BY MADAN LAMSAL
Everyone says Nepal is a country of agriculture. But how can we really say this, given the sorry state of agriculture and the even sorrier plight of farmers in the country? If we say it’s a country of tourism then the situation is not like that. Similarly, we cannot call it a country of water resources due to the ground realities concerning the availability of drinking water, irrigation, and electricity. That’s probably why many call it a country of corruption. Transparency International has even gone as far as to give Nepal an award recently!
But in my opinion, Nepal is just a country of ditches. Because there are ditchess and potholes everywhere. If you take a careful look, you will see only ditches in the country, ditchess of various kinds – economic, physical, policy, practical and so on. The very caditchesal city of the country is situated in a ditch. What to call it then, if not a country of ditches?
The ditchess and potholes on our roads across the country speak volumes about our development. Truly speaking, these big and small ditchess and potholes are the wounds of Mother Nepal. These wounds have only turned from bad to worse over the country’s 30 years journey on the road to democracy. From time to time, politicians come forward winning elections and promising change but they end up further aggravating these wounds. That’s why I say Nepal is a country of ditches and potholes. Here, there are only ditch-diggers everywhere. And there has been a huge scarcity of ditch-fillers here, for decades.
No one with even a sliver of a patriotic heart has ever dared to fill these ditches. You will find many who talk about killing and dying for the country. But you will find no one who has truly lived for the country. Only God knows what happens to them but all those who rise to power and get to sink their teeth into the state coffers forget their duties and responsibilities towards their motherland once they have risen to power. Power can corrupt even those who look non-corruptible in the beginning.
Many new ditches and potholes were created in the country in its journey over the past three decades alone. Several huge ditches – Dhamija Scam, Chase Air scam, Lauda Air scam, China South West Airlines scam, Airbus, Widebody scam etc – were discovered during this journey. Similarly, we have already encountered several ditches such as the carpet scam, snake hide scam, chemical fertilizer scam, Sudan Mission scam, CIAA Commissioner scam, medical college scam, Baluwatar land scam, gold smuggling scam on the country’s road to prosperity.
So much so that those who love the country have gobbled up gold, diesel, petrol, urea etc to fill their own pits and potholes. When everyone started filling their own ditchess, it was only natural for the ditchess in the country to grow deeper and deeper to become ditches. Our roads are a testimony to the golden history of pits and potholes in the country.
Big and renowned contractors of the country started gifting such big air-conditioned vehicles to the big shots of the country that those travelling in those vehicles would be hardly affected by the potholes on the roads. That’s why the saviors of the country never really seriously thought about the ditchess and potholes in the country. Today the situation is such that if you hope that the rulers of the country would fix these ditchess and potholes then you are betraying yourself. Because they have no sense of shame even in their own eyes. Here, you find Ravanas everywhere but the talk is about bringing Ramrajya (the rule of Rama)! What kind of contradiction is this?
In the past, only a handful of people would dig ditchess in the country. These days, there is a long queue of ditches-diggers everywhere. Everyone is desperate to dig a ditches with the help of the spade called power and become millionaires and billionaires. The more potholes are created on the roads, the more ditchess of mirages are created in the minds of these people. They are filling up their own ditchess by forcing the youth to go abroad for employment, selling our rivers, selling our religion and selling virtually everything that is saleable.
Much water has flown in the Nepali rivers and many springs and winters have come and gone since the dawn of democracy in the country. No matter who says Nepal has made progress on the human development index over this period, the truth is there has been no change at all in the lives of the people on the ground. For them, democracy has proved no better than a cruel joke. Perhaps, the Ramas are still banished in the jungle and it’s the rule of the Ravanas.
Oh Lord! Give us the power to fill the pit of poverty of the people on the ground. Also, give the so-called big shots the wisdom that he who digs a pit for others will fall in it himself! Those who are quick to dig a pit for others, beware! It is too much now. And because of this ‘too much’, there is the danger that the country will produce only martyrs!
Therefore, all you sons of the soil! Come on, let’s dig a separate ditch for those who have always dug ditches for others. We couldn’t make the country known for anything else. So, let’s all unite and make the country a country of even bigger ditches!