• Tuesday 20th August 2019

The Coming Crunch

  • Published on: March 27, 2019

  • Nitpicking over trivia is a democratic characteristic. There is something wrong, however, when it becomes an obsession. There is this thing about official actions and reactions to a diplomat meeting Nepal’s deposed king. There is meaning to the meeting no doubt. Diplomats do not meet a Nepali king when the establishment would want the appendage ‘former’ imposed on him. After all, the diplomat is accredited to the establishment. However, when government gives news saying that this former king’s activities should be monitored it is making as if it hasn’t so far. In this case, it is acknowledging a serious lapse in government. On the other hand, this particular diplomat committing this transgression of meeting the king just happens to be none less than the Indian ambassador. Why the Indian ambassador must draw attention of government by meeting the king is to be nitpicked with of course. Especially when decades of micro management from his country has never been as exposed as now, the message, it seems, is here. So, if his meeting with the former king is admittedly to invite cabinet attention, the purpose is done. And it is none less than government that has admitted the purpose.
    Willy-nilly, ‘foreign’ sensitive politics has become an occupation these days when domestic politics has reached a nadir of non-performance. It is a habitual political escapism in a sense. That this has consumed us to the point of digression is what is abnormal. The past decade of royal tours at home among the Nepali people have never drawn so much attention from government. That it hasn’t is an anomaly of Nepali politics bordering on the unreal (which politics unfortunately is these days). That government and media attention should be drawn to this anomaly by a member of the diplomatic community here only goes to say how soft this state has become. Especially when it is widely acknowledged that our diplomatic community works overtime overseeing Nepali politics and politicians, establishment sensitivity would have been anticipated surely by the transgressors. The humor is in the appearance that the transgression has been made and the irony is in the admission that government can do nothing in case it is a transgression. Sordid humor, this. How Nepali politics and foreign policy has been made to overlap is a sign of the times. How hapless and helpless micromanagement has made us become. A diplomat meets a former king who has been a citizen all along and it is a cabinet issue to be extended to the press. Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri must be laughing his turban off. But any sane Nepali would be suppressing tears. We discuss Prachanda’s U.S. visit as if a domestic health trip is charged with politics and we dismiss Nepal’s absence at B0ao very perfunctorily. But Indian ambassador Puri’s meet with king Gyanendra is a matter of state. Sign of the times. Apocalypse now.


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