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Elections are not far off, what about Corruption?

Nagaland News

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI, JUNE 13: In 2013 after the Nagaland Assembly elections were held and the NPF had won convincingly further marginalising the Congress, a local daily claimed a survey conducted among its readers revealed that a whopping 98% believed elections were ‘not free and fair’.
Another newspaper wrote: “democracy was replaced by money-cracy, muscle-cracy, gun-cracy
and proxy voters”. These observations in no way made any comment on the conduct of the Election Commission, but these were definitely a sad commentary on how the voters and the real masters of the election process conducted themselves.
We are almost into another election season and so the reference to the fungus of corruption makes sense. No one is more nervous around you than the ‘elected MLA’.
Also nervous and worried are those who contested and lost last time but think they deserve a chance to ‘serve’ the people post 2023 polls. How will they manage the expenses?
In the last 10 years, corruption has certainly not vanished from Nagaland ~ with the BJP or irrespective of the BJP.
“Na khaunga na khane doonga (Neither I will be corrupt, nor we will allow others to be corrupt)”, sounds pretty good. More so when the statement or slogan comes from the country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Of course, with regard to general corruption and in high places, he has handled things well at the national level.
The fact that the know-all intellectuals, who often played different roles in the corridors of power in the past are still not happy, suggest the Government of the day is successful to a large extent in putting the “natural phenomenon at check”.
When will Modi go? The real refrain is: Oh God, give us back our Congress and some of those socialists and perhaps regional chieftains and communists’ days.
We do not mind Lalu Prasad days! India was flourishing na; and he is secular!
But when it comes to Nagaland and Meghalaya, the issues are different. In Meghalaya, the BJP is faced with a peculiar predicament. Well, corruption has been there, but it is also true that two BJP legislators were part of the Conrad Sangma-led regime and are still with him.
Thus, one leader confessed: “Raising the issues of corruption against Conrad Sangma’s Government on its own by the BJP leaders may not help the saffron outfit in Meghalaya in the long run. We have to do it in a discreet and diplomatic manner”.
One Meghalaya leader has been particularly vocal against Conrad.
But these two States ~ Nagaland and Meghalaya ~ have altogether different sets of priorities and political issues.
In Nagaland things are still messy vis-à-vis insurgency and peace talks; in Meghalaya things are more grounded to the usual problems of corruption, nepotism and defection and intra-party differences.
But one thing is certain and common ~ the neta-babu raj in these States (as also other States) cannot do away with corruption.
There are different names too ~ taxation and extortion ~ more often two sides of the same coin.
Talk to the nervous legislator in your area. Most likely he is not sure whether he will get the ticket. Preferably as on today (June 13-14), he would prefer the NDPP ticket and that too with 100% blessing from Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
Poor fellow (our Chief Minister) has to handle friends, enemies and ex-friends-turned-enemies-turned neo friends.
Then at the end of all these, there is the newly floated RPP which says Nagaland has experienced so much corruption! Two plus two may be four, maybe 22 and may be something else ~ normal calculators cannot compute.
There is a twist in the entire tale. On this day, June 13, 2022, Rahul Gandhi was questioned by ED for some financial defalcation vis-à-vis the old newspaper National Herald run during pre-Independence days with all nationalistic fervour.
If anybody would hate word corruption, it is the Congress. Rahul’s 2019 sloganeering against PM Narendra Modi on Rafale fighter jets boomeranged, but the same Indians had punished Congress in 2014 for coalgate, 2G telecom scam, corruption in conducting the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and so on.
Earlier, his father Rajiv Gandhi was dethroned due to Bofors.
Only the other day in BJP headquarters ~ one overheard ~ “In Nagaland, we have so many sporting events and mega shows these days”. The gentleman was smiling a bit.
There are other twists. In States where tribal norms of life flourished, corruption is also seen at times as something ‘imported from India’.
Anything bad in any society or a family inevitably gets ‘imported’. In mainstream India, mothers-in-law would easily blame their daughters-in-law for everything.
Maybe a few decades back, in the Northeast people never kept their doors under lock and key.
But the menace of corruption has survived and is thriving now, again for decades!
Can people be really corrupted if they do not want to be?

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