‘Prajatantra and Ganatantra’ that people understand should have meant stability accompanied by a consistent and high economic progress ensuring a situation of service seekers getting mostly what they want at market rates. We have restored ‘Prajatantra’ in 1990 and achieved ‘Ganatantra’ in 2006. Both these ‘Tantras’ have, however, proved to be of no significance to us because we neither could achieve stability nor any economic progress to enhance nation’s self-reliance. Rather, the politicians used the two ‘Tantras’ as a license to bankrupting the nation the best they can having reached the power with whatever means. The nation is going to have the 24th government very shortly within a period of 31 years with the dawn of democracy in 1990—strange as it is, the average life of a government remained just 16 months.
A hectic parley is already in progress with claims and counterclaims of which party to form and lead the new government after the Supreme Court’s verdict that quashed the dissolution of the House of Representatives. What is more discreditable is that the alien power in the form of especially the Indian and the Chinese ambassadors—that esteem oneself to be the greatest influence peddlers in Nepal, given the ‘Lampasarbadi’ culture the leaders follow—seem hyperactive making such parleys having forgot to mind their own businesses.
But the ‘Bhuin Manchhes—I mean the hoi- polloi’—people of small means— who never could feel their days to have come are least bothered to what is happening for they very much know that leaders with the worst track record will once again come to the forefront and would be forming and leading yet another government. The commoners would have been certainly interested had there been the political elders that could make a thorough introspection of how people rate them and gracefully pass the baton to the youth like Gagan Thapa, Gokarna Bista, and Ram Karki. I am not optimist that these youth would do all well. I simply mean that they should also have the timely opportunities to prove themselves as flop as their predecessors. That is it!
I reiterate that I am purely an independent and private citizen and therefore closer to none and afar from none—no biases for and against anyone that were/are at the political helm. But I tell it with a very heavy heart that people like Khadga Prasad Oli, Puspa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal, and Sher Bahadur Deuba are now no more the choices of the people—nobody not even their own ‘Hukkes-Baithakes’ might chose them when given free hands. These people becoming the PM of this country again could mean destroying and dismantling the nation and inviting many more chaos that could hardly end without ending many more things, including the hard-earned ‘Loktantra’. I am not a prophet, yet I foresee it around the very corner and I can bet on it.
‘Loktantra’ that we have earned with a heavy sacrifice and considered superior to ‘Prajatantra’ is a value that emanates from ethical/normative premises and offers a benchmark for what is desirable, and what is not. Values are prescriptions tested against some underlying assumptions—ethical codes. Values are critical in enabling mankind face trade-offs while choosing among their commitments without any feeling of guilt. Values embody fairness and justice that respect needs and rights of others. Values influence both heads and hearts—people that value values possess both warm hearts and cool heads. Value is a normative issue and helps humans set their bottom line of ‘how down to get down’. Values relate to the ethical choices—objective choices between good and bad, and right and wrong.
‘Loktantra’ is putting the ‘people and the nation first’ value. It is never a Tamasha of a sort imposed on us for long. Why has this been so? The answer is plain and simple. The leaders ruling the country one after the other are never ever committed to ‘Loktantra’. They wanted it just for themselves, not for the people. Their interest is something else— playing the game of musical chairs of power with the ‘Shakti, Sampatti, and Santati—power, property, and family’ as both ways and means—a heal-all panacea—an end-all destination. Many of them made many tall promises many times but that hardly shifted from rhetoric to action.
I am an elderly person with capability of analyzing most happenings with all possible permutations and combinations. Nevertheless, I could never understand why Nepal’s politics is a money making factory.
Democracy and ‘Loktantra’ do not cause a sharp divide of people with the ‘Congress’ or the ‘Communist’ tags with the rulers therein discriminating people based on who do and who do not knock at their doors to fawn, flatter and display sycophancy. But our leaders discriminate people so much that doing so were an integral part of Nepalese politics, a part of their DNA. We are at the peak of such discrimination. Should such things happen in ‘Loktantra’?
Most Nepalis doubt if our leaders are indeed humans for they have observed leaders to have drifted away from their bottom line over and over again in exchange of higher material gains. They fail to acknowledge that what achieved having lost conscience is meaningless. They remind Nepalis the classic story of Nancy Astor—an American woman married into the English aristocracy and the first woman elected to Britain’s Parliament. The story relates to a theoretical discussion on morality between Lady Astor and Winston Churchill—an unorthodox genius with a long and distinguished political career and Britain’s Prime Minister during World War II. Churchill once requested her to ponder a hypothetical question for a thought experiment: the question was whether she would sleep with a person if he were to promise her a million pounds in exchange. Lady Astor pondered the question for a while and finally answered, ‘yes, if the money were guaranteed.’ Churchill then asked her if she would sleep with him for five pounds. This time her response was quick and sharp, ‘of course not; what do you think I am—a prostitute?’ Churchill smilingly replied, ‘that fact is already established, we are simply negotiating the price.’
Many more leaders other than Oli and his aides made tall talks on constitutionalism, progression and regression, moral values, and societies’ normative expectations until the Supreme Court issued its verdict. After the verdict, such words are not in their memory— the ideals preached before are just bygones. The one point mission is on occupying the chairs so as to again loot whatever left. Keep watching the days ahead, you all will see Oli and his aides preaching the same that the other leaders did before the verdict. This is our politics, stupid !
Oli is not going to give up that easily—the others have done the same too. Blaming Oli alone is meaningless until the culture he represents is nipped at its very bud for Oli symbolizes Nepal’s contemporary political culture, not an individual. The days ahead could be more chaotic with unrest, turmoil, and disturbances. Frequent changes of governments resulting in the series of governments formed not lasting even for a year could be a rule; there could be yet again a great mockery of ‘Loktantra’. Power retention with no ideological conviction and ethical values will be the leader’s priority. Every new government will fix the blame for the past, but not the course for the future. The moment a party forms a government, it could face a compulsion of putting all its strength to stay put itself with almost no time for the country and the people. The moment a party descends from power, it could garner all its strength to dragging down the other parties in power alleging that nothing was done for the greater good of the country. Everyone watching all this will again urge the leaders ‘change not the government, change your value system—Sarkar Haina, Sanskar Badala’. But people will see no light to the end of the tunnel to this direction.
For long, the culprits—the evils—have prevailed in the country as a result of which good, honest, and capable people have been facing hardships of all kinds. The country that in essence belongs to the 30 million people is monopolized by a handful of politicians and their coteries. The people that have prevailed and enjoyed in the country after 1990 are none other than the politicians, their sycophants, and those that are capable of buying opportunities with any amount asked by the power brokers—the commission agents— that work on behalf of the politicians.
I neither defend God nor do I offend it. But people who defend God believe the following Sanskrit Shlokas and solace people that someone is certainly to be sent to rescue the people and do away with the entire existing evils as Nepal has already reached that climax. Nepalis— whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, farmers or industrialists, beggars or billionaires, male or female— wonder if it could come true, indeed.
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् !
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे !!
They also look for a ‘ Manish’ as Sishir Yogi envisions:
छाडेर काम सारा एक काम रोजिरहेछु !
यो देशमा म एउटा मानिस खोजिरहेछु !!
I wonder if such a HERO really exists ! If yes, jump into the action without further ado. I am already 70. Can I see him/her during my lifetime?