Mahatma Gandhi had on one occasion told his listeners the above words. When I was in Zambia some years ago, I saw an image of four monkeys – one covering its eyes, another ears, the third covering its mouth and an additional fourth with both its hands covering his genitals. I queried this with the shopkeeper, who replied, ‘Do no evil’.
A recent news item was that the Chief of the CIAA had been hauled before the Parliamentary Good Governance & Monitoring Committee to receive further direction for the eradication of corruption in this land of ours. He stated that the anti-graft body had set up five regional offices in the five regions of the country. He was however bluntly told to go after the ‘big fishes and not just stick to small fry.’ This was great directive and objective but the question remains as to whether it will ever be attainable. The CIAA Chief has been compared to the Superhero Superman who, in an effort to be quick, discards his clothes as he trots forward to take to the skies and to go after the ‘baddies.’
Yes our Desi Superman, a man of the people, has been active from the day of his appointment. He also epitomises the Scarlet Pimpernel, a character active during the time of the French Revolution:
They seek him here, they seek him there,
They seek him everywhere,
The Scarlet Pimpernel.
The good news for our ‘Man of the People’ at this time of Dashain 2071, after a period of nearly two years when he was in a state of ‘Trishankhu’, is that he has been brought down to earth with a decision that his appointment can never be null and void. In this new state of confirmation let us now see what he can do for our country Nepal.
The scenario is grim in that the ‘Cancer of Corruption’ is rife in the areas of education, health and development. What hope is there then for us ordinary Nepalis? It seems that out of 26,409 about 2/3rd had been quickly dealt with, and about 10% needed serious investigation. Let us all hope for the best.
Another such character of not so long ago was one that emerged as Kilroy. It was during the years of World War II when, from amongst the ranks of the Allies fighting against the Germans, this character made unheralded appearances. Messages or rather postscripts were left in different far apart locations where fighting was taking place with the words, ‘Kilroy was here.’ This flabbergasted the Germans no end. In fact a resurrection even occurred during the peace time visit of Bulganin to the UK in a post war period!
I remember an incident of about two decades ago when a group of us participants were having tea in terrace of a Nairobi hotel when to locals because involved in a scuffle. We all stared at the happenings but when things got quitter one of the lady participants discovered to her horror that her hand bag containing her passport, traveller cheques and other personnel effect had been quietly stolen. She never got it back!
I give the above examples because I see repetition, of almost all this. There is a saying which goes, ‘If you look long enough and hard enough, you will find that it has all been said before.’ So, is all what our CIAA Chief is doing just a natak to hoodwink the Nepali public, to distract it and get applause to create a diversion so that the real culprit goes free?
We read in the paper that files of such & such office have been impounded and taken to the central office for investigations. When truckloads of files are involved, what pray is the examining manpower’s capability and credibility to examine to do genuine justice? Or is it 'make-do' slapstick action to frighten the public at large?
What our society needs to be reminded about is the fourth monkey depicting ‘Do no Evil’. I remember that even the pre-Rana 1950 period, a woman from Kathmandu could not cross the Chandragiri sentry check post above Thankot without a special permit. Now many of our countrymen, attracted by the prospect of easy money are involved in trafficking many of our Nepali women and children across our open border to India and further afield. The unfortunates are abused, their bodies infected with various infections and when no longer a profitable earning source are thrown out on the streets. This type of behaviour from our countrymen and their involvement in such practices is a great cause for worry. The sad part of it is that the pepetutaers of such crimes against our own country people are given minor sentences even when caught. This is a sad reality and it is essential that drastic legal measures need to be put in place so that such incidents do not occur in the future.
Incidents of rape and ‘gang rape’ are being reported very frequently in both India and Nepal. The threat of a possible death sentence to those convicted of such crimes does not seem to be much of deterrent to those involved. The question then arises if we are at all human?
Last but not least is the violence against women (VAW) that is prevalent in many parts of the country. During the time of Dasain we find that a large percentage of the population throng the temples of Devis as Shaktipiths. If this one side of the story, the flip side is that it is the widowed and elderly who are sometimes labelled as bokshis, made to parade streets naked and even forced to eat their own faeces!