Students debate on clean election
Kohima, Sep. 22 (EMN): Ever since the inception clean election campaign spearheaded by the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) to do away with malpractices associated with the electioneering system in the State, there has been mixed response of apprehension and optimism among the general populace.
One academician observed that often the voices of the young are ignored on any social issues while that of the elders and leaders in the society are only taken into account.
Today, college students were given a platform to voice out their views and opinions at the 12th inter-collegiate debate competition organised by Sazolie College, Phezhu, in Jotsoma on the motion theme ‘Clean election can be a reality in Nagaland.’
The passionate voices of the young echoed the auditorium of the college as the 16 debaters from various colleges in the State spoke for and against the motion on the possibilities and failure of the mechanism for bringing a change in the election system.
Motion leader, Yinjun C Naam from Kohima Science College, Jotsoma, opened the debate by strongly asserting that clean election can be a reality in Nagaland with faith and patience. He however said change cannot happen overnight.
‘As the future of the State we, the youngsters, need to join hands together and move forward by believing in ourselves that we can bring change,’ he stated and challenged the youth to set an exemplary lives lest Nagaland will get lost.
Coming strongly against his opponent, Imlitemsu from Mt. Olive College questioned if there are any righteous leaders today to make clean election a reality. Citing some examples from his experiences, he opined that leaders and even for that matter the public have become submissive to money powers and flow of intoxicants. ‘Who can part with money when election comes only once in five years,’ he added.
Against the motion have came out with strong points in countering their opponents citing examples such as division in NPF party; distribution of money to all the participants in the recently NPF general convention held in Dimapur; statement of a BJP minister where he openly declared that he can win only through buying of votes; and fight among supporters of two intending candidates in Tuli sub-division etc.
They opined that Naga leaders are only theoreticians while politicians are like ‘cheap products’ before us to choose from and ‘corruption and election’ as a vicious cycles and with the flow of money and liquor ‘we don’t have a voice anymore.’
Naga politics, the students opined, is a shame to all Christians where corruption is deeply rooted filled with clanism, tribalism and nepotism. They did not even spare their parents whom they alleged as corrupted influenced by money and holding multiple bogus voter cards of their children.
Motion debaters contradicting their opponents said ‘clean election is not a dream but a reality’ to reform the State by exercising ‘one person one vote’ honestly and choosing the right leader by taking away the equation of money.
Citing the recently concluded by-election to the Northern Angami-I A/C, motion debaters said the typical mindset of the people are slowly changing where many have refused to be bribed during the by election. They asserted that although the politicians want to change, public do not given them the chance to do so by demanding money, jobs, contract works etc.
Krosü Hesu from Sazolie College, Jotsoma, was optimistic that all these corrupted leaders and the malpractices will soon fall down like the wall of Jericho.
While debaters from against the motion opined that it will need more than a miracle to make clean election a reality in Nagaland as money speaks during election. The motion debaters concluded that with time and effort, clean election will be a reality as ‘we cannot expect it to happen overnight.’
Altogether fifteen colleges took part in the competition. Against the motion won the debate competition with 1267 points, while the motion trailed behind with 1203 points.
Krosü Hesu from Sazolie College, Jotsoma, was declared as the winner and won a citation and a cash of Rs 10,000. Rosemary Mero of Pfütsero Government College, Pfütsero, and Yinjun C Naam of Kohima Science College, Jotsoma, were placed in the second and third positions and received cash prize of Rs 7,500 and Rs 5000 and citation each.
The five consolation winners were Mhathozho A Khizho of St. Joseph’s College, Jakhama; Chonbemo Y Ezung of Sazolie College, Jotsoma; Zaleve Vese of Baptist College, Kohima; Khrecheni Khrechena of Model Christian College, Kohima; and Velavoyi Vero of Modern College, Kohima. They were awarded with Rs 1000 and a citation each.
The panel of judges were Mechüni W Iralu, principal of CD King Higher Secondary School, Jotsoma; Nchumbemo Mozhui, advocate, and Nokho Nyekha, travel writer and creative artists promoter.