Who will discourage corruption in Nagaland?
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome days back, the Hon’ble Congress Legislature Party leader Mr. Tokheho, MLA publicly displayed in local media the details of how Dr. N. Benjongliba Aier, the Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Nagaland abused his official position while serving Govt. of Nagaland as Director of Horticulture Deptt.. In the disclosure of anomalies committed by the said former Head of the Deptt. in hobnob with his Commissioner & Secretary and other junior officers, the CLP leader highlighted the kind of magnitude of how the officer simply robbed the Deptt. of Horti. very brazenly. The gist of documents and data published in local papers is found convincing and indeed very serious. Yet, if my recollection is correct, except the Tuensang DCC no other organisations or individuals including those which are, of late, vocal against corruption reacted for or against. The silence includes the accused himself. In a way I appreciate his gut to accept his commissions silently. His silence is understood that the matter has to be brought to logical conclusion sooner or later, and therefore haphazard denial could fetch more embarrassment later.In the light of above, the CLP leader reportedly submitted a memorandum to the Hon’ble Governor of Nagaland Mr. B.P. Acharya for taking appropriate action. I hope the Governor is on the job as the issue deserves thorough investigation by a competent authority and befitting action. I do not expect magical action from the Hon’ble Governor, and yet I hope he will take prompt action in conformity with the much publicized ideals of probity by Mr. Modi, the PM of India.
The corruption has been in the system of governance in Nagaland, and it is deeply rooted. The corruption has become more rampant during the last one decade in Nagaland. ‘While in Rome behave like Romans’ is the maxim. Similarly, as we are with India, we are behaving like Indians. After all, what matters in governance is the system. The Indian system of governance is so porous and fragile. I used to hear that the State’s proposed schemes approval by Delhi have to be purchased through brokers. Before the cake is brought to Nagaland, a big chunk is eaten at source. What a system? Becoming part of India, the disease of corruption crept into our system of administering the affairs of our small State of Nagaland both avoidably and unavoidably.
I used to always imagine that had Nagas being left with China after British colonials’ departure, our infrastructure and economy would have been much better today. The main reason for such progress would be the system of governance. I have no hesitation to be proud of our forefathers who were simply simple, honest and self reliant. To cite a beautiful episode, as the story was verbally handed down, a Naga prisoner in the jail of East India Coy. in Assam sought for leave for a given period in summer. His reason was to assist his wife during seed sowing time and to return to jail after his leave period is over. To test his integrity he was allowed. As per his promise, he returned to jail without re-arrest, and he completed his jail term. With the advent of modernization under the nationhood of India, we have mortgaged our invaluable habits for money. Now, with so much money we find it difficult to buy back those golden habits.
Fortunately for the public, the case of Dr. Benjongliba Aier is exposed for public scrutiny. And it is unfortunate for him that many other Benjonglibas are yet to be detected and some are detected and shelved. Even in the past, cases of such nature were handed over to CBI for perusal. However, reportedly known that not a single case from Nagaland handled by CBI was brought to logical conclusion due to two known reasons. On reaching Nagaland, the CBI team used to become too mellow to handle the issue or they were threatened to the hilt crippling them completely from proceeding with it. Nagaland is therefore made immune from CBI’s radar.
I always consider the office of the erstwhile His Excellency the Governor and presently addressed as Honourable Governor of Nagaland to be the Chief Custodian of the rule of law as he represents the face of the big country India. I always expect that when the general public is discriminated by any politician in authority or bureaucrat in power in the manner cited above, the impartial and powerful authority with unstoppable whip would intervene as called for and demonstratively prove its worth. Unfortunately, in the past, as observed, some HE Governors landed in Nagaland like lion but on completion of the tenure, left Nagaland as tamed lion.
Be it Dr. Benjongliba Aier or anybody, whoever is found corrupt should be disciplined. Politicians are always for survival and under the circumstance they are compelled to call the crow as white. A judicious and timely action from the end of the Honourable Governor is paramount so as to set cue for deterrent.