--BY MADAN LAMSAL
Nowadays, the razzmatazz of the markets has changed. In the past, shops and stores would have sign boards bearing discount offers. Under the pretext of offering discounts, shops would clear the stocks of their old, out-of-fashion goods. But with people gradually getting used to online shopping forgetting conventional shopping in these Covid-19 times, such discounts have seemingly lost charm. Now, the discount offers of the capitalist markets have been replaced by the loot offers of socialist politics!
You just need to step out of the safety of your home to realise that those with the profession and position to loot you are all too ready to rob you. It is said that these days the looters and pillagers have entered politics and that they form the shadow of the government. And it seems this has created the right environment for looting.
The country is already bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, floods and landslides and a directionless government. Economic development has taken a backseat in the midst of lockdowns, shutdowns and prohibitory orders. But acts of looting are on the rise. Even the lockdown applies differently to people of different statuses.
One type of people were locked inside their homes due to the nationwide lockdown but another type of people embarked on ‘landslide tourism’ in helicopters in the name of inspecting landslide-hit areas. The country itself is heading down a landslide. But the looters are rising on the ladder of success. Perhaps, there is rarely another government in the world that is trying so hard to fail!
Yes, the Covid-19 pandemic has indeed jeopardised the social and economic lives of some people but for other people it has brought an opportunity to earn as much as they want. Couldn’t those who were able to tame the opposition and devastate the economy save the people from coronavirus if they had really wanted to do so?
But maybe because they thought ‘why waste the rare opportunity to make money that has come our way’, they are now seen running the widespread business of looting. Who do you expect to protest against this looting business at the time of this pandemic? This is the rare opportunity to corner their opponents, appoint their stooges to coveted public positions and award big contracts to their landlords and to those who feed them Marsi, a special type of rice grown in the highlands of Karnali.
Needless to say, this is the golden era for looting. It is an open secret that the looters have not even spared agriculture, one of the three top-priority sectors in the country. Politicians, government employees and some smart asses close to them have been looting the billions of rupees sanctioned as grants for the poor farmers.
The white fertilizer is subsidized. But you need either access to the high authorities or black money to get the white fertilizers. The farmers lose everything if they cannot grow their crops because of the lack of fertilizers. But what does the government lose? Therefore, not those who have the capacity to bring in the fertilizer but those who can grease the palms of politicians get the contract to import fertilizers!
As the government could not pillage the tourism sector this time owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is trying hard to make up for the ‘losses’ by robbing the migrant Nepali workers wishing to return home. For this, Nepal Airlines Corporation aircraft are returning home empty while the workers are being forced to travel in expensive foreign airlines. No one is being spared in this ‘robbery’. Not even the poor migrant workers. Not even the dead.
This pillaging has become omnipresent like God. So, don’t try to avoid it. Rather, be a part of it. If you cannot do anything else in life, join politics and begin your journey of looting others!
Start looting when a bridge is built and loot when a bridge collapses. Start looting when a road is built and loot again when it is repaired or rebuilt. Find a way to fill your own belly before filling the potholes on the streets. The government will rescue anyone who falls in the potholes on the roads. But if you fill up those potholes, how are you going to fill your belly? Therefore, all those with big bellies get united and pillage as much as you can. Gobble up airplanes and drink their fuel. You have the keys to the state coffers and your cadres to support you. What more do you need?
Carry the flags of your party and remove the obstacles to your campaign to pillage with the help of sickles and hammers. Loot even those who have nothing to lose. Don’t spare even their inner garments! If you miss this opportunity to loot provided by the republican system, then you are going to regret it for the rest of your life.