Who runs Nepal, really?
If you wander in the streets of Kathmandu and eavesdrop people’s conversation then you’d probably hear this statement often: who runs Nepal? And it is not just the chitchats that pinpoint towards the statelessness in the nation, the rhetoric that Nepal is run by black-marketers seems visibly true. In the present context, the current government appears lackadaisical towards proper governance, rehabilitation and reconstruction programs, and ending of the blockade through genuine negotiation with the Madesh parties. As we all know that our nation succumbs easily to conspiracy theories, we cannot but cogitate that the on-going situations, perhaps, may be a nexus of the powerful after all. On that premise I believe in following statements.
It is with not doubt that black-marketing is rife and uncontrolled in the country right now. According to various reports and news the government has almost done nothing or seems lukewarm towards this case and the general people are suffering from this new threat. Black-marketing is not only a threat to the development of the nation but is a curse to those who are poor.
Firstly, the sudden rise of black-marketing has given rise to several questions. Are international mafias involved in this, like they are for human trafficking? It was only few months ago that the owners of petrol pumps were arrested for tampering the pumps using mechanical devices. Secondly, businessmen, government employees, chief of petrol pumps at various locations, general people, and criminals have been involved in this illegal cause. Thirdly, the quasi-functional government is buys harping on how best the constitution is. Their democratic activism is laudable but not at the expense of people’s needs.
Cabinet Expansion & Illogical Acts
Our vocal Prime Minister Oli has been involved in expanding cabinets and creating new ministries because he wants to and for what purpose no one knows. There was even a news that three new ministries were sharing one building — what a chaos! We barely know what our PM is thinking. At least he had a phone conversation with the Indian PM Modi! Will governance get better after that? And it is no doubt that he is already known for appointing several deputy prime ministers. So the question is: has his jumbo government curtailed black-marketing? No. It seems they are trying, but indeed are failing.
Similarly, our first female President Bhandari has been a disappointment too. She donated her first salary to Pashupatinath Temple but not for other causes. Then she hired a male press advisor — all for women empowerment! We definitely live in a country where we make temples better and let people suffer.
Indian Blockade — A conspiracy?
These days my conversation with a writer friend has taken a U-turn. We were discussing that perhaps the whole blockade fiasco is just a conspiracy created by the government to let the black-marketing flourish and fulfil their own purpose by portraying India as an evil neighbour, and squashing the Madeshi parties to not let them establish their own space in the Nepali political sphere. We all know that leaders in the past have hoodwinked their citizens to fulfil their own purpose and right now it is turning out to be so. I say this because most of the talks between the government and the Madesh parties are conducted behind the walls. The general public and even the media do not have access to it so we really don’t know what has happened and is happening.
Rule of Democrats
Currently we are living in a country where few democratically elected folks are ruling us by using the Constitution propaganda. The more I hear the rhetoric that it is the best constitution in the world, I am feeling it is becoming more like a propaganda, like that of in our northern neighbour China. The only difference is: promoting democracy in Nepal in the name of avoiding or ignoring the demands of the Madesh people, including women too. It is to be understood that conflict is good because it allows identities to be established. But we cannot afford another civil war. The government and the Madesh people must keep in mind that the Madesh region now is becoming a fertile soil to the black-marketers, rebel-like groups led by Raut, and possibly terrorists given the improperly managed borders and weak presence of security forces. If Islamic State League (ISL) can attack developed countries so easily, it won’t be a big task for them to spread their evils in the southern region of Nepal, and India on-wards.
In this scenario, the present government must act (positive) immediately to curb black-marketing, accelerate reconstruction works, seal deal with the Madesh parties by putting an end to the blockade at border points, repairing strained ties with India, and working for people’s needs. Unless the government and the Madesh parties don’t separate people’s needs from power and politics, it cannot be said that grave situations might be on our way. And then it will be truly clear as who runs Nepal.
originally published at Review Nepal: http://reviewnepal.com/articles/who-runs-nepal-really.html