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SAGAR ONTA
Guest Column
The next Nepali revolt


SAGAR ONTA


KIRAN PANDAY

The current turmoil in the Arab world and the uprising of the young and the angry surely roils the blood of many young Nepalis. It brings back memories of Nepal's many uprisings. But where have they left us?

We are still where we were in the 1950s, when Nepal's modern revolutions began. We are ruled by morally depraved, unethical leaders who legitimise their rule by claiming to represent the people and their interests. The lessons learned from our own history and that of the wider world is that we should not be fighting for or against a system of governance, but for a value system in society that rewards honest and ethical individuals. Even authoritarianism can beget positive outcomes if the leader is ethical and genuinely committed to the country, like Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, and the same goes for other forms of political governance such as a constitutional monarchy, socialism, or capitalism. The common thread tying together successful instances of such fundamentally disparate ideological systems of governance is a value system that allows honest people to make a living and realise their dreams.

Nepal's many revolutions have not been able to produce positive results for the poor because all our leaders are born and raised in the same corrupt system that they claim to be fighting against. Should we genuinely expect them to bite the hand that feeds them? Whether they are communists, democrats or monarchists, they all received their political inculcation on the campuses of Nepal.

Youth politics is one of the main reasons why our revolutions have ultimately failed, even though at the outset of these movements the youth have been seen as torch bearers. Youth politics in Nepal has bred new generations of leaders all of whom have been trained in coercive power politics. This perpetuates polarisation as a norm. It strengthens a power structure that is held together by force and with the help of the criminal elements of our society. This is hardly a basis on which to produce honest and ethical leaders for our future.

The next Nepali revolt should not be about one dictator, one political party, or one ruling class. It should be against a dysfunctional political system that has given birth to a generation of dishonest and unethical leaders. This will not be easy, given that the current leaders are in positions of power because of the support they have received from the politicised youth of Nepal. But if we really want Nepal's next revolution to succeed, we must hit where it hurts the most. We must de-politicise our society.

Recently, there was talk of tech-savvy youths joining hands to organise themselves. Whether they will succeed in energising their peers to act is a different matter. There have been slogans about the need to free Nepalis from greedy leaders, about preserving the dignity and freedom of Nepali citizens, and the like. But for the common man, slogans don't mean anything tangible. They are just slogans, used to rile up the masses. For a real revolution, we need to liberate both our students and our unions from politics. We need to improve the efficiency of our government by reducing its size and bureaucracy. We need to implement strict accountability, transparency, and rule of law. Only then can honest men and women make a decent living without harassment from the government or political parties; only then will honest and ethical Nepalis earn the respect they deserve.

The next Nepali revolution will be as deceitful as the Maoist revolution if we do not address the core of our society's problems. If we want to be the next Tunisia or Egypt, we have to make our revolutions count. We need to have the courage to gut the system that has produced our political leaders.

READ ALSO:
Politics as a spectator sport, EDITORIAL



1. who cares
what revolution!

first of all nepalese/voters themselves have to be sure what they want?


do you want democratic republic, commie feudalism, shah feudalism or army rule (and i am sure about what i want).

if you are republic democrat- only vote for those who honestly support democratic republic not like those/jhallu ram who asked vote in the name of democracy but is going against democracy, dishonest individual,,,,,,,,,,, other are like maoist who asked vote in the name of supporting democracy and today they have changed their mind (this is suppose to be illegal) . ...   this is where we are suppose to revolt. 


many voted uml, maoist and other commie believing them to be democrat and now the vote they got are being defined as the vote for commie. 

(i too voted for uml- and i do not have any regret cause the person i voted for turned out to be a democrat and but he lost,,, and at that time nc was totally controlled by corrupt, crooks ----------- today, i am somewhat angry cause some commie have been saying that the vote i gave then is for one commie party rule, ....................................  i will show then in next election.......... and they did not just get my one vote, i also had asked my friends to vote for them.)




then, among the democrats, vote for the honest politicians with ability. dont vote for those just because they are from your ethnic, cause he/she is from your village, cause you have a far family relation. 



its the voters who have been voting for well known corrupts, criminals, killers, anti nation and its always the same voters who blame politicians.




if you are democrats- its time for you to make commies in uml, maoist, corrupts crooks in nc... pay.


and media, online community should select right politician whom we all should vote instead of dividing our vote..

all maoist got was 30% vote but they won 50% seats in direct election.



its voters who are the problem in nepal, not system.

now some see dead prince as the best candidate... sometime i see nepal as hopeless piece of hell.





2. Paul Krugman
Is the problem the system? Or Nepali society?

I say the latter. Nepal cannot produce a workable, effective government. It's not in your society's genome.

Nepal is a great place and Nepalis can do a lot. But you can't figure out how to run a country in the 21st century. Better to lease out your governance. Let somebody who knows how do it.

Paul Krugman


3. Slarti
O joy, we are going to have another one of those charades playing on the streets are we?

I am all with you in spirit about some elements of your article, but the rest of the body is a bit of a mish-mash and your assumption about the possibility of another one of these shams is unfounded. Nothing is going to happen and that's a good thing.

Tell me now, why did you not utilise your energy in advocating for an election at the earliest possible time?

I assure you, that is the only course of action available which would ever get out of this rut. Have periodic elections and wait for the time when the right set of people would do the right thing. 

I will explain why I say that.

If we were growing at 6% in 1996, which I think we were, the size of Nepal's economy would have been double in 2008 to what it was in 96. There is compounding for you.

