Saturday, February 27, 2021
Editorial

Empathy missing

It has been said that Nagaland is a poor state and depends entirely on funds from the Centre for managing its daily affairs. But are we truly a poor state? For more than a decade or so, we are noticing innumerable constructions all over the state. Particularly the twin cities of Dimapur and Kohima have seen an unprecedented boom in construction of palatial private residences and shopping complexes. The number of vehicles in our roads is increasing by lakhs annually. The land prices are soaring sky high. The value of one lakhs rupees has now been reduced to almost a thousand rupees. The property and land sales which people used to discuss just a decade back in lakhs are now discussed in crores! It is crazy to think that just a piece of land good enough to build a nice house with an attached lawn would cost nearly a crore! Where from is the money coming? In Dimapur, people have virtually gone berserk. There is construction activity everywhere. Palatial houses, huge shopping complexes, and dozens of hotels and guest houses. Nagas have developed a typical sheep mentality. If a sheep takes a particular mountain trail, the entire flock follows it regardless of the fact that the trail may lead to their ultimate doom! The point is that the construction of mansion like houses and spread of legal and illegal colonies, in the length and breadth of our cities, particularly in Dimapur and Kohima, do indeed rather precisely portray the fast emergence of a wealthy society. The marriage extravagance we are in habit of displaying truly reflects not only our immense spending capacity but also reveals the filthy pompous nature of ours. The fresh out of showrooms, sleek models of cars almost choking the flow of traffic on our roads, by no means is any indication of poverty. Yet we are so impoverished that we by and large have failed – except some praise worthy examples here and there – to effectively take care of our brethren-in-need. Have we really reached a stage where we cease to do and dispense good? The proliferation of orphanages and mushroom growth of NGOs claiming to serve the cause of victims of violence and other social causes apparently indicate that the needy are looked after rather well. However, only few social organizations working in the field of relief and rehabilitation seems to have good reputation. Rest all are part of a conflict enterprise; selling the miseries to earn few fast bucks. For a willing donor it has become almost an impossible task to distinguish between a genuine and a fake organization. The publicity budget and administrative expenses of some so-called social organizations far-exceed what they actually spend on the relief and rehabilitation activities. An administrative head of a so-called prominent social organization having great penchant for publicity doesn’t feel embarrassed to get him/her described as “honourable administrator”. ‘His Excellency’ mindset connotes the name-and-fame psyche. Do we really need such social organizations and orphanages? And we the general public also believe that donating few hundred once a year during Christmas or festivals suffice the needful. We claim to be Christians, so why do we not do exactly what we have been ordained. NGO culture, a western concept, is a very recent development. Before that who use to look after the downtrodden and the sufferers of any natural or manmade calamity? Wherever there is an organization working methodically there has to be a bureaucratic regime to carry out the functioning of that organization. Bureaucratic setup simply promoting bureaucratic mindsets in the end only is a self-defeating exercise. To do a good or to promote a social cause or for that matter a social reform, free-flowing movements are required and not the elephant sized bureaucracies. Till very recently in our society the Church used to be centre of a social movement. In case those doing well decide to help a needy or a family of a martyr here, will there be anybody still left without a helping hand? This is absolutely doable, provided we feel some empathy and concern for our brother-in-need.

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