Election Movement Convenor Urges Conscientious Voting - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland: Clean Election Movement convenor urges conscientious voting

By EMN Updated: Apr 10, 2024 10:54 pm

DIMAPUR — The Convenor of Clean Election Movement (CEM), which was initiated by the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, has called on the citizens of the state, ahead of the Lok Sabha election, to vote conscientiously with a sense of responsibility towards the democratic process.

In an appeal issued on Wednesday, Dr. Villo Naleo, Convener of CEM, highlighted the importance of reflecting on past experiences, stating that, “our unity is paramount to safeguard democracy, so through our votes, the right government is formed,” amidst the changing situation in India.

Expressing concern over the rise of Hindu majoritarianism and religious vigilantism, with systematic and deliberated targeting of Muslims, Christians, Dalits and other minorities, it claimed the Centre has adopted Hindutva as its core ideology and actively promoted right-wing extremism, while terming it as an “existential concern for all minorities including Christians, the tribals in North East and Nagas”.

It also criticised the alleged suppression of dissenting voices, citing instances of political leaders inciting hate speeches being lauded as patriotic, while journalists advocating for democracy and freedom of speech been dubbed as anti-national. “This is an unimaginable reality we must challenge consciously with courage and active engagement,” it said.

Referring to the conflict in Manipur, it said that there was, “complete absence of interest, let alone political will of the central government, in bringing peace in NE (north-east) India, especially in the tribal belts”.

“However, the PM (Prime Minister) makes claims that the central government has saved Manipur from its prolonged ethnic strife. Such statements are illogical and it undermines the untold suffering of the people in Manipur. The deliberate shutdown of internet by the state government is a sign that, freedom of speech is eroding and dictatorship is thriving,” it stated.

Further, it said that the punitive action of the Union Home Ministry is on display in how it has crackdown many foreign funded organisations that has held Government accountable to the people and the democratic values as enshrined in the Constitution. The recent cancellation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licenses of several organisations underscores growing intolerance and coercive measures, it maintained.

It went on to state that the recent arrest of Arwind Kejriwal by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is “nothing less than a political harassment,” as it shows that “if you fall in line with the present government, you are exempted, but if you opposed it, the ED is unleashed against individuals and lands up in jail”.

Additionally, it said that the suspension of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) along the Indo-Myanmar border is another concern, accusing the BJP government of using “the crisis as a pretext to suspend the age-old practice of traditional communities who have historically lived with co-existential relationship along and across the borders”.

It further alleged that the present Central Government is all set to create division and separation of Nagas who are living across borders.

“First, they came with Look East Policy, second they introduced Act East Policy, and now they are implementing Fence East Policy by suspending the FMR. The recent extension of the Disturbed Area Act (DAA) in 21 PS (police stations) within Nagaland is a continual expression of India’s bigoted political will in Nagaland,” the appeal stated.

Furthermore, it stated that India is at the crossroads and the course of the country’s future depends on voting for the right person and party, and asserted that it is a requisite for citizens us to take a stand and act against any corrupted government and institutions that are inciting riots and vandalism across the country.

“BJP’s honeymoon with Nagas seems to be just beginning with their alliances made with regional parties. But the coalition government (PDA) seems to be in a state of confusion; the NDPP took the slogan “NDPP for Clean Election Movement Lok Sabha Election 2024, while the deputy CM made a joke of NDPP’s slogan by directly violating the democratic rules of voting in his recent speech at Wokha,” the CEM’s appeal stated.

It went on to state that the present Lok Sabha election seems to be less of a political tussle, but more of an ideological clash for the survival of democracy in India, and appealed to the citizens to “vote consciously by fearing God, and exercising God given ability to choose right from wrong.”

By EMN Updated: Apr 10, 2024 10:54:11 pm
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