The prevalence of peace and timely elections would also ensure the occurrence of another miracle. Despite repeated annoyance from the contemporary political leadership, timely elections would have ensured that people would sort their priorities and would have voted in the right set of characters, largely.

Another factor would have been to change the quality of the economy. If India and China can evolve into sophisticated economies over a 12 year period, then Nepal was small enough to see an acceleration in the pace of expansion as well as a transformation in the nature of economic activities.

What I do agree with you on is the advocacy of taking students out of politics, at least till the graduate level.

The present situation may seem hopeless to you. Here is what a certain gent by the name of Baburam Bhattarai had to say in 1996. I quote from a translation:

It has been six years since the autocratic monarchical partyless Panchayat system was ended by the 1990 People's Movement and a constitutional monarchical multiparty parliamentary system established. During this period state control has been exercised by a tripartite interim government, a single-party government of the Nepali Congress, a minority government of UML and a present Nepali Congress-RPP-Sadbhavana coalition. That, instead of making progress, The situation of the country and the people is going downhill is evident from the fact that Nepal has slid to being the second poorest country in the world; people living below the absolute poverty line has gone up to 71 per cent; the number of unemployed has reached more than 10 per cent while the number of people who are semi-employed or in disguised employment has crossed 60 per cent; the country is on the verge of bankruptcy due to rising foreign loans and deficit trade; economic and cultural encroachment within the country by foreign, and especially Indian, expansionists is increasing by the day; the gap between the rich and the poor and between towns and villages is growing wider.  

I wonder what the good doctor thinks now. Wonder whether he will chose to start another was next year.


4. Slarti
#2, what an online identity!! 

Anyway, Nepali society is one of the few in the world which actually knows how to govern itself. It is in this society's genome. We understand that the current fraudulent set-up is a sham and a sideshow. We know that it will collapse under its own weight of extraordinary folly and colossal stupidity. We will not react, we will simply move on to better times.


5. DG
Kudos to Sagar Ontha,for such a good analysis. Magnificent piece.
 Why not in Nepali Version in Himal Khabarpatrika as well?
 


6. Sarah Thomas

Its unfortunate that Nepal does not have a visionary leader to lead and govern a nation in the 21st century. The current leaders are morally bankrupt and do not have the education or the experience or knowledge to bring growth to a nation and its  people. They are servants of either India or China. They have no character.  What can we expect from them. Look how they fight over portfolio. We need to reach them a lesson.  They should all be tried in the International Court for looting Nepal and Nepali people. The politicians of Nepal have no accountabilty.  Lets put a few in prison and freeze all their ill gotten wealth.  But who is gong to do that..that is the 1 million dollar question. But one note of warning - look what is happening in Libya...take note Nepali politicians - you could be next.  



7. Sarath G
oh wow...! my professor Krugman reads and comments on NT huh...? the bosses must be gloating! sigh...>!

8. Change Nepal
Good analysis Mr. Onta

Nepal is not going to change until we change the same old same old leaders. The only Hope left now is with the new generation. We have no choice but to Change of Generation in Nepal. It will take some time, but we can do it because we know how to.

How many of the current leaders have a clear understanding of the current world economics and politics operates? All they know is what they learnt from their India stay, communist manifestos, wartime experiences and strikes.

There enough Nepali youth-force with excellent understanding of the new world system and they can change the face of Nepal if well-organized. Nepal hasn't failed, but the Old Generation has.


9. Bibhav Acharya
Great points. My only contention is that we need to go beyond simply accusing politicians as "greedy" and "morally bankrupt". Unchecked power and impunity allow these transgressions and the traits you have described are not unique to Nepali politicians. We look to those with power to do the right thing for us. We think we need to choose a political party, the Maoists, the Army, or even the ousted king to save our country. We move from one revolution to another, always forgetting what triggers revolution. A sick person in rural Nepal has no choice but to walk hours or days to the nearest health center, which is understaffed and understocked. She lacks agency to hold the government accountable for denying her basic human right to medical care. She may join the Maoists, who promise her a New Nepal, but will her life improve? Or, will she just join the next revolution? We need to stop wishing that a benevolent, visionary savior will heal the country. We must learn to care less about ushering in a new government or a new political leader and more about establishing a way to hold the government accountable for its actions. That is the only meaningful revolution.

Bibhav Acharya

Nyaya Health

www.nyayahealth.org



10. Junge
I am often bemused by our leaders who constantly fight for political power and portfolio. All they care about is making money as quickly as they can and they do not seem to care much about the nation and its citizens.What we need today is an open and advocate media and civil society that can both expose and create pressure to remove the corrupt and visionless leaders out of politics. We need new leadership in the country and I do not see any good alternatives at this stage. But if we create an atmosphere where leaders who bad leaders are outed and new blood comes in, we shall some day have good leaders in the country. People like Sujhata Koirala should be the first to go. She neither has the qualities to be a leaders and has been embroiled in scandal after scandal and yet claims the title of a "leader". People who bow down to pathetic characters like her should be ashamed at themselves. I could list many more names here but I am sure you are going to be hearing more about such corrupt leaders who should RETIRE in the coming days.Â

11. jange

So, now it is the value system that is wrong! And all this time I thought it was the hated xxx year old monarchy that was the root of all our problems- or was there something else?

You talk of values, so let us look at your own values, or ethics, as reflected by the article that you have written.

