Now that we are done with the song and dance, political and otherwise, hopefully, let’s get down to business. And here the business certainly means good governance. Besides, law and order, the first thrust areas where we would like to experience good governance is in our health and education delivery systems. But these are also closely intertwined with good roads, good Power supply and good water supply. The word “good’ is very simple and even those who do not know the English language know the meaning of the word, as well as its opposite. Obviously, good here means all that is efficient and effective. It is actually a tall order because good governance cannot be delivered in isolation therefore it is imperative that change is effected in the mode, in fact the very concept, of governance. Effecting change is not easy and for far too long we have been going on and on about changing mindsets, attitudes, etc. But this change would have to begin with our state Government. Nobody should conduct themselves as VIPs of the olden days and expect people to change. Oh yes, even if for photo ops, it would be nice to see our Chief Minister wielding the broom at least once a month, literally and otherwise, to clean up the state Government, as well as Nagaland’s, act ~ so that our other elected representative would also get the hint and make efforts to clean up their constituencies, literally and otherwise. Yes, Kohima is very pleasant now, but so are several places across Nagaland and if our elected representatives do not spend time in their constituencies, travelling on dreadful roads, see women and children carry water on their heads and backs, see children studying in the most uncongenial schools, see the hope in the eyes of women, children, the aged and the infirm while going to health centres and hospitals, which cannot address and redress their health and medical issues and listen to the woes of public leaders, indeed the common citizen, good governance cannot happen because it cannot be manufactured solely in Kohima. Policies, programmes and projects of good governance must be made in Kohima but its implementation needs our elected representatives to be hands-on in their constituencies. States and societies that have fully left the implementation of policies to the bureaucracy have regretted because whatever the talents, capacities and capabilities of the bureaucracy, it certainly doesn’t possess imagination and creativity. Of course, states and societies that do not also have imaginative and creative elected representatives are doubly cursed. Any Government that can bring about positive changes in the roads and communication, Power, water, health and education sectors in Nagaland need not over-stress itself during ensuing elections ~ unfortunately even our people seem to prioritize other factors therefore our political parties get away with non-performance and non-delivery. TR Zeliang has shown a lot of imagination and creativity to silence and sidetrack his political detractors and come out smelling like a rose; the question is: would he be able to deliver the goods on governance too? This question is crucial against the background of the non-continuation of the Special Category State status for Nagaland and other Northeastern states. And anyone can be sure that the current dispensation at the Centre today will not part with a single paisa without accountability and transparency. And, seeing that our own revenues are inadequate to even pay the salaries of the over-bulging state Government employment list, and reportedly increasing due to continuing back-door appointments, governance and development are already the casualties. Our Chief Minister would have to be very original and very creative to resolve this problem. Indeed, time have changed and how. But is our state Government, led by TR Zeliang, able to adapt to the fast-changing times and trends? The answer to this is exactly how posterity will judge and assess TR Zeliang, indeed his opposition-less and all-party DAN III Government. You will notice that after every year in power, assessments are made of the Government at the Centre and the states, not only by the media but more importantly by historians, economists and other social scientists however in Nagaland we haven’t seen any assessments of TR Zeliang’s one year in office. Sometimes, silence also speaks volumes. And this is a silence TR Zeliang and his opposition-less and all-party DAN III Government would have to break ~ sooner than later ~ because good governance ultimately is also a matter of sensitivity.
* Disclaimer. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and participants on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Nagaland Page.