Oped

Summit all down

  • The aftermath of the Asia Pacific Summit has accentuated the government’s hypocrisies
- Madhab P Khanal
The aftermath of the sectarian pageant has kept the public preoccupied with a meaningful question: Shall we continue to remain what we are today? In this context, we are reminded of the struggles taken to transform Nepal into what it is today

Dec 25, 2018-

The negative ripples created by Prime Minister (PM) KP Oli’s involvement in the pretentious extravaganza of the Asia Pacific Summit, which was held under the aegis of an ill-famed ‘Universal Peace Federation,’ an international non-governmental organisation of the Republic of Korea, have not subsided. Members of  the PM’s own party are determined to censure him for his willful participation. Incidentally, the event  also unmasked several of Nepal’s political and media personalities who appear to have maintained a dubious nexus with the notoriously known proselytising religious outfit under different excuses. 

The most painful fallout of the PM’s participation in the event is the irretrievable loss of his image as a ‘resolute nationalist’ that he garnered during the Indian blockade against Nepal three years ago. The act of sermonising on secular virtues—while at the same time displaying an amoral indifference to them in their public life—is one of the greatest hypocrisies of the Oli-Prachanda axis. The four-day long Asia Pacific Summit has also revealed that the government’s tentacles have alarmingly infiltrated almost every segment of Nepal’s national life. 

The aftermath of the sectarian pageant has kept the public preoccupied with a meaningful question: Shall we continue to remain what we are today? In this context, we are reminded of the struggles taken to transform Nepal into what it is today. 

Anyone who contemplates with equanimity about Nepal’s political future is surely carried back to the early nineties when the entire nation was elated by the restoration of democratic polity and civil liberties that were denied for almost thirty years. However, the frenzy and elation were so fleeting that in no time, political improbity and moral turpitude emerged as the two conspicuous hallmarks of national politics—which still continue today. Even after three decades of transition, Nepali people find themselves living in a negative utopia. Promises of prosperity, social justice, individual security and corruption free governance have not been met. The line of demarcation between moral and immoral is progressively diminishing among the political elite holding the reins of the government.

In the hope of bringing about prosperity, equitable distribution of national wealth and ushering in a truly democratic dispensation in the country, Nepali people have done away with the monarchical system that stretches back to Kirant antiquities, though punctuated by different dynastic rules at different intervals, with different geographical dimensions. But on the contrary, what they have received for effecting this radical transformation of the country is proliferating crime, blatant impunity under political patronage, a distending specter of corruption, and multiplying rights and diminishing duties among lawmakers and high ranking public figures.

The legitimacy of any regime is tied to its ability to substantiate  the commitments that its stakeholders vow before the people. But the saddest aspect of Nepal’s consecutive regimes after 1991 is that they all fell victim to an insatiable lust for wealth and despicable craving for power. In this context, the Nepali Congress, having ruled the country for more than 18 years with its longest serving prime ministers late GP Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba, is unbeatable. It was during the first stint of Koirala as prime minister of democratic Nepal that the erstwhile efficient bureaucracy was crippled by excessive politicisation and his economic caucus destroyed the entire industrial establishments of the country with the implausible excuse of  privatisation. The scheme simply obliged certain industrial/business syndicates of Nepal.  Ironically, it also marks the genesis of economic corruption among the leading political figures of the country.

Today, Nepali people are confronted with a situation that is just the opposite of what they had envisioned after the collapse of  the monarchy in 2006. Their plight today resembles that of the French serfs who were loaded with levies and taxes of different categories to support the corrupt establishment of the state before the onset of their sanguinary revolution that changed the political landscape of continental Europe, until the rise of Napoleon. Owing to the chasm between the trite political rhetoric and harsh ground realities, people have practically lost faith in their political messiahs and the creed they pretend to profess. All through these years, they have simply succeeded in mesmerising the naïve majority by skillfully transferring the fantasies from the realm of art to the domain of political gimmickry. The only hope that the Nepali public can entertain today is that the united communist clique is not possessed by a totalitarian temptation in the days ahead.

 

Khanal is the retired chief of protocol at the Foreign Ministry.

Published: 25-12-2018 07:14

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