You have proposed nothing positive- only that what we have is not enough or good enough or no good etc. Like a spoilt child in a sweet shop you insist on tasting all the sweets and throwing them away after one bite.

You talk of a dysfunctional political system. The leaders that we have have been voted in by the people themselves. What do you propose that we adopt instead of a system where people elect their own political leaders?

To help you clarify your own value system maybe you should try answering the following questions.

- Have you or do you support any political party or leader. If so, why, if they are unethical and dishonest.

- Your last paragraph suggests that you consider the Maoists to be deceitful. Why? When they have consistently said that they want to get into power and consider using violence to do so as a justified and legitimate means. Where is the dishonesty in that? They are doing what they say.�

- Do you consider the current CA and its members to have been elected by a free and fair election? If yes, then what is your complaint? The democratic process? If no, then what have you done about it?

- What is this political system that you want which will "gut the system that has produced our political leaders" ? Can you describe it?




12. Slarti
Bravo, Jange, way to go. Thank you so much for doing what you are doing. I am waiting for people like satya nepali and Anil Pandit to have a go at this. 

What is pathetic is that now we are getting a call for revolution from someone who considers that ".....and the same goes for other forms of political governance such as a constitutional monarchy, socialism, or capitalism."

May be it is completely lost to him that while the latter's are political ideologies designed to be an overall guide of economic relations in the society which, in turn, guide the formation of institutions which support such relations, the first is merely a structure of government which is expected to provide stability, and continuity in a nations life.

A constitutional monarchy can preside over a capitalist country, even a (mildly) socialist country.

Correct me if I am wrong.


13. Jiba
Good analysis.

14. Slarti
"Remove the nail, and the hammer will have nothing to hit. It will be purely ceremonial. A blast from the past, this was the suggestion of this paper to the people of Nepal, a long-long time ago. Street agitation has been going on in Kathmandu since 2002 when parliament was dissolved by Prime Minister Deuba. So whether it's the king or someone else in power does not matter, disturbances and demonstrations will go on. The only way to stop them is by a legitimate government.  To his credit, the king admitted in his Wednesday speech that history is the judge of the people's conduct during times of crisis." Today's potentates (I found out it means rulers) seldom bother with bread but they love circuses. The municipal election this week was one such."He goes on, "The regime wanted to distract the attention of urban population away from its abject failure of the past three years of interventionist monarchy. Nothing else can explain an electoral farce that was opposed by Maoists, boycotted by political parties, disparaged by international community, sneered at by media, ignored by human rights activists, barely tolerated by the bureaucracy and warily watched by a largely-indifferent population. He went on to warn the seven party alliance that, "The seven-party alliance now needs to review its strategy. It must accept that one in every five voters did turn out despite threats to personal safety." But surprising agile in his imagination, the quoter Juvenal's work and the repeated denouncer of various military-mercantilist alliances, goes on to complete the sentence, "The Nepali bourgeois relatively safe in urban clusters is still indifferent to the concerns of democracy, freedom of the press and human rights. Their biggest concern is still whether there is gasoline for their motorcycles and the availability of fresh vegetables. This apathy is a manifestation of the collective failure of the political parties. Unless they tap this dormant force, they can't revive the middle ground in Nepali politics."That is not all, the message to the doyens of democracy is contained in this quote of the decade,"In fact it did everything under its power to undermine the credibility of the process by arresting political leaders, human rights activists and independent professionals", (what dreadful opposition to democracy, the suppression of voices, oh hang on),"[who were] opposed to the polls.Today, the sharp and shrill noise against everything Nepali, the ululating of the benevolently smiling idiots found in newspapers calling on people to have some spunk, the decapitators of feudal heads being called rightists, and damners of the Hindu pantheon, and its religious texts, who continue to appear to rule the sound, print, and radio waves of today's Nepal will also produce regrets for tomorrows Nepal.Tell me Herr Comrade, whose head would be put on the slab then????

15. N Jha

Slarti, I had to work on this because your comments are normally better. I think this is what you wanted to say.

"Remove the nail, and the hammer will have nothing to hit. It will be purely ceremonial."

A blast from the past, this was the suggestion of this paper to the people of Nepal, a long-long time ago.

In response someone undemocratic said, Street agitation has been going on in Kathmandu since 2002 when parliament was dissolved by Prime Minister Deuba. So whether it's the king or someone else in power does not matter, disturbances and demonstrations will go on. The only way to stop them is by a legitimate government."

Meanwhile, a defender of democracy and the dreamer of a new Nepal was commenting on the undemocratic practice of conducting an election. To his credit, the king admitted in his Wednesday speech that history is the judge of the people's conduct during times of crisis."

He goes on elsewhere, and I will urge you to read carefully, Today's potentates (I found out it means rulers) seldom bother with bread but they love circuses. The municipal election this week was one such." 

He goes on, "The regime wanted to distract the attention of urban population away from its abject failure of the past three years of interventionist monarchy. Nothing else can explain an electoral farce that was opposed by Maoists, boycotted by political parties, disparaged by international community, sneered at by media, ignored by human rights activists, barely tolerated by the bureaucracy and warily watched by a largely-indifferent population.

He went on to warn the seven party alliance that, "The seven-party alliance now needs to review its strategy. It must accept that one in every five voters did turn out despite threats to personal safety." 

But surprising agile in his imagination, the quoter of Juvenal's work and the denouncer of various military-mercantile alliance, goes on to complete, "The Nepali bourgeois relatively safe in urban clusters is still indifferent to the concerns of democracy, freedom of the press and human rights. Their biggest concern is still whether there is gasoline for their motorcycles and the availability of fresh vegetables. This apathy is a manifestation of the collective failure of the political parties. Unless they tap this dormant force, they can't revive the middle ground in Nepali politics."

