Friday, January 22, 2021

No governance

The concept of governance is not new. However it means different things to different people. The actual meaning of the concept depends on the level of governance. We are talking about the goals to be achieved and the approach being followed. Exercising power and decision-making for a group of people is called governance. It happens everywhere – from urban centers to rural villages – and the well-being of a community depends on the choices made by people who are granted this authority. Good governance is a relatively new term that is often used to describe the desired objective of a nation-state’s political development. The principles of good governance, however, are not new. Good governance is, in short, anti-corruption where authority and its institutions are accountable, effective and efficient, participatory, transparent, responsive, consensus-oriented, and equitable. These are the major characteristics of good governance as outlined by the United Nations. For good governance to exist in both theory and practice, citizens must be empowered to participate in meaningful ways in decision-making processes. They have a right to information and to access. Although widespread accessibility remains a barrier for many countries, one of those ways is through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications such as Internet e-governance, which has emerged as a viable means to address development issues and challenges. Because citizens find empowerment through access to information in the developed world today but in our state it implies something else. One of the basic causes of conflict in our society is mis-governance, utterly corrupt, impotent and non-performing governments for the last many decades. It is responsible for the persisting tragedy. It is the total failure in all parameters of governance in the state, primarily basic policing to prevent crimes. Instead of effective policing to prevent violent crimes, the blame was conveniently shifted to the unresolved Naga issue. The crises of governance largely arise from the inability of the state to govern, in contrast to rule, which enfeebles their ability to ensure human security but strengthens inhumane governance. Many states have serious governance issues; crime, violence and terror are increasingly showing their ugly heads; the nexus between ‘mafia’ and politicians, low-level government staff and even the general public, makes ‘mafia’ powerful. The ‘mafia’ is having a field day. Naturally, governance is at a record low level. In our state, despite the mentioned problems we have some other problems also like befooling our educated youth in the name of employment or some other government facilities, like bank loans, self employment schemes, fourth grade jobs, and degrading educational system, ailing health services, nepotism and favoritism, etc. To appreciate what is going on in the state one should understand the dynamics of conflict and the basic tenets of good policing. Many observers believe today that the solution to the decades old problem may lie in self-governance. Mere promises and slogans won’t do when situation has come to such a pass. Drastic action is needed. A sincere and devoted fight against the menace of corruption is always welcome but it should be directed against top brass in bureaucracy. A number of developmental works envisaged bettering the plight of the people but most projects are axed before they could really take off and those that do takes off fails to see completion. The need is for a government to be able to regulate itself via laws, regulations and policies, which encompass well defined rights and duties, mechanisms for their enforcement and impartial settlement of disputes. There should be predictability in implementation of government policies. It is time the government entrust key responsibilities at all key positions to clean officers and non-corrupt ministers, and take positive steps towards eradication of nepotism and favoritism. In this regard example must be set by punishing the corrupt officers. The government must be responsive towards the grievances and the day to day problems of the people of state. In fact the concept of governance has over the years gained momentum and acquired a wider meaning. Apart from being an instrument of public affairs management or a gauge of political development, governance has today become a useful mechanism to enhance the legitimacy of the public realm.