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Op-Ed

NBCC Clean Election Campaign is a Success

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By EMN Updated: Aug 23, 2016 12:26 am
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The tireless effort put forth by members of NBCC Clean Election Campaign is spearheading towards a silent revolution. However, it was an upsetting news for me and many others who saw the NBCC’s ‘supposedly’ admission of its failure as published in local dailies. Adding salt to the wound were the quick follow up articles of some Naga intellectuals who appreciated the ‘supposedly’ confession of the apex Naga Church organisation as ‘timely and genuine confession’. Such statements bring more harm to the very cause the Church was fighting for rather than healing it. It is not the time to discuss about failure as it only discourages the common people who follow the NBCC’s directives. It is right time to glean the successes of the Campaign. The rate of success may not be upto the expectation but it still is a success. It is a success even if only 5 persons out of 100 practice clean election because of the effort of NBCC. If, through the awareness created by NBCC, one person refused to take bribe for vote, that’s a huge success (in the manner of Jesus’ acknowledgement of the widow’s offering). If, because of the NBCC Campaign, a village or a clan avoided indulging in violence, that itself was a success. If a candidate refrained from using money to lure voters but might failed to get elected, that was still a success. To say that the Campaign was a failure is inaccurate at this juncture. Therefore the NBCC may be wise not to make such public confession in the near future (if such thing had happened in the past) and at the same time the Naga intellectuals may likewise not jump in to endorse the purportedly failure of the campaign. What is imperative is to actively participate in Clean Election Campaign in order to rout out the whole corrupted electoral system from the state.

The mentality of Naga people is that they want to get things done within a short period of time. They lack perseverance and tend to be very emotional with every issue. Determination to achieve needs persistent effort till it bears fruit. If we continuously wrapped thread to a post for many years, then we need to give the same amount of time and energy to unwrap it again. Same action is required to stop our unwanted habits and practices. Nagaland that attained statehood in 1963 had started electoral corruption since then. As corrupt electoral practice was in existence for many decades, it will be certainly difficult to stop at just one attempt. Movement needs sustained united effort. It may take decades or a generation to see change but it should never be given up. Naga people need to learn from movements such as Narmada Bachao Andolan that continues for years fighting against destructive mega-dams without losing hope. Irom Sharmila fasted for sixteen years and she continues to fight for the repeal of AFSPA. She became an inspiration for thousands of activists around the world. Genuine movement produces result in pieces as it moves along the path. It is unwise to expect for a miraculous 100 per cent success in an instant attempt like deceptive TV advertisement or destructive tsunami wave. For a journey of thousand miles, each small step put forward is a success.

Today, because of NBCC Clean Election Campaign, we hear many people (young and old, literate and illiterate) discussing about the evil practices of election. We often hear that many seminars and symposium were conducted in educational and religious institutions educating the masses on the impact of corrupt political system prevailing in Naga society. Creating awareness is in itself a success and those who have not yet changed will change sooner or later. It is not only within Nagaland that Clean Election Campaign of NBCC had made an impact but also in neighbouring state. Four Baptist Church Associations (Poumai, Mao, Maram and Thangal) in Senapati District, Manipur, had formed common platform and started clean election campaign. The same initiative is being taken up in Tamenglong District. We hope that it will spread to Arunachal Pradesh in the near future. The Campaign has brought to light the failure of the state government as a responsible guardian forcing its citizens to become corrupted. It has exposed the ignorant and power mongering mentality of many of our leaders. It has brought to light how corrupted we are as individuals. This challenges us –the Church- to give more effort in making the election system smoother (Christianise so to say) and straighten it so that many evils in our society can be nipped at its bud. Remember, if people can do bad things, they can also do good things too. God works bit by bit, bit by bit, bit by bit and bit by bit till transformation takes place. With the help of God, surely NBCC’s dream of fair and clean election will prevail in our land sooner or later.

Z. K. Pahrü Pou
BTC, Pfutsero
zkpahr@gmail.com

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By EMN Updated: Aug 23, 2016 12:26:30 am