Much water has flown down the River Bagmati since the time that the Federal and Pradesh elections were announced and it is now time to vote. I would like to put down some of my nostalgic thoughts. We Nepalis have seen it all but certain scenarios stick in one’s mind. The one in mine is a foreign looking girl who remarked:
‘There was once empires ruled by emperors, then came kingdoms ruled by kings, now we have countries ruled by ------.’ She did not say the last word. Guess what it is!
This times election campaign started off with pictures of some of our wizened leaders and the words ‘No Not Again’ accompanying it in the social media. Our election commissioner (EC) did not think it fair or gentlemanly and announced dire punishment to those involved in such activity. Respite was even sought from the Supreme Court which thankfully took the public’s side and announced it fair and square. Our EC then in an excited state took to the aid of Elon Musk’s Twitter and said that one should make comments such as:
But thinking over the action of the EC in the case of Dr. Toshima Karki one is inclined to question their partiality. She had informed being a member of the Nepal Medical Council, receiving remuneration for meetings and asked for clarification. Her request was ignored and she was not allowed to participate on the grounds receiving remuneration. The Court directed that she be allowed to contest in the elections. The EC has now pleaded to the Supreme Court for the 1st Nov. decision of the court be 'vacated'. How funny. Obviously the EC feels that all people are equal, but some people are more equal than others.
Our PM’s better half and another ex-premier took to Twitter too, to offer free visas and tickets to Nepali youths going abroad to work. Then the lady also tweeted that one should only vote for personages who come by helicopter. However landing at the election playground she was seen walking ahead of her husband being led by her security guard. Did she not find her feet following the helicopter ride? In this same context it was nice to note that her husband whilst crossing a small stream rode on a mare (ghodi). A compatriot of his had gone piggy-back on a human porter whilst crossing a stream. This scene reminded me of a nursery rhyme which I had learnt many decades ago that went:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, etc
I imagine that the PM has his worries too. Besides consideration for his better half, the grapevine news is that two or three of his party members are canvassing with the slogan that they are the likely oncoming PMs. To make life more difficult for him some, of this ardent followers place on his shoulders a 31 kilo mala made with saipatri flowers. What waste of our resources for a mala that never adorns a politician’s neck! Much, much cheaper would be the mala of shoes that some Twitter user is advising to greet him and three other Gathbandan leaders!
But all is not well in Dadeldhura as per the wails and SOS of Sagar Dhakal who has pleaded extensively in Twitter that the administration is gagging him and not allowing him access to the people. Using a microphone is not allowed by the police so as not to disturb the environment. Are the police mistaking the mike for the vehicle horn? Are some candidates i.e. of ‘Gathbandans’ more equal than others? Is this shade of George Orwell’s ‘1984’? Is this a time for the Nepali army to see order is maintained during our elections?
Another vision which I recollect is that of the duo Shris Madhav Nepal and Gagan Thapa, both saffron clothed with rudraksha malas and red tikas to give an odour of divinity to the Hindus of Secular Nepal. Of course no holy wine was in sight. Gaganji has gone one step further by visiting the Ganesh temple at Chabel for darshan before stomping around his constituency of Kathmandu No. 4. He even managed to do darshans of Bhagbat Gita and a ‘gao mata’ by the roadside. Will the Gods smile and aid him to be in the driving seat?
But it is not only those who should not be elected who feature in the Social Media. The ‘holo’ symbol flashed a picture in social media of four males and one female personage who it stated should be elected to the House of Representatives. Many other independent candidates are hoping similarly but the inside information is that some of the independents are in fact ‘pseudo’ and have been put forward as ‘Karonte’ candidates to aid the party wallas to win! This is amply shown in a clip which shows gates of Purano, Bagi, Party and Swatantra Peda Bhandars as choices to customers – read voters! It is thus a situation of ‘Koi eta, koi uta, koi eta na uta’. O Lord, guide us poor voters.
Finally are some of our comrades at the helm caught napping as enthusiastic Nepali youth are questioning the actions of our geriatric or old Red leaders and demanding that they not be elected? Was Oli’s presence at LOD to show that though a drinker, he was not OLD! Many old Red leaders, whilst accepting that Communism is out of date, are still supporting it. They insist that like in the days of Gorbachov of USSR, the practice Glasnost or openness and Perestroika or restructuring is necessary in Nepal too. With the two ‘Gathbandans’ our politicians and cadres have become strange bedfellows, confirming thereby that there are no permanent friends not foes in politics! Are we in the process of making a two party system in the country?
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