That is not all, the message to the doyens of democracy is contained in this quote of the decade, "In fact it did everything under its power to undermine the credibility of the process by arresting political leaders, human rights activists and independent professionals", (what dreadful opposition to democracy, the suppression of voices, oh hang on),"[who were] opposed to the polls.

Today, the sharp and shrill noise against everything Nepali, the ululating of the benevolently smiling idiots found in newspapers calling on people to have some spunk, and saying that the decapitator of feudal heads are now rightist (horrors and screams, how could he), the denouncers of the Hindu pantheon, and its religious texts, who continue to appear to rule the sound, print, and radio waves of today's Nepal will also produce regrets for tomorrows Nepal.

Tell me Herr Comrade, whose head would be put on the slab then???? 



16. gm

Allow me to make two of my own points related to the discussion (not the article itself) here:

First, a positive discussion builds up on everyone's comments. So, a dialogue should replace monologues in forums like this one.

Second, Sagar dai has pointed out the elephant in the room; lets not ask him to find a way to get the elephant out of the room as well.

Meaning: a potential reason for the problems that we are presently facing in Nepal has been identified. Now, lets use our braintrust to figure out the possible next steps that will take us towards mitigating the problem.

Some of the ideas so far:

#1 ...nepalese/voters themselves have to be sure what they want
   its voters who are the problem in nepal, not system.

#2 Better to lease out your governance. Let somebody who knows how do it.

#3 ...the only course of action available which would ever get out of this rut. Have periodic elections and wait for the time when the right set of people would do the right thing.

#6 Lets put a few [politicians] in prison and freeze all their ill gotten wealth.

#8 There [is] enough Nepali youth-force with excellent understanding of the new world system and they can change the face of Nepal if well-organized.

#9 ...learn to care less about ushering in a new government or a new political leader and more about establishing a way to hold the government accountable for its actions.

10# ...create an atmosphere where leaders who bad leaders are outed and new blood comes in...



17. Shah Rukh Khan
Slarti, does anyone understand your comment? Please write something that makes sense. Don't show off your highschool degree like this.


18. K. K. Sharma

What next revolution.?

There has been no revolution or people's movements, since 1950 without instruction from Delhi. So unless Delhi instructs, there is not going to be another revolution or people's movement.

What ethical political leaders.? 

Our leaders have been those annointed by Delhi. Ethical leaders are unfit to be qusilings. We get the leaders.as desired by Delhi, and what's more our intellectuals will hail and follow such leaders only. So stop dreaming.


19. karna magar

Corruption in Nepal has everything to do with Bahunism. people may not like it, but the truth is truth. bahunism has corrupted the whole system and those on the top want to maintain the status quo. Unless that changes, bahunism will come in many forms of Congress, UML and Mao.

I hope and pray that there will be better lives for every Nepali.

 



20. Slarti
#17, please do forgive me for my transgressions. I am always surprised how annoyed people tend to get by my comments. Had it been just one person I would believe that something was wrong with her.

But given the consistency of opposition to my views something must be wrong with my views, and the way I express them. I guess I will still have to go on and keep discovering where I am going wrong.

As far as my comment which #15 has been kind enough to edit in correct shape is concerned, my point is very simple.

People in responsible (meaning media) positions advocate a stance not even knowing what the true implications of that stance really is.

For example, if you oppose electoral democracy, conducted in defense of democracy, you can get nothing but rhetorical democracy conducted in favor of a tyrant, without elections.

What the Nepali gentry and intelligentsia has so far got away with is the dimness that they have consistently displayed and how they have elevated crass stupidity of their world-view, into the realm of serious analysis.


21. Vija Srestha

One must understand that it is nothing to do with political system in the country,it is the individual values and morale and above all professionalism in the field one is in.You talk about values, so let us look at our own values, or ethics, as reflected by the article that you have written.

To help us clarify our own value system maybe we should try answering the following questions.

- Have you or do you support any political party or leader. If so, why, if they are unethical and dishonest.

I like the questions you pose and you are one of the examples ,that would ask the questions ,but exclude your self from the answer and so are millions even of those who seem to particiapate and ask questions ,but in their life do exactly the same.

I can write only about myself and here are my sincere and honest answers.

Every developed society has duties ,responsibilities ,rights and law .If these are equal for every individual ,then Family,Neighbourhood,community of Nepal can work together.I haven't supported any political party or a leader,however I have my own idea,why I thought certain things I have seen in the country during 1990 were good for example,we saw some order was introduced in the streets,we saw tolorence or law was introduced not to destroy the public property but announcing strike very often and do nothing ,just browse the streets on that day is not my value.I felt forced to not work,even if I disagreed with uselessness of such strikes.Millions of Rs were lost in few days of strikes.Where is professionalism of politicians such as Bhattarai or Dahal?These two examples are just to show you that there were good deeds and acceptable and a must for everyone ,but it was destroyed by misplacced responsibilities.Why to work?

