SPICE OF LIFE

People's Review - - LEADER -

and turns be­came a die-hard fed­eral, repub­li­can of a sec­u­lar­ist. Gau­tam is not the only com­mu­nist leader to try par­lia­men­tary en­try shortly af­ter los­ing gen­eral elec­tions. His party com­rade Mad­hav Ku­mar Nepal was more suc­cess­ful in this re­spect. Nepal lost in gen­eral elec­tions but had an­other par­lia­men­tar­ian to re­sign in lieu of an am­bas­sado­rial post­ing in Sri Lanka, and be­came a mem­ber of the Con­stituent Assem­bly. Mad­hav was es­sen­tial for Con­sti­tu­tion draft­ing but he went on to be­come prime min­is­ter. He was matched by his deputy premier Su­jata who looked af­ter the for­eign af­fairs min­istry, though she too had lost elec­tions. And the en­tire elected NC team did not feel shamed when a de­feated one headed the Congress team to the coali­tion cabi­net un­der an­other de­feated com­mu­nist leader. Lit­tle won­der then such are politi­cians who say, noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble in pol­i­tics.

All for own role

Pro-monar­chists seem to be di­vided into var­i­ous groups. The dif­fer­ences among them re­late to who gets what role. Every­body wants a role for him­self or her­self. This does not in­spire much con­fi­dence in oth­ers who do not think of what role they can ex­pect for them­selves; their only con­cern is the his­tor­i­cal role of the in­sti­tu­tion whose rel­e­vance, they as­sert, is all the more un­der­scored by the never-end­ing tran­si­tion pe­riod in the coun­try. With such pro-monar­chists, who ought need repub­li­cans? Even af­ter the Oli-gov­ern­ment is en­dorsed by two-thirds ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment and is con­sid­ered to be the “most pow­er­ful” gov­ern­ment since the dawn of democ­racy in 1951, there is wide­spread dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the gov­ern­ment's no-per­for­mance. Like­wise, pro-monar­chists like the ever squab­bling pan­chas are de­bat­ing whether for­mer King Gya­nen­dra met with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping or not. They don't re­alise that the king who adamantly re­jected the pro­posal for a baby king and who in­sisted with the Chi­nese that his visit should cul­mi­nate in a meet­ing with Xi him­self. Bei­jing has its own style. It con­vinced the for­mer monarch who agreed to meet the South Asian af­fairs ad­vi­sor fol­lowed by the na­tional ad­vi­sor and fi­nally the pow­er­ful leader. Spade work is es­sen­tial in their work style. Metic­u­lous prepa­ra­tions are re­quired, in­clud­ing the agen­das and fol­low-up home­work for suc­ceed­ing ses­sions with higher ups in the power ech­e­lons so as to make meet­ing mean­ing­ful and hope­fully fruit­ful.

Black list

Just when civil so­ci­ety, hu­man rights groups and op­po­si­tion par­ties in In­dia have been mak­ing sharp crit­i­cism against the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment of us­ing less than demo­cratic meth­ods in de­tain­ing so­cial ac­tivists and in­tel­lec­tu­als who were against the rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party, it is a queer co­in­ci­dence that the KP Oli gov­ern­ment has drafted a “black list” of jour­nal­ists. Ac­tu­ally, black lists al­ways ex­isted. The dif­fer­ence is that such ap­proaches are in­cor­po­rated in “lok­tantrik” days. This is per­haps the first time a rul­ing side has the worst press in the re­vived mul­ti­party decades. If the hi­ber­nat­ing coun­selors to Oli had the re­quired knowl­edge and skill, things might have worked bet­ter. In­stead, the premier's Oli's pop­u­lar­ity and rep­u­ta­tion is suf­fer­ing a slide so fast that it might be ex­tremely doubt­ful whether they can re­trieve what has been lost. A sec­tion in the UML fac­tion of Nepal Com­mu­nist Party (NCP) has been whis­per­ing among its mem­bers that Prime Min­is­ter Oli is think­ing of mak­ing a thor­ough over­haul in his team to sal­vage his gov­ern­ment's pub­lic im­age. It's late, but per­haps not as late as might be gen­er­ally thought, pro­vided the new team is equipped with new ideas, ef­fec­tive ap­proaches and skill in de­liv­er­ing. Min­is­ters oc­cu­py­ing ma­jor min­is­te­rial port­fo­lios are known to have been tried and tested prov­ing them­selves merely a medi­ocre crop. Me thinks, so weak is Oli that he will stick with his groove of cronies and hangars-on. Not even his own party in­tel­lec­tu­als, civil so­ci­ety lead­ers, hu­man rights work­ers and mem­ber of var­i­ous pro­fes­sional units have been able to come with opin­ions and write­ups that de­fend the gov­ern­ment's ef­forts. When there is some­thing de­liv­ered, peo­ple will sooner or later know. Publi­cists can't fool all the peo­ple all the time, es­pe­cially in a coun­try where par­ties have been try­ing to fool all the peo­ple all the time.

With­out com­ment

NCP (NCP) mem­ber and for­mer min­is­ter R.K. Mainali, in Nepal Sa­macharpa­tra: “If the gov­ern­ment keeps on go­ing like this for an­other six months, the sit­u­a­tion will be very tor­ment­ing…I know Oli is ego­is­tic, naïve and short-sighted.”

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