Used to violent secessionist battles since the 1950s, Nagaland has seldom associated with ‘Indian’ civil movements. But Anna Hazare’s anti-graft campaign appears to have struck a chord.
The northeastern state has a reason to warm up to the Hazare wave, albeit a tad belatedly. The Comptroller and Auditor General had in 1999 unearthed a major financial scandal in the Nagaland state lottery between October 1993 and November 1997.
According to the CAG report, tickets worth Rs 38,297crore from the state lottery were not credited to the government account.
Since Tuesday, hundreds of people have been organizing rallies in state capital Kohima in support of Hazare’s movement, taking part in candlelight processions and submitting memorandums to governor Nikhil Kumar demanding the Jan Lokpal Bill. Rallies have also been carried out in the state’s commercial hub Dimapur and Mokokchung town.
The Hazare supporters included representative from Naga Students’ Federation, Naga Mothers’ Association and Naga Hoho (apex social body of all Naga tribes). “Nagaland is a synonym for corruption, and the lottery scam tells you why. Our state needs to be free of corruption more than any other states,” said T Chang, a young participant.