NO ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER

 

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You sit for an exam. Apparently, not well prepared. The allocated time is two hours. But you can’t finish by that time. Then you ask examiner for some more time. Okay, he says. But you are  confused. You don’t know the answers to the problems on the question paper. You take three, and then four hours. You still can’t do it. You ask again, shamelessly, for more time. Now the authority realized you are not really going to be able to do anytime soon, something that you couldn’t do in double the allowed time. He says, pen down.

 

And you (yes, you again!) want to go take the exams, at the earliest possibility, without any preparation whatsoever. I don’t want to count on you this time, because I am convinced you are not worthy enough and you will fail again.

This constitution assembly failed not because the members were corrupt, of course they were corrupt, but more than that, because they were incompetent. Four years, billions, and hopes, wasted totally, and that’s an understatement, because in these four long years they have, by careless stunt or some devil’s design, enticed hatred among the beautiful amalgamation of people belonging to variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, who have lived not only peacefully, but in a meaningful synergy so far.

So it is imperative that these unworthy politicians take responsibility for the wasting our time, money and resources, and hence, give up politics. It was a collective failure, blatant unprofessionalism, but the problem looms around and even if these politicians are to go who is going to fill the void?

I see two options. One, existing political parties can exist, but their current leadership should step down and make their way to more versatile youngsters, who can plan, project, negotiate and work things out. It’d be humble for the old establishment to quit gracefully, but since it is unlikely, the young members of the parties, who have only followed the circulars so far, should realize its time for them to climb up the party hierarchy, and have their say, not just because their leaders have so far pimped their faiths and beliefs, but for the sake of country, because what they do or fail to do might be responsible for what our country becomes. Only if the parties can bring aggressive changes in their leadership and workforce, we can trust them again.  My plea to young, aspiring and upset party cadres, time to rebellion.  

The other option is unconventional, but obvious. Because, life’s getting more difficult, and even if we ignore the fundamentals like education, economy, health and development, we cannot turn a blind eye to worsening security and impending ethnic chaos. I might not care about outrageously long hours of load shedding or soaring gas price, but when it comes to safety of people I love and everybody, in general, living in this place, I cannot compromise. Then I think further, about years of stalled development, broken roads and economy, and every little problem we have. And it strikes to me, a thousand possibilities of how things can be done right and how easy it is going to be.

 I am not the only one. We are many, who think this way, and wonder if there’s anything we could do, at personal level, to help. Because, just watching where our country’s heading, knowing it is not the right direction, and still doing nothing about it is somewhat humiliating. So we want to do something, and we are ready, but how to start? Maybe its like Rana regime all over again, when the educated few had to meet and decide the manner of their activism. Or, maybe its like Tharir square, only more planned and coordinated to sustain longer.

Something like that started already, common people took to streets to persuade the CA to draft constitution on time, but since that didn’t work, its time to improvise  further, maybe a direct participation in the constitution making process. If that means politics and contesting in elections, so be it. Its not easy, for a common man, pursuing studies or career or making money for the family, to put aside his priorities and work actively for the country’s good. But now, that’s not an option. This reluctance, this apathy when we say it’s not my job, I’m not a politician- that gives the politicians vulgarity to do whatever they like. Maybe it’s not my job, but it is my country, and it is time we took some control, and responsibility. We can be the master of our own destiny, we don’t have to whine over what these politicians bring to us.   

It is a difficult time. But it is also the time, when we can make a difference. Our country is at cross roads. We can take it to a better place.

By we, I mean, the suffering lot. Because we suffer and we still keep quiet, we suffer. We are those hard working office bureaucrats, frustrated by technical ignorance and administrative interference of politicians, we are teachers at schools and colleges where they don’t teach how to run a country, we are bugs of private business, praying the economy holds up, we are those police,  army or PLA soldiers who think about the past war and their wounds and wonder what for, we are those media people and journalists,  who realize there’s a huge difference they can make, but just don’t know yet how to, we are those writers who want to write on unity and patriotism and encourage people, we are those singers who want to sing about the country but haven’t yet found the lyrics. We are doctors, engineers, lawyers, pilots, uncomfortable with the working environment and skeptic about future. We are business people, insecure, worried about investments and robbed by extortions, we are housewives who can no longer match the monthly budget with sky rocketing market price, and we are farmers who with little rain and little hope work hard on whole life cycle of a crop, only to find out the import policy means these year’s sale wouldn’t even make up for the cost of seeds and fertilizers, and we are those thousands of young unemployed  people, who find themselves wondering blankly at their future. 

We are those students who study for exams in darkness, wondering if there’d ever be light.

We are everybody except for those who we sent to CA to write a document that could help us start developing. They couldn’t, so we should take the burden ourselves, there’s no point depending upon them, no point cheering them up, no point being manipulated to ethnic and cultural disharmony they hatched. We can start fresh, act independent and motivated by one good reason, called country.

So election should postpone at least, by a year, giving us ample time to prepare, both voters and candidates. We don’t want another election and then, another election after that. We want to send some competent people this time, who can, not only draft the promised constitution for us, but also devise a plan to take this nation to prosperity, make its citizens happy and satisfied.      

 

9 comments on “NO ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER

  1. patty.me says:

    i love your views..

