Tuesday, November 29, 2022

One ailment, two diagnoses

Statements made recently by the governor of Nagaland Prof. Jagdish Mukhi and chief minister Neiphiu Rio, on the situation in Nagaland concerning law and order and economy, only speak of the differing diagnosis and approach to the problem. Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi echoed the outrage expressed by public in Nagaland and expressed his concern over the menace of extortion and illegal taxation by various groups. Prof.Mukhi has not been blind nor deaf to the feelings of the public over these menaces. Governor Prof.Mukhi is perhaps the second incumbent to have raised concern over these issues that continue unabated for over decades and which have proved lethal against social peace and economic growth. The governor made his remark at a recent interaction with district administration, heads of departments and Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) during his recent visit to Zunheboto. The governor also urged upon the public to “come out in one voice” against such acts so as to put an end to the nefarious activities. Further, Prof.Mukhi also underlined the deep desire of the people of Nagaland for lasting peace as pre-requisite to propel the state as second to none in progress. The moot issue is whether public, by raising their voice would be able to stop various groups from indulging in such activities, when even several massive public rallies organised under ACAUT Nagaland since 2012 failed to do so? Interestingly, when the earlier governor had raised the issue and implied that it was due to the state government’s failure to effect good governance, it was not well taken. Just days after Prof.Mukhi’s remark, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio admitted that the unresolved Naga political issue has been impeding overall development of Nagaland. It is an admitted fact that extortion and illegal taxation in Nagaland has negated momentum and led to fear psychosis among business and consequently, derailed economic progress. This led to inflated price rise in the market besides syndication of all items with the public having to bear the burden. Rio rightly admitted that while overall development stagnated in Nagaland, all other states in the region, which became states nearly a decade after Nagaland in 1963, have progressed and marched well ahead. If the chief minister meant that securing political solution will set the state free and propel it forward, then it means that till that is achieved, nothing can be done even by the constitutionally elected government. Both the governor and the chief minister are two constitutional heads holding the highest offices –executive and legislature- and therefore, their remarks are considered crucial. However, the contexts differ greatly with regard to what they meant. The governor clearly referred to groups involved in extortion and illegal taxation which are still rampant. Prof.Mukhi’s statement was like an indictment of his own government of not checking these menaces. On the other hand , the chief minister appear to admit that the government’s role was limited in acting against those groups involved in extortion and illegal taxation and that only a solution by the Centre would be the prescription for the problem. In this regard, it would be much welcomed by public if both the governor and chief minister were on the same page with regard to activities that are inimical to public safety and economy.

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