Surreal Nepali contemporary environs are best evinced in the presence of the president and prime minister at the Prithwi Narayan Shah statue in front at Singha Durbar gates and their formal obeisance to the unifier of the country amidst popular gatherings at the venue demanding a national holiday on the occasion calling for the restoration of the monarchy. The Nepal Academy of course made a pretense of the formal observations but this fell far short of demands for the official recognition of a national holiday. Having long been acculturated politically to the myth that Prithwi Narayan was a feudal that expanded his state for exploitation, government which has as partners those who expanded that dogma to despoiling Shah’s statue and tarnishing his history find it difficult to reconcile with the fact that that feudal created Nepal. The left in Nepal has added many a luminary to Nepali history but seems to deny itself the fact that Nepali unification is part of a history that successfully resisted the global trend at colonization. Western dogmas and doctrines inculcated by our politicians as a product of their juvenile acculturation make Nepal’s independent history difficult to reconcile with. This contributes to the surrealism of today.
How Nepal escaped the ‘great game’ and was left as ‘buffer’ by British colonialists because of the extent of popular mobilization within the country that left the colonizers compromising with an agreement for recruits in their colonial army may best be told somewhere else. But what our Westernized activists sought to learn best from their ideologues was how best to adapt their doctrines to acculturate a cadre with theories of exploitation that may be applied to our history. The contradiction that prevails in our politics is how far removed from truths is the Western version of Prthwi Narayan from our versions. The fact that Nepal stands as an independent sovereign state is a contradiction in Nepali history. That Prithwi Narayan was a local chieftain that resisted the white man’s burden to colonize and civilize the east is being taken up as a cause by none less than Nepalis. The country’s identity is being robbed on this account. And, it is in this process that the people are being denied their demand for a national holiday observing the national unification day.
That such political modernism contradicts Nepali reality is being dismissed by a Nepali political class with modernist pretensions. Populism cannot but display their participation in the popular observation paying obeisance to the unifier of the nation. This dichotomy between Nepali realism and Nepali politics explains the non-delivery of the Nepali polity augured in by our leadership. Dogmas and doctrines blind them and they do not recognize this since this would deny them their past and their contribution to the blinding of generations of Nepali activists in their very early educative days. Indeed, this would render their past sacrifices in pursuance of these doctrines meaningless. The schism between current day Nepali politics and Nepali reality, unless narrowed, is putting the country in a precariously positioned abyss of non performance sustained only by non-national performance and goaded by precious resources. The pretense is real.