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SUBINDRA BOGATI
Nepalipan
Same old Nepal


SUBINDRA BOGATI


LONDON-Just as Nepalis in Nepal, overseas Nepalis are also recovering from Dasain and Tihar. And also from the slew of visitors from Nepal that passed through London, New York, Boston and beyond through the festivals.

It is looking like an exodus. Aside from politicians on various junkets there seems to be a perceptible increase in the outflow of the best and brightest Nepali minds from Nepal. It's not just the DV wallahs and illegals one sees these days but newly-arrived Nepalis with Highly Skilled Migrant Visas. One gets the feeling that Nepal is being deserted at her most insecure time by those the motherland needs the most. Nepali surgeons, computer engineers, teachers are arriving in droves to the UK and other developed countries. Can't blame them, though, because we have rulers who have no skills in keeping them at home.

The travelling politicians were in great demand for talk programs and t?te-?-t?tes where they waxed eloquent about what was wrong with Nepal over lamb curry and chardonnay. The dissidents were on whistle-stop tours of Europe and North America and held forth with the practiced air of those who seemed to have said the same things many times over.

There was Krishna Pahadi, celebrated human rights activist dressed in trademark yellow on an Amnesty International-sponsored tour of Europe and North America. In a discussion forum, he ended up talking more about republicanism than about human rights violations in Nepal and seemed to falsely assume that if only we were a republic all of Nepal's woes would be over.

Student leader Gagan Thapa was on a US government junket and stopped over in London on his way across the pond. He also argued that the monarchy was the main impediment to Nepal's future development. Our Gagan is a very good orator and he has a vision of a new Nepal where justice and equality are possible. However, the basic question in everyone's mind was: "How?" As usual, that question remained unanswered.

Gagan Thapa presented the monarchy as the reason for a raft of serious problems like festering economic woes, endemic corruption, the insurgency. However, he was smart enough to leave some time to hit out at the party bosses who he described as "very authoritarian and archaic". With a sigh, we realised that if Nepal's best minds don't enter politics, they will have to be ready to be ruled by incompetent crooks.

Minendra Rijal the NC-D spokesman preached about the beauty of democracy. When he was asked about reforms and democracy within his own party, however, he managed to sidestep the question with a smirk. The good doctor is among the most upbeat politicians in Nepal but he couldn't transfer his optimism to his audiences here.

So, I guess we get the politicians we deserve. The younger crop of leaders have immense enthusiasm and commitment and also the energy to see through their ideas. But looking at the rate in which Nepalis are leaving Nepal, it's hard to be optimistic even from this far away.

Nepal needs a clear political strategy and coherent leadership. From the party's rank and file to the top brass and from leaders of the bygone generation to the younger ones. But all we heard over Dasain and Tihar here were catchwords like 'loktantr&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'&#'216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;216;', 'ganatantra' and 'samabesiya prajatantra' and it made you wonder if those uttering them knew what theyit really meant. Everyone seems hung up on the process rather than on finding a way out of the crisis.

If these buzzwords remain cheap political slogans and we are not shown what they really means in real behavioural changes, a new Nepal will remain a distant dream.


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


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