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Aneesh Lohani


A Layman’ Inquiry about New Nepal

Past experiences have left a defining legacy. We passionately advocate change, but fail to institutionalize the same. We manage bandh’s and uprisings, but can’t envision, plan, team work, implement and develop. We find fault in stereotypes and systems, but forgo introspection and self examination. We value simplicity and continuity, but avoid challenges. Our words speak louder than actions, and actions speak louder than law. Every uprising results in some polarization of society. Justifiable battles were won by Nepali people against Rana oligarchs, Mandales and Royalists in the past. The new trend of branding everyone feudalists, except Janajatis, Dalits, Madhesis, women, backward communities, Maoists and SPA, is a dilemma. Freedom of categorizing stereotypes and punishing them at will have become a sovereign right in Nepal. At the other end, the real culprits manage to secure a place at the zenith of Nepal’s hierarchal democracy.

Political marketing stunts change and so do slogans: democracy, loktantra, democratic republic and new Nepal. Politicized solutions continue to shape and demolish political centers, leaving actual problems unattended. Scientific outlook and indoctrination continue to be alien to this mythical, patriarchal, power centric and patronized country of ours. Occasionally, ideologies change and so do rhetoric. We seek sweetness in words, speech and vistas of hope; yet leave real change to the imaginary Nepali Gandhi. Political stalwarts still debate modalities of party politics in a changed scenario. Law and order still rests on the hands of aspiring Hanumans in the streets. Constituent Assembly Election is still possible in theory. Government education is still a formality on lower levels, leaving higher ground for political apprenticeship. Private educational industries still outsource intellectual capital on foreign markets, while we live off labor and sweat of poor Nepalis.

Political parties still depute their lieutenants in crucial positions, leaving qualified people to venture abroad. Politicization of public sector continues to derail services, justice, security and economy. Dissidents are forced to take up political roles, using violence to seek attention. Parts of the country still burn with communal hatred and political polarization. Some parts still function on the remnants of second economy that flourished during the insurgency. Some still hope to earn special favors with facades of legitimacy. The most impoverished of Nepali people still fight famine in isolated huts of parallel reality, unaware about CA. Rights and Representation, education and employment, empowerment and relief are still alien concepts to them. Check less, balance-free bureaucracy still promotes corruption to fuel emotional benchmarks of success. Right to information and economic freedom are still challenged, while the culture of political supremacy prevails, assimilating new entrants into its circle.

A successful nation is one that utilizes its resources, natural and human, effectively to promote its citizens and its national interests. It mobilizes resources to achieve social, professional, economic, agricultural, industrial, infrastructural, technological and human intellectual excellence. Society is managed scientifically and equitably with strong institutions imparting quality education, effective health care, employment opportunities, transparent judiciary and pervasive social security. Entrepreneurship and free markets are encouraged, along with individual liberty. Democracy, human rights, equity, free press, economic freedom and international law are practiced effectively. Successful nations promote their international relations and economy. They ask not what they want from the country, but do what they can for their country.

All Nepali people are precious capital of this nation, and the more they are developed, the more will they be in control of their lives. It is vital to develop everyone: women, Janajatis, Dalits, Madhesis, backward communities and all. Increased participation inculcates awareness, ideas, opportunities, cooperation and professions: entrepreneurship, technology, physical and social sciences, scholarship and research, arts and literature, music, media and entertainment, etc. They promote liberty, reach, knowledge and innovation, making social, economic and global contributions. All benefit from the multiplied returns. Competition enhances trade, skills and crafts, developing standards, thinking, culture and identity. Soon a race evolves with a distinguished character, perpetuating its legacy.

But, how will the above theoretical, crystal-ball premonition lead to a successful Nepal. Will education, human and rural infrastructural development be prioritized? Will good schools, universities, health camps, subsidized services and employment be available to everyone in Nepal? Will universities boast research facilities, laboratories and international liaisons for social scientists, scholars, professors and students? Will science and technology be prioritized? Will socio-political problems be solved through studies in social structures, behaviorism and environment involving social scientists and researchers? Or, is ideology sufficient. Will governments in local, regional and national level be strong? What will make them accountable, competent, transparent and visionary? Will meritocracy, professionalism, accountability and dependability replace inaction, red tape, nepotism, sycophancy and corruption?

Will politics retract from public institutions and the Nepali psyche? Will Law, order, security and public welfare be strengthened? Will communal hatred and unilateralism cease? Or, is effrontery, muscle, guns and bombs our legacy of sophistication and technology. Will collectivism override polarization of society? Will ethnicities, cultures, creeds, religions and languages coexist harmoniously, preserving identities? Will experts and career professionals enter politics and ministerial secretarial positions, making decisions through institutional research and implementation? Will a functioning system be developed, avoiding subsequent revolutions to alter human fate? Will industries, private sector, foreign investment, tourism and exports be expanded? Will national interests be preserved against threats of regional subjugation? Will new Nepal be peaceful, prosperous and developed? Do these issues need exhaustive study and debate, or will political magicians bring automatic results?

Is new Nepal a novelty or polarization of stereotypes – where roles overturn leaving inherent problems intact? Party politics of the 90’s derailed institutions by politicizing lucrative positions, leaving economy to the free market. Now there are Janajatis, Dalits, Madhesis, backward communities and women expecting results. Will the state be restructured scientifically or roles conveniently overturned yet again?

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