Monday, January 30, 2023

Losing primacy

Dimapur is not only the commercial capital of Nagaland but also the gateway that is accessible from other parts of India by road, rail and air. Therefore, it is important that Dimapur grows economically as its population continues to grow. Since the mid-80s Dimapur City experienced a boom which catapulted it to the position as among the fastest growing cities after Guwahati City. Unfortunately, the negatives have outweighed the positives. The boom was two ways- economic and criminal. It may be noted that this is not an exclusive phenomenon restricted to Dimapur; it exists in many other cities. Prices of every commodity has been on steady rise as a consequence and this is bad for business, economy and the people. Reams have been written about Dimapur’s infamous taxation cottage industry which have become deep rooted especially in the face of ever weakening of political will. As commented earlier, the overbearing manner in which multiple taxations are imposed, have also led to flight of business from Dimapur and which is gradually reducing the city into a sub-outlet of nearby towns of Assam. The other is heavy influx of migrants from within and outside, which has made Dimapur city to become densely populated with over two lakh inhabitants in the urban area alone and pushing basic civic amenities to the stretching point. The idea of extending development of the urban city by shifting of the office of the DC Dimapur to Chümoukedima months ago, has been permanently shelved due to protests. This also exemplifies the manifestations of unwillingness in sticking to decisions taken. It may seem like an appeasement policy but in reality, it could be a lack of clarity in decision making. The over inclination on holding consultations on crucial issues may sound impressive as they are billed as ‘wide consultations’ but it is debatable if most have achieved the goal. To be helpful towards achieving the desired goal, those involved are expected to be have in depth knowledge of specific subjects so as to have a meaningful discussion. The result of such consultations is to arrive at decisions but in reality, they fail as consensus are elusive and understandably so. There is need to change the environment with a long term objective. For progress, crime prevention should be at the top of the agenda, which criminologists consider in two senses. The first involves the ability of criminal law enforcement to make citizens law-abiding by deterring potential offenders and preventing further lawbreaking by apprehending criminals. The second refers to the efforts to correct fundamental social conditions and personal maladjustments which are assumed to be the “seed bed” of crime. Looking at the problem from a wider perspective, criminalisation of society has unfortunately destroyed peace and progress. The fight against growing crime is unending and it requires not only the police but also the judiciary, administration, media and various CSOs to attempt a joint effort to reverse the ugly trend. To fight crimes, like fighting a war, means that the frontline soldiers are given the best in terms of men and materials – to improve their ability, facility and mobility.

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