Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Oppositionless government: Irresponsible

The term ‘Democracy’ is defined as “the government of the people for the people and by the people”. This is the widely accepted definition coined by Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of America. In other words, it is the government which belongs to the people, for the welfare of the people and run by the people themselves. Therefore Democracy is all out and in for the people’s welfare and nothing of self/selves. In a democratically elected house, there are normally two benches. The treasury (ruling) bench and the opposition bench. The elected members of political party/parties which failed to reach the magic number are supposed to sit in opposition without any hesitation unless some of them are invited by the winning party to cover the risk factor after an election. Do we think the opposition bench has no role to play or purposeless? Never, the role of opposition is very, very important if not equally important. It is just because of opposition bench, the treasury bench does not turn autocratic from being democratic. When an effective opposition is present in a house of parliamentary democracy, it elevates the performance of the government in ruling and thereby the people also feel more secured and safe. A society cannot grow further without the present of constructive critics. Today, unlike the ’60s and ’70s a leader is also expected to be a well informed person who is supposed to know the system and the role he/she can play or should play. On the other hand, a popularly elected Government should also have due regards to the opposition members and allocate their due privileges and perks as the members are also elected with the same process of election, representing certain section of people who are citizens of the state with the same necessities and needs. In politics we may sideline an individual, but the people amass in the constituency do not deserve to be deprived of their due shares under a popular Government. Going by the way how our members are elected, we could roughly assume that a state assembly seat is no more a popular seat but a commercialized seat which is bought by money power and thereafter money making is the main concern of the Members pushing aside the people’s welfare inspite of being a people’s government. Also, very often people say, ‘until and unless the candidate could fully recover the electioneering expenses, he/she would not bring development’. I think this is a very irresponsible statement on the part of the people who carelessly justify the practice of purported leaders. If that is the real matter of accounting then it is a commercialized seat which does not deserve respect from the people. To be a leader is to prepare for sacrifice but not for commercial gain and self aggrandizement. In our age old society the rich and well-to-do persons threw feast to all but expect nothing in return or recover anything from the community for which they were respected and occupied a genuinely dignified status in the society.
Also in Nagaland, launching a new political party has seen nothing to do with reformation or radicalization of the system, but it is only a matter of pouring the same old wine into a new bottle. There is a saying that goes, “If you cannot defeat a system join the system”. Today no one dares to speak against the system but we have found ourselves to be in a situation where we have all joined the system as if it is a naturally given system and unable to differentiate what the right is and the wrong is. However, all Naga people cannot be fooled as there is a system or so to say a parliamentary convention hanging above our heads and for which the said members should gracefully accept as the responsibility at these times for the sake of our people . Therefore elected members, other than ruling alliance, not willing to sit in opposition bench is really very irresponsible and deviating from the age old tradition and convention in a parliamentary democracy. It is rather funny that If you give your letter of support to the government and waiting for the reply, who the hell on earth will say no, please oppose me?
There are certain issues where opposition members have to extend its helping hands and hearts for the sake of common cause. But if, taking Naga Solution as your ground for not being able to sit in official opposition bench, is rather a lie than a fact, and just to fool the Naga common mass. The Naga solution is beyond your chapter and you will be doing good only when you are not a hurdle but a facilitator.
Last but not the least is that, when the elected members other than ruling alliance are able to come together and form a strong opposition front for the sake of Naga people and give constructive opposition to the newly formed government then the Naga people will be very happy and the norm of democracy will be restored. If not, you are irresponsible and can be better termed, ‘those boarded for Tarshish to avert Mission Nineveh’.
Kepe Chüsi, Kohima.