Spice of Life

People's Review - - LEADER - BY P. KHAREL <pkharelpp@gmail.com>

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.

Teleprompter tale

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?

With­out com­ment

Ras­triya Jana Mor­cha Chair­man Chi­tra Ba­hadur K.C. in Jana Bhawana weekly: “If fed­er­al­ism suc­ceeds, the na­tion will fail.”

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