“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all”
– John F Kennedy.
India, by virtue of its population is the largest democratic country in the world. The campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has already started with a full swing. The political scenario has been witnessing a roller coaster ride with many politicians switching sides to come to power. Now what is in store for a common Naga? How does he gain from these elections? This question is being asked by both younger and older generations.
First and foremost, as a common citizen, we must not let the politician divide us on the basis of our tribal affinity. We have had a long history of blood path and infighting among ourselves. It is time we unite ourselves as one. In every election, every vote counts towards making a huge difference. This was clearly evident during the Assembly Elections of 2018. Voters have to fight for rights like any other mainland India and ask for development for the state. The political parties for their political gains always commit big promises in order to come to power. We must not be fooled by their tall claims and ask our prospective LokSabha candidates as to what they have done to bring about changes in our state. It is imperative that voters are not taken for granted for which one has to carry out in-depth study of the candidates/parties that only speak at face value. As a common man, we must arm ourselves with awareness by studying party manifestos, questioning the source and agenda of social media forwards and most importantly learning the facts and figures about current and past governments. There are a numbers of think tank that study and keep a track of the government’s performance and India’s social and economic status, with information readily available to voters. As Buckminster Fuller, an American Architect once stated “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”
Nagaland has only one Lok Sabha seat and only one of the 60 state assembly seats is being contested for. But in a democracy, every vote counts and it can make a wave of difference; it can shift decisions and alter future. Issues which are critical to Nagaland and the Naga people as a whole, such as the much awaited ‘Naga Peace Accord’ and ‘Citizen Amendment Bill’ are influenced by elected leaders. Apart from this, our state is primarily an agrarian economy, having a small economy and large swathes of land connected by bad to terrible roads. Infrastructure development alongwith good all weather roads is the top most priority which must be answered by the leaders of all political parties. Communities and villages in our state may have initially declared their support for particular candidates to show oneness, but today, it has become a system that not only spoils the spirit of election but also indirectly endorses tribalism. Both caste and tribalism should be annihilated. To safeguard and elevate the lives of the current and future voters, it is time for voters to educate and empower themselves and not just protest or moan.
Over the past few years we are privy to numerous developmental projects that has fructified in our state e.g Smart city project, 4 lane project, national awardees, social security scheme etc. This is to be appreciated as development requirement has got the attention of the Central government. In this regard, we cannot deny the fact that the social assistance of the ruling government towards the common people are being taken with due consideration. One or the other way the social and economic development is taking better shape, as compared to the previous governments. However, development must not be restricted to select cities and towns alone and much more needs to be done.
In the midst of the election year where our mind is still confused to choose a good leader, it is always recommended that one should study, how well will our leaders are able to highlight developmental schemes and fight for the rights of our state. For, “democracy is a government – of the people, by the people and for the people”. Let us vote in big numbers and bring about a change for the betterment of our state and society.
New Colony, Wokha