--BY MADAN LAMSAL
If there is anything more blissful in the world than being a fool then it has to be acting like a fool. Whether you believe it or not, there is nothing as satisfying as being foolish and looking foolish. Acting the fool has thousands of advantages. Here are a few examples.
The country is becoming more expensive, there is corruption and chaos everywhere. But the government is acting like a fool. It only looks like a fool from the outside. Inside, it is very clever, cleverer than a fox. That’s why the government says everything from rising costs to corruption to crime is under control though it always wishes for these things to happen. Because those in the government benefit from these things.
Many things that shouldn’t have happened or taken place are happening or taking place in the country. But the government authorities do not know why and how these things are happening. For example, the southern neighbour has been encroaching upon our borders and has been building embankments along the Mahakali River causing inundation in the Nepali side of the border. But our government acts as if it doesn’t know anything. Does the government really not know about these things? It definitely knows. But it doesn’t act as if it knows! Because if it says that it knows what is going on, then it will have to take steps to stop those things from happening. Similarly, it will have to be answerable to every incident of injustice, highhandedness, corruption etc. So, the government stands better if it acts ignorant knowing nothing!
Public enterprises (PEs) are in a mess. These PEs have been converted into recruitment centres for political cadres who are paid salaries by selling the assets including precious land of the PEs. Several regulatory bodies have been made helpless. So the cycle of corruption continues. Government bodies have been made to appear like the branch offices of international donor agencies. There are many who don’t get two square meals a day and many who die because they can’t afford treatment.
While all this continues, the government is a mute spectator. Private organisations and companies which enjoy a complete monopoly in several sectors are robbing the people in broad daylight. But the government, with its eyes closed, is in a deep slumber. Perhaps, it has its own share of the dividends. Everyone who should have been concerned is turning a blind eye and a deaf ear. Because the fun is in feigning ignorance. Ignorance is bliss.
Today it’s an open secret that the country is being run through foreign alms and domestic and external loans. In a way, the situation is such that we can declare the country financially bankrupt. Similarly, the possibility of deprivation and general famine cannot be ruled out. But our leaders are busy telling the people jokes. Ignorance is bliss but feigning ignorance, too, is no less satisfying – the way some people drink to forget their pain and hardship even if that is only for a certain time.
The House of Representatives was dissolved. Dozens of bills related to development and construction work were blocked. I asked a minister, “Why were so many bills related to the country’s development not passed by parliament while there was still time?”
The minister replied, “I have no idea why.” Bless his dear heart!
Then I asked another powerful politician who is also a deputy prime minister, “The government has become a caretaker government after the dissolution of parliament. Why is a caretaker government doing things it is not supposed to?”
He replied, “I don’t know anything about it.” Keep up the ignorance!
From time to time, the police arrest people for offensive speech. I asked a high ranking police officer, “…shouldn’t you arrest someone who always lampoons others, makes irresponsible comments against his opponents, calls the House of Representatives a rotten roof, and goes on calling himself the most powerful person in the country - the country’s chief executive?”
He said, “No idea. Also, the top brass has said nothing!”
“Pollution has been rising alarmingly in the country, especially in the cities. Kathmandu even became the city with the highest air pollution level in the world. What is the plan to check pollution?” I asked the environment minister.
The minister replied, “I have just assumed office. So, I have no idea at all about all this.” Wow! What a job. What an answer!
I asked those who are participating in the political rallies being organised for and against the dissolution of the House of Representatives – what should have happened? They replied, “Don’t know.” Why are you jumping on the streets then? They replied, “That too we don’t know. The politicians asked us to hit the streets and we did accordingly!” Now see for yourself the fun of truly becoming a fool!
Truly speaking, the real fun of life lies in being foolish. This is the easiest way to free yourself from all the hardships and problems of the world. Keep acting like a fool and just give one answer to all questions – ‘I know nothing.’ Many criminals get away by repeating this sentence again and again. You may think this is the most foolish answer in the world. But there can’t be an answer any wiser than this in most situations. This answer saves you from many problems you may encounter in life.
Therefore, when you face any difficulty in life, dissolve whatever you need to dissolve, make matters worse and be a fool silently and repeat the mighty mantra – ‘I know nothing.’ Then nobody can do anything to you. You can be happy all the time. Therefore, let’s take part in this great campaign of the country, the campaign of becoming a fool and be fools even if that is just for show, and stay blessed and happy!