By P. Kharel
Former President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav plans to offer his time to medical practice on a regular basis for an hour. By all means, do it. But he would be doing no less significant service if he refused to take state facilities accorded a former head of state. A senior medical doctor in Nepal earns significantly more than the pittance earned by most working people. In this regard, Yadav, who studied medicine in India on a scholarship from the Trust named after the late Madan Shumsher Rana. Yadav’s public posture is distinctly better than most public figures running from pillar to post for a piece of publicity in the print media or sound byte in TV channels.
By the way, former Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai could do a whale of service to the community of Nepalese students of architecture if he took classes or gave regular lectures as have former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former United States Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. His wife Hisila Yami could also return to the teaching fold. This needs the energy to serve in all sincerity rather than just hog public spotlight and immerse oneself in delusion of doing something.
Speaker of House of Representatives Krishna Bahadur Mahara has put the blame on Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leadership for administering the oath of office Resham Chaudhary, who is in jail in connection with Tikapur carnage and killings. “What could I do when so much pressure came from the party, the Election Commission and the government to get him sworn in?”, claimed the Hon’s Speaker.
The answer’s clear: either he should have refused or quit the post altogether. But then if we had conscientious leaders, we would not have found ourselves in the cesspool of politics rejected by good governance and democratic values.
Never to be fulfilled
Now, the government has been making noises about making public schools competitive and no less qualitative than their private counterparts. This is no going to happen. For, members of both the ruling NCP and the main opposition Nepali Congress have crass commercial interests directly or through their trusted relatives in numerous schools and colleges. Institutes affiliated with CTEVT are also largely of the same fate.
Note that many Maoist leaders had their children admitted to private schools while other members of their organisation were sternly discouraged to do so. If the Commission for Investigating Abuse of Authority were to probe in real earnest, no sector in Nepal would be without corrupt people. In Nepal 2019, it is not a question of who is corrupt but which few are not. The rut is too deep and the vicious circle is too powerful to bring about any meaningful change.
While the very presence of private schools cannot be condemned, political party leaders have abused public schools so extensively that most teachers are filled with party cadres, relatives and family members of leaders and even local louts the clout of money and muscle. They do not abide by the discipline required and many of them lack the skills and knowledge to be ideal teachers. The huge mess cannot at all be addressed by the existing dispensation or successor of the same model. Only drastic turn of events could change course for the better.
The Nepal Airlines’ wide body aircraft purchase scandal has shaken whatever public confidence remained in political leaders. Public suspicions run left, right and everywhere, wondering how high up the graft took over. Most news media outlets gave it extensive coverage, though on partisan lines. Some close to Nepali Congress chose to blame the KP Oli government for the scandal and those siding with the ruling NCP members tried defending their leaders saying “the process had begun during Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba’s premiership”.
In what was billed as the first question-and-session between the prime minister and members of parliament on January 19, there is deafening silence from across the board when no member thought it important to raise the question pertaining to the staggering corruption scandal.
We are supposed to shove all this down our throats through you-know-where. And all this has occurred in “Loktantrik Nepal” striving for “New Nepal” after struggling for “70 years” and claiming 17,000 lives during the decade-long Maoist insurgency and hundreds more before and after the traumatic decade of 1995-2005.
So the plans are to “reconstruct” the Bhim Dharara tower that would be not nine but 22 storeys. The 2015 devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal saw one of the capital city’s most prominent landmarks that had been built by the Bhim Sen Thapa. The 1934 Quake had shaken it badly and the original structure lost two-storey in the subsequent reconstruction. But the plans in 2019 are to double the number of storey when compared with the original structure which is going to nothing in shape, height and what have from the original.
If the same yardstick and “innovation” were to be applied in other public structures, why not effect similar “innovation” to, for instance, The Kashthamandap and the Rani Pokhari temple too could be given an “innovative” shape and face. Wake up Thapa community and the rest who have any interest in art, culture and history.
Chandra Bhandari, Central Committee member of Nepali Congress, in Naya Patrika: “Nepalese political leadership did not see beyond itself and its close ones. It failed to see the nation, nation’s glorious history and Nepalese people.”