Spice of Life
Chic & charming
To be cross-verified though, Oli at a CPN (UML) meeting prior to unification with the Maoists was asked by a senior leader to explain his encounter with former Crown Princess Himani at a hotel lobby in Bangkok. The comrade briefed his colleagues: “When I entered the lobby, I saw someone charming and sophisticated sitting with my wife. So I could not ignore her even when I realised that she was a former royalty. This led to exchanging pleasantries.” Though noone bothered to raise supplementary questions, Madhav Kumar Nepal loyalists read unspecified political meaning in the encounter, describing the encounter as “more than meets the eye”. They and bring the subject whenever they meet leaders of Kamal Thapa's Rastriya Prajatantra Party. One wonders whether the comrades put the same question to President Bidya Devi Bhandari who had invited former King Gyanendra to her daughter's wedding reception at Shital Niwas more than a year ago. Bhandari later paid a return gesture by accepting the sacred-thread receiving ceremony of the former's king's grandson Hridayanendra. Leaders who hang on to the thinnest of gray areas to defend or justify their dubious actions resort to any legal interpretation. Didn't twotime Constituent Assembly Speaker Subash Nemwang make a lame defence of his party having both the speaker and deputy speaker's positions in the House of Representatives, claiming that the two hon'ble parliamentarians had “already resigned”? Guess that Bhandari also resigned from party membership as soon as she was sworn into the high office that is supposed to be a guardian to all Nepalis?
A matter of perception
So Gurkha guards were mobilised for the security team of the muchpublicised the May 12 summit between the United States President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un in the city state of Singapore. Their presence became a news item in the international media in search of sidelight and colour to their story. The Nepali media gave the story a bigger coverage. Whereas the Gurkha guards are hailed as brave heroes in Nepal, it is strange that Nepalese elite does not show eneregy to counter charges by foreign sources that describe Gurkhas working for foreign governments as “mercenaries”. Among the critics is former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Communists in Nepal in the previous decades used to speak against letting foreign governments recruit Neopalese in their security forces. They hardly make any noises over the issue now.
Fingerlinjgs & Hirelings
Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has claimed that the “Big fish” in connection with the 33 kg gold smuggling scandal, which has dragged so many top officials to the doors of investigation, are close to being booked for legal action. If and when such event does take place, will it overlook the “whales” in the guise of political garb? Thapa's boast makes it clear that the good name of the newly formed NCP will be not tainted in the smugglingand-killing scandal just as NCP's cochairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal claimed that the weapons his troops carried during the decade-long war were carried away by swollen river. A number of retired senior police officers issued a statement qiestioning the methods employed in the investigations, suggesting that vital clues were deliberately ignored and some basic steps were ignored. Mayor's lone success Remember how the then CPN (UML), during the local election camaign in the capital city last year, pledged to change the face of Kathmandu municipality if their candidate Bidya Sundar Shakya were elected. More than a year later, the denizens of the municipality are yet to see and feel what changes Shakya has delivered. Said a wag the other day, Shakya's only success in a year has been his felicitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April. A second rank leader of the UML faction in NCP thinks former Mayor Keshav Sthapit would have been a better and more effective choice in the mayor's seat. Sthapit himself is eating the hunble pie as an assembly member of Province No. 3, picking fun at the snail-like pace with which his party is managing the affairs in the provinces and the state. Others have a different assessment the former mayor. Critics note how Sthapit had raised a leg to join the local elections in early 2006 when the voting was being conducted by the council of ministers bheaded by King Gyanendra, with Kamal Thapa as the home minister. It was a grave threat communicated to him that he reluctantly pulled out of the race and ebventually returrned to his mother party that married with Maoists recently.
Using teleprompter is important in these days of sprinkling showmanship among political leaders. The exerise in itself is no big deal and, publicists shy away from highlighting its use. Nepal is a different takle altogether. Publicising it speaks of poverty of maturity, like a female attributing her beauty to the beauty parlour she visits. Packaging attracts attention but does not deliver. It could even backfire. K.P. Oli'suse of a teleprompter for his address to the nation to mark the completion of his government's 100 days in office is to be seen in this light. It is the content that makes people sit up, no?
Rastriya Jana Morcha Chairman Chitra Bahadur K.C. in Jana Bhawana weekly: “If federalism succeeds, the nation will fail.”