For me it was not important which party or under whose leadership it was introduced.That is not important.However it was important that such growth would continue,however after a few months,we find out that some ministers were just taking a chance to grab the chance to enrich themselves like  Wagle.I hope and would like to see that the new constitution will be written and based on the higher standards of human rights.There must be no stages or steps to be able to have rights,however these go hand in hand,with duties and rights.Even constitution writing poses a problem and why!If it will be written to higher standards,that would mean everyone,rich or poor would be equally responsible and would have rights,which in Nepal is far away from understanding,because if you live by the rule and law,you can not lead good life which is normal in many world countries for everyone,you can not send children to good schools you want for your children,you can not go to hospital and get the best treatmeant,even earning high salary working in the aviation field as an engineer,you can not afford books you woud like to have,you can only afford to pay your every month bills.I could afford from my salary to spend extra Rs 500 for the materials I needed to implement new ideas,to improvize some ideas to introduce things in my work just to be able to enjoy to the reality that it is possible,but no support would come from those who had chosen the field to do so,schools.There was only one institution who saw what I was doing and paid me for the materials I used without even presenting the bill.What about the millions who may think in that way, but wouldn't do that as their value was ,it is not mine,I need for the family,or simply they don't have it.

Unethical,dishonest.Tax system.It is one example,it is not going ahead.Why,because it would mean that everyone must pay for what he has,property,doing his bizness and based on earning ,and here is again loop,avoidence ,giving wrong numbers.Talking about honesty,the government ,means people we elect need to have these qualities,but we don't have even doctors or teachers who would be honest,as you can not deny,doctors are the ones who build their castles on the pain of millions.What is honesty?What are values we as a society consider to be acceptable and neccessity .Schools which have avoided tax payments and registered themselves as non profit organizations,are given these rights by the Government leaders,this way Government has created an exceptions based on the school involvement in the society.My question is,why there are these exceptions?Honesty?How do you call this?Can the Government honestly go ahead and start tax system,if even the biggest air company presents to the Revenue Office only the part of the income and who is paying for it,it is again the employees not the owner,and plus,what do I get for paying tax,not even free health care or government school which I would consider on some standard.

I eat the chicken,I pay tax,I pay tax in different shops every day.Why,if I already pay to the Revenue and Customs office,how many taxes I must pay?tThe Government lets the people do bizness ,in a way it gives me a choice of shops,it gives the individuals jobs etc,so let them pay to the government to the fullest as I do,but what do I get from the Government if I am in need.Nothing.

There is no one in present scenario,however I have a choice to choose the less evil and give him a chance to lead Government and for me there are few people,but even they are not gone take up the positions,because they are honest enough to tell themselves,I am doing the best I can and I have a family too.

- Your last paragraph suggests that you consider the Maoists to be deceitful. Why? When they have consistently said that they want to get into power and consider using violence to do so as a justified and legitimate means. Where is the dishonesty in that? They are doing what they say.�

What is honest about violence,what is honest about bringing guns and using them against peaceful people,what is honest about not contributing to society for 15 years.You must recheck your values,if people like you justify this ,then I choose someone who does work everyday,contributes to society,by using means they possess and in that case it is good enough for me,at least they do not dream for 15 years and do not expect others to do for them and till now ,even Khanal,or Dahal ,or Bhattarai do not pay tax for what they earn or posess.So where is the honesty?

Yes,they are decietful,because the ideology they presented  is about  ideals ,but in reality,what is good about killing in the name of ideals,what is good about living like parasites and not contributing to the society by their own means and effort.If I am paid money ,anyone would do anything and in maoist case,it is not their private money,it is looted money,how can I justify this for the sake of few individuals who couldn't do good ,is this honesty?

- Do you consider the current CA and its members to have been elected by a free and fair election? If yes, then what is your complaint? The democratic process? If no, then what have you done about it?

The current CA.

I need people who are professionals in their fields,who would know the subject to the bits and think based on reality and who would think for the everyone in the society,which is being honest enough to write the rules and law and who would follow them starting with themselves.It would be enough for me.Do the job you do the best in your own place being honest is all is needed.If we can not do that minimum,then there is no future of the country as developed society.

I have lived my life with sincerity and honesty.I didn't need rules to be a good citizen contributing to the society without the help of politicians.I found myself strength to work with inspiration without anyone to tell me you must do it,I just did it and I was let to do that,because of the forward looking biznessmen who supported new ideas,who themselves got involved in the society without anyone telling them to do so,it is their own wish,therefore for me these people are the choice for future maybe not ideal choice ,but better choice than being empty vessel and if they take up work at the Government office,I would expect them to ask anyone to contribute to the society by doing best they can .That is my contribution to the society and there are millions of them who do not wait for the Goverenment to tell them to do the best for the society with the work they do the best.          

- What is this political system that you want which will "gut the system that has produced our political leaders" ? Can you describe it?

Yes,I would want Socialism like in Denmark,Norway or France,the best I see till now,where work for the society is considered as a rule and now as a necessity of every individual and only then we can have expectations from the Government,but then millions have expectations, but do not contribute,just expect the place to milk out of it well.So ,why would I WANT to vote for them,like Dahal or Khanal ,or Bhattarai,or Koirala,who had good vision and means to do so, but ended up using his position to do only for his family.But Khanal and Dahal,had not even led the Government yet ,or worked for it,but have already earned fees for talking ,looting and killing.Do I need them to tell me what is honesty?  

We are looking everywhere ,neighbours,just not seeing what we are doing.And one more sincere thought and wish.I wish that our PM would Mr.K.Dixit,that our Education Minister would be Mrs.S. Dixit,that our Ministers would be Mr.Deuba,Mr Devkota,Mr.R.Singh,Mr.O.Shrestha.etc.Why?

