“It is not wise to chase away the weak just because one is not bold enough to confront wicked.”
Instead of targeting those who are selling & drinking alcohol, why targeting those selling food? Instead of chasing out illegal immigrants, why chasing away our own local entrepreneurs?
In a very fast progressive city like Dimapur which is hustling & bustling with different types of people, it will be wiser to regulate alcohol & discourage troublemakers instead of making the hard working local entrepreneurs as scapegoats. It will be prudent for our older generation to visit other cities – be it Naypyidaw (Myanmar), Hanoi (Vietnam) or even Seoul & Bangkok to understand how they strike a fine balance by creating a thriving & vibrant street culture to promote entrepreneurship, livelihood & job opportunities for their youths. There are bigger and more critical issues which we need to tackle as a society instead of petty moral policing.. issues like illegal immigration, corruption, illegal taxation, unemployment etc.
Our younger generation doesn’t want to depend only on government jobs for our livelihood like the older generation did which led to our people becoming hopelessly dependent only on asking money from Indians (Tax payers) for our survival. A little late but never too late that today we are becoming enlightened and realising on the need to become a more self-reliant and independent people.
This idea of becoming a more self-reliant and independent society seeded and gave birth to the movement of entrepreneurship in Nagaland where in the last 10 years we have witnessed many Nagas opting for jobs in the private sector and some of us have also started business ventures where we employ local youths more than some government departments do! Today we need to understand that government salaries and development works are funded by tax payers and in any highly developed country, the highest tax payers are the entrepreneurs, who not only create jobs for the youths but also contribute money to build their roads, public infrastructure and pay salaries for the government servants and various developmental programs.
However in Nagaland we are still debating about women reservations while our so called “URBAN” areas in our municipalities are still functioning like rural villages with no building bye-laws enforced, no proper water supply, sanitation and even the basic public services going from bad to worse while the irony is that Nagaland has the highest Rural to Urban migration in the entire country! The real Nagaland is in the villages is fast becoming a thing of the past as Nagaland recorded the highest Rural-Urban decadal growth of 69% in the entire country compared to the proportion of urban population in 1971 which only 10% of the State’s total population. And most people are migrating to towns for education, opportunities and hope for a better life.
Today, majority of our younger population have either completely migrated to urban areas or partly (Where only their voter ID card and permanent address is in village while they reside, study and work in the towns).
Even if we talk about macro economics and boast about our agriculture, we need to understand the factual realistic situation based our three sectors:
- PRIMARY INDUSTRY (Agriculture, Mining, Fishing etc) : Agriculture is still mostly informal and mining is mostly unregulated. These need to be formalised and regulated.
Most agricultural activity in our state is sustenance based besides a few cooperative type of farming clusters emerging. Yet in general, we have a long way to go before achieving commercial and scientific maturity in this sector. Since we cannot target massive production volume; even if we want to strive for value-addition to achieve premium value for our agro-horti based product, making any product achieve premium valuation in pricing require highly advanced branding & marketing investments combined with scientific interventions to create high quality & high value products.
- SECONDARY INDUSTRY (Manufacturing, Refining, Food processing, Carpentry etc): So long as we don’t have high quality consistent electricity in our state, the manufacturing industry can never take off successfully. Our electricity cannot even support a small home based baker properly, how can we talk about investment in manufacturing and assembly?
The genset/generator fuel bills will only plunge your manufacturing unit into a huge deficit. Other than electricity, there are several factors like availability of cheap talented workforce like technicians, engineers, tailors etc, abundant high quality affordable raw materials and a robust supply chain which attribute to creating a conducive manufacturing industry ecosystem. Hence, until we build this ecosystem we cannot bring in any investment in establishing large scale manufacturing. (Not forgetting the problem of our land laws and political instability.)
- TERTIRARY INDUSTRY (SERVICES SECTOR): As per the last economy survey, the tertiary sector is the only sector which contributes 63.48% to the state economy which is the highest contributing sector even in the country! No, it is not agriculture, it is the service sector which contributes the most even in terms of creating jobs for our youths at present and will only increase rapidly in the future. This sector includes the thriving Retail sector (Eg. Shops), Financial Services (Eg. Banks), Education (Eg. Private schools), F&B – food & beverage (Eg. Restaurants), Healthcare (Eg. Hospitals), IT – Information Technology (Eg. BPO’s, software and consultancy), Media & Entertainment (Eg. News channels), Real Estate (Eg. Building construction), Transportation (Eg. Taxis) etc.
INDUSTRY DOESN’T ONLY MEAN A FACTORY PRODUCING SMOKE AND MAKING THINGS. ALL THE ABOVE 3 SECTORS COME UNDER THE AMBIT OF INDUSTRIES.
While illegal immigration has become a real threat compared to my early warnings from early 2008 onwards in The Naga Blog and in newspapers. While it is extremely disheartening to note that even despite these alarming threats, our elders are still blind and have lost touch with reality. Instead of chasing away the illegal immigrants, they are chasing away our hardworking local entrepreneurs who are running food stalls in the roadside to make a livelihood and even create jobs for other local youths! How can you be so blind to see the obvious sad reality where our youths and our mothers are struggling in the streets while most of the premium shops and buildings are occupied by outsiders, that too in our own land proudly called Nagaland! If alcohol is the problem then target those selling alcohol and creating problems, why targeting those selling food? Because they are easy to bully? Because you don’t want to confront the real troublemakers?
If a leader is truly a visionary then she/he should feel the pulse of the common man in the streets, she/he should be informed of data and facts inorder to make informed decisions. The classification of our economy based on the above three sectors (Which we all studied in school) helps us infer some basic insights on which sectors our government and our public leaders must focus on inorder to ensure that we Nagas create opportunities for livelihood and opportunities for our youths or else most of our talented workforce will all abandon this beautiful land to seek for greener pastures in other states and countries, like just all the young people are escaping countries like Venezuela inorder to escape poverty and poor lifestyle because their leaders are yet to become enlightened on how the modern world functions.
Let us re-evaluate on our priorities, improve our weakness, leverage our strengths and focus on building a progressive, prosperous Nagaland of opportunities where our locals control our own politics and economy, where outsiders can also come and trade with us freely without being harassed while we computerise our Inner Line Permit system & implement a technology powered RIIN to ensure the Naga indigenous population is protected and sustained for generations to come!