The political turmoil in some ways has been over by now, but still the public as a whole are worried about the bickering within the major political parties and among the leaders as well. What many peace-loving and sensible people are saying is that that there should be stability first, both politically and economically and the people should be able to live in prosperity. This is very true but this cannot happen if the political leaders keep on harping on the mistakes of others instead of providing solutions to the problems being faced by the nation.
The solution is not only in the removing of one government or the other, the solution lies in building a strong economy and taking care about the welfare of the general public. The whole world has been cautioned that the economy in almost all the countries of the world will suffer in this New Year 2023, which we have just enthusiastically welcomed. Nepal is already in a bad position if we are to believe the opinion of experts and even the Governor of the Central Bank to say the least. In fact, we are amongst the most vulnerable states and the people are already feeling the pinch of high inflation and low income and lack of opportunities for employment.
There is no doubt that the country is in a difficult time but it will not help matters if we continue to fight amongst ourselves. The industrialists, medical practitioners, students and even government employees, all seem to be in turmoil and they just blame the government. Give at least this government some time. Maybe because some individuals in the present government have something to prove, so that history will remember them, they want to do something sincerely. Allegations should not be made at once, give the new people some chance and give stability to the economy and the welfare of the public, that is the need of the time for this trouble wracked nation.
Now that the majority of the parties have sided with this coalition, more care should also be taken on having a shared vision for the nation, and also both short term and mid-term aims for providing relief to the people should be given first priority. For example, in spite of the reluctance of the Nepal Oil Corporation, the government lowered the price of petroleum products, which will surely have an impact in the overall market situation. But there must be a very effective monitoring system to oversee that consumers are not being taken for a ride by those who blame the inflation on petroleum prices for the increase in market prices. This is where the sincerity and tenacity of the government as well as the new leaders in power will be tested. They must be sincere in their belief and also encourage the administration to work for the welfare of the people.
Now, there are no reasons left for this writer to say something about the overwhelming vote of confidence given to newly appointed Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda in the House of Representatives just some days back. There had been all sorts of speculations, but most observers had pointed out that with the support of smaller parties and also independent candidates, Prime Minister Prachanda would surely receive the vote of confidence. However, what nobody had imagined was that the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, too would support the Prime Minister. This was a surprise for almost all people.
This is something which this writer too would not like to comment about unless the full truth of the event is made public. What one can say however is that, any democracy functions best with a government and a strong opposition which acts like a ‘watch dog’ if the government tries to go beyond the limits of the powers invested in it. But that we will not be seeing, in spite of the fact that many prominent members of the Nepali Congress are still saying how they will play the role of a strong opposition within the House, how this can happen when they have totally supported the Prime Minister of a government they opposed, maybe only the real insiders within the party and some outsiders who influence them know better.
For many laymen like this writer, all things are clueless now, except of course in alerting the big time political players and also outsiders that at least some people are watching their moves and they will be documented for the future generations to make some sort of a fair judgement on whether what has happened was wrong or right and what impact it had on the nation. So all must walk with much carefulness, before taking decisions only to get to power or fulfil the wishes of their outside supporters.
The fact remains that a House cannot be run in a real democratic manner unless there is a strong opposition to correct the decisions of the government and many a time the mistakes it makes due to a narrow vision. But we are seeing such a scenario now. Staying in the opposition and also trying to remain in the good books of the parties in power is open double standard. But few experts or intellectuals can come out openly and say such home truths. But still, we, the common Nepalis must be happy that a stable government is in power now and we can expect some projects and programmes, which will directly impact the people, run smoothly and also allow themselves to see development projects which will automatically change the vulnerable condition of the nation. For this reason, the political leaders will have to work together.
(The author is a freelancer.)