My choice is based on their professional  contribution and the work they had done as a professionals even in such a messed up one  society.Respect I have towards such individuals for doing the work they do.They are educated and have proved to me,that they are able to bring the change.

My sincere request is to everyone,name the people who are very good at their jobs and have proved to you in any way that they can bring change with work,without having any political orientation,just plain professionalism and ability to implement the good deeds,without having uncles or aunties in high positions,that is what counts as a ability to me.

Let me take on the reasoning you may have against it.

Let's talk about values,individual qualities of leaders we would like to see for the society and honesty in its real meaning.I choose the less evil and work,based on todays needs and individual responsibility is the place to start.

Sincerely,Vija



22. Kuire Kukur
"...a generation of dishonest and unethical leaders."

Well said. But exactly how to get rid of them? Voting against bad politicians in this environment means that there's no one to vote FOR. 

Politicians are "position and power maximisers" in Political Science jargon, just as businesspeople are profit maximisers. What has worked well in the rest of the world to make them behave better is 1) the power of the press to expose them and 2) convicting them when they commit crimes. 

The press could do more: If the police won't run "stings," then the media should. And when a public official or police officer does the right thing, praise them and make them a public heroes.

Cleaning up the police is very hard, but it can be done. Legislative oversight is a good place to start: Make senior law enforcement officials responsible to a committee of elected officials who can grill them about their actions and inactions. 

Until we can prosecute and convict senior bureaucrats and political leaders for their crimes, or remove them from office for their failures, there's no point in another revolt. First things first.


23. Rajaram
# 19 Karna Magar.
Karna Magar is right.Congress, UML, or Maoist   Jallu, Girja, Puspa Kamal,  Sushil , Madhav or Baburam are not real Brahmins. They don't observe any rules of the Bahun order. They became classified as Bahun by only the accident of birth. It would have been a relief tro the Community if they were still born. They are thescum of their community,the black sheeps.





24. Salman Khan
Shahrukh, if you don't have the capacity to understand Slarti's comment, what makes you think others would be as dim as yourself.

Try reading it carefully, maybe you will learn something about being decent and reasonable in your arguments. If not, don't waste your time on making useless comment when people are discussing a serious issue.

Slarti's comments strike me as very convincing. In their attempt to be part of the mainstream sentiments, stupid people have always taken the hasty and the wrong stance. 

Had everybody thought with a cool head, and had Girija not egged on the Maoists to murder everybody who choose to participate in that election, we would have a different present.

Even if the clowns at the helm of affairs come up with a constitution what is to guarantee that someone else disgruntled enough and connected enough won't start a new war and then set up a new miserable environment.

I mean if the Maoists can go on a murder campaign for the reasons outlined above, why can't someone else go to war for some other reason. After all, everybody with half a brain knows that the economic conditions of this country is not getting any better in a hurry.

Moreover, I also don't understand the animosity with people politely expressing their view by people who claim to be democrats. Aren't you supposed to be democrat only if you respect everybody's opinion?????????


25. Sagar Onta

Thanks for all the comments. Please do keep it coming. If the solution was so easy, we wouldn't be here in the first place. The goal of the article was to point out that we got it wrong when we fought for democracy, without figuring out how to elect an ethical and honest leader, without building strong institutions that cannot be manipulated by elected officials. When we have a system of youth politics where our next generation of leaders learn how to play dirty politics and incite the public, where is our country headed? Yes, youth power was needed against the Rana's to fight for democracy. But like too much of sugar is bitter, we have too much of youth politics and politicized unions that have managed to ruin our country. I am not against unions, but they must be de-politicized. That's the next revolution we need, to de-politicize our society.Â

Of course, it's not easy to get there because every aspect of our society has been politicized, from student unions, worker unions, public employees, business groups and even professional organizations. But one way to get there is to understand that we need a new way of thinking, a new leadership who fights for a system that respects and honors honest and ethical individuals in our society. How we start is to go after corrupt leaders like people possessed and don't stop till they are out of power. We all know who they are, so why are they still in power, still calling the shots?Â



26. nepali

I guess we have had enough revolution and counter revolution in the last 50- 60 years. But they were just political revolution where we only removed one king and put another in his place.

Our foundation were always the same. Whether we vote on a election or not, it never mattered. Our decision, which were to be taken by common folk, were always taken by foreigner. whether it be Embassy of South or farther, by UNO and its junta sisters, world bank or its subsidiary, Big donor agency and their god father in usa or europe or their smaller INGO/NGO counterpart wriggling and encroaching in every district headquarter of Nepal.

The common people are meant to silently bear all the burden of country and wait till the next election to vote. While any of the decision are taken by those 'encroaching foreigner'. Be it the 'suggestion' of embassies for constitution writing or army integration, be it hydroelectric or road project by world bank or IMF, or be it  'social justice', 'health care' and 'community equity and partnership' by those 'wriggling INGO/NGO'. They are the established figure to advice us, to lead and guide us. And that is our problem as a Nepali.

Ranging from the smallest issue of 'primary health center or water tap' to biggest issue' constitution writing' we are directed and made to accept them.

I only wish our next revolution be guided so that we remove the remnant of those 'foreign intervention' so that at least we common nepali take our decision on our own. The real difficult thing might be to make ourself understand those goodwill foreign intervention is wrong. Afterall having a small hospital or a water tap or a school in your village is always a good thing, even better for those who can channelise their money. But the sense of parasitism, the sense of dependency right from our kings to our common folk which they have created for the last 200 years, I'm afraid we have never been able to get away from. Something embedded deep in our mind and heart.

