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Long Awaited Answer

By   /  February 15, 2018  /  Comments Off on Long Awaited Answer

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The recent submission of nomination papers along with sworn affidavits by the candidates for the assembly elections have finally made known a long awaited answer to a query. Chief Minister TR Zeliang has finally admitted that he appeared for his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 but failed. The debate on his educational qualification has finally come to a rest with the latest submissions. This question about his educational qualification started way back in 2015 when an RTI was filed by a member of the Nagaland Tribes Council in July 2015. The rest is history as various FIRs and cases were filed in the courts since then against Zeliang for misrepresentation in his sworn affidavit that was filed in his 2013 nomination papers. In that affidavit it is clearly mentioned that his educational qualification is BA from Kohima College under the North Eastern Hill University and completed the course in 1980. However the chief minister often found respite as the trial courts as well as the appellate courts did not condone the delay as the complaints were received after the limitation period as prescribed in the Limitation Act 1963. The courts also did not find any reason to condone the delay and that the cases filed were all time barred and that no proof of any cognisable offence were provided against Zeliang. The chief minister was finally given relief by the apex court when the case was dismissed in 2017. However the question over the educational qualification of the chief minister remained. As the highest democratically elected leader in the state it is not the formal education qualification that matters but the ability to tell the truth. In a developing country like India such disclosures of achievements including one’s educational qualifications influences the mind of the voters. India is also known for the misuse of the culture of myths, legends and superstitions by persons of influence and power to control the common people. The blind hero worship is also still quite prevalent in the country that humans attain the stature of gods in India and many a times are misused to mislead the people. It is for this very reason that through the directive of the Supreme Court the ECI made such disclosures mandatory to be filed in the form of a sworn affidavit before every election. That way there can be no undue advantage for any of the representatives and that the electors have a right to know such details of their leaders. What is in a degree ? is what many will ask and it is not completely untrue. However when the leader of the highest elected office in the state misrepresents then it also portrays the collective image of the state as a whole. It is not the act of the offence that is serious but when a leader lies under oath then the hope that the common people have are lost. It indicates that the laws are there only to be broken, trampled upon and bypassed by lying to achieve ones personal goals. It surely does not augur well for a state and it inhabitants with a history of not so great record of the rule of law.

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  • Published: 8 months ago on February 15, 2018
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  • Last Modified: February 15, 2018 @ 12:26 am
  • Filed Under: Editorial

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