Flawed system


VIP culture is booming relentlessly. As politics is becoming the domain of hard-nosed, glamour of power is displayed defiantly. Security covers, gun-brandishing men, convoy of classy vehicles having flashing red lights atop, and blowing sirens — the common citizen gets pushed to the wall. As traffic movement is being stopped or diverted for VIPs to pass, the man on the road is reduced to an involuntary slave who timidly follows the orders of commanding. The flagrant violation of rules by giving priority passage to VIPs has become a norm now. Using the defense of ‘security threat’, VIPs actually entitle themselves for bullying others in all ways. We can recall that in response to a petition seeking details about the misuse of the state machinery some years back, the Supreme Court of India remarked “the threat perception becomes a symbol of power” as VIPs flout rules and regulations of public conduct. Not only on roads, VIPs are turning new avatars of daunting regimes in every other sphere. They have a license to mock, disgrace, threaten and even slay. Their writ runs large everywhere. In their case, power flows not only from the barrel of gun, it exudes from those who are shielded by such guns. Nagaland is a queer example of everything. Even VIPs here are unique in their bizarre operation procedures! Their symbols of power are varied for they seek special treatment at the cost of taxed taxpayers of conflict. VIPs here have all “reasons” to travel with heavy intimidating escort vehicles and zoom past the other common travelers along the road. Even political workers, some of their henchmen, and even officials from judiciary and bureaucracy travel in big tinted cars escorted by police-guards blowing whistles and flaunting their guns through windows to frighten others. Traffic rules are not meant for them. They are for fools who travel without a helmet and are penalized for their unsafe ways of travel. Nobody has guts enough to catch hold of those who knock down pedestrians including minors and get away boldly; who hit and run and who bump upon others while whooshing on the roads with fingers on their triggers.
On a separate note, waiting for file in most offices in Nagaland, particularly the civil secretariat is an endless wait. Ask any commoner visiting a Government office for getting some work done, small or big, they will narrate tales of tortuous delay, deflection, and outright injustice. There is an urgent need for the Government to come out with an order (if not already there) instructing departments to ensure that no files get delayed or stays at a particularly table for more than three or four days. Such a diktat will ensure speedy disposal of works. However, even if the Government comes out with such an order (if not already out), there is the apprehension that like many Government circulars and orders, it will also be defeated by a crusted inefficiency and red tape in our administrative system. But leaving the apprehension aside for now, there is a need for the Government to at least wake up to this chronic disease in the system. Such an order will mean giving voice to the public outrage on red tape, and bureaucratic hassles, and will surely reduce the time of disposing cases. This is very much needed as people often complain of an endless tossing of files from one table to another and then to another. There is also the need for introduction of online tracking system of files at all levels of governance. People must be able to track their files and the notes written down on them from anywhere in the world. In fact there should be compulsory telephonic contacts with the staff concerned. This would save people from undue travel to offices, and the accompanied hassles. It would also reduce the footfall into the offices allowing the staff to work in a calm atmosphere. It will also have a larger effect on the overall life of the people. It will reduce the vehicles plying on roads, and also save families from lots of stress. Looked at from this bigger perspective, such an instruction appears very beneficial and must be implemented.