During the course of the campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the USA, Donald Trump had referred to one of the contenders as ‘Lyin Ted’. It turns out that Trump himself is prone to that, as some incidents have been recalled when he undertook another alias as ‘John Barron’ and praised himself!
We all surely remember that as children we were brought up to be honest and not to tell lies. The question of course arises whether something of this behaviour is desirable or practicable in life. As one grew up one came across such terms as ‘fibs’ or minor lies which were said to be ‘white’ and thus inconsequential. In these days one wonders if this implies that ‘black’ lies were bad. Is there a tint of racism here? Then there was the categorisation of minor and major meaning thereby that it was the big ones which affected many were the ones that really mattered. As far as politics in Nepal is concerned it does not really matter whether it is big, small or gigantic! Here ‘Anything Goes’ and we all are perhaps living for the moment only.
Many years ago a Swedish Premier had to resign his post as he had lied to the House. There have been other instances in other parts of the world, where politicians who have lied have been impeached and have been swept away. Nixon lied about Watergate and met this fate.
Our politicians, it seems have been lying at every stage of the journey. It seems that all the politicians in Nepal live by the code that there are ‘No friends and no foes in politics’.
This brings me to the point that even the late Sushil Koirala, who was a very simple and frugal person and had never wanted a ministerial post all his life, had stated when the prime minister ship was thrust on him that the constitution would be out in one year and the local elections would be held within six months after that.
Now the situation is that the Constitution is out but the local elections are in the horizon only. The onus is on KP Oli to carry out what the Nepali population has been expecting these many years. If the other parties have their say, it seems that the local elections will be postponed again. The people are fed up for those in power do not want any new faces to emerge from the local level to challenge them. Conversely the locals in every place, it seems are fed up with the doings of the bureaucrats who come and give orders and carry out decisions which are not beneficial to the local population.
It is not that elections cannot be held. After all, the Election Commission had held two National elections and periodic bye-elections so far and has shown its credibility. The concept of holding elections in stages has been accepted, for holding them in November will also mean that the Northern areas of the country will be inaccessible. Eighteen years is a long time to wait to exercise ones franchise but it seems that elections may be postponed again as the Federal boundaries have not been set. Implementation of constitution however requires that elections be held. The situation is somewhat like – Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Politicians from most of the parties, (except for U-ML which happens to be calling the shots) all seem to be against it. It may be recalled that even during the Panchayat days when the late Marich Man Shrestha was premier that elections were in the process of being called when the government fell. A pity for there had been provision for representation of more women at the local level. If those elections had been held one can say with almost certainty that there would have been more women in the corridors of power in Nepal today!
There is no doubt that the new provisions will encourage new faces, especially of women to join in the fray. New faces in politics will be of the gentler sex, but this has put fear in the minds of men! Many women in this country will become participants in the political field and Nepal will certainly be fortunate.
Having written all that I must end by saying that I cannot give the ministers of this government a clean chit. They are a bunch of liars too. Look at all the fiascos regarding the post earthquake reconstruction, the supplies of gas and fuel. They are perpetually lying about the supplies of this and electricity. The hours of load shedding that we are being subjected to daily are a curse in our lives! It seems that all our politicians, whether in or out of power are taking us common folk as a bunch of fools. They make statements even when they are aware that this is never going to happen. Let us all therefore be resolute and make up our minds not to re-elect this bunch of individuals who have already displayed their cunning and incompetence. It is now time that we elect a total new set. Let us all work towards that end.
The author writes fiction under the name of Mani Dixit. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd