Thursday, February 22, 2024

Politics and Economics

Besesayo Kezo, IPS, 
Retd. DGP 

Politics and economics each play an integral role in the fate of a nation. While politics provides guidance and direction, economics sustains citizens’ prosperity and shares the benefits of political success. It is imperative for professionals to operate within their respective fields without overlapping and to support one another for the greater good of citizens. The central principle of politics should be to safeguard the rights of citizens, while economics should provide sustenance and enable citizens to thrive in their respective areas of operation.
Politicians and business people must maintain ethical conduct in their respective areas of influence and avoid interfering in each other’s affairs. This approach can help create a just, healthy and prosperous society. However, the problem arises when politicians mix politics with the business of making money. In such cases, they often need large sums of money to win elections. At the same time, startups require political support to do business, creating a situation where educated and talented people remain unemployed, as they need political power and connections to succeed in their respective fields.
In a democracy, it is essential to have a strong opposition in the Parliament or Assembly to prioritize citizens’ welfare. However, some successful politicians become electoral autocrats and rule like dictators by suppressing the opposition. We have witnessed in the Nagaland State Assembly where the ruling party led the State without opposition, reducing the political opposition to a ridiculous organization. Such actions can undermine the democratic process and hijack the voters’ wishes.
It is crucial to investigate the reasons behind the lack of development in Nagaland, a notorious State for corruption. Despite this, no one has been punished or proven guilty. Politicians and business people may collaborate to ensure mutual success, resulting in an evil nexus. It is worth considering whether this has benefited the welfare of the citizens and the State or not. The State’s properties are in a state of disrepair, while private properties are increasing without any visible sources of income. Government projects also require further explanation. Additionally, the Government of India is not following the CAG reports. Therefore, it is vital to identify the key factors that have led to this situation in Nagaland.
Nagas are exempt from paying income tax but the illegal payments made to criminal organizations, directly or indirectly, harm the economy. They are causing significant damage to small businesses and daily wage earners. Cartels have complete control over the supply of essential commodities like vegetables, eggs, chicken, fish, meat and building construction materials. They are hiking up the prices exorbitantly without any justifiable reasons. If any investigative journalist or business person were to compare the prices of these articles in Dimapur with those of the rates prevailing in the adjacent areas of Assam, they would be shocked and ask why. However, this situation wouldn’t surprise the Nagaland Government for inexplicable reasons.
The Nagaland Government is known for holding several consultative meetings with civil organizations to discuss complex issues. However, whether the Government will implement the resolutions agreed upon during these meetings remains to be seen, raising a valid concern – if the Government is unwilling to accept and act on the resolutions, why hold these meetings in the first place? Despite being a solid Government with no opposition, it is essential to consider whether this has hindered rather than empowered the Government. Appearances can be misleading, after all.
The Government needs to take action and implement policies on these matters, as a Government without action is essentially ineffective. With one of the most experienced politicians of the Northeast leading the Government, the BJP and the people of Nagaland expect a functioning and effective Government that prioritizes the well-being of all citizens.