Post-poll Challenges Galore

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Yug Bahadur

Well, the ‘Maha Kumbha’ of the nation has finally been over, though the vote counting still goes on in several places. At least if we are to believe the Election Commission officials, the country will see a new government of the country within this Nepali month. Yes, Dashain and Tihar festivals, which just ended are celebrated by the majority of Nepalis, and they are taken as the two biggest merry-making occasions of the country. But the five yearly political exercise is also taken very seriously and it is of more concern to the people because it will be in the hands of those they elect who will shape up the future of the nation and wellbeing of the people.

But unfortunately, for the majority of the people who had high hopes from the political change after the 1990 revolution, nothing much has changed except individuals ruling the nation on a regular basis with some intervals in between. So after many years of misrule and also corruption, many critics were saying a time has come for the people to see new faces in the political horizon. This was predicted more after the last local level elections when some unlikely independent candidates won in major cities, including Kathmandu.

New faces

Analysts, I hate the word ‘experts’, made predictions that the present general election for the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies would be the ripe time for the parties to see new faces, but what they failed to see was not only new faces but new political power would also rise up and these would be the ‘new faces’.

To come back to ‘experts’, experts are people, who have a small peephole site about certain issues or subjects. Seldom are they visionaries or really knowledgeable. It is the same with the so-called leaders of the civil society or leaders of this organisation the other. Who made them leaders of the civil society? Was there any election held or have they made worthy contribution to the society which has benefited the people?

Just by reading some books, booklets or reports doesn’t make an expert, but individuals smugly sit down and give many a times useless suggestions just because the media, especially the visual media, call them ‘experts’. Having been in the media business myself for more than 40 years, I know many individuals who now are ‘experts’, when actually they don’t know their own subjects fully, forget many national and international issues. But just call them and they are ready to go to any news channel and talk without even an inkling of issues.

But to come back to the present election where some sorts of new seeds have grown giving hope to the people that a new era in Nepali political history is about to start, it is high time a new sort of vision is shown in putting the nation on the correct path, not only politically and economically, but in all other sectors as well. Yes, it is true, some old faces have dominated Nepali politics for too long a time, but just the changing of such faces will not be enough. 

Likewise, politicians with new vision do not mean only politicians with age on their side. It was a pleasant surprise to see young faces not only in the new parties or among independent candidates, but also in the traditional parties which had dominated the political scenario for so long. For example, two very young individuals from a traditional party won in the polls here in Kathmandu itself. But of course the citadel of almost all the traditional parties are still in the hands of individuals who should have groomed much earlier younger individuals to succeed them.

For this author, there are some points which are of much importance. The first one is listening to the pledges made to their supporters by the winning candidates. They were mostly talking of local issues of their constituencies, which actually should be the responsibility of the local bodies to fulfil. Otherwise, what would be the role of the local bodies and what would be the meaning of decentralisation?

The members of the House of Representatives should be more focused on nation building and working on huge space to ensure the development of the nation and also guarantee the right of the people while strengthening ‘Loktantra’. The lawmakers must not be too occupied only with the issues of their own constituencies. They have a much bigger role to play in the development of the nation. The other thing is, the disarray we are already seeing among the political parties, including members of the present leading alliance with most parties still confused on who will lead the party after the completion of the counting the last ballot of the just held election.

Trend

A trend must be made to ensure a capable leader who will lead the party after the senior-most leaders step down. The transition has been smooth till now, but the trend of grooming a well-experienced person has not yet been practiced. Now to come to the surprise, political entity which came with the popular backing of the people wanting to see change and whose candidates are mostly young people, at least those who won, the question comes what agenda does this party has, when we all know it was formed just months away from the election and it really has no organisational strength. 

Winning because of the frustration of the people who wanted to see some change is good, but it should now also come up with not only local level solution to issues, but also be ready to tackle to bigger issues which will ensure the wellbeing of the people who voted for them.


(Yug Bahadur is a freelancer.) 


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