Wednesday, December 08, 2021

‘Silent’ MPs days over, youth raise bar for MP performance

By EMN Updated: Apr 02, 2014 11:35 pm

Alice Yhoshü

FOR a state like Nagaland, the youth makes more than half of its total population. Not long ago, many young people had little interest in politics and many dismiss casting their votes during elections as irrelevant. Though there are still some who choose to stay away from any political matter, not entirely because of ignorance but for various other reasons, the Naga youth are increasingly becoming conscious of public affairs and a sense of political wakefulness is mounting.
They want to see positive changes brought about in the society.
With the Parliamentary elections in the state barely a week away, Eastern Mirror caught up with some young men and women from different backgrounds to know their opinion on the ensuing poll and what they expect from the elected representative of the people.While many of them gave constructive views, some were sceptical on the priorities claimed by the intending candidates, particularly the DAN consensus candidate and sitting Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio who will be contesting the LokSabha poll with NPF ticket, and Congress candidate, KV Pusa.
“We all know that politicians will make tall promises to woo voters but they forget their commitments after the election,” says Akum, a Kohima based entrepreneur. “What we need is sincere leaders who would keep their promises and walk the extra mile, raise their voices to be heard and work transparently for the welfare of the state and its people,” he opined.
He feels that the Nagas, especially the youth are “fed-up of our silent MPs in Delhi all these years” and the next MP should do justice to the seat that he will be occupying.
“I would expect any elected representative of the people to be well aware of the status of the youth in Nagaland,” says Aster Kevi, a self employed NIFT graduate. “We are being swamped every year with educated young graduates with little scope of employment,” she observes, and added there should be conscious effort on the part of the elected MP to create employment schemes for the youth. She also feels the safety of our people in metro cities is an important issue and stringent measures should be taken to ensure that students are protected against racial discrimination and crimes in metro cities.For MedoYhokha, a youth leader of the Angami Youth Organization, the next MP should be different from the former ones that occupied the seat from Nagaland, who hardly made any initiative for the Nagas. While stressing on the need for a vibrant facilitator to solve the Indo-Naga issue, Yhokha said the people also need a responsive leader who can speak out and initiate measures to secure and protect the identity of the Nagas and the North East people at Delhi and other metros in the wake of identified atrocities against them. The elected MP must oversee and deliver that all central aids and projects into the state are implemented rightly for the benefit of the people, he stated, adding that the state needs a trendsetter in doing away with the VIPs and politicians meddlinginto the functioning of the system and create a level ground for all to compete genuinely with dignity and hard work.
“For me, party does not matter. Any government that comes to power should be a good government and be able to deliver to the people,” maintains AnokKonyak, a civil services aspirant. He observed that solution to the Naga political issue should be the top priority of the government and the elected MP, however, he is pessimistic that it will take a long time for any settlement unless all the Naga political groups decide to come together as one. He also underscores corruption as an area of great concern saying that the level of corruption has percolated from the highest places to the grassroots. He says the representatives of the people should take measuresto remove the menace from the system. On the development front, he asserts that some priority should be given to the Eastern Nagaland areas. “The people of Eastern Nagaland are lacking all basic infrastructure,” he said, citing road connectivity and creation of livelihood avenues as some of the problems that need to be addressed immediately.
On a lighter note, he says the elected MP must not relinquish his seat before the completion of his tenure.
LezoPutsure of YouthNet underscores the need for planning for long term growth by investing in hard and soft infrastructure such as roads, power, public transport and tourism, and human skills, attitude etc. He roots for transparent and accountable governance stating this can be done via an internet portal, for people to view, express and share their views on development and interaction on projects. His expectations also include creation of an enabling environment for growth and expansion of locally-owned businesses especially entrepreneurs that promote local products and services, and introduction of better higher education systems such as medical, engineering and management colleges in the state.
For Medovoi, a former student leader and social worker, it is unfortunate that the Nagas have just one seat each in the LokSabha and the RajyaSabha and this, he feels, is the reason why our issues are not given enough importance or priority. “The elected MP has to be sincere enough to deliver the commitments made before the elections,” he said. He also feels that the elected MP should strive to make the aspirations of the Naga people heard and not deviate from the people’s main ideology.
For Esther Rhakho, general secretary Naga Students’ Federation, the conduct of a free and fair election is the need of the houras is electing the efficient and capable leader leaving aside political party colours. The student leader feels that the elected MP should represent the voice of the Nagas and emphasised that the people’s representative should make all out attempts to bring solution to the long-running Naga political issue which, she asserts, is the long cherished dream of the Nagas, both young and old.

By EMN Updated: Apr 02, 2014 11:35:54 pm