Finally, the day that has all the potentials and promises to change the destiny of the people and state of Nagaland has dawned upon us. But would our people rise up to the occasion and tap these potentials and promises? That is the question each of us voters must answer with our hearts and minds ~ and act decisively to indicate that we mean business and are serious about our future, our destiny. Today, let us be totally focused on the fact that our tomorrows ~ and that of the generations to come ~ are in our hands. All of us are well aware of that has been happening under the guise of election campaigns ~ the bad-mouthing, the mud-slinging and worst of all the violence that have claimed precious lives and caused injury. Is this how we want to be defined as? Reportedly, much money has exchanged hands ~ definitely a sorry statement of turning ourselves into purchasable commodities. But let us take consolation and courage in the fact that all these are behind us now, as this day dawns and we go to vote for the 13th Nagaland State Legislative Assembly. It is said that people deserve the governments they get ~ do we really deserve the governments we have been getting over the decades? Let us allow our conscience to decide for us whether we will deserve the next government we get ~ because tomorrow is unstoppable and will always come, come what may, and we have to live our tomorrows too. Let our conscience be our guide to act unambiguously today so that we make tomorrows a happy future for the generations to come and for Nagaland. Yes, all accounts of what has been happening under the guise of election campaigns, especially in the past couple of weeks or so, are not very cheerful harbingers of our tomorrows but we can atone for these mistakes, these shortcomings and these lacunae by doing the right things today, which means exercise our right to vote, perform our duty to vote, let our conscience guide us to vote for the candidate who we believe to be the right candidate, conduct ourselves in a civilized manner, especially in the polling booths, desist from creating any nuisance that would adversely impact on free, fair and peaceful voting knowing that we are citizens of the world’s largest democracy and that this democracy can be vibrant when we take ownership of it by being accountable, trustworthy, sensible, matured, responsible and conscientious. Candidates assert that people are asking for money but the people are saying that candidates are coming to their homes and giving money ~ the truth probably lies somewhere in between. Let the exchange of money, as reported and claimed, be the buried past ~ none of us can be judgmental about that; in any case, everyone would have to live with their conscience, and everyone would have to answer to our Maker. Today, we have the golden opportunity to chart a new direction and script a new destiny for ourselves and our future generations. While we stand in the queue today to cast our votes, let us be meditative and contemplative and bring to mind what has happened, and have been happening, to our people and our state since the past few Assembly elections ~ and question ourselves if we want our future to be a repeat, a reply, of our past. To be sure, we have had some fine people representing us while we have also had scoundrels and scalawags. Ask yourself who deserves another chance ~ once again let your conscience guide you. In these elections too development, culture, identity and all the usual issues that political parties remember mostly during elections have cropped up but as voters, we need to focus on integrity, quality, capability and merit. Even if our political parties and their candidates promise us the Moon, let us vote for those who are capable of bringing down the Moon to us to hold and have. Elections are a test for political parties and their candidates, as much as written and oral interviews are conducted to select the best for jobs in the public and private sectors. Let us close and lock the backdoor today so that all backdoors will remain closed and locked for always in Nagaland. May the best women and men represent us in the Assembly ~ we have the power to ensure this today.