With or Without Election or Solution; The Fight Against Corruption Must Go On
Let the Hohos go to Delhi and hide whatever they are hiding for as long as they want. Let the church go to Jerusalem- the Holy Land and bring whatever they can or whatever they find from there. If they think Naga’s solution, whatever it may be, have to be imported from somewhere else let them believe so. Let them do their job peacefully in whatever ways they want with whatever means they can. Ultimately, all of them will trickle down here in Nagaland. Therefore, in the meantime common citizens must work on clamming and owning what rightfully belongs to them and build a landing field with whatever we have in our hands for all the Delhi and Jerusalem wallahs by continuing the effort in saving Nagaland from the clutches of corruption and exploitation from the hands of few rich and powerful so that whatever we have here can be used judiciously. Whoever comes back from Delhi or Jerusalem can land up here in Nagaland and whatever they bring can be translated in a meaningful and productive way. Let all right thinking citizen concern ourselves towards contributing in building a strong society, where there is transparency, accountability and socio economic justice by rooting out corruption, backdoor appointment, misuse of government office, ism and other obvious social, governmental, bureaucratic and religious evils that are destroying our society. Corruption has deprived us of our basic rights and entitlements where the corrupts are empowered with excessive wealth and power. In this state of affair no form of government, be it democracy or bureaucracy or other yet to be define system can function for the welfare of the people. All that is needed for corruption to breed and flourish is a fragile, fragmented civil society. Therefore, as we fight corruption we should also work toward building a strong and cohesive Naga civil society. In the recent past people’s conscious have been awaken and sensitized to the monster of corruption by individuals and groups in different ways, but still there’re much needs to be done. In fact, the bigger battle is yet to be fought. Nagas are the descendant of warriors; our history is filled with stories of brave and courageous men and women. There is no shortage of brave and educated people, volunteers or funds nor is there lack of man power or people’s will. All that is needed is to batch up sporadic and random fights into well coordinated and organized manner.Things are changing and transforming very fast. Look at the achievements of the past one or two years. PDS scheme and fuel adulteration racket busted, unabated tax has come down considerably, killings and extortion have significantly reduced, illegal and unethical harassment of youngsters by undergrounds has come down. Ao’s in Dimapur have done away with chief guest culture, selling of calendars and lotteries have decreased. Even some religious organizations have acknowledged corruption as evil and came in support of ACAUT. So many thinkers and social workers have express their views so boldly in media and various other platforms as never seen before in the history of Nagaland. Never have the conscious of Nagas been challenged and shaken so much as we have witness in the last one or two years and that too without bloodshed. Technology has made possible the connectivity for like-minded people to come together and share their ideas and aspirations at the swipe of a finger. Laws to unearth cover up stuffs by people in power and bureaucrats have improved beyond imaginations. These are all signs of positive changes and empowering people with more tools for better governance.We should take advantage of all these developments and be proud of all these achievements and take it as an assurance that the message has been seeping across all section of the people, progress are been made, benefits are been felt and the fight haven’t gone in vain.
Writing thought provoking articles in papers and social medias is good, fighting as an individual or a small group is well appreciated, after all everything starts with such sparks. But since the magnitude of the corruption is at astronomical scale and almost all government machinery are infested with it, howsoever brave, strong or courageous a group or an individual may be or how genuine the cause may be, it is not possible to fight it out all alone or in small fragmented groups nor is it sustainable in a long run. Proper planning, coordination and mobilization of mass with clear vision are required to take the movement forward. Therefore taking achievements as encouragement and setbacks as a lesson, we should keep the momentum of cleansing our corrupt system by coming together as one and give a coordinated effort so that whatever system we have or is yet to come as a result of Naga political negotiation can be crafted in such a way that will work for the welfare of the people in reality and the ultimate power of the state will be retain in the hands of the people.
When we point one finger at others, there will be thousand fingers pointing back at us but let us understand that it is not necessary for citizens to be saints first and then only take up the mission of fighting corruption nor is it possible to bring about change in such a corrupt society by saints alone. Let us understand and accept that we are all human with inherent weakness and we have stomach to feed. But having few weaknesses as a human being should not discourage us from fighting corruption and syndicate in the hands of few elites for their insatiable greed and nihilistic mindset destroying the very fabric of Naga society and threatening our existence. Change, reformation or revolution were always brought out by ordinary people with inherent human weakness; all that is needed for consolidation of power in the hand of people is for ordinary citizens to come together as one for the common cause. Therefore overlooking the small weaknesses in each other, we must come together and fight for the greater cause and ideals to save us from embedding doom. There is no place or country in the world that is hundred percent perfect, there is no movement that can satisfy all section of the people, there is no upraise which is cent percent good, there is no movement without drawbacks. So, collateral damage should be accepted without fear or discouragement. There should be clear vision and logical short and long term objectives,the pros and cons must be weighed against each moves, sacrificing what need to be sacrifice and willingly giving away what cannot be retain for the larger interest of the society. Aiming too high or expecting too much in too little time with few people will only bring disappointments. There cannot be hundred percent corruption free state. Therefore, we should be realistic and endeavor to minimize the level of corruption to a level where checks and balance are possible; enabling us to have a progressive society, where development is possible, where merit is not deprived by back door appointments, where citizens need not sell their soul to earn livelihood, where we can live with respect and dignity. In this pursue, let us be inclusive in our approach irrespective of job, political affiliation, religious background or geographical barrier as long as one has the desire and the conviction to be a part of the movement and at the same time spurring the indifferent and not so willing, encouraging our friends and colleague for working together, not only tolerating rumors and misconception but also clarifying and guiding the people in the right direction.
Every issue is important. Some issues are more important for someone and other issues more important for others but at a time like this when we are all in a sinking boat we have limited options; lighten our boat or sink with it. We cannot carry everything with us. First thing first, hole in the boat should be sealed off, then prioritize the issues narrowing down the targets and solve one issue at the time by taking step by step approach. Election will come and go, political instability and hick ups will be there, solution may come or may not come but if we could build a strong society together everything can be tackle in a productive way creating space for positive changes, which over a period of time will be translated into peace, development, social and economic justice, bestowing the power of the state ultimately in the hands of the people.
God seems to have been pushed out of Nagaland long time back and the devil seems to have no agendas. In fact, they seem to be taking coaching lessons from Naga leaders and here we are the crusaders against the grand-masters of corruption. Therefore being right is not enough, being good is not enough and being brave is not enough in this asymmetrical battle. We got to use all means in our hands to win over the battle, with unity as our strength and clear understanding of the social dynamics as our foothold.
Dr. Tialiba Longkumer