Friday, June 18, 2021
Editorial

Surmises

How many can play musical chair, merry-go-round and see-saw simultaneously? Very few. In Nagaland, that honour goes to our political parties and politicos. Except for a few ideologically faithful notables, most have floated and flittered from party to party like bees from flower to flower and moths from light-bulbs to tube-lights. To be sure, they are not the only ones in India ~ this floating and flitting seems to be a very “Indian” virus, rife in Nagaland too. So, playing musical chair, merry-go-round and see-saw simultaneously prevents political parties and politicos from looking at the larger and wider range of realities outside the playground. Hence, we may surmise that this probably is a reason for our political parties and politicos’ disregard, indifference and silence on the existence of large sections of citizens such as women, children, the disabled and the LGBTQ community in Nagaland. Till date, we have never heard a single of our political parties and politicos’ stand on these vulnerable sections. Yes, there has been cursory mention of “women development” ~ perhaps a few words on the Disabled too ~ in election manifestoes but nothing from the ideological perspectives. Political parties and politicos’ ideologies are crucial because that would determine policy making on these sections. So, if our political parties and politicos are conservative, reactionary, bigoted, blinkered, prejudiced and intolerant then these historically marginalized therefore vulnerable sections would remain invisible to our political class and that would reflect on policy (non-)making. The opposite would also hold true. Seeing that so far only a few constitutionally-mandated provisions, rights and schemes are implemented in Nagaland for these sections ~ and that too after much pleading and plodding by concerned non-governmental collectives and the State Disability Commission ~ our political parties and politicos don’t seem to have done any innovative and ingenious policy making on these vulnerable sections in our State. But then, they could have done some ground-breaking policy making to alleviate the lot of these sections but have filed it as “State Secret” and kept it under wraps ~ for reasons best known only to political parties, politicos and their Governments. On the other hand, being a patriarchal and a “Christian State” may have tied the hands of our political parties, politicos and their Governments. Thus probably we can also safely surmise that our political parties, politicos and their Governments have remained caged inside our cultural and religious biases and chauvinism even after almost 58 years of Statehood under the Indian Constitution. Sad, because while a good chunk of the globe has fast-forwarded into the 21st century, our political parties, politicos and their Governments have remained tucked inside their comfort zones of the misbegotten past beliefs, biases and prejudices. So we really don’t know our political parties, politicos and their Governments’ policies on the physical, mental, psychological, social, economic and political well-being of women, children, the disabled and the LGBTQ community. It is one thing to implement the Union Government’s directives on these sections, farmers, students and all other sections but surely our State can also legislate inclusive and forward-looking policies and implement programmes and projects specifically suitable for these vulnerable sections in our unique environment? Increased disparities, discriminations, injustice, under-development, poverty, bigotry, fundamentalism, crimes, etc., and now the pandemic underscore the need for accelerated governance activism ~ as opposed to the traditional law and order, revenue-collection and welfare governance. Are our political parties, politicos and their Governments up to the task of shifting gears and getting into the governance activism mode? Or, are they waiting for Green Signals from the Capital? Against the background of the pin-drop silence of our political parties, politicos and their Governments vis-à-vis crimes against women and children ~ and, indubitably against the Disabled and the LBGTQ community in Nagaland ~ we can further surmise that these vulnerable sections do not seem to exist in the world of our political class. Even women’s wings of our political parties remain silent on these crimes in Nagaland ~ unless the victim(s) are their own. So, what and who do our political parties, politicos and their Governments actually stand for? The main objective of the existence of political parties is for public benefit. Now, is cultism and the absence of inner party democracy within these parties the reason for their distaste for, and distance from, activism? Political parties, politicos and their Governments being beholden to Big Brothers for their survival is injurious to the people’s survival. Time for social auditing of our political parties.

error: