Money’ in existence. The white one would be that earned by regular above the board services and the black one by disreputable work. Tainted one has a tendency is to bring about trouble as exemplified by the fact that Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot for ‘thirty pieces of silver’! In the present age there is an atmosphere of artificiality about money as one becomes aware of individuals or even countries which are advocating the use of the currencies such as Bitcoin and others for widespread use. Is an age of artificiality or even scams surrounding us?
When money in the form of various metal coins or even paper became difficult to carry around the use of using ‘plastic money’ or ATM Cards came into being.
One recalls that in ages past it was the peoples from Europe who went sailing both East and West, discovered new lands and by way of barter trade transported goods back to their own lands in massive galleys across the seas. Though the Europeans had minted money in their own lands, these were of no use to the natives of far off shores!
I read many years ago that when a 19th Century voter of England was asked whether he should heed to the needs of his voter or his financier replied that his loyalty lay with the financier. That system is true and prevalent all over the world, including Nepal. Money talked then, it talks louder now. Visits by outsiders to government offices during the night to avoid CCTV cameral has become standard practice now that its effectiveness i.e. images which should last for three months can be erased within seconds by helpers!
Money sent home by Nepali workers in the Gulf and Malaysia via hundi has been exploited by certain sections of our own society. Our industrialists or the ‘haves’ have industries or interests in phoren lands, keep their wealth in banks there or ‘off shore’ and use it elsewhere rather than in Nepal. Have the national feelings of such ‘big wigs’ evaporated and are they ‘citizens of the world’?
Money is the root of all evil. The easiest way to get money is by providing information either above or below the table. ‘Money talks’ simply means that information is easily available when one is prepared to pay for it! This statement can perhaps be disputed as perhaps by a user in FB who posted, ‘They say money talks, but mine just waves goodbye!
A regular Twitter Vimal Lamic on 18th January stated that a Nepali contractor who had received a medal for construction in Bhutan had left a Rs. 57 ‘aarab’ project in Nepal in limbo. Was it because of kickbacks which had to be given to higher ups? How will our country ever prosper in this world with such goings on?
The only one method to stop those with ‘money bags’ from being elected is by having state funding of elections. State should refund election expenses to those getting 10% of the votes cast – the limit to be raised from the current 3%. This clause, for those not getting 10% will deter many frivolous or non serious candidates from contesting. Winning candidate must get over 50% to win. Therefore ‘Run off’ between two highest candidates is essential to elect genuine candidates. These measures will cut election spending. Furthermore in such electioneering setup there must be provision for the voter to tick ‘None of the above’ if s/he thinks so. Only by taking such steps will the wheeling and dealing i.e. by hook or by crook of losing candidates of major parties to get back to parliament be curtailed!
Though lower limit for candidates seeking election exists, there must be also be an upper ceiling e.g. at retirement age for government service. Putting 58 years as an upper limit for seeking office is a reasonable idea. The last practice of only 15 days canvassing and 48 hours of rest or recuperation prior to the opening of voting centres to be retained as it cuts election costs. Any candidate found to be flouting the rules should be barred immediately!
With the President and Vice-President elections being over the current discussion is the cost to the nation for the facilities and security being provided. Why should house allowance be provided when they have a house in the country? Why can’t they go back to it? Also the vehicles and high security with blazing sirens when ‘No horn’ rule exists to not only these Ex Presidents but also to the large number of aged Ex PMs? We must stop throwing all this money around. Let it go to the raising of standards of the poor Nepalis who abound all over the country.
Prospective political candidates must keep in mind the words of Rudyard Kipling who wrote, “Beware of over concern for money, or position, or glory. Some day you will meet a man who cares for none of these things. Then you will know how poor you are.” Ignoring such thoughts will make newly elected members just ‘Nine day wonders’?
More recent words to remember are those of the Beatles who sang:
Can’t buy me love, love
Can’t buy me love oh
I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend,
If it makes you alright.
Yes our situation in Nepal is alright for those at the top and running the country and not for others!
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