Benevolence versus Malevolence

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The letter vide D.O. No. G-02/1-00/REB dated June 16, 2020 of the Honorable Governor of Nagaland addressed to the Honorable Chief Minister of Nagaland which is in the public domain now is the biggest eyeopener during the decade. The letter is the epitome of benevolence and the existing governance in Nagaland is the very malevolence. Today’s governance in Nagaland is the malevolent in letter and spirit. The two nouns are the two sides of a coin and yet are completely contrary to each other. Such a bold letter should not have become necessarily an eyeopener for the fact that most of what the Honorable Governor has highlighted about the mis-governance are the common items of the food that the citizens of Nagaland in particular do consume it everyday and yet we have become immune to the wrong system which we have accepted as our culture and our skin has grown much thicker losing its sensitivity lest someone gives the pinprick.

Whereas, it does mean that there were no misuse of public funds and other corrupt activities in Nagaland during the 70s and 80s. There were corruptions but not to the extent of dismantling the system of governance. Whereas, some 17 years ago, the elected authority began to allow itself to be diluted whereby the system of governance was transformed into degeneration and under which the people of Nagaland have accepted the haywire as a way of life. The law of the land was rendered to blindness, to toothless and mute. Thus, the law failed to see and identify what is right and what is wrong. The toothless law could not bite the wrong doers. The Rules of Executive Business, the Service Rules and the Anti-Corruption laws were arrested and imprisoned. Under such a system it became futile for any altruist to make noise against what has been going seriously wrong. Under such situation there has been competition amongst the exploiters, both the politicians and bureaucrats alike barring countable God fearing few, in taking undue advantage of the lawlessness. There have been corporate trends of exploitation and corruption. In the complete absence of reprisal against the corrupt, there had been certain DDO who went to the extent of depositing the development funds for his/her Department against his/her personal Account No. in the Bank, and yet there was no law against such practice. The flouting of rules and broad daylight robberies are considered normal and acceptable. Ultimately, Nagaland has become the safest haven in India for the corrupt people.

Look at the deterioration of ground situation as these few latest instances are indicative of how the civil administrative authorities of today have placed the welfare of the public in shambles. Firstly, the Town Council of a town, fixed the rate of pork at Rs.270/- per kg. Meanwhile, the Town Council members noticed that certain butcher sold the pork flouting the fixed rate by charging higher rate taking the advantage of the ongoing lockdown. Eventually the Council members brought it to the notice of the very responsible administrative head asking for disciplinary action against the violator of the rule. To the surprise of the Council members, the officer helplessly said that he cannot prevail saying if the buyer of the meat can dole out Rs.300/- or Rs.1000/- per kg as the buyer wants to eat it. Secondly, a Sub-divisional head reportedly damaged some of his own chamber furniture and thrown away his files in his spirited zeal exhibiting that he is free to do anything in his office being the boss. Thirdly, the land and water source disputes were amicably settled between two neighbor Villages in a District several years ago. Of late, certain miscreants from a Village violated the agreement to which the other party retaliated. The authority of the Village to which the culprits belonged to, urged the District administration to book the culprits since they acted on their own without the knowledge of the Village. The District administrative authority remains totally indifferent and insensitive. Now, the aggrieved party has snapped power supply to the culprits’ Village and the road between them is blocked. The District administration most possibly desires to witness bloodshed. Fourthly, though rectified already under compulsion, the service regularization of the 27 contingency medical Doctors by the HFW Department was a stark evidence of how the State of Nagaland is run today. That very decision of the Govt. was a brazen violation of the standing directive of the Court that such practice of recruitment was discontinued except through formal recruitment system in Nagaland. One can go on.

The above instances are the specimen of how the field officers are dispensing their duties today in Nagaland. Barring those who dedicatedly sacrifice their best for the welfare of the people, the rest in every sphere are for the individual self at the cost of the State. Their philosophy is to be served and not to serve. The honest few are totally demoralized as they are all considered as obsolete. The rest consider the common man in Nagaland to be the lesser human being and therefore their welfares are immaterial. Those who possess this mentality remain namesake wherever they are posted and they are the virus licking Nagaland dry and lockdown the developments. Despite, only such people are calling shots and reckoned upon.

In the letter of the Hon’ble Governor, nothing was exaggerated and probably that was the tip of the iceberg. The moral of the letter is that the PDA has virtually failed to rule the State of Nagaland though legitimately mandated. The letter, whether one likes or does not like it, has deeply dented the credibility of the ministry. It is indeed a bitter pill which is the right tablet so prescribed for Nagaland to swallow. Now, when PDA fails to rule under the weight of corruption, will there be a better alternative by which the welfare of the citizens of Nagaland can be salvaged? To me I do not see any better alternative which is trustworthy. We are now therefore sandwiched between the devil and the deep sea. However, I believe God has the answers.

Nevertheless, pointing finger at one or the other alone will never be the answer to the question of how we bring about replenishment to the governance in the State of Nagaland. The need of the hour is reformation of Nagaland. Nagaland is desperately in need of overhauling. Under any circumstance, we have to rebuild the beautiful Nagaland. And rebuilding Nagaland is neither anti-national nor anti-party nor anti-tribal. Rebuilding Nagaland is not the element of prejudice or malice. Rather rebuilding Nagaland is for our own interest and for our posterity irrespective of belonging to different political parties, to different tribes and to different regions. Rebuilding Nagaland has to be collective with transparency, with accountability and with confidence in one accord. Of all, in the fear of the Living God Nagaland can be repaired.

Nagaland cannot afford to remain hesitant to repair the broken walls. Yet, in repairing the fallen walls of Nagaland there will be no dearth of challenges and opposition as it will be a direct confrontation between the benevolence versus malevolence. The formidable anti-change will be from the malevolent Samballat, Tobiah and Geshem who may like to retain the status quo, and yet, we cannot afford to consider such to be a deterrent. In fact, the change we are talking about is in the interest of those anti-change people too.

Today, the opportunity for rebuilding Nagaland has come. I heartily congratulate the Hon’ble Governor of Nagaland for setting aside his personal comfort as secondary and taking that much trouble with the intent to bring about reformative measures into Nagaland for the sake of justice and equality for the people of Nagaland. The intervention is momentous and exemplary. I fully trust in the integrity of the Hon’ble Governor, and I believe he is passionate about redressal for the sufferings common man in Nagaland. If at all we mean by what we have been talking about change and reformation in the State of Nagaland at home, in Church and in political and social platforms, there cannot be greater opportunity than now. The fact is that what matters is the leadership, when the captain of the ship is capable, he will stir the ship to land at the next port safely. In the event of the citizens of Nagaland failing to appreciate and lend the requisite cooperation to the benevolent Governor, we will be the looser and not the Governor. Believers! Pray to God of the Nagas for positive changes in our land. Pray for renewal of Nagaland for Christ.

Z Lohe

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