Lets leave the politicans alone, coz they are venomless snake should there be no 'foreigner' to guide them, and they will gradually know the meaning of being 'nepali' once they have no option but be part of people who voted them. Next generation of politicians will be purged and cleansed to 'Nepali' if we can remove those 'foreign intervention' which is demoralising the sense of bearing Nepali citizenship.

 



27. who cares
not revolution but mass demonstration can solve some of the major problems- jailing corrupt ministers, politicians, national security, safeguarding constitution from undemocratic move etc.

and the solution is-

first of all experts, intelligent civil society members and some intelligent politicians should discuss regarding a body which would appoint bosses and members of independent constitutional bodies like judge, anti corruption etc.

if CA or govt. declines to establish such body then the mass demonstration should do the job.

this body could contain individuals from retired head judge, retired army and police boss, retired lawyer org boss (first of all need to keep lawyer org free from political affiliation), retired org leader of�professors�org (non political), retired chief�bureaucrat, retired boss of journalist's org. etc.



that body should also have power to appoint�committee�which would investigate on the corruption or ill act of ministers, executive head �and big politicians and which should also have power to drag such�corrupts�into the court.�





and also,�

if voters cast their vote in support of right candidates, reject well known corrupts,incompetent for 2/3 election (continuously) then they may loose their sheep and become powerless. and the right winner is more likely to draft practical anti corruption law which would then jail powerful corrupts.


28. Slarti
As a step closer in the direction of this revolution could the Nepali Times committee of revolutionaries please fix the bold face in the comment box please.

Sagar, I completely understand the need for de-politicisation of this society, it is overly political. But the way to fix it is not through exhortations and sermons. It is not only difficult to de-politicise this society, it is impossible to do that. 

The reason is simple, this society is a victim of a collectivist ideology which seeks easy, "only if" answers to all its problems. And, when the "only if" element is taken care of, what we find is that we have ended up having a bigger, a far more complex, problem than we started off with.

Remember, we have dealt with our so called "only" problems and "only hindrances to progress'es" throughout our history. If there is one country in the world where people have convincingly shown their power of coming together and dealing with the problem, this country is it.

If people power meant anything, this would be the richest, nicest and the best country there would ever be.

Lets see how many hindrances we have dealt with.

Rana, Panchayat, Multiparty democracy of the bourgeois type, autocracy, Hinduism, unitary state, and more. 

Furthermore, we have made progress in terms of, revolutionary statute in favor of the gay community, in terms of providing rights to the citizens, in terms of producing reams of denunciations about the corrupt and an endless list of other rhetorical pieces, and also taken many other forward looking steps.

And, where are we? Absolutely nowhere. 

There was much more that I was going to say, but I fear that my point and feelings would be lost in an overwhelming call to we'ness that I simply refuse to be a part of.


29. elina p
Nepal has had its shares of 'revolutions and counter-revolutions.' One more and we will not have enough tires to run tempos and micros.

I do not believe we will see a drastic change in Nepal over the next two, three or five years. Long term however, if we want to see our Nepal change, each citizen will have to make personal sacrifices--more is to be expected from those who have more. As many other commentators have already said, we need to stop with the blame game. Accept that Nepal is probably a hundred years behind developed nations, see the problems, pick some you can tackle and keep on moving forward.


30. nepalpart3
What I agree most on this is to get the students from all these hardcore politics!!!!!!!!!!  Once we do this, we'll start churning out professionals from school with official experience to become great members of our society.  All these voilence in our society from frustration and power struggles are not very reflective of our socitety that has been peaceful from the within.

Great job, Sagar and keep posting such contributions.


31. yam gurung

It is very unfortunate and sad to say that our beautiful Nepal bad politics is not govern by the will of the  puppets leaders of the Nepal.They are just following the orders or dancing in the tunes others,wether it is 'KHAOBADI OR MAOBADI'.all shame,shame.

If we look back to the grand design of 1990 people movement.Why and how it was created and the root cause of all these situation.Then only true and genuine Nepalese will get the clear picture.



32. Danny Birch
Things have definitely changed with Nepal's revolutions, but for the worse rather than for the better. HLM Birendra was far better than any so-called people's government that has followed his untimely and sad demise. HLM Mahendra knew very well what sort of people dominated the political parties and so banned them. 

33. Vija Srestha

I am shocked after re-reading again and again ,no one accepts the individual,self responsibility!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And yes,I totally agree,press could do more and those who break law and use the position for self -satisfying reasons must be prosecuted,even those in the court of law,no one is out of law.

Let,s not forget,while we do not have proper law,constitution ,it is our individual responsibility to live life so we don't have to be ashamed for our actions.

Again,it is us who should bring forward capable people,who have proved to be able to bring around change.It is us.



34. Slarti

#32 Danny, you have a great point. I think what has happened in this country over the past two decades requires a lot of work in identifying the truth about the events.

If you look closely, the 1990 and 2006 changes were both caused not because of the popular myths emphasized by the Kathmandu media elite. There was something else, and I have been hoping to talk about it because the media elite simply won't.

In both these cases there was one single overwhelming rallying point, induced by external factors. 

In 1990, India blockaded Nepal. People like Chandrashekhar, an Indian socialist, were here making inflammatory speeches against the then set-up. It is very likely, and from what I hear from people who were older at the time, most people supported the politicians because they felt that doing so would ensure the end of that blockade.

