By Nirendra DevNew Delhi, June 26 : As the Naga peace talks are moving towards a crucial stage by August, veteran Naga leader and former Chief Minister S.C.Jamir has charged the incumbent Neiphiu Rio Regime with being “inefficient and corrupt”, while “extra constitutional elements” are, on the other hand, trying to establish their supremacy.
“We have a scenario where the constitutional government is inefficient and corrupt while the extra-constitutional elements are many whose sole objective is to establish their supremacy through inter-group conflicts and illegal extortions which has brought upon the people of the state unmitigated miseries,” he wrote in an article.
“A vast majority of the people are anxiously waiting for a new dawn but a Small minority of the Nagas want to continue the status quo but people are now vehemently against it.There is marked change in the mood of the people of Nagaland.The ideological watchdogs have failed to note that there is anger against anti-social and anti-national elements, and a passionate desire for a peaceful and progressive environment and for a practical solution to the vexed Naga problem.”
In his strongly-worded statement, the senior politician, who enjoys good rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, went to say: “The Naga public is no longer novice to accept the dictates of the underground.Nagaland cannot remain captive to the social elements that strangled the progress of economic development of the state.”
Perhaps, in reference to certain demands of Naga underground elements, he also wrote:“Time has come to look forward to and participate in nation building without getting bogged down with impractical ideals, thereby wasting precious time.”
Jamir, who also served as Governor of states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, said: “Naga society has to be liberated from this demonic culture of corruption and multiple layers of authority, more particularly those who are unconstitutional.For this, sitting back in helplessness will not do.If Naga society is to be reformed and rejuvenated, the responsibility rests with the people alone.”
He strongly made a case for Nagaland to keep abreast with changing times.
“The people of Nagaland, especially the younger generation, want the truth to emerge.If we were to move forward to catch up with other advanced states of the country, we must reorient our mindset to be in tune with the contemporary realities.”
He also said that the future prospect of Nagaland would largely depend on how it responds to the “changing contemporary realities” and also the actions and inactions of leaders to face up to such realities.
“Let us not forget that in the initial years of our struggle, the leaders of the movement spoke in one voice.Sadly, today, the Naga people are still waiting for the emergence of a true, united and genuine leadership to lead them to a bright future.To compound matters, the elected government which should be responsive to the needs of the citizens and efficient in governance is anything but that,” the seasoned politician said.
Jamir, now 92, and who was signatory to the statehood agreement of 1960, has been advocating for an early solution.
Making a scathing attack on the state of affairs, he said: “Mushrooming of multiple authorities, both constitutional and extra-constitutional, in the state of Nagaland has totally destroyed all systems of governance.There is a clear breakdown of the rule in the state.The internal security situation is far more disturbed than the deceptive outside calm.”
The state is being held “hostage by armed underground groups, right before the helpless eyes of the state government”, he wrote, adding “Nagaland needs to be liberated from the clutches of this deadly monster”.
(Nirendra Dev is a New Delhi-based journalist.
He is also author of books,‘The Talking Guns: North East India’ and ‘Modi to Moditva: An UncensoredTruth’.Views are personal)
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