The Kangressi Hullabaloo which started on the 4th of March and should have ended on the 7th has still not finished. Some reports in the media have listed a number of shortcomings which occurred during the course of the meeting in spite of the immense labour and expense which have been expended so far. The first newsworthy item was of the electronic voting which should have been utilised for the election. The general expectation was that the results would be quick and forthcoming as is usual in this day and age. But no it was ‘Back to Mangalman’ and so to the use of the old methods of reckoning. This hesitancy to take up modern methods shows quite clearly the resistance to change in the party.
The electronic counting would have simplified the whole system. Why the yes / no for its use and then its ultimate rejection? It cannot be that the election contestants and their voters do not know or cannot use it. One has only to look at the immediate results for the Republican or Democrat contestants in the state election or caucuses that are currently underway in many sites of the USA. Was the rejection of this system in Nepal simply because it is dhandali proof? Are the NC contestants not ready to use it as they do not want its usage to be regularised for the impeding local and then the national elections? Once that occurred, the work of transportation, storage and protection of ballot boxes prior to counting would have been a practice of the past. The opportunity for malpractices with bogus votes would be stopped. This aversion to new technology seems to suggest that the Nepali Congress is a party that does not want to change its old moorings. Is it not time for the Old Order of the Party to make place for the New? The Wind of Change is said to have occurred but looking here and there it is likely to be a mirage. Are the people being hoodwinked again?
Our DPM Kamal Thapa has announced that the local elections will be held soon. Is that a certainty? The other day I also read that the Speaker of the House is not accepting the nomination of an Election Commissioner to be discussed and debated in the House. People seem to be at loggerheads as to what is the correct way forward. Are autocratic decisions being made? There seems to be delaying tactics everywhere in Nepal whenever anything is ever proposed. One thought is that whenever any action is proposed there is always a counter or opposite action taking place. Is there a place for consensus, sometimes for its functioning? Is it because we in Nepal are tired of the so called, 5-point, 7-point, 11-point or 12-point agreements that the parties make in distant lands and bring it to the Nepali populace as a fait accompli? As these all tactics by the politicians to pull wool over the eyes of the masses and get their way?
A blatant example of making us, the public suffer is the diversion of substantial amount our essential supplies of fuel and energy by state organs to private parties to sell at prices above the authorised. The people at large are made to suffer in that they have to pay extra for daily needs. As an example one can question is that when the going price of petrol is Rs.99 per litre, then why is it being sold at Rs. 150 or Rs.130? The Indian Ambassador is on record stating that India is ready to supply as much oil as we want. Similar practices may be taking place for cooking gas too I suppose. Why then this artificial crisis? Is it to make a financial killing at the cost of the poor Nepali consumer? Why are not the politicians in power speaking or commenting about it? Why are those in the opposition strangely quiet? Are all their attentions centered on an election and its counting which is going to take almost ten days in these modern times?
What is the reason for the mess up that this poor country of ours is in? Everyone is aware that it is the present sets of politicians of our country who have been at the helm of affairs during the last quarter century are those who are responsible for the state of the country. The usual practice of blaming the Ranas or the Kingship for all our ills is no longer tenable. It is high time that those running the show mended their ways and produced results. If they cannot function with enthusiasm and vigour then they should make way for others who are ready to show the way forward. Our country has been at the crossroads for too long? It is waiting for a son of the soil to rise up to the occasion? Who will that, be is the question that is in every one’s mind.
The author writes fiction under the name of Mani Dixit. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd