There is a saying in Nepali which goes, ‘Aas gar, bhar na par’. This is what the governments of Nepal have demonstrated to the people at large during the course of the last few years. Mr. Lal Dhoj when he was the PM had started the trend knowing full well that the ‘No load shedding in one year’ was not going to be implemented as per his command. Now this saying has become ritualistic with all the subsequent PMs and their ministers repeating it regularly in parrot fashion. This is now a regular saying as ‘Dasain ayo, khaonla piula’ in the context of Nepal.
Thanks to this anti-people blockade, instituted by our ‘Friend for Eternity’ India, things are in a hopeless state in Nepal. The electric transformers of the various localities in most cities perhaps are going, ‘Bong’, ‘Bong’ as they explode. The one in my locality in the Kathmandu Metropolis took its turn two days ago and as a result we have no electricity for the past 48 hours. Some tell me that when this occurs, the situation returns to normal in three to five days only! We are shivering in the cold, cannot cook, for even the so called “India-action” cookers popularised as a result of this blockade by India cannot function when there is no electricity. The silver lining in the horizon is supposed to be that if the Dhalkebar electric line is put into action within the next one month then the situation will ease. The point to remember is that even that supply, is being brought through India whose action during the last four months tell us ‘bhar patakai na parnu.’ Will our hope ever materialise considering the prevalent situation in the Madesh? It is still a big question for if Big or Elder Brother India is determined to teach its young sibling a lesson, the supply of electricity to Nepal will not take place.
But are we being fair in blaming our ‘Elder brother’ for everything that goes amiss? I think that we have brought most of these hardships on ourselves because of our own actions. The truth, which someone in the know how has informed me, is because all the transformers instead of being good Japanese, have been replaced by ‘More Commission’ ones by the NEA. This is the result of that misdemeanour!
The price of petrol because of this specially created fiasco is almost 3.5 times its actual price. Gas prices have sky rocketed. We are having to pay exorbitant prices for not only these items but even for common domestic consumables as life must go on. The student unions, which used to be on the streets in protest if the price of petrol was hiked by one or two Rupees per litre, are eerily silent now. Many if not all of them seem to be able to afford these inflated prices and roam around on their motor bikes in this hour of turmoil.
The situation seems to be that many are willing and happy! Those who pay the price do so as they have to get to work, those who ferry the petrol because they get much above the cost and those who bring it from across the border, because they can make easy money, depending on the number of jerry cans that they possess. The different party wallahs must be happy too for this is an easy way to generate income to fight the next election. This is easier than asking or even begging for contributions for that purpose.
The people for whom one has to be really sorry for are the people who have been affected by the massive earthquake of 25th April and its aftershocks. People were worried that aid could not be reached for three to four months because of the monsoon rains. Many earthquake victims, except the few who have been helped by the efforts of some NGOs or INGOs, are still languishing. Now it is eight months after the events that our leaders, because of their political bickering and eyes on the likely benefits have delayed the providing of relief to the earthquake victims. It is outright injustice and all politicians should hang down their heads in shame for this delay. The Reconstruction Authority which should have been looking to their rehabilitation has only just been formally formed because of the conflict between the major political parties of this land. What indifference to our countrymen’s plight!
It was reported in The Republica of 21st Dec. that rice worth Rs. 350.2 million sent as relief for earthquake victims through our Eastern border by Bangladesh, Bhutan and India were still in warehouses and were rotting. Similarly clothes worth Rs. 570.5 millions instead of being distributed to the earthquake affected people were also still kept in storage. What incompetence!
The plus point of this government is that it had the courage to stand up to India. However, because of its non performance and lack of seriousness in tackling the problems of the Nepali people, it is high time that it went.
The author writes fiction under the name of Mani Dixit. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd