Tricks of the New Tricksters

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Tricks of the New Tricksters

- By Madan Lamsal

Even if nothing else, Nepal has made significant progress in two things – there has been great development in the number of new tricksters and toadies in the country. I had foolishly believed that with the new constitution, the lives of ordinary people would become somewhat easier and facilities would increase. But alas, nothing of that sort transpired. Instead, we have witnessed an unprecedented boom in the trickster and toady industry! Sometimes I wonder if these tricksters and toadies are being self-produced internally under the policy and programme of ‘eradicate poverty, increase prosperity’ or if they are coming from outside under some plan?

Every day, two main news stories glare back at mesome new trickster entering politics and toadies spreading everywhere across the country. And this, in ever-changing new forms. Turn on the TV, and it is the same talk about them; on social media, they are showered with praise. One of the tricksters is sometimes seen on TV with eyes tightly shut, teeth clenched, shouting blindly, while at other times addressing mass meetings. There is a mission, but no vision; there is criticism, but no plan. Yet, people applaud! They set aside their work, blindfold their own eyes, and flock to the streets, parks, squares and open grounds to hear and see the new trickster’s gimmicks. Those who can not go there fix their eyes on their social media walls for hours, listening to the trickster’s words and forgetting everything else.

What is surprising is that the critics of these tricksters and toadies of yesterday now worship the new ones as gods and expect miracles from them. Even if they lift a single straw, it is praised as if Hanuman has lifted a mountain! It is hard to tell who is wearing the blindfold!

It seems to me that in the past 30 odd years, the mentality of the people in the country has been shaped to believe that the ultimate bliss lies in tricks and miracles.

In this country, there have always been great tricksters. For more than three decades, they have been declaring that they will liberate the people while passing out blindfolds like candy. The people, gullible as always, have been clapping with excitement as if playing cymbals. If the applause diminishes even slightly, they come up with new magic tricks, and the people fall for them. Otherwise, their flags and banners would just vanish!

When these tricksters see that the people are getting a bit restless, they immediately start their new magic show. Inclusive development, prosperity, justice, equality, proportional inclusion, and so on. The people, once again, are delighted by the new magic and start clapping. Then someone asks, "Hey, Mr Trickster! With a blindfold on, where are you heading in this political vehicle? In which direction are you going? Socialism? Communism? Prosperity? Happiness? Eradication of poverty? What exactly is your destination?"

But the tricksters are quite good at answering such questions. They say: "Why should you care about the destination? Here, everyone just wants to see tricks. We keep showing them our tricks by making them climb the Dharahara or the view towers. What else is needed?"

Indeed, the people do not seem to want anything! It seems they are content just watching new tricks. It seems, for the people, it is like the saying ‘whatever the new bride does seems delightful’. I feel like these constantly emerging new small tricks are being inspired by the old tricks of the country's old politicians, who have been showing tricks for the past thirty years, successfully convincing the people to believe in the “illusion of happiness”. 

I wonder, with so many tricksters born in this country, what could be the state of the people? Why are they so heavily influenced by the magic or tricks of these tricksters? Why are they so easily enchanted by these supposed miracles? They stand in line for lentils, rice and vegetables. But when those things aren’t available or they can not afford them, why do they go and watch the tricks of these tricksters instead of standing in line for food? These questions remain unanswered. 

It seems to me that in the past 30 odd years, the mentality of the people in the country has been shaped to believe that “the ultimate bliss lies in tricks and miracles”. The fight against the monarchy was one such trick, albeit on a larger scale. The people have been clapping till now! From transportation to rationing, from food to the world of hospitals, everywhere there are long queues. My estimation is that soon there will be another all-party meeting. Summit talks will be held, whether within the country or abroad. Then, there will be a new box of tricks called a 12-point or 16-point agreement!

Poverty is increasing. Prices are rising. Unemployment rates are soaring. The people are in unrest, whether they realise it or not. People are leaving the country. But it seems to me that our parties will bring a new trick again. Even though the old formula has already expired, they still intend to add something new to it. Look, in a few days, there will be new tricks in the market because the novelty of the old tricks eventually wears off! But what is the use of salt without vegetables! Now, I can’t wait for the reveal of this box of new tricks. I know that you, like me, are keenly watching the stage for these jokers. 

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