The return of politics to public service: Revolution from above

BY | Thursday, 11 July, 2024

The return of politics to public service- these lines from the speech of the newly appointed Britain Prime Minister Keir Starmar- echoes a much required reset in the state of governance in Nagaland.

A few weeks back, the ULB elections was conducted after 20 years, and the build up to the polling day reflected much of the state of affairs in our politics. From a MLA unabashedly commenting about leaving no space for those who do not support the ruling party, to electorates demanding money from candidates: the electioneering process even for the municipal elections has been nothing short of depravity of our leaders and our people.

Clearly, change do not begin from the citizens. One’s vote does not change the course of politics or governance.

Change requires, in Sociologist Dipankar Gupta’s theory, a revolution from above. Gupta argues that Democracy needs ‘an elite of calling’- people of substance, training, foresight and most of all the willingness to forsake their immediate class interest for a social good. Unfortunately, such ‘elite of calling’ is wanting in Nagaland.

Unemployment, the rise of drug use, lack of opportunities for our promising young, poverty, access to basic standards of living, quality healthcare, basic infrastructure, migration, urban poverty and the high demanding cost of living are what plaques Naga society today.

We need leaders who can move beyond noisy performances and elitist model of policy making. We need a revolution from the ‘powers that be’ who can develop and execute policies that are centred around the needs of the lesser privileged.

To transform a depraved society, requires a revolution from above, and a committed return of politics to public service. Our Municipal leaders, our Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, our MLAs has been accorded this privilege of initiating change.

“Till the elite of calling make a difference, the difference is never made.”- Dipankar Gupta.



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