After a decade, the message for Clean Election appears to have finally gotten through if various appeals and resolutions by colony wards and village councils including some organisations, serve as any indication. Since the 90s this newspaper has been commenting on how unethical and often criminal means were being used to fight election and how , as a consequence, the election system has been totally hijacked by money power, muscle power and proxy voting. The NBCC had tried to replicate the Mizoram experiment in 2012 but without proper preparation. Why clean election is important is because that could be the first major step towards bringing about transparency and accountability at all levels of society be it government or private or whatever. Electoral malpractices have robbed the people of capable leaders who would have served society with commitment. The use of money and muscle power are clear and damning signs that society has been criminalised and the only way is to begin the process with election of those who would become the constitutional functionaries to run the government system. Elections in Nagaland have by and large become criminalised because of the over and excessive use of ill gotten money –siphoning public money through corrupt means or money that has been taken on loans through mortgage of properties. Also money power is used to recruit anti-social elements and mafia goons to capture booths, kidnap campaign and block level leaders of the opponent and send a clear message to officials not to mess around with them. All in all, elections are a fraud so long as money, muscle power and community or village diktats are allowed to become the main feature in Nagaland. What Clean Election is and should be can be understood from the Mizoram experiment. Elections in Mizoram have become the byword for establishing good governance. This has been achieved through the involvement of the Mizoram People’s Forum(MPF), a voluntary body formed in 2006. Prior to formation of MPF , Mizos were concerned with use of money and muscle power in elections and attempted to check them during the assembly elections in 1998 and 2003. After formation of MPF things began to fall in place. MPF takes over electioneering by first weeding out undesirable candidates with dubious backgrounds, to banning feasts, use of liquor or any form of enticement. MPF also conducts common platform for candidates and disallows other forms of personal canvassing. There is restriction even with the number of election materials such as flags or posters. MPF comprises of church members and advisers handpicked from the civil society and borrowed volunteers from the YMA besides two other civil society organisations – Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP) and Zoram Upa Pawl (ZUP). MPF requisitions volunteers as per its requirement to monitor the polling process and help people cast their votes at the booths in a smooth manner. The MPF has earned respect of the people and its image and reputation is unchallenged. That is how the church must be seen to be – a body that shines light to darkness and adds taste to society.
Launched on December 3, 1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.