Shree Prasad Devkota and Pradip Raj Giri – TRANSCEND Media Service
7 Jan 2017 – We often worry about degrading political practices in Nepal. Unemployment, politicization of every institution, increased criminal activities and corruption has created a frustrated generation. Youths are migrating abroad and remittance has become life line of our economy. Different political parties with different ideologies and slogans have come into mainstream politics claiming that they address these issues. People believe and even follow them. Despite the political transformation, the condition remained far beyond the expectation of people.
Recently we were attending a seminar in which there was discussion going on regarding Nepalese political context. One of the Japanese attendant asked, “How do Nepalese youths take politics and politicians? Are they interested in politics?”, then one of the Nepalese professors answered that “aware and educated Nepalese youths simply hate politicians.” But why? And what will be the consequences to the country for moral people not being actively in politics? We were in search of the answers.
At present, Nepali Congress is celebrating its 70 yrs of establishment, UML also has the existence of more than 6 decades, Maoist shows 2 decades, and Madhesi parties with around a decade’s existence. Unlike their promises, they have pushed the nation into more complicated political nexus, more economic fragility and dependent state. The country is suffering from excessive corruption that ranks 135 in the world, HDI 0.508 and with sluggish economic growth less than 4% . The country has moved through autocratic Rana Regime to Interim democratic system to Panchyat system to democratic kingdom to federalism. What did the people get with these political transformations? Ranas were replaced by Kings and Kings by Political supremos. But the fate of people remained same. No doubt these political transformations have brought political consciousness in people and people are aware about their rights. But it has less to do with basic needs of people in their day to day life. Another flaw of political parties is that they only taught people to ask for their rights but never taught them to fulfill their duties towards the nation.
Political parties distributed dreams in free, conducted treaties with India, gave the consent to exploit our natural recourses (Koshi, Gandaki, Mahakali, Naumure, Pancheshwor, upper karnali, Arun-3 and the list goes on) and always showed problems in political system while the problem was in their intention. The leaders never have the sense of independency and they hardly believe in our sovereignty. That is why for their political interest they always seek help from India that ultimately strengthened their dependency on Indian leaders.
It is obvious that Nepalese politics is suffering from lack of intellectuals. Party cadets are busy with day to day issues and hardly anyone is thinking about injecting intellectuals into politics. Prominent political analyst Bishnu Sapkota also highlights this issue in his article “Congress Ma Gair-Baudhik Yug ko Suruwat” (Kartik 21, Kantipur). Whether it’s Brexit, Conservatives in Germany or triumph of Trump, it clearly shows that world is once again returning to radical nationalism. Even the First World seems to be fed off with interventions from outside but Nepalese politics seems to enjoying Indian interventions more and more. Lampasarbad has become a popular culture here. The emergence of Sher Bahadur Deuba in Congress, K.P. Oli in NCPUML and Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Maosit along with Madheshi leaders have internalized the ideology of Lamparasbad.
Indian micro management has further endangered the sovereignty of the country but that does not make any differences to the political leaders as they are only interested to get the post of PM. There is no doubt that the present volatile political situation weakens democracy. Political circle is more responsible than the Indian interventions. You allow that is why they intervene.
Recent uncomfortable political happenings with India have further unveiled the incapability of political leadership of Nepal. It looks like only the Nepalese citizens are nationalist and most of the political leaders are pro-Indian. This situation has further created dissatisfaction towards politics in youths. Today politics in Nepal parallels to corruptions.
Throughout these years, they are making fool out of us. In fact, system doesn’t ensure development and democracy, rather it’s the intention of the political parties who represent us and rule us. Political parties hardly talk about economic issues rather they prefer to talk about political issues. It’s because Political issues are easy to conduct: raise new issue, speak to the Medias and the House. Economic issues demand vision which our political leaders lack. It demands field work and concrete results within a given specific time period and our leaders afraid of that.
We have conducted two elections for constitutional assembly, moving into federal mechanism and at the same time trying to carry out local election. At this Juncture, genuine question arises, “why should we trust these political parties?” With so many differed dreams, can we give our future on their hands? And most importantly, how do the political parties regain people’s trust?
For those people who have disgust for political parties, for their unnecessary intervention in almost every institution and organization of the country, the political parties should begin a new political era, an era of morality and responsibility not only for the credit of good works but also for their failures. It’s not a shame to confess the past wrong deeds; rather it shows their responsibility and accountability towards the nation and people. If we look into international business world, big multinational companies like Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota etc. callback their items if they identify some flaws in their products. The recent callback of smart phone by Samsung is a good example that moral confession doesn’t hamper the trust they had in their customers rather it increases their trust.
Similarly, political parties must begin their new journey with Moral Confession of their past deeds. They have betrayed people, nation and themselves. The moral confession only helps them regain trust of the politically aware youths otherwise the youths will keep hating politics and politicians which ultimately throws the nation into dungeon. But are Citizens fair enough to blame political parties only? Of course not. We are also equally responsible for the current state. Leaders are the reflection of their people. Now this is the time to be more rational in selecting our leaders and demand their accountability for their past acts. Unless we demand, the political leaders will not confess for what they did. YES, as a responsible citizens of this nation, as a tax payers we duo demand moral confession from all the mainstream political parties. Hey parties!! Are you ready for the confession? Do you dare?
Shree Prasad Devkota is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. He is a Kathmandu University graduate, has a Master’s in Mathematics Education and M.phl in Development Studies. Currently he is chairperson of SDEF–Sustainable Development and Empowerment Forum, and has worked as a lecturer. He is researcher in the field development sectors in Nepal and has worked as consultant, monitoring and evaluation expert in different I/NGOs. Devkota has been working in the field of education of children, marginalized and socially excluded groups, especially on conflict management regarding the post-conflict situation in Nepal. He has published several research articles in national and international journals. Books: Teacher’s Lived Experiences and Contextualized Mathematics, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, 2012. Education in Nepal from Dalit Perspective, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, 2013. Conflict in School and Its Management by Shree Prasad Devkota and Shiba Bagale, Scholars’ Press, Germany, 2015.
Pradip Raj Giri is assistant professor, department of English, Tribhuvan University.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 9 January 2017.