‘Happiness’ is, after all, only but a temporary period of ‘pause of sadness’. Such was a famous French poet lyricistLéo Ferré’sview in life. The current feeling amongst the larger citizenry in Nepal also appears to be tilting toward this view. Have we all become poets to start interpreting achievements of life in a poetic fashion, despite our dailywoes, essentially due to a deliberately fragilized political system and weakened bureaucracy, along with the inherent misalignment, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation of truth by activists, careerists and expert spinners?
Recall the repeated promises for a better and immediate future we were made, the dreams of eternal happiness we were shared, and the minimum due process we were spared one decade and a half earlier. Indeed, opportunistically ‘nothing’ was planned to be converted into ‘something’. Political alchemists with halo around them, so confident of their wisdom, then ignoring the importance of lab-tests and soil verification, coercively tabled an agendafor change of exogenous design. They had their pride to protect; their masters to abide by.
In the past decade and a half, the country, indeed, witnessed a sea-change. Views about the outcomes have been mixed and depend on which side ofthe seat on the rostrum the speaker is holding. But the mixture is still dominated by the conclusion that the average is less than bright and lower than what was promised, and that the plight of those who were suffering remains the same.The trajectory has, thus, been turbulent, thematically changing and theatrically crowded, but tragically with a zero-sum outcome.
Many human rights focused scholars have recommended to never accept ‘suffering’ to be a usual and unchangeable phenomenon.Excessive sufferings morph into feeling of oppression, and ultimately lead to revolution.Hence transformation, althoughperiodically warranted, should not be to add more suffering. However, for transformation to be positive, sensible groups should speak up and demonstrate why, how and what is wrong. Instead of tergiversating like the spinners on the other side, they have to become ‘natural opposition’ in the peoples’ parliament.
Luckily for the nation, there are still a few neutral minds, who, however, are given limited space in the mainstream media, if at all. Whenever such minds have spoken, so far, they have unbiasedly shared elements of truth. But perceptional risk, therein, still hangs in that their neutral views can always be considered as biased by those for whom leaning one one side is an existential necessity.
Nation building takes more that rhetorical opportunistic statements, tokenism of inclusiveness, misinterpretation of the notion of rule of law, unhealthy alliance with selected societal groups for purposes of breaking the unity of some, howsoever strategic that may be, and multiple development plans and white papers on the shelves only.
What the nation needsare constitutionalism, both in thinking and behavior, adequate law-making, both to deter immorality and maintain order, inclusiveness, both in substance and form, representation, both socially and ideologically, and equality, both in opportunity and participation. These should be, to borrow respectively from Alexis deTocqueville and Gunnar Myrdal, aimed at improving‘both living standards and social conditions’, andensuring an ‘upliftment of the society in its entirety’.
Or else, the nation would have bounced in all directions but reached nowhere. An ‘unsatisfactory’ system would have been merely converted into an ‘unknown’ and an ‘unwarranted’ one, despite the sacrifice of many patriots and devoted souls!