Top Heavy

All our netas, the big ones, the small fry, the stone throwers, ranke julus carriers were there to laugh or smirk at themselves during the course of various programmes being shown in the city.

Sept. 20, 2023, 4:48 p.m.

SAPARU – Gai Jatra 2080 BS is over. Our version of 'April fool' or for that matter All Fools Day is over. All our netas, the big ones, the small fry, the stone throwers, ranke julus carriers were there to laugh or smirk at themselves during the course of various programmes being shown in the city. Now it is back to normal. The nation is docile as there are no festivities on the threshold. Aba pheri bhetunla next year!

The other day I came across a post in FB that stated ‘A country with a population of just 3 Crores cannot afford to have 8 Rajas, 8 Sansads, 8 Upasansads, 130 Ministers and 884 ?representatives running the country.” This is simply just too heavy! As I think of the state of our country I think too of the nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, etc

Most Nepali leaders are like Humpty Dumpty by having been in party posts for too long periods without doing any substantial innovative functions. As they have been at the top and in power too long have become too heavy and should be made to tumble down! There should be party rules that if a party leader who has been at the helm of affairs cannot attain election victory or even reasonable success then s/he should resign on moral grounds and hand over the leadership baton to someone else.

I recently saw a post by Rochak Khabar in FB which was attributed to Abraham Lincoln which translated states:

“A hundred fools in a population do not matter to a nation but a single fool at the helm of affairs is a disaster!”

There has been a suggestion in the country by a former PM that the ‘First Past the Post’ system of election which we had previously should be reintroduced. My response to this is that seeing that we Nepali people having had the opportunity to have ‘Singha Durbar at Village Level’ have not really tried out this concept. We have not really given it a fair trial as the necessary legal facilities have not been enacted for it to function properly. The idea of electing people on the basis of proportional representation has not been given a fair trial in this combined form of election that we currently have. If a small country like New Zealand, ruled by former British citizen but which has a large Maori - indigenous population can make it a success, then why not we? The problem with the present system is that it is too costly. A suggestion would be to cut out the frills and retain only the basics to make the system function. A way forward maybe by implementing the suggestion given below:

  1. Reduce by one-third all members of the House of Representatives, National Assembly and in all the seven Pradesh Assemblies.
  2. Duplication of ministerial posts at both Central and Pradesh levels are not necessary. All Pradesh responsibilities e.g. Education, Health, Agriculture and perhaps even Law & Order do not need ministers at National level. The function and duties for these can be additional functions of the PM or national ministers. This will reduce costs.
  3. Besides the Pradesh Chief there should be maximum of four ministers. Besides the PM the number of ministers at National level should be fourteen.
  4. The Prime Minister of the country should be elected by the people and s/he should be allowed to select ministers from both within or outside of the party.
  5. Our army, confined different parts of the country should also be involved in internal and border security. It is doing a good function opening up different parts of the country, disaster management and UN peace keeping function. It will never be utilised to fight our two neighbours but should be employed like the Armed Force Police to protect our borders. Labour duties as ‘Batman’, drivers or plain labour needs to be curtailed.
  6. There too many VVIPs & VIPs in this country. Even ex Chief Justices for even a few days have to be provided police security for life. List has to be reviewed and made realistic so that state resources are not wasted. Police officers need not to go around sounding sirens when such personages travel.

The reality is that there has been delay in the devolution of power to the Pradeshes. It was stated in the National Assembly that out of 151 laws needed to implement federalism forty needs still to be enacted. This is now an essential requisite to be fulfilled by the central authorities. Only in such a fashion will we get rid of our top heavy state! Our country has become top heavy with the current politicians at the apex. They all need to be brought down to the level of the common people at the very bottom!

The good news is that the Election Commission is trying to get our House of Representatives to pass the necessary legislation for the implementation of NNT i.e. ‘No Not Again’ on our ballot papers so that we the people are in a position to tell our aged leaders that we no longer want them!

Our PM is on his way to the UN. Is he going to correct the lapse on our part of not informing the UN and the world about the ‘Chuchche Naksha’ showing Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh as integral parts of Nepal? It is apparent that then PM KP Oli and his foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali failed on this score. Good news now is that old maps showing these areas as being Nepali territory have been found at the Library of Congress in Washington and at the British Museum Library in London. Furthermore Nepalis hope too that the status of BRI, whether it is on the ground or in the air will also be cleared!

Finally I hope that nobody can put our leaders together again – just like Humpty Dumpty. This limited coterie of men over the course of last 30 years has done tremendous injustice to the country and us countrymen. In fact as Aleksander Solzhinitsyn ha said, ‘Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always head to cruelty.’

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

Dr.Hemang Dixit.jpg

Hemang Dixit

The author writes fiction under the name of Mani Dixit. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd

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