Wednesday, May 31, 2023

SJU holds workshop on Nagaland’s electoral politics

A workshop on “Ideas for enhancing Nagaland’s electoral politics” was organized by St. Joseph University (SJU) Political Science department, Chomoukedima.
Delivering opening remark, Dr. Shonreiphy Longvah said that the original goal of the electoral politics was to give the people a forum to express their thoughts, which would subsequently improve their overall growth, progress, and emancipation.
Longvah said that the Nagas continue to adhere to the antiquated, long-standing customary rule that deemed politics to be the domain of males and domestic concerns of women, rather than improving electoral politics to assure admirable representation of all tribes and sexes without prejudice.
The three panellists, assistant and associate professors in the department of Political Science, Dr. Somingam Mawon, Dr.Chubatila, and Dr. Achanger, shared their perspectives on how to improve electoral politics in Nagaland.
According to Dr. Mawon, politicians in Nagaland had yet to go beyond making “empty promises”. Mawon said in order to improve electoral politics in Nagaland, voters must eliminate the electoral illiteracy that led them to believe that their vote has a cost. To fulfil the purpose of electoral politics, Nagas also need to be free themselves from the “ethos of respecting elders,” as this ethos have induced Nagas to sacrifice their individual rights.
Dr. Chubatila pointed out that a “healthy democracy” required women to be represented in the decision-making process.
According to Chubatila, representative politics must began at the grassroots as local politics determine politics at the state level.
She also said that for Naga women to become a fitting competitor in the electoral politics, a space in the form of “reservation” must be created as it will trained them to become active participants in the electoral race.
She said 33% reservation should not be viewed as the benevolence of the Naga “patriarchal males,” and that patriarchal beliefs that describe 33% reservation as “depraving” must be altered.
Delivering a topic on, “Propositions for enhancing Nagaland elections: An examination of the campaigning tool”, Dr. Achanger said Nagaland Nationalist Organization (NNO) the oldest regional party can be referred to as a “mass-based organisation” because it was founded with popular support and ran an effective political campaign.
Dr. Achanger said the “era of Aaya Ram Gaya Ram in Nagaland,” which focused on the impact of defection politics that contributed to the instability of the government since 1974, and the “Emergence of multiplicity of political parties” since 2003, were “state-based political parties,”.
This practice has resulted in the demise of regional parties and a lack of substance in campaigning, Dr. Achanger said.
The speaker concluded by emphasising that the key to improving electoral politics in Nagaland was “civic and political education” that would awaken the people of Nagaland to their political responsibilities.

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