By P. Kharel
That day this week
The late Ganesh Man Singh, who distanced himself from the party he was actively associated with for half a century because of Girijia Prasad Koirala’s “dictatorial style” of governing the organisation that was at the forefront of the 1951 movement for democracy and the 1990 campaign for the restoration of multiple party democracy.
The irrepressible Singh used to publicly regret that many people of Kathmandu lit oil-fed lamps to greet King Mahendra’s decision that on December 16, 1960 dismissed the elected Nepali Congress government headed by BP Koirala, who was also the party president.
Proxies against Nijgadh
Neighbourhood proxies here do not want Nijgadh to take off as an international airport. Instead, they recommend Sarlahi district, instead, because of fear that Parsa and Bara, so close to each other and possessing high economic prospects, could emerge as hugely successful trading centres, as a resounding ripple effect of the airport project. In order to divert government’s attention and, worse come to worse, Sarlahi would not be able to develop much for a long while even if it hosted an international airport. Sarlahi, with an international airport, would be a drastic setback when compared with what would be the case if Nijgadh made it.
Disappointed over the campaign for Sarlahi, a tourism industrialist was heard saying, “With citizens like them, who needs conspiratorial foreigners?”
While President Bidya Devi Bhandari was addressing an international conference on environment and climate change, hosted by Poland last fortnight, Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun was moving around as “Acting President”. We never heard the British heir apparent Prince Charles being described as “Acting King” when Queen Elizabeth left for foreign travel. Nor do we hear of the United States Vice-President Pence being addressed as “Acting President” during the frequent foreign travels that President Donald Trump undertakes. For that matter, such show of futility is not conspicuous in the rest of South Asia, too.
Acting Prime Minister was conspicuously referred to when Prime Minister Oli was out of the country in autumn in connection with leading the Nepalese delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, which was marked by a 30-second photo opportunity for the communist leader with a massive majority in a poverty-ridden nation.
Flaunting the “acting” role shows how shallow people can betray themselves in their mistaken sense of inflated ego.
In its fifth incarnation, the history-based “Jung Bahadur” novel has turned out to be the hot-selling property for the Kamana News Publications. Sales records have a telling tale of success story. Considering that novels rarely exceed 3,000 copies in sales, the brisk business of “Jung Bahadur”, in its latest edition, must be heartening to its publishers while making others scratch their heads as to why they failed to pick the right theme with the right ingredients to make such a hot cake at book stalls.
Coming from the longest-serving group in entertainment-based print fare, “Jung Bahadur” is presented in a lucid and page-turner narrative with an interesting mix of fast-paced ingredients authored by Shree Krishna Shrestha.
After all, the publishing house’s boss and editor-in-chief Pushkarlal Shrestha’s memoir covering his debut and evolution as a journalist, first as the man behind the trend-setting “Kamana” magazine, the nation’s No. a publication in entertainment-oriented journalism just as “Sadhana” shares a similar status in the field of health journalism. In fact, both these themes are complemented by the organisation’s broadsheet “Naya Samacharpatra” daily, too.
In one of his first acts after being elected to the high office, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador earlier this month announced: “We are selling all the planes and helicopters that corrupt politicians used”. In response, the expectant crowds burst into a roaring applause. Acquired in 2012, the $218 million presidential jet had become a symbol of hate for many large section of Mexican society fed up inefficient rulers and corrupt system.
Elections in many countries have become an instrument of organised convenience, enabling leaders to ignore their critics. They flaunt their “popular mandate” and, by their devil-may-care behaviour, try dismissing criticisms as political stunts by opponents. The irony is that these representatives manage to get reelected again and again and again. This is the case in also the rest of South Asia, world’s most populous region.
Value for money
In principle, the annual campaign set to address violence against women is without the iota of any doubt a welcome idea. If translated into practice, society would record very positive results in terms of equality, justice and democratic governance. But prejudice begins from donor agencies that have over the years learnt to wine, dine and patronise the same lot among local NGOs and groups with such ritual predictability, it overstretches the patience of the public for effective time span of attention and energetic enthusiasm.
Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, quoted in The Himalayan Times: “There is a threat of a counter-revolution. It’s not me trying to scare you with this prediction, but indications been shown by extremist sentiments in the hills and increased activities of various elements seeking to disintegrate the country in the plains these days.”