Friday, February 04, 2011

Nepali Viewpoints - Mean or Simply Nasty?

Three things happened recently in Nepal that made you stop and think about what is means to be a Nepali. The country and the people that took pride on our politeness, helpfulness, courteousness, and plain niceness appear to be leaning towards meanness, if not becoming outright nasty.

First came the “hawai fire” incident involving former prince Paras and Rubel Choudhary, Sujata Koirala’s son-in-law. No matter whose side of the story you believe, it’s difficult to justify Paras’ behavior. But what happened next is even more perplexing. People in the Nepali Congress used the incident to attack Sujata Koirala and opened a criminal probe against Rubel.

Understand that I am not trying to side with Sujata or Rubel. The point is, did Rubel’s misdeeds come to light only after Paras fired at (or near) him? The people who demanded that the government probe Rubel’s involvement with illegal VOIP rackets, didn’t they know that Rubel was breaking the law? If so, why was the demand to prosecute him not made earlier? And, what happened to Sujata’s “roar” that essentially said nobody is above the law and the guilty would be brought to justice?

The second incident involved a UML cadre slapping the party General Secretary Jhalnath Khanal, now the Prime Minster. Sure Jhalnath might be involved in bringing down the government lead by his own party comrade and appears to be not much better than any other average politician. But what kind of precedent does slapping a party leader set? Even worse, the slapper was treated with “abir and mala” for doing a great deed. To me this is not that different than the infamous event where a state-minister slapped a CDO. When we are talking about building a new Nepal, cheap acts like this should have no place.

The third incident involves KP Oli supporting Sher Bahadur Deuba to be the Prime Minister of Nepal. Once again, if you can't support your own party candidate for the PM's post, what does that say about you loyalty, priorities and overall effectiveness as a politician? Oli might have some good things to say at some times, but opposing or undermining Jhalnath's candidacy either means Oli is jealous, or plain stupid. Once again, what kind of precedent does acts like this set?

Building a new system, or a new society might be easier said than done. The main qualities we need in our leaders right now are high integrity, selflessness, and an unwavering love for Nepal. Looking at how things are going, I doubt if we have anyone like that. Sometimes I feel jealous of the people of South Africa, who had a leader like Nelson Mandela to lead their transition from one system to another.

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