The Nepali population has found the decade expensive. Our leaders have long run out of excuses. Prime Minister K.P. Oli and his newly strengthened NCP must now tell his party-men to stop pointing out the shortcomings of his fiscal policies in public. The whip notwithstanding, practical politics of one sort or another within and outside the party propel the need to agree with the people who suddenly find that the much promised proximity to Singha Durbar at their home and hearths has only revealed the bankruptcy of a Kleptocracy that can not even publish school results properly. This ineptitude becomes blatant at home where grandparents are aware of the smooth manner with which Indian matriculation examinations were replaced in Nepal with Nepali government conducted school leaving certificate examinations. The number of school children giving examinations is on the increase and thus the exposure to government mismanagement. The key word is management. From the displacement of Indian Currency with Nepali currency to the transfer of Indian aspired monopoly of trade and transit to genuine Nepali conduct in the pursuit of independent international relations there are many people still alive and aspiring for those days when Nepali officialdom looked to a leadership that looked to Nepali welfare with management skills ready to cope with what seemed to be perpetual challenges down south. Oli’s China visit merely exposed the regime as a chimera, a Nepali nationalism that merely masked self-service and external dependence.
Falling far short in performance is merely one thing; falling far short of public promises is another. Criticism of the budget emanates from the growing public realization of how expensive the policy is. The lay person who would limit their government contact to the tax office, the payment of government bills for services and the occasional court visits has had to be exposed to forbidding expenses their with the promise not only of expensive returns but of forbidding uncertainties. The partisan media can no longer mask this disgruntlement. They can merely serve to disorganize the disgruntled. Party cadres who must rely on a modicum of popular vote can merely sooth sentiments by reflecting part of the adverse opinions in the pretense of their understanding popular sentiments. The problem is that those with solutions have been shunted and divided enough to ensure that pour current monopolists in government cannot be challenged in the streets. Our party men are partying still because their extra-national nexus insures this with money, material and muscle. Nepal’s agitprop investments have been long term, diverse and disbursed enough to allow proxies to own populism. For the proxies, the threat of the same remains a Damocles’ sword and serves to tame their servitude. Oli, as others are aware of this. The problem is that fast changing international demands have caught our international political patrons on the wrong foot. Agitprop strategies need not necessarily have loyalties and this does not displace the demand for dependability in relationships. As one concerned Nepali was told by an influential expatriate-‘You look after your interests, we’ll look after ours.’ What the Nepali individual is now asking is just this. ‘Who is to look after our interests?’ By now we are aware that political parties pursue their interests and the leader’s interest is paramount. We are, as we have realized still at this phase of party politics and so we ask, ‘What of national interests?’