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Thursday, July 19, 2012

A letter to PM Bhattarai

Dear Dr. Bhattarai,

I am no political analyst, nor a consistent critique. I never studied economics and I am very poor at politics. You may label me dumb in many other issues too. Literate I am. Taking advantage of my literacy I wrote you once when you were still in Nayak-style mania to solve people's problem first hand. Naturally you did not respond. If you call me a rightist, reactionary propagandist, not an option at all. Some of my friends still know me as your sympathizer and well-wisher. Yet I am writing this letter, with realization that there is something called 'common sense' in me. I'll never mind if you do not bother to respond to it at all.

Compleicated words do not make a good article. Flowery rhetoric do not make good leaders, not even politicians. Politics is not beyond the jurisdiction of general laws that govern society. Honesty, hard work, consistency and willingness are required for success in any field: not a new thing, even my grandfather used to tell it. Indeed the reverence of honesty and hard work is our cultural heritage, something our ancestors have accumulated over millennia.

On the other hand, hypocrisy, hollow rhetoric and falsehoods never endure. Neither will they do so in future. One day or other they get exposed. This too is not anything new.

Beside the above virtues required for good and harmonious society in general, our ancestors have discovered another virtue called frugality; something that helps us to weather the hard times. This also saves us from the danger of moral degradation that comes from the lust to accumulate and spend more for physical comfort.

Frugal. That was what we dumb people thought of you when you chose to ride a Mustang once in office months back. Regardless of the doubts, many believed that here was someone who was ready to break the trend of placing some crony capitalist with endless lust for wealth in the chair of PM. Your academic credentials were equally impeccable and regardless of the over all system, people were very confident on you: you would be just different from the disgusting persons who had sat in the chair of PM.

Yet now, you have failed those hopefuls. You have trampled their wishes. While emboldening your enemies, you have silenced and demoralized your well-wishers.

I am not going to count how many fallacies you made; neither do I have the capacity to do that. Here I raise a simple issue.

One who can become Home Minister or PM or CJ or Speaker needs no 'cushion' in this justice-forbidden land as do the nearly one third who live below the official poverty line. If you think they need more wealth and power, that is just a disgrace. Black or informal economy has always outpaced the formal one here and those very people have been at the center of that black mammoth. You were widely expected to jumpstart the formal economy, yet you now seem to have ended up favoring the black one as opposed to the white one.

Accountability is one thing that the communist rulers in the past hated (and still do as in N Korea): they thought themselves as the ultimate authority, accountable and answerable to none. That is why they drifted so swiftly away from the aspirations of the people at whose strength they had gained the power. Drifting, they reached the alien world where power meant everything, nothing else. Eventually, they lost the faculty of judgement altogether while being increasingly detached from the reality. This attitude was one among the most prominent practical causes of demise of communism in USSR and that of Mao-led communism in China.

When you did the blatant thing of distributing state property to former officials illegally, the court ordered you to back down. There was some mechanism to hold you accountable. But, out of sheer boldness and enthusiasm, you created a elitist law, passed it through ordinance  and changed the meaning itself of accountability. If you write in law that it is legal to steal, embezzle, forge, cheat, or for that matter, murder or rape; does that become legal? You may verbally say no but practically you have said yes. Particularly with the latest provision in which you are showering privileges to the ex-s.

Yes, it is murder that the ruling class has been committing over centuries. Ranas did it overtly. Since then, it is covert. They siphon off the wealth of the state; there remains no money for safety cushion of the poor; they fail to check criminality (since they are involved in some of it too). ( I do not drag the decade long insurgency into debate, for sake of limited scope of this letter). Ironically, you were the most popular face of the Maoist insurgency that showed people the beautiful dreams of ending the century-long inequality. Now that you are at summit of power; how the hell distributing wealth to super-wealthy is going to decrease that inequality?

Dear Dr. Bhattarai, I am naive at economics, as I already said. But my small mind cannot comprehend how your pro-rich policies would one day end up enriching the poor people. Even in US, that paradise of rich people, Barack Obama is appeasing middle-class people as hypocritically as he can, to win the elections. Here, you are there, a 'communist' politician, drawing the wrath of poor and middle class people. Is it that you think elections will never occur now (even though your endless rhetoric says they are nearby)? Should we call you utterly myopic then?

Frankly speaking, I see you driving straight to the cliff. Many of your well-wishers have chosen to abandon you after the latest fiasco. I wait till you reply, if you do so soon. Otherwise, what I do will do me no harm. If you are not as detached from reality as to think that no 'outside well-wisher' is required, you may like to reply me and I would be pleased to write you another long letter. Otherwise, this will be our last communication.

Your (former?) well-wisher
Jiwan Kshetry

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जीवनमा अफ्ठ्यारा घुम्तीहरुमा हिंडिरहँदा मैले कुनै क्षणमा पलायनलाई एउटा विकल्पको रुपमा कल्पना गरेको थिएँ, त्यसलाई यथार्थमा बदल्ने आँट गरिनँ, त्यो बेग्लै कुरा हो त्यसबेला लाग्थ्योः मेरा समग्र दुखहरुको कारण मेरो वरपरको वातावरण हो, यसबाट साहसपूर्वक बाहिरिएँ भने नयाँ दुख आउलान् तर तत्क्षणका दुरुह दुखहरु गायब भएर जानेछन् कति गलत थिएँ !

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