By PR Pradhan
How is the nation functioning, it is astonishing to know. The Nepal Airlines Corporation was almost out of aircraft. Of late, the Corporation purchased two narrow body aircrafts and further added two wide body aircrafts. The process of buying the two wide body aircrafts was started two years ago. During the past two years, the Corporation could carry out good homework to operate the new aircrafts. It has already been several months of arrival of the two wide body aircrafts but they are not in full operation and they are flying the very destinations where the narrow body aircrafts were flying. Why the management didn’t complete the paper works to start services to new and long destinations, it is surprising. During these two years, the Corporation could train Nepali pilots to fly the wide body aircrafts but that didn’t happen and the Corporation is hiring foreign pilots to fly the wide body aircrafts by paying hefty amount as salary to them. On the one hand, the private airlines are making profits, on the other, the Corporation is continuously facing losses due to lack of proper management.
Indians have constructed broad gaze railway lines from Janayanagar to Janakpur. Also, construction of the railway line from the Indian border point to Biratnagar is about to be completed. These projects were started several years ago. Even after completing the projects, the Nepal government has not been able to decide on which modality the Nepal railway is to be operated. Finally, the Nepal government has reached to the conclusion to lease the Indian rails and thus them being operated by the Indians. However, one can see Nepali flag on them. We have a century-old history of operating railway. Since the Rana days, the Nepal Government Railway was being operated from Raxul to Simara via Birgunj. Accordingly, the Nepal Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway was in operation before the construction of the broad-gaze line. The Raxul-Simara Railway was closed decades ago due to lack of management. Although, we have a century old experience in operating railways, we can see Indian drivers and staffers operating India owned railways in Nepali soil. It is unfortunate to state that the government failed to manage some railway lines along with the necessary engines! Why we were unable to decide on the modality of operation of the railways, it seems, Nepal is running under the whim of the political leaders who have no vision.
There is the need of different organs to run a nation, but all our organs seem to have failed. First of all, a visionary leadership is needed. The bureaucracy should be disciplined and clean. The Army should be responsible for safeguarding national sovereignty and independence. The Armed Police Force should be responsible for curbing armed activities and safeguarding our border pillars. The Nepal Police should be responsible for maintaining law and order. Besides, the planning commission should be responsible for developing effective plans for short as well as long term periods. The government undertakings should be responsible for doing business for profit. We have all these organs but not even one of them is functioning properly except in getting involved in corruption scandals.
For a good governance and maintenance of law and order, we have legislative body to draft laws, we have strong enough executive body to act and we have an independent court to give justice. They too are not functioning properly due to heavy politicization and rampant corruption in all areas. Rampant corruption has become an open secret in all the constitutional bodies. The institution constituted to curb corruption has become defunct. Although, we say there is a strong government securing two-thirds majority, the government is totally paralyzed as well as all other bodies have been totally paralyzed.
When politics will be under the foreign influence and intervention, when the court will be under the grip of the foreign powers, when bureaucrats serve the foreign interests, a nation will naturally fall. We have seen many countries in the globe which have become failed states and even we have seen the split of strong countries under the vested interests of the foreign powers and more dangerously, many independent countries, including neigbhouring mountain country Sikkim has disappeared from the global map. What had happened in Sikkim, we all are aware but we, in the course of serving petty self-interests, have not tried to take lessons from such developments.
Naturally, Nepal is a rich country, however, we, the Nepalis, have not been able to harness our own natural resources for the prosperity of the nation as well as the people in other countries! Nepal is among the countries having the largest potentiality of generating hydropower, but the fact is that Nepal even suffered from 18-hour-long load-shedding until two years ago and currently, load-shedding has been ended with the electricity imported from India.
If such a situation will continue, the nation’s future will become more worse, if we don’t try to understand the global politics and powerful countries’ hegemony over the weak countries. Simply to understand, others will not come to build our houses without some vested interests. Yes, if we don’t have money, we can lend money to construct our house. Similarly, foreigners will not come to build our country, we should build the nation ourselves. Are we ready for that?
By PR Pradhan