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By Jonas Yanthan
Prosperity and happiness of any Society or Nation depends on leadership. It is also equally vital that its citizens are progressive in mentality, honest in character and hard working. Europe progressed not because of abundant resources but because their leaders have the spirit of competition as to who are the best leaders and its citizens highly progressive, critical of their leaders, issues and also knows what is best for common good.
Nagas, as a people, were once known to be simple, honest and hard working but today all these qualities seem to have vanished into thin air. The prevalent mentality of the people today is arrogance, jealousy, dishonesty and selfishness majority of who are looking for easy wealth through fraud, force and misuse of public fund. At the leadership level, there seem to be no quality politician who worked or works for inclusive development of the State except enriching themselves, do lip-stick service in limited pockets of their constituencies just enough to win the next election or concentrate only in one’s District often, at the expense of the other Districts and the direct effect of it is group-ism and tribalism.
The other day K.Libanthung Patton had, in the news dailies, came out with statistics revealing the blatant neglect of Wokha District from 2006 to 2013 alone on the allotment of development fund. Whereas, Wokha District is one of the only Districts from where the State Government is earning substantial revenue from Hydro besides the Rs.33.21 Crores from oil exploration but the government had chosen to do little or nothing for the District. Over and above, Nagaland Government wants more revenue from Wokha through oil exploration but instead of explicating the various development opportunities to the affected areas, in a gentlemanly manner, chooses a cowardly back door method of attacking the soft side of the tribe to push through its well known vested intend. This I call tribalism at its worst application and the most dangerous as well because it is venomous in nature. If the line of thinking was clear in the minds of the leaders an ADC Hq. (Independent charge) with full strength Police Station should have been already in place by now at Changpang.
One necessary line of approach to diffuse tribalism attitude is inclusive and equitable development. But merely talking against tribalism will not bring about cohesiveness, respect and love among the tribes except by actual implementation of equitable employment of various tribes in offices, proportionate distribution of development funds and besides implementation of policy matters on priority needs and not for mere personal political mileage. For instance, Sanis (SDO-civil) is one of the oldest administrative Headquarters in the State that had been even recommended, over a decade ago, by a State level Committee headed by Khrielie Kevichusa IAS (Rtd) as more than befitting to be upgraded to ADC but till now up-gradation has not been done rather the Government chooses to ignore Sanis and upgrade posts that are not even eligible by any standard. Isn’t this, not tribalism and nepotism in practice?
What is eating up the Nagas today is confusion in belief, disunity in our National movement and above all degeneration in societal integrity. Social fabric has dipped so low that today no one, rich and poor alike lives peacefully. In this milieu, the philosophy of life that is being adopted unconsciously is survival methods and not living. The approach among sizable Nagas that corruption is a necessary evil is a testimony to this chaos. And we don’t realize that we are all losers. This is a symptom of a degenerating society. A society that does not live but struggling to survive the onslaught of social evils is not life because there is no dignity in it. Life and living are both dignified and very precious in contrast to survival where the method applied is by swindling all human values. Life is short and we live only once. Living a truthful life despite all odds and challenges is dignified but succumbing to deceitful plans and practices is dishonor. As the saying goes, ‘It is better to be poor and live in dignity than to be rich by fraud and be scorned and dishonored now and in death.’
Majority of us dream of a Nagaland that was once beautiful. A land that was filled with innocent, honest, gentle and truthful people irrespective of tribes, whose needs were few humble necessities and yet joys and contentment abound. For a dignified, prosperous Nagaland to revive we don’t need many leaders but one good well educated humble and selfless Chief Minister, behind who will be the intellectuals of the State. The rest, including the elected members, will simply fall in line because this is the secret of Naga society. The only problem is who can be this chosen Chief Minister-the Messiah.