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SPICE OF LIFE

By P. Kharel

Awaiting change
Economic woes won’t agree to “Let bygones be bygones”. It never did in history nor will it now or ever. Oligarchy is what we are suffering—economic, political and intellectual—polarises as Nepalis engage in outright partisan lines with almost inimical intensity whenever an opportunity arrives from any quarter under any context for the ready-made pretext to be ventilated.
When in power, the notation chimes against forcible closures and strikes, and calls for discipline and responsible journalism. When the seats are changed to the opposition benches, the tune too changes, flouting the very exhortation made when in power. That’s Nepali politics in the past and the present. Ours is a political culture which does not call for apologies for wrong decisions or when promises get broken in a cavalier fashion. Yet we listen to these very dishonest ones, repose our faith in them to represent us in various units of the state structure. We too are ashamed of admitting failure in judgment.
They bide their time for better times when no one can say for sure, that is, if at all. With a bosom built with indignation, the bile wells up for action. Disgraceful deed needs corrective course. Railing at the past won’t do or deliver the promised goods. In the process, everyone notices the missing ideology of meritocracy. So far in Nepal, Loktantra does not deal with merit but personalised politics of cronyisms and favouritism.
Non-governance organisations
By any measure, the NGO wallahs in the capital city and other urban centres could do much for the general people and virtually forgotten orphans in the rural areas. Their initiatives in kissing-off advocacy programmes get profusely highlighted but the declared target groups become pissed off when realising that theirs is all talk and little or nothing in terms of concrete results.
Nepal hosts some 225 INGOs and 47,000 NGOs. There are plenty of people with plenty of needs in plenty of places. They should gladly go for making the selection process easier in keeping with the shortage of funds against the stupendous needs. Many NGOs fall for the carrot INGOs dangle at them even if bulk of the fund goes spent on the salaries, perks and whimsical decisions of the benefactor. Barring the publicity they manage for themselves through incentives doled out to some reporters, the quality of their sense of service remains highly questionable.
Against such background, Dhurmus (Sita Ram Kattel) and Kunjana Ghimire (Suntali) duo deserve a higher degree of recognition for the quality of service they render. They do not put on airs in public, unlike some of the NGO wallahs who hanker after funds and fear any transparent auditing befitting organisations supposedly devoted to public service.
Who’s father can do what?
Literally translated, the oft used line by millions of Nepalis, keen on asserting their stance, reads: “Whose father can do what?” Tourism Minister Ravindra Adhikary is the latest among VIPs to invoke the saying in action. He is reported to have doled out about Rs 400 million to favoured institutions. Milking the moment every inch and space is a familiar track for any ruling group. This time the logic might include that fact that the KP Oli government, with the largest “mandate” ever, expects the public to automatically treat as popular endorsement of whatever its ministers do.
Had Adhikary’s party been sitting on the opposition benches in parliament, its comrades in all probability would have cried hoarse against the “daylight robbery”. Interestingly, the main opposition Nepali Congress too is not raking up the issue much. Does the NC have similar skeletons in the cupboard that might turn up as response from the ruling side?

Loktantrik Nepal!
The Rising Nepal then other week carried an RSS story datelined June 7, 1967, in its “50 years ago” item: “On the occasion of 48th birthday of His Majesty the King, Nepal National Trading Ltd is selling all its goods at 10 to 50 per cent discount from today till 7th July.”
Now would it not be a good idea to offer price relief to the general public in the republic on numerous occasions marking the remembrance of political leaders who have left for their heavenly abode? No one will stop the tottering National Trading doing so in the name of Biseshwar Koirala, Subarna Shumsher, Ganesh Man Singh, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Girija Prasad Koirala, Sushil Koirala, Pushpa Lal, Manmohan Adhikary and Madan Bhandari, among many others.

Height of sycophancy
A group of friends last weekend recalled for the umpteenth time an incident that indicated to what extent sycophants operate. Dozens of such lot wrote poems on Hillary Clinton during the height of Monica Lewinsky scandal involving Bill Clinton the presiding deity of the White House in the 1990s. It is not known whether the programmes were organised with expenses borne by the American Ambassador’s special fund. But it is true that even noted literary figures and folk singers penned poems and recited lines lauding the supposedly lofty qualities of the First Lady at the White House.

Without comment
Prof. Kamal Raj Dhungel of Central Department of Economics, TU, in The Republica: “Nepotism and favoruitism rule our politics. Politicians follow this to select their subordinates in public office irrespective of their qualifications.”

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