Promises contradict performance

It is now quite common to experience the practice of promises contradicting performance, especially in relation to governments and political parties involved in electoral politics. Ironically it is through the promises they make that they win the confidence of people; and inevitably, the very same that gets broken time and time again by the many parties that assume political power. The degrees to which political parties deviate from their promises betray a lack of will and commitment to truly serve the needs and aspirations of the people they claim to represent.

What does the habit of promises contradicting performance truly represent and what are its implications to human society? Does it mean that once in power, politicians take the people for granted? Or, are the people so naïve and powerless that every time their politicians betray the promises made, they so ignorantly become indifferent to the abuse of trust and the arrogance of power. Nonetheless, it does certainly raise fundamental questions of trust, democratic governance and accountability to the people.

The politics of forgetting, or more specifically selective amnesia is a common trait amongst government, and in particular, political parties in power often conveniently prefer to forget the promises they made while in the opposition or on the campaign trail. While they refrain from making precise promises once they are at the helm of political power, they are compelled by circumstance to declare programs and packages, primarily resulting from the necessity of coalition politics and of course the nature of support on which they are founded.
Though governments formed on coalition politics may have its share of limitations, it does however cause problems related to the politics of forgetting. Due to the inherent nature of coalition government, selective amnesia on the part of government is much more difficult and cannot be conveniently dismissed. The promises made in the heat of campaigns just cannot remain a promise it must be translated into performance that adequately responds to the need of the people. Coalition governments do provide a minimum level of accountability from within the partners. 

However in practice this does not necessarily imply that all coalition governments perform in accordance to their promises nor are they held accountable in a manner that reflects coalition politics of check and balance. When a coalition government performs in contradiction to its promises and actually gets away for doing so, it reflects serious breach of trust and an indifferent attitude towards the people they represent. More seriously it implies that either the people have become an accomplice or the coalition government has gotten too powerful to the extent of ignoring the rights of people.

Nagas are in an era of coalition politics. A higher standard of conduct and commitment in its performance to fulfill its pledge is expected. Tragically, the legislature – both government and opposition – continues to function behind rhetoric of improvement and development without actual performance. The barrage of speeches without action has become the norm. Nagas must critically question whether the present situation has resulted because of the public’s indifferent attitude or because politicians have become too powerful to care for the public anymore?