Hold Elected Leaders Accountable

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Yug Bahadur

 

Yes, we all know that the important political exercise of electing leaders for the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies is very close by. But before that, we have Tihar, considered the second biggest festival of Nepalis, just round the corner. Tihar is a great festival, and according to media reports, the environment of this delightful occasion has already gripped most of the people. But apart from being a bright festival, Tihar is also a noisy occasion, when many organised youths go from house to house trying to make merry the occasion and also raising funds at the same time.

This trend had declined to a huge extent because of the COVID threat and also strict regulations of the authorities in not allowing such activities late into the night when many people could be disturbed. But this time, it is sure that there will be more enthusiasm of the youths, as there is a bigger openness and also because many activists will be working to raise funds for their respective parties at this festive time when people they know are willing to give whatever they can give to such causes.

Noise pollution

But for people with less enthusiasm and older age, the noise is what disturbs them the most. This writer was once astounded to read of how a housewife in a big American city complained because of the loud disturbing sounds they were making while building a new structure there, but now with time and experience, he also feels sympathy for such people who really are disturbed whenever there is a loud sound. But there was another person who said in a magazine report that he could not sleep in peace because of the absence of the regular noise he heard while living in a city.

Different people have different choices, but aside from the high level of air pollution they have to live with, the residents are also tired of the high decibel of noise pollution. One can just imagine the disturbed life of the people living in areas where there is much traffic, you can hear all sorts of noise and also the steady honking of horns by virtually all drivers of vehicles which really is annoying. Even hospital areas are not spared from such noise pollution in spite of the fact that the authorities have made such zones horn-free. Further, this writer himself was disturbed when he went to visit a friend in a hospital and there was total chaos because of the construction taking place in the hospital itself. If the management of such huge facilities don’t have the necessity of serenity for patients, then what can we expect from the ordinary drivers of vehicles?

The traffic police initiate some short-term campaigns, but they really are not effective. One traffic officer had decided to ban the use of high sounding ‘air horns’, specially used by big vehicles, but while this man was successful in taking action against vehicles only in his precinct, there was no improvement of the situation in the whole city. Individual initiatives are welcome, but they have to be backed by strict government regulations, one person simply cannot accomplish things without nationwide regulations announced by the government in a formal manner.

There have been several reports in media outlets about how nobody is following the horn-free zones created by the traffic police and they themselves seem very ineffective in enforcing this regulation, but the suffering of aged and ailing individuals must also be taken into consideration by the authorities, apart from only putting up signboards and hiding behind excuses. In recent times we have been witnessing only the shifting of blame by one government to the other and no one seems to be accountable. In the coming elections, the voters must also seek the accountability of all elected persons, those who become ministers and also those who hold important posts in the government sector as well as the private sector. 

This is the least they can expect before realising their dreams of a new Nepal where the people are prosperous and they can live a life assured of social security among other such basic needs. This is the right of the people and whoever is elected in the elections should not forget this first priority of the people who have voted for them. This way the forthcoming election is quite crucial where not only the leaders, but also the voters must be totally aware of who they are voting for. The right man at the right place is more important than sticking to traditional ways of voting only for individuals who may belong to one party or the other. Going by media reports, there seems that no one party can gain a simple majority to form the government and we will still see a coalition government at the helm. 

Promises 

But this is not bad if the big parties can hang on to their promises made to the people and they act according to such commitments. There are many countries in the world where coalition governments have been successful in not only making the people happy but also in keeping the nation in a stable and strong position. Yet, the people are worried about the changing decisions of leaders of major political parties and even their desire to join other parties just because they will get an election ticket.

Anyway, it would be good to see the major parties coming out strongly in the beliefs of the people and even if it is an alliance like the present one, a stable government governing the nation is good. But like we mentioned right in the beginning, the minor demands of the public should also not be forgotten. These demands may seem to be minor ones in front of other challenges facing the country, But taking into account the wellbeing of the people in general, it would be very encouraging to see authorities and more so, the policy makers, taking into consideration the wants of the general public as well, especially those who are ageing, ailment ridden or weak in one way or the other.


(Yug Bahadur is a freelancer.) 

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