  2. Alternative views says:

    First, I think that your exam analogy is faulty. Competence is a necessary but not sufficient condition for good governance. Government is also about interests and power; and these play an especially important role in the process of constitution writing. Nepal’s constituent assembly wasn’t just writing a constitution, a piece of paper. It was tasked with coming up with a form of government agreeable to all Nepalis. With calls for federalism through the Madhes movements, the constituent assembly also got tasked with redefining what it means to be Nepali. There were 24 parties + independents represented in the assembly. All of these parties had fundamentally differing ideas about the form of future government in Nepal and about what it means to be Nepali. Add this to a history of violence between the three or four main parties. A climate of mistrust between the parties and irreconcilable interests among them regarding future forms of government should also be taken as a cause of the failure of the assembly.
    Second, you are mistaken in your assumption that Nepalis have lived in peace and “synergy.” If one group of Nepalis had not had it better than others throughout our history, there would be no social and political movements. Nepal went through four different kinds of revolutions in a half century. That should be enough evidence that Nepal has always been incredibly divided: between royalty and peasants, dominant communities and the marginalized, rich and poor, men and women, private school students and public school students. When groups such as Dalits quietly bear the brunt of social discrimination for decades, the country is united, but when they start speaking up for their own rights, the country is suddenly divided and chaotic? The constituent assembly was a hopeful body because it the marginalized (Madhesis, Janjatis, Women, Dalits) political space to negotiate what it means to be Nepali on their own terms. Grievances don’t merely exist between politicians and the general population. They also exist between social groups, castes, classes, and ethnicities. You choose to dismiss these legitimate grievances in your talk of competence and harmony and nationalism.
    Third, your most troubling argument is when you say this: “So election should postpone at least, by a year, giving us ample time to prepare, both voters and candidates. We don’t want another election and then, another election after that.” You seem to believe that all social divisions and interests will suddenly vanish once competent individuals are elected. That is almost never the case. Nepal has a pretty competent Prime Minister. He has a PhD, he co-led a successful revolutionary party that was able to remove an incompetent and authoritarian monarchy and he had some minor successes as a Finance Minister. Did that history of competence predict that he would be the Prime Minister who would dissolve the very constituent assembly he started a revolution for? Is Nepal a utopia? The answer is: no. Interest and not intent is what drives politics and government.

    • chirayur says:

      hello alternative
      thank you for making this effort to comment.
      first, you don’t have to take the analogy too literally, its just an example. Second, while I agree with you when you cite the reasons behind failure of CA, I still think it was their job to sort it out, work the issues, negotiate etc etc. They took more than double the allotted time, and still failed, that my friend, is incompetence. Mistrust, questions of identity- they are still lingering, and without finding a good answer to that (you too would agree here I suppose), no brand new CA is going to draft a constitution, of any kind. That, I try to imply in the last para, saying ‘election should postpone at least, by a year, giving us ample time to prepare, both voters and candidates’, that, preparation. No utopia, no magic wand to solve problems, but I think educated, competent folks could deal better, with everything. BRB might be a hugely credited bloke, but what I’m talking about is a collective incompetence.
      And about social and ethnic injustice, I personally think at present Nepal is a level playing ground for everybody, and nobody thinks he’s superior or anybody holds grudges for old days. Those who are provoking such repulsive sentiments are only complicating things, maybe for that garners some hardcore support, but we have to move on. Today, we are (still) an open minded society, who engage all the people (pardon the cliche, castes, ethnicity, sex etc etc), in equal merit. This is exactly what it is like, I see people defining it very differently, falsely, and confusing naive people, manipulating them to their vested political interests. Thats terrible.
      I’d like to hear more from you. More on how do you see us solving problems. What can we do, our part etc.

      • Alternative views says:

        Okay. From what I read in the media, op-ed and interviews with leaders of various political parties, it seems that the elections in November are not possible. But elections will come, right, sooner or later? So, I think what people like us can do is follow the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum/ NEFIN model of organizational evolution. First, create a social movement of like minded Nepalis that can create a narrative separate from the divisive politics that exist at the moment in the country. Use this platform to advocate the kind of political culture that we want to create, build up a base that will come to share our beliefs on crucial issues such as the nature of the Nepali economy, the role of the citizen, and the role of the state, the nature of domestic security, and foreign affairs. After we have been able to build this base and after we have enough resources to run a political campaign and stand for elections, we should do so. Now, I realize that folks that lead Nepalunites, E4N, and the “Aba K garne?” forums are already attempting to do so and they have even clarified their own role in society, and very particular principles, beliefs, and values that separate from the current political groups and platforms in the country. However, I think that they may be looking to create a political party and run in the next elections right away. I think this is premature. In order to counter forces as powerful as the Maoists, NC, and UML, you have to have resources: Money,people, and alliances. So, being a social movement that pushes a vision of Nepal that is separate from what exists now (peace instead of violence, efficiency instead of corruption and incompetence, respect for all individual Nepalis and promotion of dialogue & empathy between various ethnic groups rather than divisions,etc.) and then moving onto the political landscape in a few years may be useful. I hope this made sense. Cheers.

  3. Sunil Bhatta says:

    nice article. yes we should take things in our own hands now. i am going to this meeting almost regularly https://www.facebook.com/events/233784256733808/ its slow process but i feel like we are doing something. please join us sometine. .

    • chirayur says:

      thank you sunil. And yes, I am following that event you suggest, and I’m glad that you participate. I’m outside country right now, but i will join you guys asap!

  4. sailesh thapa says:

    no doubt our netas are corrupt and incompetent like you say, but then its not as easy to replace them like you said in the article. there’s a lots of social issue prevening a comman man to join politics, actively. as for me, i am concernd but really skeptic on how a new leadership can steer country to better place, ie even if new leaders assume their role, there are too many obstacles

    • chirayur says:

      thank you sailesh for the comment. We see the things similarly, but I am a little more optimistic, we should believe in ourselves, haina? you don’t need to join politics, but being politically is important i think.

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