We, the beings of earth, are said to be in the third glacial age. Mother Earth is at this point in time is experiencing bush fires and floods in all continents of the world. One is left in wonderment at the colossal destruction taking place all around. The extensive pollution of the environment by human wastes, especially plastic has become a great hazard to marine life. The prospect of universal shortage of life giving water confronts us and one wonders if doomsday is around the corner. What does Fate have in store?
We in Nepal talk in reverence of our Matribhoomi as many in the English speaking world talk of Motherland. For the Germans it is Vaterland. What is the reason for this differentiation? Should we, in the context of gender sensitivity say ‘Ourland’? Or perhaps say ‘Grandfather land’ considering that the current crop of our ex-PMs of Nepal, vying for the seat again are over sixties and nearing seventies? Whilst government servants are made to retire at sixty, why should politicians be exceptions to the rule?
Our multiple times, astrologer friendly PM has not been able to expand his cabinet even after being in the post and in power for over two months. This befuddles us considering that he is an old hand, having been PM four times previously. In comparison to this, a ruling party or even the opposition leader in the UK vacates that position if the party looses the election. If the concerned person has done remarkable service to the country and is agreeable, he or she is given a knighthood after stepping down as party head. Of course one can refuse or delay such an event, as Winston Churchill did for some time. The advantage of such a practice is that new blood is brought into the system and the old are shifted to the upper house where they can continue their tirade for or against the government in power. This is all proper for as they say, ‘Old habits die hard’!
More recently the feeling in Nepal is that our regular party stalwarts are loathe forgoing their yearning for the PM’s chair. This present government came to power in our Matriboomi by benevolence of the court, though in a parliamentary system it should be Parliament that is calling the tune to which the political parties are expected to dance. Does this mean therefore that we have in Nepal a ‘Highcourtland’ which is calling the tune and our decade old leaders are playing musical chairs?
The time is ripe for change as all our political parties have scheduled there programs to have their internal elections for party posts. Some young leaders are raring to have a go. But is this for real or just a mirage to fool not only the party foot soldiers but also some of the gullible public? Is the pretence for change real? Mr. Madhav Nepal of the CPN United Socialist party created a sensation by stating that ‘Government employees, in service teachers and professors and swindlers' will not be given membership of this new party. The party intends to give priority to youth and does not plan in the immediate future, to unify with any other party. CK Raut’s party in Pradesh No.2 is discouraging permanent government servants from joining. All very well in theory but will it be implemented? Madhav Nepal’s words have doubtful meaning for whilst he said that he wanted the younger generation to take the lead, he ended up by becoming the leader once again!
A current practice that seems to be ingrained in the proportional representation system of ours is that the nomination of members to the house on the basis of elected seats is that it is the close relatives of the person elected. One has only to look at the fourteen pairs of husband/wife memberships of both the Upper and Lower Houses at the Centre. This practice probably also exist in the Pradesh assemblies. True that many countries in our part of the world viz Asia have a tradition of having ‘Wives, husbands, sons, daughters and even nephews’ to follow them. This has been exemplified in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and even Singapore. We in Nepal seem to be overdoing it! Unfortunately the political leaders of our country have been turned into political dealers by the external forces which have been interfering in our affairs for over seven decades. Keeping the handiwork of external forces in the dark, our leaders have been hoodwinking the public. Sadly such a culture exists in all political beings, though perhaps to a lesser extent in countries of the West. Whilst many children tend to follow the family professions and traditions, such practice is perhaps outdated.
Ignoring the reality that articles of our Constitution can only be amended by a 2/3 majority government, a political stalwart has voiced that we should switch over to having an elected president! The call for the reinstatement of both the House of Representatives and the National Assembly on 8th September was for the legalisation of the ‘Splitting Parties’ and other ordinances and perhaps for the MCC issue. What needs also to be noted is that the number of Bills waiting to be discussed and finalised stands at 55. Broken down these are 36 in the House of Representatives and 19 in the National Assembly or 43 and 12 as per another source. It is ministers who have the responsibility of getting the related bills passed. Have the concerned ministers and those in the opposition the realisation and conscience that this is a core duty? Amidst all this there is in the people of Nepal a great demand for change in the present set up of ours. As one looks around and sees all this, one can only mutter, ‘May Lord Pashupatinath protect us all.’
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