By PR Pradhan
Nepalgunj, which is a business hub in Western Nepal, had turned into a colourful city along with celebrations of former King Gyanendra’s 72nd birthday on Saturday, 7 July. This year, the former King along with the entire members of the Royal Family had reached Nepalgunj to celebrate the former Majesty’s birthday there. Otherwise, in the past, the former King usually celebrated his birthday in Kathmandu only.
Although, many of his well-wishers in Kathmandu missed the former King’s birthday, a large number of people in Kathmandu had reached Nepalgunj to extend their birthday greetings to the former King. Also, a large number of people had gathered in Nepalgunj from different parts of the country, to get an audience from their King and wish birthday greetings to him. Due to their gathering and also presence of the Royal family in town, the city had become very colourful and lively.
People having belief on different religions such as Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and people having belief in different political parties had gathered in the city to extend their birthday greetings to the former King.
It has been more than one decade since the country has been declared a republic, yet, the former King is being regarded as the people’s King in the people’s heart and he is still regarded as the symbol of unity in the nation.
Yes, it is not a secret now that foreigners had invested a huge amount of Euro and IC to buy our corrupt leaders to declare Nepal a secular, federal republic against the aspirations of the general public. As the foreigners found difficulty in achieving their interests without demolishing the institution of monarchy, the institution became a target for the foreigners and they became successful in their mission through a dew Nepali individuals, although the king was popular among the people.
Look at the present camel like political system! Can we imagine the promised economic prosperity and happy life of the people, from this system, even the political leaders themselves and also academicians and others have started to question regarding such promises. The government is facing an acute shortage of budget to manage the present political structures in different provinces and thus it has been imposing/increasing taxes in every sector and commodity. If we continue the present political system, very soon, we are sure to face crisis in all sectors. So far, the gathering in Nepalgunj has given a silent message to the present day political leaders.
It is a serious question whether our Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is aware or not that India has stopped importing vegetables from Kakarvitta, his home district in Jhapa. Due to the Indian attitude, many farmers in the Eastern hills have been compelled to face heavy losses in their vegetable business. Tomato is an item which will spoil quickly if it is not consumed immediately. As India has stopped import of tomato, the farmers have had to face heavy losses in this region. Earlier, the Indians had banned the import of ginger causing heavy losses to the farmers. Olijee is distributing dreams of running Nepali ships in Indian rivers, the real scenario is what the farmers are facing today. May be, Olijee and Modijee have a hotline contact and they might have developed a very cordial relation between themselves, but the real Nepal-India relations has been witnessed from the ban of tomato to the Indian market.
Many of us might have been unaware that we are spending billions of rupees while importing different brands of candies into the country from various countries. We could substitute the import of candies by encouraging the Gudpak producers. Contrary to that, a negative propaganda was created by the government that Gudpak is processed in dirty and unhygienic places by using dirty water. Some Gudpak stores were sealed and their owners were arrested by the government inspection teams. Later, they were punished by the government. Now, the psychology among the people is that Gudpak is unhygienic and not fit for consuming. Therefore, the consumers are running behind imported candies.
This scribe has no intention of saying that we should consume unhygienic sweets, but the government should specify the environment of the cooking/manufacturing site by developing effective monitoring services. If the producers do not meet the government set standards, in that case, the government should intervene and tell the producers to not send the products to the market. Once the government said that Gudpak was produced in unhygienic place but what about Gudpak presently sold in the market? Have the producers met the standard now? There is no follow-up from the side of the authorities which sealed such producers of unhygienic edibles. The government has thus encouraged the market of Indian Sunpapadi by destroying the popularity of Gudpak among the consumers.
Recently, the government said that dairy products even produced by the Dairy Corporation, a government undertaking, were unhygienic to consume. If they were unhygienic, why did the government not ban the supply of these products? The impact among the consumers is that as such products are unhygienic, they stopped using local products and started to consume Amul and Patanjali produced dairy products. As a result, consumption of milk has been reduced and our farmers have been facing a great deal of losses, whereas, Patanjali ghee is being sold in the market at the price of eight hundred rupees per kg, which is below the retail price of the same product in the Indian market. This is against the growth of local products of ghee which is priced at above nine hundred rupees. Isn’t this a design to finish our local farmers by the government itself?