BY D. M. THAPA
Is the country sick? By all means, it does seem so, in spite of the glorious reports of the World Bank and others, including our own planners and bankers.
But not only the country ill, but alarmingly, if we believe in media reports, the prime minister is also very sick. Though he has come for the and said that he was alright after his latest stint at a hospital in Kathmandu.
There was a lady doctor in the TU Teaching Hospital, who boasted to a friend who was admitted there, that she had diagnosed his illness and she could do nothing further for him. When he said he wanted to die in peace, the doctor, a nephrologist, replied that she could do nothing for him and she was helpless. This same doctor happened to be the specialist looking after Prime Minister KP Oli! But she could not utter one word on what was wrong with him. Now the health condition of PM Oli is alarming to not only him, but to the entire population who expected something to be done by this man. But this doctor preferred to go to Singapore, considered a shopping paradise, not once but two times, but she never told the Nepalese public about the real health condition of the Prime Minister. Couldn’t she have been blunt as she was with an innocent patient in Kathmandu? But this is Nepal and even the most professional and polished individuals treat different people in different ways.
Yet, this is not a question about the health of one person only. Though we wish PM Oli the best of health and a long life whether he remains as the Prime Minister or not. But in bad taste, some media outlets and politicians talk about Oli’s health in a mocking manner and sometimes even a morbid manner. This is definitely hitting below the belt even in the cut throat political rat race.
But while worrying about the continuous sickness of the country’s Chief Executive, many others are also worried about the sicker state of the entire nation. With corruption at high places, a floundering economy and organized criminals at act in virtually every sector, there is hardly even a flicker of any positive indicator to be upbeat about the nation’s wellbeing.
No government agencies, including the security forces seem to be above a partisan attitude and corruption to boot. Of course, we are worried about the health of the Prime Minister, of course we are worried about the dastardly acts of many politicians and of course we are worried about criminalisation in the police who are supposed to provide us protection from crimes. But we are also worried about other basic needs of the people, which the government should take care of. Health care, good education, social security, basic needs like good infrastructure, efficient public transport, drinking water and so on and so forth which are taken for granted in most developed countries. But these basic needs of the people seem to be secondary for the government and the media and also those who preach what their foreign funders say only. It is a serious problem that many important issues that directly affect the people are sidelined by politicians and other individual who enjoy foreign funding. The media outlets are virtually propaganda machines of the government, political parties and foreigners. Is this real democracy for which thousands of innocent Nepalese people sacrificed their lives? The politicians and propaganda machines never fail to put in front the name of the people in every populist statement they make, but the people are the last priority in their minds while conspiring to be more powerful and earn more money. Of course they have the handy former King as a fodder to blame all the ills of the nation to him and hide their own crimes and atrocities.
When will the majority of Nepalese see democracy and development? When will they live in an environment of peace and tranquility? When will they see a corruption free government machinery and a crime free society?
This seems like a wishful thinking now, but if the society changes its attitude towards corrupt people and real visionary leaders take over the reins of governance, then this sick country can be cured with time and patience.