POLITICAL FIASCO

  • Voice Of The People

Jul 22, 2016-

It seems the incumbent government led by Prime Minister KP Oli faces an uphill battle (‘Experts suggest three options to PM to resolve constitutional complexities’, July 17, The Kathmandu Post Online).

There are two aspects to the function of  the executive power in Nepali politics. The role of the prime minister and the ministers garners much of the media’s attention while the role of the bureaucracy—which seems to disdain too rapid a political transition—often stays away from the media glare. In fact, the April 2015 earthquake should have been a priority for Nepali politicians to help rescue the most affected by providing them with shelter and other daily necessities. That did not happen. Consequently, a constitutional imbroglio emanated, with the aspiring Maoist Center and Nepali Congress candidates seemingly ready to move in to Baluwatar. 

Nepali politics, while aspiring for democratic maturity, sometimes does seem to be complacent for lack of democratic sustenance or adherence to the current constitution. It is a game that is being watched closely at the regional and international level given the country’s geo-physical proximity with India and China. One wishes Nepali politicians thought more seriously about serving the Nepali people than about advancing their own interests.

- Surya B Prasai, Washington DC

 

ANIMAL CARE

When you see a picture or a video of a young healthy bull, teased, taunted and tortured with spears inflicting multiple wounds all over its body, it is difficult not to commiserate with the victim and wish that the tormentor was gored to death (‘Bullfighting tensions rise in Spain’, July 15, Page 4). The photo doing rounds in  social media of an incapacitated bloodied bull sitting helplessly with a matador ready to plunge a short and sharp skewer into his head can help one wish the same fate to the matador. Not surprisingly, the violent death of a young matador, who was a professional no doubt, was celebrated on social media. This has happened before. Dr Walter Palmer, the American dentist who stalked, killed and decapitated Cecil the lion, was hounded on social media, with many, mostly Americans, openly calling for strong action against him. Today, social media speak strongly for mute animals. Be it the dog meat festival in China, the bludgeoning of seal puppies to death in Canada, there is a call for strong action against animal abusers. The killing of Harambe the gorilla in a US zoo generated as much heat on social media as the throwing of a puppy from the terrace by an Indian medical student. It is difficult to get away with abusing animals today.

Bullfight is a barbaric culture and a section of the Spanish society wants to keep the despicable practice alive in the face of mounting opposition and pressure from the general public and animal rights group. Responding to talks of keeping the dog-eating tradition alive, a Filipino demanded on social media that the other equally “important” culture of beating women be kept alive too. Indeed in a local bus in Kathmandu, I responded to a Newar peasant, who wanted to keep alive his tradition of slitting buffalos, that I too would be happy to keep alive my tradition of treating him as an untouchable.

At home too, we need to have more empathy for animals such as street dogs and stray cattle. We need strong laws against transportation of a lone goat atop a bus or in the boot, of ferrying buffaloes in a truck in the most inhuman ways or of confining chickens in a small bamboo basket carelessly left out in the burning sun. We also need laws against running dogs under the wheels. I recently had a run-in with a government servant, probably fresh from a village, who tried to run over a dog with his red-and-white plated vehicle. He was taken aback at my exhibition of fury.

- Manohar Shrestha, via email

Published: 22-07-2016 11:34

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