A barrage of bashing and stinging reports and articles have flooded in the pages of the media on the ills, mal-governance, scams, corruption, omissions and commissions perpetrated by NPP led MDA government in Meghalaya which resulted in serious ramifications in the State and has reached across other states and the Union government. Realising the adverse impact and disastrous effects of the matter, the MDA partners namely the UDP, the BJP, the HSPDP, the PDF and others have distant themselves and tried to put the blames squarely on the NPP alone for all the mess including protests on the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on border settlement with Assam.
All these are nothing but displays of pettiness and desperate attempts by these MDA partners to disown responsibility but in fact they are part and parcel, abettors and collaborators of the acts already perpetrated. If they are really clean from all accusations and blames, why have they not withdrawn support to the NPP led coalition government? Yet, unashamedly, they are still sticking thick and fast to it because the time is still there and the spoils are still plentiful to be shared and enjoyed.
Dear NPP, UDP, BJP, HSPDP, PDF etc, who are you trying to fool or hoodwink? Is it the voters during elections in 2023? Remember, it is just six months away only! The voters are not so forgetful or foolish as you take them to be. They can very well read between the lines what you did and speak before and during elections.
Among the coalition partners only BJP openly criticised and condemned the NPP government for various scams especially the party president Ernest Mawrie and its vice-president Bernard Marak who is also the MDC of Tura. The UDP too was not very happy with the messy affairs within the government but it is helpless on the excuse that it wanted to thwart President’s Rule. But it is something else. The MDA government will not collapse if the nine UDP MLAs and two BJP MLAs withdraw support to it for the effective strength of the government then there will be 37 MLAs (48 – 11 = 37).
The BJP here is not unanimous because its two MLAs in the government are determined to support the MDA but the non-MLAs are at odds with it. The central BJP bosses stand firm by Conrad Sangma’s led NPP government as the NPP led MDA was raised and enthroned by the central BJP to ensure its pan India agenda of “Congress Mukt Bharat”. Even today, the MDA government is cajoled and soft pedaled by the Central BJP bosses. Many here called NPP the Team B of BJP in Meghalaya in spite of BJP already in existence. But the top bosses in Delhi care more about Conrad Sangma’s NPP than the present BJP leaders here.
Now, let us turn to the Christian church here in Meghalaya. The mandated role of the church is to serve and work for the welfare and salvation of the whole man, both body and soul. The mandated role of the State (government) is to serve man and work for his overall welfare and ensure his better quality of life as a human being. So the roles of the church and of the State are similar in many ways, that is to serve man for his welfare except that the State is not concerned with the welfare of the soul or salvation of the soul of man.
In Meghalaya we have so many denominational Christian churches and almost 70 per cent of the population is Christians but the Christian churches are aloof, least bothered and indifferent to the iniquities, wickedness, corruption in all forms, scams and injustices perpetrated by the State (government agencies). In the wake of all these ills happening in society in the State it is expected that the church should play its proactive role (not to remain in hibernation, stay only in comfort zones) but to take head on by coming out openly and fiercely against corruption, scams, injustices and other evils perpetrated by anti social groups, the government and its establishments.
Then again, there has not been any instance when the church went hammer and tongs against corrupt practices during elections indulged by political parties, politicians and their cronies. In fact, the church as a mighty and powerful social organisation through its leaders should spare no efforts to fight tooth and nail against these evils, iniquities and wickedness prevalent in society for these are the satanic works on earth. The primary duty of the church leaders like the bishops, the priests, the pastors, the church elders etc is to preach and teach against the modus operandi employed by politicians and political parties during elections like various inducements by candidates, giving favours, cash for votes, proxy voting and other unfair means to win elections.
In fact the church is scared and hesitant to speak about politics for it was made to believe by former church leaders that politics is dirty and religion should not meddle or mix with politics. This is totally wrong. I do not know who were the Christian leaders, the church leader or Christian church who taught or advocated this. In fact, it is the Christians who should enter politics by bringing Christ’s qualities into politics and clean it from inside from its infirmities, rottenness, iniquities and wickedness.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Anyone who says that religion has nothing to do with politics does not understand what religion is”. On the other hand, Bishop Desmond Tutu of the Republic of South Africa on this issue said, “I am puzzled about what kind of Bible people are reading when they suggest that Religion and Politics do not mix”. In fact the church (christian churches) must play its role in cleansing politics. It must combat injustices and oppression, arbitrary domination and intolerance by individuals and political parties. It must do so with integrity and wisdom demanded by political life.
We must not forget that Jesus Christ was the greatest politician on earth and he dared to challenge the Jewish political high and mighty rulers, leaders and teachers of his time namely – the Sadducees, the Scribes, the Pharisees and even the Sanhedrin of the Jewish race of His time. In fact, he chastised and openly rebuked them and even scornfully called them “brood of vipers”. He introduced a new brand of politics of openness, cleanliness, transparency, accountability, justice, peace, brotherhood, love, charity, service, forgiveness, reconciliation and promised the people of his time a New Jerusalem.
The church of today in Meghalaya should come out clean from its stance on what to do with the corrupt and rotten politics of the day. It must, itself, first be responsible, blameless and transparent in its financial transactions and other dealings to have the moral authority as a powerful social religious organisation to command and demand responsibility, transparency, accountability and cleanliness from the politicians and political parties, from the State and government. The church will go a long way (and it is its bounden duty) to wage war against the deep rooted evils of corruption in the political system, in the government and in the state by devising ways and means, plans and strategies how to win it.
It can partly achieve the goal by reaching out to the masses through its inescapable units spread out in the villages where sustained and repeated exhortations, awareness campaigns, teachings and training are conducted for church members on how to fight and root out corrupt practices and corruption. Special common awareness programmes on the subject can also be conducted by selected persons for the whole village with understanding with the village authorities. The authorities of the church should exercise its social and religious authority to repeatedly appeal and warn politicians and government and its agencies to desist or stop the evils of corruption and corrupt practices here in Meghalaya in order to show a good example to the rest of India.