The vast majority of Nagas are literate, but woefully uneducated; for we can read and write, but fail to comprehend the principles underlying the concepts we read and write about. This is especially true regarding the principles, concepts and laws which are necessary for every modern, progressive, welfare democracy. We seek the benefits of development, but refuse to obey the laws which sustain it.
This has been never been more obvious than in the issue of our Honourable Governor’s last two directions to the State Government; namely (a) requiring all government employees to submit names of their family members who are active in our multiple “Freedom” fighting factions (b) requiring the State Government to take steps against all government employees who write “seditious” and “subversive” posts on social media, with a certain Veterinary Doctor being named as a prime example. I have come across a WhatsApp message, apparently from this doctor, appealing to all Sumi Organisations to come to his aid, so, before tribal sentiment overshadows the law, leaving the Sumi Tribe with egg on our faces, I feel duty bound to explain our Governor’s actions with reference to the law.
The Governor of Nagaland, under Article 371A, 1(b) of the Constitution of India, has the ultimate authority in all matters regarding Law and Order.
So, when the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, which expressly binds all Government Employees, both of the Central and State Governments, clearly states in Section 5(2) :- “It shall be the duty of every member of the service to endeavour to prevent any member of his family from taking part in or subscribing in aid of or assisting in any other manner, any movement of, activity which is, or tends directly or indirectly to be subversive of the Government as by law established, and where a member of the service is unable to prevent member of his family from taking part in or subscribing in aid of, in any other manner any such movement of activity, he shall make a report to that effect to the Government.” So, in effect, Mr. R. N. Ravi, our Honourable Governor, by requiring government employees to submit the names of relatives in underground factions, is only asking you to do what you are duty-bound to do, voluntarily, under the terms of your service.
Furthermore, Section 7 of the A.I.S.R. states :- “No Member of the service shall, in any radio broadcast or communication over any public media or in any document published anonymously, pseudonymously or in his own name or in the name of any other person or in any communication to the press or in any public utterance, make any statement of fact or opinion,-i Which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the Central Government or a State Government;” The current policy of the Government of India with regard to the Indo-Naga Issue stands at “No independence, sovereignty or territorial integration”. Mr. Ravi does not seek to stamp out dissent, for the people of Nagaland and the rest of India are free to air their opinion on this issue; but all government employees are forbidden to even state facts, on this issue, leave alone opinions, in public platforms. This is not something that Mr. Ravi has made up, but has been the law, since 1968;
Whether the government will find the veterinary doctor’s social media posts “seditious” or “subversive”, which both imply the overthrowing of a duly established government, remains to be seen, but there is no escaping the fact that he is in gross violation of the Service Rules. There is a world of difference between the two, for being found guilty under the former two could lead to a jail sentence whereas the latter could lead to a “mere” dismissal from service.
I will not speculate as to the ultimate outcome of the government investigation into the matter, but my question to all government servants who find themselves in the same boat is, “Were you forced to accept government employment?” No, you eagerly sought out government employment, you prayed for it, you used all means, legal and illegal, to obtain it. And by accepting it, you have given up certain rights which ordinary citizens enjoy. You have consciously and voluntarily bound yourself to the rules of government employment, in exchange for a steady income, assured promotions, free health care and accommodation and guaranteed pensions, among many other perks of office. You enjoy the perks of office and use your positions to lord it over ignorant villagers.
So, don’t play the victim card when you are found in violation of the rules you voluntarily put yourself under. Many descriptions come to mind when I think of Naga government employees who openly insult and denigrate India and Indians, most prominent being “dogs that bite the hand that feeds them”, “ingrates” and “ungrateful wretches”, but they are best described in the Hindi/Urdu words, “Namak Haraams.”
Kahuto Chishi Sumi
Akukau (G.B.) Hevishe Village,
Khaghaboto Range, Dimapur
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