--BY MADAN LAMSAL
When the issue of who should be appointed the new chairman of the Insurance Board (IB) cropped up in a Cabinet meeting a few weeks ago, the Finance Minister took out a name-list from one of the pockets of his coat. This is not a fictional story, some media reported this as a news story. And further story was that when the FinMin saw the Prime Minister’s jaw drop at the sight of his list, he quickly pushed it back into his pocket. And recently, the new IB chairman is appointed and the news stories say that he was picked from the PM’s list!
This tradition of appointing the chiefs, deputy chiefs and general managers of various government committees, departments and boards from the lists which spring out of the pockets of our ministers and Prime Ministers is an old one in Nepal. This is how even candidates for the post of Member of Parliament are picked – from lists coming out of the pockets of politicians. But what’s wrong with this? Sometimes, like this time in IB, deserving people get appointed to the crucial posts, though some other equally deserving people may get sidelined.
In the new era of spoils republicanism, it is the politicians’ right to make appointments in this way. If they are not allowed to do even this much, what’s the use of them spending their entire lives in politics? Even the US republicanism gives such powers to the chief executive of the country !
People protest against such activities of the politicians for no reason. I, for one, believe that politicians in Nepal should be given unlimited rights. People are people, the ruled. Politicians are politicians, the rulers.
Politicians should be able to spend as much as they want. They should get to eat what they want and wear what they want. They should be allowed to go wherever they want on helicopters and airplanes.
That is why I say, dear politicians, do whatever you feel like doing. Don’t worry about the Nepali people; they say anything. You can take this country for granted and run it the way you like!
Let the people cry for development; you go on enforcing strikes. Let the people dream of starting fancy clothes shops and live on footpaths; you keep on collecting rent. Let the people talk about importing new technologies; you continue with your old games of politics. Let the people talk about abiding by the laws of the land; you change the very laws to suit yourself. Let the people talk about strengthening the industries; you don’t think anything else except making your own party stronger. Let the people talk about increasing production; you go on increasing the number of party cadres. Let the people talk about increasing the export of goods; you only think about increasing the export of young men and women.
Let the private sector talk about boosting their business; you think about nothing else except increasing your own business. Let the people talk about capacity-based classification; you keep on creating caste-based classification.
Our ancestors made a great mistake by unifying the dozens of small principalities into one whole Nepal; you undo the process of unification and divide the country into as many pieces as possible and call it federalism. You keep on selling big dreams to the people as selling dreams is your job. But don’t sell the old dreams of making the country like Switzerland and Singapore. While you rule the roost, why sell dreams lesser than settling down on the moon or Mars?