There is in the country a two-thirds majority government in place. The Provincial governments too are in a situation with such majorities that they can function and do what is desirable for the people at large. However the refrains in the wind is that things are not going right.
Many years ago I had come across a book titled ‘All the President’s Men’ by Bernstein & Woodward and set in the USA of Richard Nixon. Now looking at what is happening in the USA, the rest of the world is in two minds as to what to emulate. This is not the right time to be emulators I feel for the simple reason that Donald Trump is at the helm there. Many in his land however vouch that what he is doing is the best for the USA.
The point I am getting to is that the present government of ours is said to have come to power because of the 3rd ‘informal’ blockade that our Southern neighbour had trust upon us from the time that democracy had been ushered into this land of ours by their fervent support! Their actions have surprised many and distressed others as we is this country were going through difficult times following the earthquake of 2015.
Was it because the Indian and Nepali leaders of the past did not see eye to eye? Not once, not twice but three times. Was it because they could not get along? Why did the old equations fail considering that there have been no past enmity? What led to the shattering of the apparent bonhomie that had existed previously till the time of the earthquake of 2015? Is it because of some external force in the background that is making all the moves as on a chess board and calling ‘checkmate’ periodically, irrespective of who is sitting on the chair? Is it all to the refrain of “Kings and leaders may come and go, but I go on forever?”
The reality is that we Nepalis are the underdogs who have been suffering down the ages. The bare mountains that comprise a major part of our country are not conducive to support all of us. We Nepalis have been a nation of migrants – the Lahures and Bahadurs. Now it is mostly Kanchas who are being exploited. A lot of the Nepalis lost their lives fighting against the British from the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh till 1816 and the Treaty of Sugauli. Then the Gurkhas fought in both World Wars and won medals for bravery but a very large number paid with their lives and achieved martyrdom. Now of course the Nepali army and police force have been praised for their very great contributions as a ‘Peace Making Force for the World’.
Our own land however is in a state of flux. Almost a year has passed since the country held elections for the Federal Parliament, Provincial Assemblies and the local level administrations. The devolution of power from the centre to the provinces is not taking place as smoothly as one had been expecting. Why? Is it because the taste of power has made all neophytes rulers crazy? Somehow it seems that the Centre, as in the past does not want to let power pass on to the local authorities or to the provincial assemblies. Thus personnel for the proper functioning of the administration are not it place. In a manifestation of revolt it seems that Provincial Assembly No.2 tried to appoint police and administrative personnel but has been told by the Centre not to do so.
Nepal is said to be the ‘Land of Temples & Gods’ and the increase of tourism by way of tourists from all over the world and internal ones are said to be the bright spots of our economy. The recent Asia Pacific jamboree or get-together is claimed to be for this purpose.
Whilst we are said to be self sufficient in eggs and milk everything else is imported from outside. The producers of our farmers e.g. sugar and bananas cannot compete with external imports, They need to be helped and encouraged to raise agricultural outputs in all areas with the use of mechanisation so that their produce can replace and export apples, onions etc and not just ‘Ready to eat noodles’! But things are not right in this land of ours.
People do not feel safe in our country. The effort to make the concept of ‘Chaupadi’ a practice of the distant past cannot be implemented in the Far West Region of this land. Many communities in this land still accuse frail old ladies of being witches and feed them faeces. Has all the efforts of the NGOs and INGOs working in this land to lessen ‘Violence Against Women’ gone to waste? One reads in the papers of rapes of minors from the Madesh to the Mountains and from the East to the West of this land. Murders are reported almost daily in the newspapers. Many of the roads in this land of land are full of potholes and bigger ditches left open without notices indicating danger. Loaded tippers running amok with drivers unable to control their vehicles are mowing down travellers on two-wheelers. The daily newspapers are printing that government offices and the personnel therein are involved massively in corruption. Whilst money is found for wide-body planes that are not flown or luxury vehicles for offices, no money remains to buy fire fighting engines! What should we Nepalis hope for?