Friday, March 31, 2023

Can Young Nagaland, do it?

When control over money, muscle and tribal groups is the sole determinant of success in a political set up, we cannot expect anything better. Can young Nagaland rise up to this challenge and provide an alternative? Can we put in place a set up where people go up the political ladder based on meritocracy, capability and integrity instead of dynastic and tribal affiliations, money power and nepotism?
Nagaland is a very young state and in a political democracy like ours, the political system is the lifeline of the state. Every aspect of our society is affected by the health of the political system. Sadly, today this one system, the political system which was intended and created to solve the problems of the state has itself become the biggest problem for the state.
We have a system where the sole determinant of success depends upon tribe, money power and the influence of money or dynastic affiliations. That one man who is born in a particular family or that man who can bring enough money to this game of politics gets the ticket. This is a system where meritocracy is not respected, where talent is not respected. In this system where hard work and sincerity is not rewarded, can we ask the same of our young people? Can we encourage them to get into a system like this? This problem of young people not being encouraged and welcomed by the political system is just a symptom of a larger malaise that is afflicting the body quality of the state.
Can we have a David Cameron in Nagaland? Can we have a Barack Obama in Nagaland? Who, without any strong political background rose to occupy the highest offices in their countries based on sheer merit of their talent, competence and capability.
As young people of the state, what hope and changes can we bring? I agree that there are many pressing challenges but you and I should understand that long-lasting solutions to all these problems can be found if we correct this political system.
So how do we do this? There are a lot of innovative solutions. Say, for example, if we want to curb the influence of ‘tribe’ in the electoral scenario, can we cut and resize our constituency in such a way that no one tribe or religion becomes the decisive majority? Can we also bring systems like preferential voting which will induce and encourage voters and political parties to appeal to the electorate on broad-based issues rather than sectarian and narrow appeals? Can we think of how to prevent people with criminal antecedents to even enter the system? Can we bring in a legislation which bars people who have been chargesheeted of committing heinous offences? And then we come to the question of money and this is a very complex question. Can we think of new solutions? Can we think of more effective measures to curb the meanness of freebies during elections? Can we think of institutionalizing mechanisms through which transparent funding for political parties and candidates can be brought about and to address the problem at its root?
If we are successful in doing this, this is going to have an effective impact on the state’s political scenario. It is going to serve the purpose but the question is, who will do it? The question is, will the ones who are presently occupying these positions, the present lot, deliver these goals? Can those people who are benefitting from the status quo assure change? So who will bell the cat? The answer is right before us. The youth of this state, the young people of our land. You and I have to take this initiative. Armchair cynics will say that this is a very difficult proposition. Our plans and dreams are mere wishful thinking but not all is lost. We need not lose hope.
By pinning our hopes, by pinning our energies and by reposing our faith in the common people of this land, we are seeking a better future for ourselves and for this state. We need to make and build a fair and a more egalitarian political system where any of us coming from modest backgrounds, coming from backgrounds which do not have a political legacy can find a place in this system.
As one of the principal architects of the country’s constitution, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar once said these ominous words, “However good a Constitution may be, if those who are implementing it are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a constitution may be, if those implementing it are good, it will prove to be good.” The founding fathers of this country gave all of us a sublime constitution. And yet, you and I have to resolve. Let us resolve for today, for posterity and for the future of this land. Let us not leave politics to be the last resort of the scoundrel.
Ms. Moarenla Jamir, B.A. 6th
semester, Modern College, Piphema

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