System rot


As proof of good governance, often Government authorities claimed that most public complaints or grievances received by the authority or departments, etc have been disposed off. But this is not generally true. Most of the issues are not addressed by the concerned departments, may be for their fund-shortage or apathy. Evidently, the word ‘disposal’ of grievances simply connotes receipt of complaints and their transmission to the concerned departments for the needful, without monitoring their follow up action in real practice. In fact, governance remains, in general, elusive, perhaps for the decade-old conflict, misplaced State priorities, decelerating institutions, diminishing public faith, endemic corruption and the like, system rots, etc. For palpable breach in the social contract, the State structures are unresponsive to public urgencies. Reality is that governance has taken a back seat to security here. The major thrust had been on militancy, and the like pressing problems. Eventually, the rule of law is invisible. The ban on the polythene and the massive territorial encroachments are self-explanatory. Public spaces, roads, lanes, by-lanes, pavements, river and stream-beds and even historical sites, are recklessly occupied and misused by vendors, grocers, retailers, wholesalers and others. While they hold no regard to the ethical and moral values, the State machinery is defunct to stop it either. The people are naturally subjected to the recurring landslides, floods and traffic jams, there and everywhere, indicating as if ‘the state is not in place’. One wonders: would it ever end and who to stop it, civic bodies like DMC, KMC or police or any other State department? The arable land is fast diminishing due to road widening and constructions. Neither protective nor alternative measures are operational, which tends to marginalize the State’s self-sufficiency on the one hand and enhance its dependence on imports. Similarly, the traditional Naga crafts, handloom, wood carving, shawl and weaving, etc, are precipitously perishing for changing market forces and the State’s failure to translate their protective ordinances into real practice. Thousands of customary artisans and crafts men are turning jobless for what theorists perceive as the ‘misgoverned’ or ‘failing’ if not the ‘failed’ State. Would the present Government do something special for their enduring sustenance, since it has already taken a number of policy decisions for purported posterity? The level of public-services delivery is poor, if not absent. The city roads are pathetic due to the wholesome drains, dents and ditches. Sure occasionally repair and patch works are done in some major junctions, but this does not even last a month. Power cuts continue unabated. The infrastructure of the Power Department is too weak to resist ordinary rains, downpours is too distant. The market dynamics exhibits ailments. The market regulations being virtually in-operational, the commodity prices are not determined by normal supply-demand factor but rather by the whims and wishes of the stockists. The oft-recurring National and State high-way blockades due to landslides, particularly during monsoon, and artificially-created scarcity of the commodities does the rest. Poor quality goods are sold at high prices and the adulteration level in various commodities is on the steep rise for institutional apathy. No regular checks are in place to weed out spurious medicines, eatables, and drinks from the market. The checking squads are rarely seen during the year, leaving thereby the vendees at the mercy of the vendors. Financial accountability and system transparency is deficient. We are one among the top most corrupt Indian states. The earlier governments showed no serious interest to reduce its extent in recruitments, appointments, constructions, industries, subsidies and other service sectors. The earlier and recent backdoor appointment scams speak volumes about the unscrupulous state of affairs in Nagaland. Unquestionably, governance is a victim of the unresolved Naga issue and its spill over on the institutional functioning. It generated system rots over the decades, which the earlier governments cared least for the vote bank politics and the Centre’s close-mouthed nod to it for larger national interests. Will the present Government do something about this and streamline the system? Will the present Government undo the system rots or leave it for the future governments to account for?