Thursday, April 22, 2021

No change

We all know that political families, parties and dynasties have abused the “government of the people, by the people, for the people” definition ever since it was perceived. If the political elite of the modern world has abused anything more, it is democracy itself. “First families” is where the plague starts. But that is not where it ends. It ends in patronized monopoly over capital, finance, growth, and business and in many means – life itself. The state of Nagaland is a classic example – of a government that is neither “of the people” nor “for the people”. It’s only by or less “by the people”. Come to think of it, our State has been transformed into a complete plutocracy. Plutocracy defines a State, a society or a system where the wealthy, influential minority dominates the entire system – its institutions, functions and services. There are two facets of this plutocracy – political and economic and both these facets, this sort of a two-pronged ominous and odious shadow of darkness – has been obediently and gratifyingly inherited and passed on from one plutocratic regime to the next. Every single institution of significance – political, economic, cultural or religious – has been sentenced into the monopolistic inheritance of these changing plutocracies. The State Assembly, major organizations, Government’s commissions, police, etc. – each of these institutions changes its allegiance every five years – from one family of plutocracy to the next. They have never owed an allegiance to the people of the State – those for whom the system exists at least on paper. This is the primary reason why democracy and representative governance has failed to institutionalize here in comparison to certain other states in the country. Indeed it can be said that there is no democracy in the State. Sure, there are elections to elect a democratically elected government every five years. But we know how free and fair the general elections are here in our parts of the world. And that’s about it. That’s where it all starts, where it all ends. That has been the case since our statehood. Every institution of this unfortunate State reeks of political interference, bias, injustice and a never-ending race between officers and bureaucrats to please the families of the plutocracy. We had two traditional mainstream political parties in the State – both were somewhat centered around 2 families. The new political party that came to power recently in the State is also centred on a family. That is as simple as it is. These families have their own set of favourites – in businessmen, bureaucrats, contractors, lessees, police officers, Government employees, etc. (Even hoodlums – yes each political party has its own set of favourite and favoured hoodlums and criminals). When they come into power, in a process that is internally and externally rife with nepotism and despotism – they make the entire Government work for the chosen clique of favourites. They foist incompetent and inexperienced individuals to head the institutions of the State (even technical ones) as political favours to “loyal” individuals who constitute this loyal clique. Contracts to “loyal” contractors. Then there are extensions to retired employees and the manipulation of transfers. So on and so forth, literally never-ending. With regards to “economic plutocracy”, among others, we had witnessed demolition squads of municipal/town councils dismantling the habitats of the poor or the politically unaffiliated man while the “loyal” cronies and henchmen of the plutocratic families are cheered to build palatial structures from ill-gotten wealth. The archaic laws and regulations of building restrictions, business codes and trade regulations – are all meant to trample over the poor man. The “loyal” groups make merry. The point is our first step in moving towards true change is to realize and acknowledge that we are living in a total plutocracy – which has political as well as economic facets. Then only can we effectively move towards ending the monopolistic and manipulative hold of these plutocratic entities.