The hilarious storm dissipates… here comes the deadly hurricane.
This author is essentially a light-hearted self-proclaimed optimist comically reviewing the events gone by and the possible events yet to happen through a pessimistic prism. It has been a hilarious month, watching the stand-up political comedians within NPF Party washing their environmentally unfriendly linen in the public domain and finally winding up unanimously dry-cleaning the remaining soiled laundry on the floor of the Legislative Assembly for a Chief Minister they were aggressively conspiring against, with the unclean hand of the Congress thrown in. Not that it mattered to the public one way or the other… the people of Nagaland heave a sigh of relief even as the political storm within the NPF kitchen dissipates, leaving in its wake a wondrous Legislative Assembly without an opposition. The Nagas are all set to prove to the world that democracy without an Opposition Bench in the House will function equally well…yes siree, it will definitely work well for the elected opportunists with a cut-throat vested interest. The NPF and its strange bedfellow coalition partners can now have fun and frolic harvesting from the public coffer into their private granaries while hypocritically espousing public welfare… after all, they too merge within that ‘public identity’ definition and therefore the priority of serving themselves before others also qualify in that definition of the so called ‘public welfare’ even if the public is nowhere in their welfare scheme of things. It is for the saner public to read their professed ‘public welfare’ proclamations to mean their ‘private welfare’. Their democratic comfort lies in the fact that they purchased their MLA status (as they would purchase any commodity from a shopkeeper) and use the derived authority from it in any manner they choose. You and I happen to be the stupid shopkeepers who sold that all important constitutional right called a VOTE. There is no one left to point a figure at the ‘not so upright, under the table financial transactions’ of Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries on the unwept floor of the ‘not so August House’ of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly. In the dictionary of Nagaland Legislative Assembly the word ‘August’ is limited to a description of one month in a year and has nothing to do with their exalted status and the business of honourably representing their constituencies in the House.
The faceless Congress MLAs too have sold their soul, their honour, their dignity and their identity in their desperate quest for power… sans political scruples and principles. The only thing left that they have not sold is their wives. They are now set to join the rat race like all the rest… hand in gloves with their BJP archrival that has been responsible for wiping out their National Congress brothers and sisters from the political map of the country elsewhere. The true value of honour and loyalty to one’s own only happens in fairy tales, totally irrelevant for the real world application. They can only think of themselves and their immediate welfare above all else. The Congress MLAs eagerly waiting to be inducted into Mr. TRZ’s Ministry will bargain for lucrative portfolios for sure. Once they get it, they will kneel before their nonexistent God and profusely thank Him with emotional tears streaming down their unwashed cheeks. They would gratefully clench their fist, punch the thin air and thank their luck stars for this wonderful opportunity to help………….themselves! The people?… What people?!! They can now unscrupulously adopt every possible financial misdemeanour that they have been accusing NPF of and squeeze every penny from the budget of their respective unfortunate departments with shameless abandon in the effort of salvaging their election expenditures. The Church, which has been praying for the likes of them, will also happily receive their share of the manna that the Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries generate from under the table when such Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries come to their religious functions as chief guests.
Mr. T R Z must surely be having a horrendous nightmare wondering how to dissect PWD portfolio to enable him to distribute it to all his Cabinet Ministers, the Parliamentary Secretaries and the Advisers. This is perhaps the most unpleasant and difficult responsibility that each successive Chief Ministers face after every election but now the equation is even tougher. In the case of the Naga MLAs, leave aside Mr. TRZ, even God would have a sleepless night figuring out how to distribute lucrative portfolios to all the determined crowd of power crazy, money mongering MLAs. One wrong move could trigger another hurricane. Mr.TRZ would have to keep one eye constantly focused on the disgruntled Ali Baba Sovima Campers (we have been told that they have collectively shifted to Niathu Resort and then perhaps to Noune Resort in the later stages for a change of ambiance) patiently waiting like vultures in the sideline to scavenge the carcases of the unhappy souls thrown up by the hurricane that is likely to happen after the portfolios are distributed…then plan a fresh salvo i.e. if they are able to stick together that long without the occurrence of another Deo Nukhu. He should perhaps think ‘out of the box’ and consider fragmenting the all the ‘lucrative Departments’ District-wise…that a-way all in his loyal campers would receive a piece of gainful action. The Cabinet Ministers/Parliament Secretaries/Advisers would get appeased. Creating new designations for the rest of the Ali Baba entourage ought not to pose any problems…Joint Parliamentary Secretaries and Assistant Advisers as a starter with Independent charge to rape the system. Alfred Newman would be a familiar name for those who read Mad Magazine… take a rain check. Well, Nagas will soon be hearing from Mr. Alfred Imkong Imchen Newman, close lookalike cousin of Alfred Newman and spokesperson of the ‘losing majority’ within the NPF Party, expounding his ‘TRZ must go’ political philosophy with the omnipresence of LS/MP Mr. N. Rio the Santa Claus master puppeteer, conducting the orchestra in the background with a conscienceless straight face.
The curious BJP-Congress mix within the NPF stockade will be an intriguing chemistry to watch. Politicians are strange creatures willing to momentarily bed anyone for their personal financial orgasm. This is being played out right before our very eyes even as we speak. Both the BJP and the Congress have their respective High Commands at Delhi with daggers drawn at each other. They will surely have a say in what their State Units do. This Naga-style unholy camaraderie may not go down well at the Centre…and if the Centre’s directives are contrary to their individual lust for power and money…you are probably looking at some kind of a defection/merger along the way. After all, we have a healthy crop of heavyweight professional ‘floor-crossers’ masterminding the proceedings. There will be abundant Independent MLAs including some NPF MLAs saddled with an unhappy chickenfeed portfolios willing to do a Deo Nukhu for a greener pastures… for certain… after the portfolios are flagged. Oh, the game is far from over. Ladies and Gentlemen, another political Festival will soon be looming in the horizon. We now have Bihar to show the way. All we need to do is wait and watch.
At the cost of repeating myself, we the people of Nagaland, are directly and equally responsible for having triggered this political spectacle that has dishonourably gone out of control. It is time for each and every Naga to introspect the evil of selling our votes during the election. Our insistence on wanting to sell our votes causes a choiceless compulsion for the candidates in the fray to buy our votes by hook or by crook. In a reverse order, the contesting candidates are in the fray to win and therefore transform themselves into serpents that tempted Eve in the garden of Aden. Either ways they land up spending an astronomical sum in terms of crores. This was not spent for free. It is typically a damning scenario: because where there are sellers there are buyers; where there are buyers there are sellers. Once elected, the MLAs go berserk searching for a Ministerial birth with heavily budgeted Departments like PWD, RD, Urban Development etc. with a sole objective of recovering their election expenditures. Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries with lesser portfolios and MLAs without any official assignment wait for an opportunity to promptly join a disgruntled band wagon fermented by power hungry seniors/peers. The citizens are left holding an empty basket. With Mr. Greed in the driving seat, it is a deadly vicious cycle that is destroying the Naga sensibility. This is the root cause for what is happening. The Church and the responsible NGOs and concerned citizens need to take a concerted stock of this ground reality and urgently initiate a sustained mass awareness campaign way ahead of the next election. The people deserve to have political representatives who would honestly place public interest before self. The people deserve to have a caring bureaucracy that sincerely serves the people instead of themselves. This can only happen when the masses stop selling their votes and compromising their rights… or else be damned with the recurrence of the kind of storm and hurricane we have been compelled to endure. Nagas cannot go forward on a back gear.