There is a difference between those who are actively involved in state electoral politics and those who are closely observing it. Those who are actively involved in the electioneering process and party politics in Mokokchung will most certainly know that Mokokchung is no longer the ‘political nerve center of Nagaland’ like it used to be in the past. Unfortunately, crippled by the sheer nature of their profession, they do not have the scope or interest to bring Mokokchung back to the place it once occupied in the state political landscape. They are given to meeting the immediate goals of the party they are involved with. However, for those who are closely observing the prevailing political situation, it is a matter of serious concern if not cringe worthy. Someone once said that there is no honour in politics – and it must be true. So long as it serves one’s interest, who cares whatever happens to Mokokchung!
It is said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the NE India region more than 50 times in the last 8 years. He must have visited Nagaland 4 or 5 times already as Prime Minister and is likely to visit again soon. Unfortunately, he has never been to Mokokchung and that proves where the erstwhile ‘political nerve center of Nagaland’ stands today. In the past, prominent political leaders of India like Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, all of whom served as Prime Ministers, as well as a number of other Indian national leaders have visited Mokokchung. A number of union ministers of the Modi government have also visited the state on numerous occasions over the last 8 years but hardly anybody visited Mokokchung. This speaks volumes about the significance of Mokokchung in the larger scheme politics in Nagaland.
Further, it is difficult to accept the fact that there is hardly any politician from Mokokchung with the caliber to call the shots in Nagaland today. With 10 assembly constituencies out of 60 allotted to Mokokchung, the district should have been the kingmaker of Nagaland state politics. Instead of producing tall political leaders, we have rather produced a crop of party hoppers – the kind of politicians who are never likely to climb the ladder to the top echelons of any political party of good standing. One of the most interesting revelations about the ensuing election is that we are seeing a number of political parties each with a good number of ‘winnable’ candidates. None of these political parties are headed by someone from Mokokchung – forget about being headquartered in Mokokchung. All of the above clearly indicate that there is an acute dearth of good leaders in Mokokchung today, be it political or otherwise. In contrast, while almost all sorts of electoral malpractices prevalent in Nagaland today have their roots in Mokokchung, it is disheartening to see no politician brave enough to stand for what is just and right. By the look of things, as far as state politics is concerned, we will have to reconcile with the fact that we are no good at all and will have to remain contented, playing second fiddle to others.