Governance and Attitudes

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The government didn’t say it or couldn’t say that law and order has improved in the state. It only said, all security forces have acknowledged improvement in the law and order situation in the hills following signing of agreement with Kuki militant outfits in 2009. The question is why. Does it mean that the government is not really satisfied with the law and order situation in the hills even though the security forces say it has improved or it hasn’t improved at all? When we talk about law and order in the hill areas we should be thinking in terms of the entire hill region, and certainly not in terms of either Kuki or Naga dominated regions. There is an attitudinal problem in the way the state operates be it in the case of law and order or in other areas of governance. Such attitudes will end up in enhancing the divide between the different communities living in the state. The hill-valley divide in the state spurred by the British colonialists and continued by the Indian state has reached to such a state that it has begun to assume the face of an impossible task. The various governments which have ruled the state has also done almost nothing to bridge the gap, which many a times have threatened the territorial integrity of the state and people to people relations. From NSCN-IM’s ceaseless efforts to break up the state to the entry of Nagaland based party in the state legislature, the state has shown little imagination in dealing with the problem except for flexing its security muscle and sentimental rhetoric. The Mao standoff during NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah’s visit was one such action. Even though the state was successful in stopping Muivah, it could not do so in the case of Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio. Yes, successful conduct of Autonomous District Councils in the hills was no mean feat. But, the state government could not take the ADCs to the district headquarters for meaningful governance at the district level. Why is it so? The state cannot function properly in the hill areas or for that matter the law is non-existent in the hills. Look at all the district level government offices functioning from the state capital. How long can this type of functioning or distant governance continue? Something has to be done or a system has to be put in place for the offices to function in its proper place. After clearing off Chandel District of insurgents, the security forces made tall claims of creating a secure environment for government officials to function properly from district or sub-divisional offices. Does the condition still exist? Now, the government is saying that all security forces have acknowledged improvement in the law and order situation in the hills following signing of agreement with Kuki militant outfits in 2009. It also said, the Suspension of Operations (SoO) Agreement with Kuki UG groups under KNO and UPF was also renewed for one year at New Delhi on 16-08-2011 and approximately 1500 cadres have shifted to eleven designated camps.  The government further claimed that, meetings of the Joint
Monitoring Group are held frequently to ensure that the SoO Groups abide by the Agreed Ground Rules.  Do they really abide by the Ground Rules; say in the case of recent elections? Ask anybody, and they will reply otherwise. Numerous cases of violation of the agreed Ground Rules were reported, and the Joint Monitoring Group is doing nothing except for some threats of action which do not follow. Here again, the attitudinal problem rises its head. The state has immobilized the Kuki groups to some extent. But what is it doing with regard to the Nagas. They always seem to forget that besides the NSCNs and Naga bodies there is an independent entity called the common people. In the recent assembly elections, the common people in the Naga areas have spoken clearly, whatever be the aspirations of certain groups. Isn’t the time ripe for reaching out to the common people in the Naga areas and to address the varied problems of basic amenities?

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