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Rudra Pandey

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Why only Saturday night gossip?

I was attending a small gathering last Saturday evening. Bunch of Nepali friends either working or studying in Boston area were present. You know what goes on when Nepalese get together for a couple of drinks – Men talk about politics and women, they have nothing else to talk about but shopping, their boyfriends or husbands. Sometime, I see some bozos being praised by their women like they are the messiah or winner of all times. Good for them. And there are some women who always want some more from their men. They are too ambitious and nothing is good enough for them. You can guess which one of them you are and which one you want to be. Good luck in figuring this out. Let us switch gear to men as I am not woman psychologist and I consider woman as the most complex creature in the world. Like all other Nepalese men, I want to talk about politics. Talking politics and doing nothing about it and letting bums lead and destroy the country seem to be in Nepalese blood. Like my Saturday night friends, many of us love to talk about nation development and politics and criticize those in the leadership stereotypically. Each one of us considers himself to be the best. We think if we were given opportunities we would lead the country like FDR led the post-depression United States. It is always easier said than done. Maybe, we should analyze why our leaders have have failed time and again. Is it because the job is too difficult? Is it because leaders are really bums? Or is it because the very political system we have in our country is crappy?

The most daunting job in the face of the earth is leading and building a nation. Leading a nation, particularly, when the nation is as messy and as screwed up as Nepal, is tricky beyond imagination. Leaders need charisma, negotiating skills, quickness of mind, vision, ability to prioritize/focus, willingness to win for the team and highest possible morale value. And positive attitude and dream too! It is very difficult to find someone with all these great values. Even if they exist, they probably are not even thinking of entering into Nepalese politics. These folks are probably among those who love to talk about politics but never thinking of building a full-fledged career in politics. Or opportunities never existed for them to enter into active politics as we all know Nepalese politics have never been opened to someone thinking out-of-the-box. Radical thinking and opposition voices have always been suppressed and people with “me too” and “yes boss” attitudes have always been welcomed. Politics have always been a platform for those who have been close to existing political dynasty or who had nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. We need some winners in Nepalese politics. Some charismatic personalities and someone who we can respect on morale ground! Enough of these losers!!

During Rana regime, politics remained a family matter. Post-Rana period between 2007 and 2046, except symbolic multiparty period for a couple of years, feudal Panchayat regime succeeded in gathering incompetent Mandales and run the Nepalese politics like a closed gang of some like minded fools who were either hand-picked by the King or his chamchas. Politics was not a place for smart and capable people. After 2046, parties came to the helm but nothing much changed when it came to allowing fresh and smart people participate in politics. Major party leaders erected stone wall around them and protected themselves and interests of their trusted circles and never allowed fresh ideas to be heard. It was almost impossible for outsiders to get close with the party leadership circle without the blessings of so called supremos in the party. Blessings would go only to those who could bribe them or who would become part of their dirty games without any question or who would be their close relatives. With that said, there was no way that someone with clean background and fresh idea would ever get to higher level unless he/she had money to donate or nepotism to cash. Limited number of bozos constantly occupied the senior leadership and protected their supremos, no matter what. General public then lost interest and they joined the team of Saturday night gossipers who love to have a couple of drinks and criticize leaders and never do anything about it. Is not this sad? It is time to fight in, break the stone wall, demand democracy inside political parties and depose incompetent leaders. This should start with changing operating norms and constitution of political parties. While these parties are talking about changing country’s constitution, they should also watch closely what is in their own house. Why don’t Prachanda, Girija and Madhav Nepal ever talk about changing their party constitution? Why would they when they have got that post for the life? It is time for us to quit gossiping and raise voice against dictators inside the political parties. When we allow anyone to be dictator, chances of them doing mistake increase significantly and we can’t afford them doing too many mistakes at the cost of national interest.

To summarize my own gossip here, I would like to mention that in a multiparty democracy political parties are the vehicle to the full democracy and the vehicle needs to be open to all and we should not allow crazy drivers to drive the vehicle. With crazy drivers in the driving sit, chances of a crash are very high and we can’t afford another crash. Let us change drivers, refuel the vehicle and get going in the path of democracy. With these drivers many wise Nepalese women will never allow their men to take part in the active politics.