Shut up and shut down
My latest assassment is that at least some of you are reading these words, as we speak. There is proof. How else does one explain that three weeks after this very Backside Column bemoaned the fact that Nepal’s revolutionaries were going soft, Comrade Big Plop starts setting bombs off and declaring bunds to show that he still has fire in his belly?
The country is finally back on the right track. We have restored our commitment to radical transformation, let 100 flowers bloom, smash the four olds, show that a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step, and ensure that political power comes out of the barrel of a whiskey cask. After all, as the Comrades said, “Extortion is a fundamental human right.” (You think I just made that up?)
When lane-dane, band-fand and tod-fod don’t work, then revolutionaries throughout history have had to resort to bunds, chukka-jams and hurt-alls. The whole idea is to bring the whole world to a standstill as Big Blob did on Thursday by shutting down Nepal, Facebook and Instagram. The idea is not allow any work to be done. Why? That is a very good question.
The grabberment messes up everything it does, so by forcing it to not do anything the Maoists have reduced the chances of it doing something wrong. By the same token, the chances of our rulers making correct decisions are so remote that the semi-underground comrades have rightly concluded that it is a much better idea to have them just sit at home and not lift a finger. That way the likelihood of someone somewhere wrecking something is greatly diminished. Imagine the number of blunders that were avoided, kickbacks that did not transpire, bribes that were not taken, just by shutting down the country for one day. The savings to the exchequer runs into the billions.
Through trial and error over the past 50 years we in Nepal have finally hit on the right formula for governance in our country: it is better to allow our rulers to goof off than to have them make decisions of national importance. The thing is, though, there are still workaholics out there who refuse to sit idly by, and need to be forced to desist from decision-making. It is every Nepali’s patriotic duty to find creative ways to do nothing in the coming months. Some ideas:
- Owners of cars older than 20 years who are banned from the streets can protest the rising concentration of oxygen in the Valley’s air and demand residents get their normal daily dose of diesel soot particles in the 2.5-10 micron range.
- The alliance of seven revolting student unions can declare five-day Valley Bunds to demand that the government make available more tyres for their flaming street barricades.
- Fuel tankers can block all highways to claim a 15% increase in evaporation compensation due to global warming.
- The government can also shut down Kathmandu by ensuring that main roads are no longer motorable, the sidewalks are booby-trapped with open manholes.