By P. Kharel
Race for messages
Whenever some event or issue comes up to celebrate or condole, political leaders run out of breath in their race for ensuring that that they are not out of step in discharging their arrogated duties. They scramble at the slightest opportunity for the prospective media spotlight. It so happens that daily newspapers indulge these politicians more than any other medium.
Some news media serve as platforms of records by giving space to such greetings or condolence messages but not without uniformity in terms of personalities, newsmakers, gravity of a given situation and the like. But this is an approach that is breached by many a news media that also complain of falling readership and viewership.
At times, we have messages from the president, vice-president and heads of various political parties, as if they are in competition with each other. Some leaders even complain to editors for not giving any space to their messages of greetings on occasions of festivals or such other event.
Quite a few human rights organisations, whose office bearers are affiliated with political parties, are wrecking the sense and practice in honouring the universally accepted exhortations. Their comments and criticisms expose their hollow commitment to the ideals they ostensibly uphold. They hem and haw when the party they are tilted to is in the defensive, only to scream “foul” without pausing for a second when the slightest of suspicion springs against a rival party, especially if the latter happens to be in government. This is called opposing for the sake of opposing and supporting on the argument that birds of the same feather flock together.
In fact, such is the case in virtually every sector, the policy being, “Either you are with us or you are not with us,” in an attitude seeking blind loyalty without going into the merit of expressing support. In a 35-page annual report made public on human rights in Nepal covering the year 2018, the United States Department of State in March stated that although the Nepal government failed to hold accountable officials and security forces accused of breaching the law. It said: “Security personnel accused of using excessive force in controlling protests in recent years did not face notable accountability, nor did most conflict-era human rights violators.”
NC’s better sense
The main opposition Nepali Congress has for once taken a small but notable decision in connection with its on-going month-long awareness campaign. This is the first installment of a three-part programme whose final round is scheduled for winter. Such detail announced in advance is rare for any party, especially the country’s oldest political organisation.
NC General-Secretary Dr. Shashank Koirala the other day spoke with triumph that the programmes being organised in various districts will have fewer speakers than previously. “Only five or six will speak,” said Koirala. The opening function is dispensing with the monotonous and patience-stretching hackneyed practices in an attempt at introducing a business-like format.
Welcome as the bid to make inaugural functions less boring is, one wishes that it is emulated by the party’s other formal occasions too. If given continuity, perhaps other parties, too, would learn to emulate from the Congress.
At astrologers’ feet
Strange as it might sound, this scribe has come to know of at least ten senior comrades of Prime Minister KP Oli’s Nepal Communist Party (NCP) regularly consulting with astrologers to know what lays ahead for them. Had this been during the decade-long insurgency, the Maoist faction of the recently united NCP launched, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and his raiders would have thrashed the astrologers for misleading and swindling people.
Today, when they are in the saddle of power, their hypocrisy overstretches with the least qualm. The comrades who in daylight raise the banner of hammer and sickle, make way for “reactionary remnants of feudalism” to know of their fate.
An astrologer from far western region is one of the most of his profession, much in demand. One of the motor-driver that ferries him from one stop to another during the evening hours has some juicy tales to tell about the not-so-radical habits of the tough-sounding member of the Red tribe.
Among the astrologer-addicts include former “commanders” of the war the game-changers launched against the state and the people, in which no less than 17,000 people lost their lives apart from uprooting thousands of families and causing destruction of properties worth trillions of rupees.
Bad times, and even worse display of character indeed.
Province No. 4 Chief Minister Prithvi Suuba, on the occasion of New Year’s Day 2076 BS, formally launched Tourism Year programme aimed at attracting two million foreign tourists by next year. The programme does not differentiate between class tourists and mass tourists. Any category tourists would do, as the priority seems to be on the numbers. In other words, no focused programme of long-term substance in an industry whose lion’s share of earnings goes to footing the bill for importing goods and other necessities catering to the smokeless industry’s needs.
What about prolonging their stay? Class Vs mass?
Senior advocate Bal Krishna Neupane, on Avenues TV panel discussion, “Corruption is rampant and rule of law absent. This system cannot last long.”
Spice of Life
By P. Kharel