Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Good governance

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio recently stressed on meritocracy and use of technology to combat governance challenges in the state. Speaking at the silver jubilee celebration of the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organization (ENPO) at Tobu town on February 24, the chief minister also stressed on peace in the state for growth and development of Nagaland. Now if Rio’s intent on good governance and progress of the state is genuine, and he acts on its, perhaps good days await us. We understand that like all of us, Rio has many desires, wishes and hopes to fulfill his dreams, and obviously his wish list like any reasonable human being keeps on changing and updating with turn of events. Particularly, this tenure in the top chair after his brief sojourn in New Delhi, his priorities, wishes and hopes may be different than what would have been in his earlier tenures. He has a political career to keep in shape against all odds; a state to be looked after well under the most pressing situations; and his people to be provided with just and genuine administration in an atmosphere of considerable levels of corruption and nepotism. But avoiding violence of any kind and bringing peace cannot be achieved merely by making a statement; instead it requires a multi pronged strategy of considerate administrative reforms, justice and equality in every aspect of governance. It is constitutional obligation and moral duty of the head of the government to create conducive atmosphere of peace and amity, so that violence is kept out. Today we are in a state of confusion, which has put many imprints on administrative setup of the state, both adverse and introspective. Compassion towards common people seems to be a far cry and justice appears eluding almost every area of governance. Indeed no one can challenge the intentions of the chief minister. Sadly while his wishes can be genuine, his system seems to be failing him. His instruments of governance are plagued with hypocrisy, and sycophancy. His inability to move freely (perhaps because of security constraints) and contact his people personally makes the situation much worse for him. Genuine public and basic problems faced by them don’t subsist and exist in Kohima and Dimapur alone, but even if he goes to some other district, it is by chopper only these days. However, reality can be trailed in lanes and by-lanes of far flung towns and villages, hardly connected by motorable road. A mere visit by the chief minister in disguise (strictly in cover) to any public place like bus stands and government hospitals within the state will give him the first hand feel of actual state of affairs, enabling him to establish factual standing of gap between facts and the situation of fabricated myths regarding governance. People are to be owned not alienated, and provided with best possible amenities within the existing means and resources. No magic wand can keep the violence at bay but surely addressing people’s sufferings and their genuine demands will help in restoring peace and tranquility. On dealing with corruption and nepotism, many political dispensations in this state had earlier made long, but never lasting statements, under the influence of political euphoria. But all, including Rio, had so far failed to tame the monster of corruption, and nepotism remains unchecked. All have made corruption to flourish as an industry and nepotism to grow for their political survival. If it won’t amount to exaggeration, their main instrument of governance was corruption and nepotism. Governments in recent past tried their best to jump on the bandwagon of anti-corruption but failed miserably as their own political arrangement were severely plagued with the virus of corruption. Inability to contain ugly elements of dishonesty and many other political compulsions made them eat the humble pie in the darkness of ambiguity. Today corruption has engulfed not only the organization of governance and administration but the whole society of ours is corrupt in one way or the other. Indeed time only time will tell how far the CM can take his political system and administrative structure on his mission on meritocracy and good governance. However, if his statement was made in good faith and with good intentions, then we should all stand with him and wish him luck for success.