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Last Wake-up Call

BY P. KHAREL
Nepalis have suffered a hemorrhage of confidence in party leaders and a catalogue of 10 governments these past 11 years, without really much difference for all practical purpose. Many of the nation’s problems seen three decades ago remain exactly the same even now. Hunger invites anger that risks great danger of extinguishing reason, not to speak of vision, if any.
Large-scale educated unemployment, rampant corruption and lack of rule of law are the major ills afflicting governance. The prevailing culture has been one that measures an indidvidual’s success by the volume of wealth amassed, punity invoked and muscle power exhibited in action.
Local bodies and provincial councils should not be deliberately stormcentres. Colour of self-interest, localism and communalism does not do a nation pround. Loktantra is governed by nothing but a pious cliché reduced to be stiffled by corrupt practices and incompetent politicians.
How to take the nation off the excruciating boil is the biggest question staring at us. Whether there will be collective transformation for the better in the Left alliance is to be taken with a highly trying patience for a reasonable while.
TASK AHEAD: Public expectations are high, party promises higher and the task of delivering the same the greatest challenge since the dawn of democracy in 1951. Political perfidy, factional treachery, cronies’ greed and leaders’ unscrupulous practices amid lacklustre development strides have contributed to a feeling that something distinguishingly different might not happen for yet anothefr generation. Political parties presently are stripped of the last vestiges of their democratic pretences in serving people through good governance.
Collossus of institutional corruption and organised crime are the chief causes of all ills whose scale and gravity will only aggravate as one generation of leaders sense the time is not far for reluctantly passing on the reins of party power to a younger set of leaders. The brimming thrust of protest just beneath the thin layer of surface could rise any moment soon. Preventing it is the gist of the fate of us hapless folks, independent of the prejudices of party politics.
Whereas the corrupt are merciless in their methods and pursuit of profits, an average Nepali is defenceless to breaking point that could channel into boiling point of frustrations and pent-up feelings. Emboldened by ill-gotten wealth and impunity brandished about, politicians play riot with the existing state mechanisms they prefer to call “loktantra”.
LAST LAP: Disgusting heights of cronyism and nepotism during the decade just gone by demolished what little was left of the varous regimes’ credibility The inevirably temporary hangover causes a partial paralysis, signalling the situation what eventually might be in store for them in the ensuing times. That would be the last lap to disaster. Is this loktantra revealed or bedevilled by mainstream party men in mean and menacing mood? When deceit and treachery acquire the status of success, the devil’s dance takes the centrestage.
Former Chief Justice Sushila Karki’s show of support to the maverick Dr. Govind K.C. is to be looked against the background as to who promoted and highlighted Karki on the Supreme Court bench and KC who inspires some of his fellow medicos to halt hospital service and agitate. In an interview to The Republica daily Karki said: “Those in power turn a blind eye to corruption. Corruption… is rampant, from the top to the grassroots. Those who run the executive, the legislative and judiciary have not been serious about controlling it…By allowing corruption to flourish the three organs have stripped each other naked and done great disservice to the society.”
Leaders and their loyal followers should learn to hold deferential relations to one another among profesionals, intellectuals, artistes, news media and the like. Political parties must accept their own constitutionalisation, both organisationally and nationally, if they are committed to democratic governance and the discipline required for delivering the services pledged to the public before, during and after elections.
INVITING DISASTER: Where the state is unjust, there is no democracy. If government is biased and cruelly discriminatory on party lines, democracy is doomed. In Nepal, every step is poisonously affected by the spoils system at its worst, and hence the credentials of the appointees attract extended questions. Partisanism and faction-fuelled functioning deprive the independent and the politically marginalised out of scarce opportunities, including democratic participation and appropriate representation. Party oligarchy is in full force, generating the fury of the larger majority. Leaders become dons of the political crime world at the expense of the unorganised but vast majority of people.
Acts guaranteeing the rage and frustrations of the unorganised, but vast, masses cannot perpetually hope to be protected by inevitably unpredicatble tides that history teaches us can raid at any time any which way. Mass disenchantment invites mass disobedience, which is a potent source for breeding militant movements whose spillover could lead to public rage turning the lid of patience off and incite, Lord Pashupatinath forbid, violence. We have seen among the 2006-ers, people conscripted into the movement mercenary-like. When the tide rises, anything can happen any which direction of uncertainty.

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