Nagaland recently witnessed the ‘Walk Against Corruption’ organized by ACAUT on 30thand 31st October 2015. When events such as these are organized it makes one realize just how important the role of the public actually is in shaping its success or failure. Similarly, when it comes to the governance of our State or society, it is not just the politicians but the public that play a huge role. Although it is easy to blame the government, the politicians or leaders for all our problems, we fail to realize that blaming them also means blaming our own selves, because we are all responsible for creating the kind of environment we live in. The most basic example would be something as simple as our State’s cleanliness. It does not make sense to condemn the Municipality for not maintaining our environment, and then go litter the streets and spit on the walls. So then, we ask…
Who is Responsible for the Problems in Our State?
Life in this generation is interesting. It poses several questions and for this article I am especially preoccupied with questions concerning the politicians and the general public. Allow me to ruminate on a few. How will life be without politicians? Whom shall we blame for things gone bad or things not done? Without them whom shall we point fingers at, to criticize? Our politicians are so fortunate. They are at the core of all our criticism. Bad roads, they get the brunt of the public. Erratic electricity, they are at fault. Water shortage, again it’s their fault. Everything has to end with the politicians. They are supposed to be magicians and perform tricks, be the maker and create jobs and repair things, and most importantly play God and make everything perfect. Well, it is not surprising that they do feel very important and pretend to be; after all they are the ‘can do it all’ class of people in the eye of the public. Granted, they have a huge responsibility, but dearest public, let us remember that they are not God.
I do not have any inclination, whatsoever, towards any politician, neither do I plan to become one, but let us be sensible and take a look around us. There are some questions we need to ask ourselves. Who dumps the garbage in the street, or clogs the drainage and river with garbage? The public. Who uses excessive electricity and also leaves it switched on, the whole day and night, though not in use? The public. Who pays money to buy a government job? The public. Who has a government job but still looks around for a private job in order to appease their wants? The public. Who builds houses or horrid structures on the road and does not leave space for pavements? The public, again! So whom do we blame?
With advancement and modernity, it is taken for granted that a society and its lifestyles improve. But our society seems to be benefitting nothing from advancement, modernity, and education. Rather, it is on a rush downhill and degrading at a speed not even the fastest driver can achieve. Our civic sense seems to be on the verge of extinction and it looks like we have left behind our principles, our values, and our decency in the past with our ancestors. In our society today, every act of the public comes along with a justification. For instance, it is perfectly okay to buy a government job because everybody does it and that’s the only way to get a government job. Reality check- no matter how honest you are, paying someone or bribing somebody to get a government job is still CORRUPTION: nothing more, nothing less!
When the public itself is corrupt, how in the world do you profess to eliminate corruption? When we have lost our civic sense and are fine with dumping garbage in the street, how can we expect our surroundings to miraculously become a paradise overnight? Let us be rational. Half of the problems around us are all self-made. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.
I applaud ACAUT and all the other several organizations for their efforts to make our society a better place to live in. But my dear public, just a group of people cannot bring complete change. The general mass has to play its part. Until and unless the general mass is willing to sacrifice, we cannot expect total change in our society. We ask for four-lane roads but are not willing to give away an inch of our land. Are they supposed to make four lane roads in the air? We ask for regular supply of electricity and water but we are not willing to be careful with its usage. It doesn’t materialize from Narnia. We ask for a clean city but we are not willing to clean our surroundings.
A humble request; let us stop pointing fingers and stop putting our politicians on a pedestal, but work in our own little spaces to bring change for the better. Let us ask ourselves, “What do I do regularly?”, because what we do regularly has the potential to become a habit, and habits develop into the character of an individual and eventually become the essence of a society. Change has to ultimately begin within. Every individual is responsible in order to bring change in our society. We have to move out of our comfort zone and stop doing things for selfish motives. Our mentality is such that we are obsessed with what will we get in return? If everyone becomes this myopic, development is going to be a difficult goal.
All said and done, our politicians and leaders are still accountable to the public. They have been elected by the public to lead and so lead they should. Let the public be good followers and be wise when they elect someone to lead them.