Critique of Nepali Ideology
- Gaurav Bhattarai
Do we have such a thing as Nepali ideology? Or we don't need, at least at this juncture and ignore like some shoddy election slogans, falsely grokking ideology merely under the tutelage of the political culture. The ignorance comes from a snag or a sort of glitch in our particular brand of democracy.
The fissure in our understanding is inherent in the nature and culture of our civilization, in the way we see, think and act. Riddle by the paradoxes brought about by the aftermath effects of modernity and with the fear of being excluded from the pleasures derived "from the paradoxes of global modernity"(Preface, Suitably Modern) we make leaps and jounces to uncanny worlds, effortlessly attainable by confusions and most vulnerable to chaos.
We are compatible to democracy, or to a real mob rule sans hindsights! The political spectrum of Nepal is not that simple and lucid. It is succulent with moral flaws, leadership paucity, and above all the most eclipsing is the political sin. Mainstream, regional, ethnic leaders barely pay heed to what the eventual, long-term consequences of their actions and inactions would be. The prolonged transition is a spectre which they created after failing to predict and foresee what would happen when they were yearning, even nourishing and cultivating, the unattainable, and unsuitable clod for metamorphosis, following the fall of their common foe-- the throne, the crown, the Royal, the Shah--which in their words: the tyranny, the unjust, the despot, the tormentor. But they and their foe are inseparable despite their professed differences and conflicting interests. Between them they brought us here, to this topsy-turvydom, which seems not sporadic but recurring constantly.
The metaphor of seesaw is apt here. Nepali political spectrum is metaphorically a seesaw, in which the rise of one player necessarily implies another's fall. Gyanendra's clout ended with the resurrection of the political parties. The influence of mainstream political parties is confronted by the ethnic and regional-based parties.
The Man Behind the Curtain, is another suitable metaphor to extend the discourse on the nature of contemporary Nepali politics. The metaphor is not new but has gained a theatrical attention with the fall of monarchy. The metaphor is the most cited one ever since the democratic movement of 1951, which was actually inspired by the Indian independence movement of 1951 ending "a century of isolationist rule in Nepal"(Suitably Modern, 4). The man behind the curtain is also blamed for influencing the political process via unscrupulous means of infiltrating mysteries through tragedies like Royal Massacre and mysterious death of People's leader Madan Bhandari.
The metaphor of 'Bridge' is also worth mentioning. Most of the middle class and upper middle class people in Nepal (usually house wives and college goers) like to kill their free time by being a couch potato. They just love the Indian serials and Bollywood movies on the Chinese TV. Taking stock of the same sort of facts and geographical position of Nepal, some national, regional and even international scholars take no less time to assert that Nepal should act as a transit between the elephant and the dragon. It is undoubtedly true that Nepal can play its part provided political stability and economic advancement. But, in reality India and China are growing where? Yes India is growing in New Delhi, Bombay, Gurgaoan, Hyderbad, and some other cities. It's visible. Yes, China is growing in Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. But, Nepal shares border with U.P., Bihar, Darjeeling, Sikkim, and on the north with Tibet. India and China are not growing on their borders with Nepal. So, how can we expect Nepal to be the transit until India and China work on the bordering places with Nepal? In this case, the metaphor of ' flying goose and sitting duck' seems more relevant as India and China have been the flying gooses and we the defenseless victim.
The metaphor of ' Horse' and 'Cart' is vividly used by critics to assess the political situation of Nepal. For some, the seed of federalism which has been sown and no one knows what it would bear in the long run, is just like a cart before the horse.
July 19, 2018,Thursday view all »
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