Government’s Gift


So far apparently the Nagaland Government has been focusing mainly on the technicalities of ~ let’s say ~ the DGP issue. Simultaneously, the incumbent holding charge of the office of the DGP is also apparently focusing mainly on welfarism ~ which is inarguably direly needed particularly for our police personnel and their families ~ but he is alleged to lack the experience to meet “challenges and issues” of police administration and generally of routine tasks, for instance during “the conduct of the state Assembly elections in February 2018”, according to a senior Government official, quoted by news portal recently. However, the public is totally unaware of what happened during “the state Assembly elections in February 2018”, as both the Government and the incumbent has not made it public. Apparently in this “face-off” between the state Government and the incumbent, the latter’s supporters are ostensibly focusing only on the welfare measures he had undertaken ignoring his experience and expertise ~ or the lack of it ~ in police administration and routine tasks. In this impasse, unfortunately the state Government doesn’t seem to have examined the factors for the incumbent’s popularity amongst the larger section of police personnel and the public’s support thereof. Inarguably, our police personnel are probably the most neglected amongst Government employees ~ the working and living conditions of the lower levels of the police force are pathetic and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if instances of their human rights violations are amongst the highest in comparison to other Government employees. Police modernization, for which crores have been allocated by the Central Government, is mostly on paper ~ about which volumes need to be said and written. On top of all that, in the Police Department corruption is rampant in the form of back-door appointments and the infamous Pillai case to cite a couple of examples. There is such a flagrant systemic failure in our Police Department that demoralization to the lowest level has naturally set in. Under the circumstances, when someone pays even the scantest attention to the cries of police personnel weighed down by corruption and systemic failures, obviously s/he is valourised ~ to the point that the suffering personnel will turn a blind eye to all her/his other shortcomings. Besides, social media in the hands of both the “hero” and the victimized is a powerful combination, which the state Government is yet to fully comprehend. The state Government also doesn’t seem to understand that the Centre’s approval/disapproval means little to thoroughly disgusted, disgruntled and despairing personnel and their families comprising a large section of society. It must also not be mistaken that the issue is confined only to the DGP and police personnel ~ the larger issue is the disgust and disgruntlement of the public at the apathetic governance in the state. I suspect this is just the beginning and soon the state Government could face a sort of an “uprising” against its ineptitude in governance. Perhaps the public hasn’t been able to articulate it so far but its support to the incumbent further displays a general but deep-rooted anger and frustration at the collapse of institutional mores preceded by the crumbling down of the clearly-enunciated constitutional ethos and value-systems. Besides the political and economic elites’ blatant corruption, the collapse of institutional mores preceded by the crumbling down of the clearly-enunciated constitutional value-systems have also resulted in stagnant health and education delivery systems and structures, higher rates of unemployment, development-deficit in all human development indices and generally in an increasing widening gap between the privileged and under-privileged. Beneath the surface of the public’s support for the incumbent lies the multi-layered subterranean societal angst and fury at being short-changed by Government after Government in the state for decades. And yet, the state political leadership is unable to read the mood of the people, the state bureaucracy is blind to the writings on the wall and the state intelligentsia is unwilling to decode Nagaland’s aliments and speak out ~ as for the Church and NGOs ~ forget it. Under the circumstances, people look for heroes and grasp at straws ~ which seems to be is exactly what is happening today. The public needed an issue to unlock the floodgates of their disgruntlement and despondency at the sorry state of affairs and at our governmentally and developmentally-caged existence ~ and the state Government has generously gifted the perfect opportunity. But possibly in the name of the peace process, the public may be silenced once again.