Friday, 3 December, 2021

Check Misuse Of Power And Authority

Namrata Sharma


As the temperature in the Kathmandu valley is dipping, queues of youth trying to go abroad in search of work to sustain themselves and their families are increasing. A large number of youths across the country are seen lining outside government offices to make their passports. Many return disappointed, after lining up since 2 am in the morning as they do not get the token to proceed further.

Nepal is a country which has the largest percentage of youth population currently. However, instead of this energetic population being occupied in lucrative works and being able to earn their livelihoods within their own villages, most of them aspire to migrate outside the country in search of opportunities to improve their economic conditions. In the process, many land up being burdened with loans and have to take great risks to work in adverse conditions. Why has this happened? Why has Nepal not been able to institutionalise democracy and establish development so all Nepali people get access to livelihood opportunities and basic necessities related to shelter, food and education without having to put themselves at risk and migrate outside the country?

Cartel system
It all boils down to a lack of leadership. In Nepal, politics is an overriding phenomenon which envelops all progress or regress happening inside the country. Unfortunately, instead of delivering on promises the political leaders make to the citizens during elections, many of them become the part of a cartel system. Under their protection, major corruption cases and abuse of authorities happen almost every day.
During the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic and several natural disasters, including floods and droughts, have affected the lives of the Nepalis adversely. At such a time, instead of proper planning, honesty and commitment by the elected leaders to provide proper support for them, they have actually become a crucial force in destroying stability and relief.

It is necessary to make election and voting fruitful for the people. Merging of political parties before the last general elections helped them in garnering a majority victory ensuring them with a full 5-year term for ruling the country. However, this was not to last. The party that garnered a majority demonstrated a lack of insight and internal egoistic bickering which led to the Supreme Court stepping in to make a historic decision of handing over the executive powers to the opposition. However, now the same Supreme Court Chief Judge is in a controversy and the entire country is demanding for his resignation.
It is not the first time Nepal’s executive and judiciary have come under fire. There have been several instances where the leaders of both the bodies, who are actually established to safeguard the fundamental human rights of the people, have been accused of doing exactly the opposite.

The question that needs to be raised here is why is this happening repeatedly? That is too when Nepal has been established as a republic state with federal system in place. Initially all wrong goings in the country was blamed on the monarchs. Now whom do we blame? The “go king” movement was staged with the hope that the end of a feudalistic autocratic system would succeed in making Nepal a place where all Nepali people could live with equal access to the basic needs and have a place where they could pursue their dreams in an equal, just and safe environment.
Avenues have opened up where the equality movement has succeeded in establishing a federal system. However, the increase in corruption, both in the political, judicial, economic, social and private industrial sectors, seems to be encouraged by politicians themselves. Cases of domestic violence, gender-based violence and unequal access to all services and rights ensured by the constitution in the day to day life of the Nepali people seem to be increasing.

The private sector has contributed immensely to the growth of national economy, especially after the restoration of democracy in 1990. But a cartel system and protection by political parties to support the business and industries in Nepal is a sad reality of today. Therefore, how and who will monitor these private sector on how they treat their workers? Corruption seems to be so much embedded in Nepal today that leaders in all sectors seem to do activities which are contradictory to their positions in a way that is unimaginable. There has to be a permanent solution to stop such activities in the future as it endangers the very existence of Nepal and her citizens.

Chief Judges, Prime Ministers, Presidents and all who take up public responsibilities should be accountable towards the population who put them in these positions. The system of the elected political parties and their leaders giving prize positions to their ‘loyal’ individuals is one of the main causes of corruption everywhere in Nepal. Appointments of judges, diplomats, ministers, heads of government departments and allotment of big infrastructure and development projects to those in the cartel has given rise to the misuse of power and authority.
This needs to stop. Instead of individual egoistic greed, now is the time for all to admit their wrongdoings and focus on employing the youth so progress for them and the nation can be done simultaneously. This will stop the need for them to leave the country and make Nepal a better place for all.

(Namrata Sharma is a journalist and women rights activist. Twitter handle: @NamrataSharmaP)