‘Not merely an Oligarchy, false promises and proverbs, an accountable government also serves’

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The scam filled two-and-a-half years of the government and its response to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic seems to have ended in smoke. While COVID-19 is testing the world on one hand and Nepali government’s inability to keep the border regulated on the other, the Nepali people feel sandwiched between the devil and the deep blue sea. Even then, the government seems to be drinking at the harrow when it should be at the plough! In want of a stable government, the two-third majority offered by people is beginning to look like the pearls were thrown to swine! Yet I would like two offer my two cents to the government hoping that it won’t turn a deaf ear.

Government policies, programs, and budget: big thunder, little rain!

The much ado about nothing on social security and prime minister’s employment program in the past fiscal year has ended like big thunder, little rain. Folks were expecting the government to have a pragmatic action plan along with allocation of required funds to mitigate the aftermath of coronavirus in the arena of public health and youth employment at least this year in the annual policies and programs followed by the budget by the government, but alas! if pigs could fly.

 Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches! 

 Common folks got to see the local government elected after nearly two decades. And the less than three years’ experience of being governed locally again for the most part has been like ‘no grass is without weeds’. Even when the relief is offered, some want to reap as if they are sowing out of their bequest rather than the tax-payers money.  Yet people have learnt to compromise as ‘half a loaf is better than no bread’. The federal government does not seem to care what is happening in a common man’s life. Only a wearer knows where the shoe pinches! Yet the people cannot stop expecting as to the sinking man a straw appears as a rope. As long as there is life, there’s some hope.

Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst! 

 Amidst recession hit economy coupled with global rise in neo-nationalism, the rightward turn of global politics is once more ascertaining “might is right”. While who is who of the global powers are asking how and why of WHO, other organizations for regional cooperation like SAARC have gone into oblivion.  Building walls seems to be taking preference over building bridges.

Receiving foreign aid henceforth is going to be a hard nut to crack so we need to start cutting our coat according to the size of the cloth.  Are we prepared to mobilize the home bound youth force? As the spread of COVID-19 approaches it’s crescendo -which we do not know when will happen – we as a country heavily dependent on foreign aid and remittance may hope for the best yet need to prepare for the worst!

With the ongoing testing and medical facilities available in Nepal seeming like a drop in the ocean amidst the need, the soaring need for personal protective equipment, sanitizers, hospital beds and even food is becoming like expecting the sky to fall so that we may catch the lark. On a short-term basis, we may have to cope with the shortage of health equipment and medicine and may face hunger in the longer run. It might take a toll particularly on low income daily wage workers in the cities and marginalized sections of the rural population.

Time and tide wait for none!

 Unlike the bad man who blames the tools, we do not have the leverage to pander to the lowest common denominator. We should try to make lemonade out of this tart lemon the pandemic has offered to us. There is no time for blame-game, and we cannot wait for things to happen. We have to make them happen. Time and tide wait for none. Now is the time for us to work in unison.

Where there is will there is a way!

 Several months into the lockdown, government still lacks a concrete plan to bring back Nepalis from abroad. While it is still hard to see the light at the other end of the tunnel, we may come up with some common solutions if we persist and strive together as a nation. Where there is will there is a way. While the government seems to be busy frying its own fish, we need to stand on our own feet. No amount of offered fish is going to be enough to satiate our hunger in the coming days. We have to learn to fish. Ultimately, we will reap what we sow. The best time to plant an apple tree was five years ago but there may still be some hope left.

Every cloud has a silver lining!

 If necessity is the mother of invention, foresighted and able leadership is the father of implementation. While there is a big question mark on FDI post COVID-19, the need of the hour is to deploy all the resources available in situ to mitigate this pandemic. Our forefathers earned their names as brave soldiers. This time the enemy is invisible, and we do not have adequate weapons to tackle it right now. However, every cloud has a silver lining. With close to a million-youth force returning home, it is high time that we ramp-up our national investment in health, tele-education, and rural farm-based entrepreneurship promotion.

Come one and come all, let us sweat to prosper Nepal!

Long Live Nepal!

(The writer is a native of Khaptadchanna-5, Bajhang. A free-lance writer, he is currently a Ph.D. candidate at University of Massachusetts, USA).

Twitter: @BishnuJoshi999

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