BY SHAMBHU RAM JOSHI
Political stability and rapid economic progress are the present destinations for Nepal. The country having centuries old history in the globe, had enjoyed its golden days in the past. Today, both its glorious history and geography are at risk. The dreams of the heroes, martyrs and builders of the nation are neglected by the political leaders, who are centered on their personal benefits only.
Our own culture, tradition and values have been overshadowed as our leaders are highly influenced from the belief that westernization means development. Forgetting the reality that a pair of shoes does not fit on everyone’s feet, adoption of western economic ideology and political system has made uncertain economic and political destination of the country.
Experiences of most of the East Asian countries, such as Singapore and South Korea have shown that economic progress and political stability are interrelated. During the 60s, political leaders there were found sacrificing for the nation. Their hard works, discipline and vision for making prosperous their nation have made remarkable contribution in achieving political stability and economic development.
Mahathir Mohammad had once said that the western styled democratic system was not suitable for his country. Impractical economic policies and unsuitable political system have become the cause of problem in the poor countries like Nepal. Therefore, political leaders and policy makers should be very careful while formulating a nation’s political as well as economic system.
Before introduction of the multiparty democracy in Nepal, we had adopted mixed economic policy. The system had significant economic role on the state and the state- owned enterprises (SOEs). Neoliberal economic policy that we adopted after dawn of multiparty democracy is the result of present mess. If we compare mixed economic model and neo-liberal economic model that we have experienced, we find better economic position of Nepal in the past compared to the present day.
In fact, economic neo-liberalism has created confusion and invited various economic problems. Along with privatization of the profit making SOEs, industrial environment was ruined. This led the economy towards fully import-oriented, which invited foreign dependence in economic and political sector. Youths — from 1500 to 2000 a day — have been the major export item to the foreign countries. Their families are compelled to receive 4 to 5 dead bodies daily from abroad. Although the advocates of neo-liberalism may not accept, considering Nepali circumstances, economic neo-liberalism has to be replaced as soon as possible to save the country from further economic crisis. Economic neo-liberalism was introduced by the capitalist nations of the western world such as America and other rich countries for their own economic benefits on the base of their own circumstances, which didn’t suit for Nepal like poor country.
The western world wants to impose their own political system on Nepal like poor countries just to demonstrate their dominance. Our political leaders, by forgetting the ground reality, under the pressure from the west, adopted federalism, although, majority of the population was against it. Both theoretically and practically, in Nepal like country having multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic poor people, federal system invites various problems.
Along with implementation of federalism, various types of taxes and fees have been imposed on the citizens, even, our political leaders are lauding federalism as a great achievement. It won’t be a surprise if the people will come down to the street starting yet another agitation creating further political instability and also inviting foreign power centers to play their game here. If errors are not corrected on time, the nation may move towards a long, unknown but dark destination.
Journey towards unknown destination
BY SHAMBHU RAM JOSHI