No governance


Governance or the act of governing relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power or verify performance, management and leadership. It is understood that in an unstable strife ridden polity like ours, effective governance is a challenge. Governance as defined by international norms once in place equates halfway house to peace. In a critical analysis of prevailing authority and power of running institutions in our state, there is a manifest deficit in the relationship between the people and establishment. The right of governing is not property but trust bequeathed by masses that culminates in exemplary navigation of day to day delivery of services and peace. Harsh methods and incisive punishments rebound into anarchy followed on the dictum that governance is best which governs least. A glaring example is creating more chaos by imposing more restrictive regulations in traffic, creating more tiers of administration. Push more numbers of vehicles on broken roads with no signs or signals and free for all pandemonium by drivers completes the picture of anarchy. Law enforcers themselves set example by excessive use of escort forces for their own entourage and impose encumbrances to chaos. The list goes on. Bureaucracy kills efficiency and hampers decision making from corridors of power. As a citizen and consumer one would like to see one project started and finished. Works in communication sector, demise of water bodies, industries, healthcare have receded to primeval times. Result orientated schemes are rare. Indeed we are in a sad mess today. In case of a rainfall, electric, telephone, water supply lines get severed, transformers burn, craters in roads get bigger. Our state is dependent on commodities for survival to come from outside and the only artery of access to the outside world is blocked with landslides every monsoon. Governance over the years has made life and living a gruelling experience. It is within memory a description of life they lived revealing the comforts they enjoyed when small windows, thatched roofs, mud plaster was used, manual labour used spades to clear roads, and our hospitals coped with the quantum of patients load. Life style diseases were a minimum with little stress and unregulated affluence. Governance today bears down on people every form of stress from roads, debt, violence and insecurity. Clearly what is missing today in Nagaland is accountability, transparency, effectiveness and responsiveness in governance. Transparency disappears from the norms of administration as soon as clientelism ethos sets in. There is a culture of promoting relatives and friends into prominence and elite cadres. Money and political influence distorts taking defaulters to the book. There is also a total absence of effectiveness to produce results for actions taken to redress the needs of the society and responsiveness, wherein service is provided to all stakeholders within time frame. These are all missing. What about adherence to rule of law? The opposite to rule of law would be anarchy and the government qualifies to be ultra vires. Every successful government sets out a legal framework which includes both legislative and judiciary institutions and justice is seen to be done not only at the point of deliverance but right at the inception, when laws are made. Sadly this is not the case here. A major component of good governance is fiscal management, and this is again non-existent. Right to govern is not property but trust and the object is not glory of rulers but the happiness of common man. The prime objective for those who have authority is to ensure deepening democratic engagement at every level and follow the rules in top down bureaucracy that no one is above law and importantly no one can be punished by the State except for clear breach of law or convicted except as set forth by law so that as Aristotle said – law shall govern. We must understand that in a democracy people are supreme and every item in governing policy must benefit them and every item in resource allocations have to be aimed at them directly. Article 55-6 of the UN Charter makes a clear provision that all governments promote development and living standard of the people. In Nagaland, good governance has a special meaning for people who have suffered enormously for many decades.