Originally Published on Nepalitimes | Nepal’s sightless idealists are trying to cloak their immorality with sweeping talk of high ideals. In most of them, there is no humanity, only inhumane selfishness. They talk loftily of people’s democracy or pluralism, but couldn’t care less about families that commit collective suicide because they have nothing to eat, or of small children who have to hang onto wire bridges to go to school. These paper idealists are not interested in real change. Those who believe that change can only come through idealism are slaves of idealism, not real vehicles of change. They only want their ideology to be victorious, they want to win elections, be prime minister. They don’t really care what happens to the country in the process. This country will not be remade with ‘people’s democracy’ or ‘pluralism’. Our country will not be built by idealism but with unity, integrity and hard work: qualities in which our political leadership scores zero.
Nepali citizens are fed up with the slogans of a ‘new Nepal’. When ex-crown prince Paras was detained for a familiar charge of shooting a gun, there were rallies in his support, he was greeted like a leader when released. Where were those who used to shout slogans against Paras? The manner in which ex-king Gyanendra, Paras and Himani are regaining public acceptance is a warning to those who thought Nepal would be heaven once we turned into a republic. In fact none of the political parties look set to institutionalise the new republic through a new constitution. NC and UML want the blame for the inability to write a new constitution to go to the Maoists. The Maoists are reconciled to not having a new constitution and are preparing for a ‘people’s revolt’. And the civil society that the Maoists abandoned are too busy trying to patch up their frayed ranks.
There are six months to go for the new constitution. If the political parties can agree the term may be extended again. But if there is no agreement why extend it? Instead of focusing on real issues they want to change the flag, others want the word ‘pluralism’ inserted in the democratic constitution. Why get tangled in these meaningless debates? Will changing the flag fill the stomach of a hungry Nepali? Will it help Nepalis hold their heads high? And if we change the flag, why not change the name of Nepal as well since it has feudal antecedents?
If the constitution is not written in time, the political polarisation will be hard to control. At that time, the gun and muscle will triumph over principles. It will take a long time to bring things back to normal. The present rulers have wrecked this country’s beautiful past and its potentially beautiful future. At this rate they will fall into the holes they have dug themselves.
You can read more of Mishra’s column-essays on his three books, Raajnitisangai Raajkaaj, Khana Pugos Dina Pugos and Bhumadhyarekha. Please go to the BOOKS section to find out more about the books and where to purchase them.