I am not suggesting that this was the only factor that led to the change, but that this was the point which rallied people to such an extent and that people, materially, cared about only that much so that they could get on with their lives.

I recall Prashant having mentioned something about GP saying that it would not make a hoot of a difference whether he worked 4 hours or 16. (words to that effect).

The politicians knew that they had the game firmly in their hands and given the support that they had, the point of their existence was to hold a vice like grip on government.

That was also the reason why they ignored and then badly handled the Maoist insurgency.

So much for 1990, I know that something more complex happened in 2006. 

Despite all the nice things that the socialist elite of this country have, the only two reasons why Nepali's rallied were that a) they were convinced of the crown's culpability in the Royal Massacre, and b) because just like in 1990, they thought that if they could get the King out of the way they would finally be allowed to live in peace.

Contrary to popular myth, neither of these two events had anything to do with people wanting grand political changes like this author calls for. There is more to it. 

But as the partisan media intensifies its efforts to divert attention to non-issues and raise more and more irrelevant points, I am going to try and find out how, and why, I am wrong in my conclusions.



35. who cares
danny boy & slarti, the old timer, 

shahs, gyn bahadur never cared what nepalese think, he/they were more interested in getting supporters from foreigners, impress whites.


regarding bir bahadur, among the rulers who did not have to face war, he most be the most unproductive in this history in the man kind.


these dead royal sheep are talking as if democrats destroyed all the roads, blew bridges, hydro , hydro transmission to all the people of villages, hospitals, schools in ruler village etc and etc that is why people of village no longer has road, electricity, school, hospital....



stop talking non sense,,, its the people who send ranas packing and its shahs who axed people from behind..


low life dishonest family. that was why there were so much killing inside the family, brother killing brother, wife killing everyone. 




36. Slarti
#35, I don't think you realise that you are just proving my point.

37. Slarti
#35, Make a mental note of this fact, no matter how much abuse you throw, people like me have suffered your types for too long. Now that all is done, you are not going to stop me from speaking my mind.

There is a limit to how much stupidity one can tolerate and how much filthy abuse one can accept.


38. samten gurung

Karna Magar is right to some point. People may not say it publiclu, but everyone is blaming them for pathetic situation in the country. Most of them hold higher position in places like custom and immigration. and just seeing minorities like Gurung, Tamang and Sherpa in lines makes them warm up to find some fault to take money away. be it in Airport, CDO office, mantralaya or somewhere, I just hate when they look upon us like as if we are their prey.

Such attitudes have to change before they are forced to change.



39. Sagar Onta
We are all aware of what the problems are and we never hesitate to point out what is wrong with our system and society. That's the beauty of an open society. However, we have done that for generations and yet we have let the leaders and cronies that surround them run our lives. We have to realize that the problem is not with them, but us. We are bureaucrats and professionals who like the cosy chummy relationship but forget that we are there to serve the public and do a good job. We are traders who like to cut corners and save money in every opportunity. We are bankers who like to take large loans to buy personal properties. We are journalists, artists, farmers, lawyers, doctors who all have contributed actively or by being passive observes of the atrocities committed in front of us. We have democracy, but we don't have a society that puts honest and sincere individuals in position to make a difference. We may honor them in some public function, but we don't really want them to succeed. Because people who are at the top are dishonest cronies who do not want good people to succeed and kick them from their high positions. Unless we establish a system that respects honest people and put them in halls of power, our democracies will always be ruled by political parties that are full of criminals and corrupt individuals. My argument in the article is, the first step to get there is to de-politicize our society and let students be students to strive to be experts in their fields, workers be workers who is respected, professionals be professionals with integrity and bureaucrats be bureaucrats who know how to get things done.

40. Slarti
Sagar, I understand that you probably hate me and would like to get your hands around my neck and wring it (the neck) but I still think that you are missing the point.

You know, as well as I do, who lamented about the extreme level of politicization in this society, and what happened to that lament. I will make some points in the hope that nobody is going to notice them.

A) If your argument is that students should be students and so on - the question to be really asked is, why are students engaged in politics?

B) If bureaucrats should focus on execution of their bureaucratic duty, why are they not doing that?

It is when you adopt this approach of investigation than you are likely to get answers instead of proclamations and exhortations that you have got now.

In my view, (and more often than not it is wrong and pointless) our society is politicized simply because that is the best option available in a society where there is nobody to trust, and all basis of faith is eroded. 

I am going to stop for today.


41. Mr. Poudel
hahahaha... what revolution? my upset stomach revolts more than your bloody imagination.

You use Egypt and Tunisia as being exemplary... do you not know that those revolutions have already played into the hands of the very forces they revolted against? And you can bet that the powers to be will be much more brutal than anything you have imagined...




42. Obelisk

You always get the leaders you deserve. So goes an old aphorism.

You can't usually expect a people to have ethically infallible leaders when poeple themselves choose to sink in an abyss of moral obtuseness.

Rarely, societies have been salvaged by leaders they did not deserve. That obviosuly is not happening here. 



43. PCJ

Both the artical and the comments, in their own way and style have shown the anger and the frustrations currently brewing in the minds of the youths of Nepal.I think, they are similar to the anger and frustrations which gave rise to youth revolt in most of the countries in the middle-east and north africa right now.The Nepali youths should  organize and prepare themselves for a peaceful revolution once again.If they really want to see a change in the status quo.they need to think,speak and act accordingly.I am confident that the change will come for sure, if the youths change themselves.  



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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