Nepal is a very interesting country. Though small in size and shape, it has many diversities that other countries do not have. As Nepal is interesting, so are Nepalese politics and politicians. Our politicians have even more diverse characters and outlook than our country and that makes them even more interesting. Here an educated person usually chooses the role of Doctor, Engineer, Professor, Army or Police Officer or lastly prefers to join the Civil Service. But a person who does not possess a good educational background or has failed in studies, often becomes a politician here. Therefore a group of unqualified so-called “leaders” have emerged here. The paradox is, if you fail in civil service examinations you can become the Prime Minister (PM) of Nepal again and again. Our example in Nepal is of a person who could not even pass the lower secondary level school examination becoming the record holding PM of Nepal. It seems you have to fail to become a top class politician and be an unsuccessful person to be a minister or Prime Minister of Nepal. By a series of unprecedented events, we now have a person who holds a degree in medical science as the first President of Nepal. Lets hope this heralds change for the better.
A fact known to many, is that, a person who once used to wear a pair of Hathi Chhap Chappals (cheap flip-flops) and roam around Kathmandu streets without money for a cup of tea, suddenly started living a posh life when he joined active politics. Then he displayed an even more posh life once he became minister. I do not see something unusual happening here, as naturally a person who has not worn a nice pair of shoes usually craves them. Next they opt for decent clothing, a nice looking bungalow and gradually a car. This becomes a compulsion due to the family demands/pressures and encouragement, eventually it becomes a necessity as per the new found status. Thinking of the country and countrymen becomes a secondary matter to supporting this newfound lifestyle.
We talk about corruption in many meetings, seminars and symposiums. Lots of money has been spent to curb corruption but it has had very little impact. The reason why corruption boomed in Nepal is a simple matter to understand, it is mainly due to Abuse of Authority by the so-called political leaders and top class government officials. Their primary duty is to serve the country and their countrymen, but they did otherwise. The root cause of corruption, abuse of authority and other such malpractices starts from the top, not from the bottom. In gravity flow water systems in our mountains, if the top source is clean you get clean water downstream, if it is dirty you get dirty water. Here the majority of corruption begins from the top. One can only abuse authority when one has authority. The more authority you have the more you can abuse it. How can an average citizen of Nepal abuse authority that they do not possess? So the seed of corruption lies with politicians, the nations supposed mangers, and with its top class politicians, the nations supposed leaders.
If we just simply look at the past living standards of our politicians and their present ones it answers you spontaneously. Why it is easily possible for them to achieve this here is another matter. We do not have a strong and free press. Until and unless the press is independent and start using their full freedom without biasness these things will keep on happening. In the developed world a politician will think twice about abusing authority. In most cases there the press is free, effective and strong. So politicians are very careful with the press, and are often called to clarify to their citizens the very next day. Not like here, the press may say something and the person is not liable to answer. Here politicians ignore the press because the press is not strong enough and it is not free.
Some examples of the world’s politicians depict different scenarios. They are usually academically sound and financially independent. You have to have some distinguishing character to stand as a politician in other countries. Mahatma Gandhi was a Barrister (Advocate) who practiced law in South Africa. The first Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru studied in some of the top class schools and Universities of England. The first President of the Republic of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, was a highly educated and regarded person. Abraham Lincon, son of a shoemaker, but a lawyer. John F. Kennedy (JFK), son of the Kennedy clan, a very rich person. Money was there to them by effort or birth. Ex British PM Tony Blair, a successful lawyer was also a very charismatic person. So people who involve themselves in politics there, seem financially independent as well as academically sound. All were professionals in some way. This is not the case here, our politicians do not posses wealth, good academic backgrounds, character or professionalism. We expected lots of things from such politicians who do not posses any of the above. We expected morale from people who never had these qualities, we expected the development of this country from these leaders, and the reality is the present sorry plight of this country. They distributed dreams and exploited people’s hopes, sentiments and aspirations. They are paying the price of their deeds now. With the present scenario it looks like some improvement might occur in this country and we must hope for the best.