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Friday, November 9, 2012

TUTH: An engineered tragedy heralds a bleak future

Wondering what the forced resignation of Dr. Prakash Sayami means for TUTH, TU and other public bodies in the country

Finally, the pressure has worked. Dr. Prakash Sayami, one of the rare selfless persons to be appointed to the executive post of IOM, TUTH has resigned following a futile effort to change things in the institution for better.

If the proxies of rival politicians were at each other's throat at any previous occasion, they should be happy together  now. The man who would stand up to the ludicrous attempts of those honchos has been shown the way out. The efforts of the thoroughly unprofessional and unethical team at TU office in Kirtipur has finally paid off.

A disappointing exit of a principled man; Dr. Prakash Sayami
What for the institution now? I see a disturbing parallel between the fates of the institution and country: a period of chaos to be followed by triumph of the most unscrupulous elements at the end.

But the most disturbing outcome of the whole fiasco is the new precedence which has been set at the behest of political powers who are at one place in one issue despite their endless wrangling about government formation and power-sharing at Singha Darbar. That is: no man of qualification and integrity will be allowed to work normally in any executive post in any public institution in the future. They have thus successfully inverted the message that was sent after the fast-ont-death of Dr. Govinda K C that apolitical and merit-based appointments were also workable. 

The ones to suffer the most now will be, first of all, the patients, who would benefit the most from a public hospital run in full capacity with proper accountability. The second will be the aspirants of various courses of the institution who would have immensely benefited from the fair entrance exams. The third ones, of course, all the members of institution who have so far resisted selling dignity to power and money.

Paradoxically, an imminent collapse of the institution for economic reasons might have averted as it serves the best to everyone in power to sustain the institution, even though in a dilapidated state, so that continuous drainage of wealth for those in positions can be possible. The charges of services can be raised, free beds curtailed, but more trouble in the institution means more opportunity to beg for more from the government.

At the moment, the most vile and unscrupulous elements at TUTH and TU itself won a fight that was supposed to herald a new era of transparency, accountability and meritocracy in public institutions in Nepal. This tragedy is sadly unfolding everywhere, from Patan Academy to NAMS. It seems fighting the entrenched interests of the criminally corrupts is an extremely hard thing to do.

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