‘Anything Goes’ first appeared as a book by PG Wodehouse and Guy Bolton and after being adapted was made into a Musical in Broadway in 1934 by Cole Potter. Over the course of the last eighty-six years it has had many revivals as plays or cinema in the USA, UK and even Australia. Its last presentation to the public was just four years ago in the UK. This catchword phrase, ‘Anything Goes’ is however highly prevalent in politics in almost countries of the world.
It has always been said that politicians make strange bed fellows and that no one is a permanent friend or foe. To alter a current phrase, one may say that the hues / colours of any politician changes as per the political situation that exists!
During this Dasain / Tihar break in this Covid – 19 era, a post by an ex-MP politician of a party in the opposition appeared in FB deploring the fact that undue influence was being exerted from the Northern Magnetic Pole on the PM of our land. It was a great surprise to see such a statement from someone of a political party that has always been subjected to magnetic pulls from the South!
The fact is that political influence in Nepal has always been from a definite route. I write this for it was the Colonial rulers of the South who started exerting their influence from over two centuries ago. In the same spirit came the end of the Rana Era, followed by the Panchayat one, (though such a Raj is embodied in the constitution of Down South) and exists there. The latest thrust as the coup de grace was the 12-Point Accord engineered from the Southern pole. So, what is so amiss in the prevailing situation in our land?
It had been and still is customary for Nepalis to go to Muglan or the land of the Moguls / Angrez and /or to be Lahures in the army of Ranjeet Singh at Lahore. Those were glorious days when we were looked up to. Even late PM of India – Indira Gandhi was in the initial stages of her reign protected by Nepali sons in the Gurkha Regiments of the Indian Army. It was later when the Brown Sahib Syndrome set in and seeing the reality of the Bahadurs and Kanchas in the surroundings of Delhi that the superiority complex of South Block took over in the affairs of Nepal and the Nepalis. It was simply a case of whether the Babudoms of South Block or the Mandarins of Beijing in the North had the ears of the Nepali PM!
Look at the current debacle that is occurring in the US. As per the norms, being a nation that is called the ‘Father of Democracy’, one expects everything to be done as per the democratic norms. This is what we have been brought up to think or is it that we have been brainwashed to believe as a democratic norm? There we see a Head of State who has lost the election, refusing to concede that he has been rejected by the people. When the nation has decided that he must go then why is he acting in an obstreperous manner and creating obstacles in the way of his successor? Is he any different from those who he has been labelling as ‘Tin Pot’ dictators of Shit Hole countries such as presumably Nipple!
This from a Nation, said to be a Beacon of Democracy with a history going almost 250 years, though not without acts of gruesome cruelty and ethnic cleansing, is literally shameful. But it is perhaps wrong to categorize it in such a fashion. Surprisingly, in such an enlightened society as the USA, even words such as socialist and socialism are taboo! I had been once told that the US was so democratic that one could say, “Mr. President, I think you are wrong”. It doesn’t seem so anymore!
It was these enlightened countries of the Western world which started the custom of slavery for their own improvements and upliftment. They ruled over their colonies with an iron fist, taking the raw materials back to their lands and then selling the finished products to those whom they governed. The developments of the last seventy years after the end of World War II and Colonialism have shown that these same primitive countries around the world can make progress if left alone. It shows that what the great Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire said and taught as the Practice of Freedom were certainly true. Sadly political leaders of many lands have shown their true colours in that they are presently like the emperor in his new clothes. After all, democracy, although introduced with pious intent is difficult to put into practice.
We in Nepal had a 2/3rd government which was nipped in the bud some sixty years ago. This present one with the existence of thirty months does not seem to be thriving well. The two main leaders are at loggerheads at this time of Covid-19. An option seems to be sudden helicopter flights to distant sites to get away from the current issues at hand! Leaders infected with Corona spend time with their families at luxury hotels whilst the homeless or unemployed cannot ever be served free food on the green grass of the Tundikhel but are rather shunted to the dusty Bagmati River bank at Thapathali. What the future holds for us is unclear. Lacks of local Melamchi water or fertiliser from foreign lands are just two of the issues. As an afterthought one wonders if it is a genetic trait that exists in all our Nepali leaders. Such netas le je gareni bho. We too, are just dumb spectators in this land.
The author is a retired medical doctor and writes fiction under the pen name of Mani Dixit also. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd