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Monday, November 20, 2017

Delhi, Whither leadeth thou?

Friday, 01 September 2017 11:54
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Bureaucrats are like Chanakya, the guru and advisor to Chandragupta Maurya. Chanakya is said to have formulated the rise of the Mauryan Empire, the largest of ancient India, which some historian’s accredit to his vedic ethics while others claim he is more the crafty amoral Machiavelli. Whichever it be, of greater or lesser caliber, He and they are the helmsmen of statecraft and the courses they chart test their worthiness. Skilled in their field, they can be characterized as:  those that have equanimity, discernment, scruples and those that profess the same in self-importance and conceit. Their roles are predestined and it is up to leaders to wisely glean from their counsel the best way forward. 

The North East is a region rich in ingenious cultures and energy sources that is impeded physically and mentally by a landbridge to mainland India, normally a simple equation of distance, the context is changed though with the presence of a bullish neighbor of past aggression. The compulsions behind the Sino-Indian war of 1962 have not altered but gained weightage and complexity and ought to have impelled Delhi to approach this geo-political anomaly by gathering perspectives from the people at ground zero. Instead, to compound the issue, there has been an accumulation of disquiet in the region that can be traced back to a lack of perception, handling and application by a section of bureaucrats. This class of Babus probably share a similar view that north-easterners and their lands are too far away, too Asian, too aborigine of mind, manner and foliage and may have over the years perhaps influenced and pre-empted initiatives from political leadership to change realities. This rotten attitude will attract yet another but definitive debacle. 

So, what are the possible configurations that can be done? If Delhi is truly concerned, then, She probably has a few years to put into place a core political entity of an indigenous character, resilient to fend for its interests or at least make it an unpalatable proposition for aggression. This would entail a more federalist center/regional relationship, in other words, hasten the inevitable process of de-centralization; the essence of good governance. Strangely, it is all about non-governance or the politically correct terms ‘devolution of powers, delegation, empowerment, responsibility’. Simply propping up state governments or attempting to saffronize the region or a neighbor attempting to crimsonize even from the other side of the fence is not the answer and cannot sustain. 

Crucial to this play is the role of the Naga. Will he be equipped with his inherent strengths to vitalize the region or handicapped with an operating system of government that has been effectively virused? Merely rebooting will not salvage the damage unless replaced with a new and upgraded system. 

And thereby the query Mr. Modi, are your confidantes the pukka and high minded types or are they the Machiavellian sort?  Their guidance either way will impact the region as never before as the pace of technology is stripping away ignorance and transparency is changing the dynamics of how the world functions in innumerable ways.

 

Lhouvi Tseikhanuo

Kohima


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