Sunday, July 14, 2024

The discord within

There is a strange yet intriguing dichotomy inherent in the nature of our people. To an observer’s eye the paradoxical nature seems baffling many a time. Take a look at our respected teachers. Most of them don’t attend classes for weeks while there are those who keep proxy teachers for years. But at the end of the month, if their salary is late even by a week they start demanding it for whatsoever modicum of work they have done. Coming to our academicians, they will speak volumes about following the American system of education but when it comes to classroom lectures they can’t even tolerate a new idea or methodology of solving a problem. How will potential researchers come up if the pedagogues nip them at the bud itself! The degree colleges of our state are no less. Each year they will promise to work for academic excellence, but what it turns out in the end is bureaucratic excellence. One college starts and the others follow the lead and join the bandwagon! Ministers, media, the show biz and on the other hand the academic machinery running haywire, with no one to attend to the pupils in the classroom. Nowadays, our education system has become more of a show biz and a ‘degree provider’ rather than imparting education in its real sense and improvising on work ethics. There’s more to the dichotomy than only this! Every Nagas are concerned about beautification and cleanliness. What one doesn’t understand is that despite all the concerns, why do we have garbage littered around the city and why do we figure in one the dirtiest city in the country. How many times have we come across piles of garbage on the roadside and people emptying their bin in the streets on top of a heap of already rotting garbage? Empty beer tins and liquor bottles with variety of plastic waste and leftover eatables gave a wretched look to our cities/towns. Or go to a public park. One will be greeted with liquor bottles and leftover eatables everywhere. Each year we demand airplane runway like wider and better roads. But what’s the fun? Even if the government to some extent is fulfilling its promises of providing a better road network, what are we doing in return? No sooner a road is made, it is encroached with a line of shops or other constructions. As if this wasn’t enough, then huge bottomed transformers are put at an unsuited location defacing and squeezing the roads all the more. We are the people, who sermonize about the hazards of environmental pollution and we have already banned polythene bags in our state, but we readily accept these ‘non biodegradable culprits’ when we go out for shopping. Even if a good soul among us questions the shopkeeper about these polythene bags, they very smugly reply, “Yahaan sab chalta hai”. Surely nothing is illegal for them as long as they don’t get caught! In fact, the ban on polythene bags is going the way of liquor prohibition, which is in force in the state for decades now – ban it and make it available aplenty. Our people must do soul-searching and identify what they really want and stand by it in all circumstances. For change and improvement, we need something more than effective governance; it is the participation of people and their belief to cause the change and make it permanent. We don’t need changes that are as ephemeral as the governments; what we require is a long standing transformation! We not only face a political imbroglio but more than that we have an internal muddle to deal with. Two groups with clashing motives are acceptable, but a same person having conflicting thoughts imbibed in his/her mind is not at all tolerable! It is this discord within minds of the people itself which prevents us from emancipation and empowerment. Unless we make a resolve to clear our minds of the ambiguity and stand by what we say, we’ll never move ahead and always get trampled down. Hollow words are not what are desired, it is after all actions which speak louder than words.