Commissioned Commissions

  5 min 56 sec to read
Commissioned Commissions

BY Madan Lamsal

As soon as the country experiences any sort of hiccup, the government inevitably forms a commission faster than you can say ‘bureaucracy’. This clearly demonstrates the government's progressive approach. After forming the latest and holding a series of meetings with the private sector, instead of witnessing an improvement in the country’s economy, the government promptly had to borrow money to pay off staff salaries. The purpose of all these meetings was to investigate why the economy had slowed down. For some mysterious reason, such discussions cannot be held in our august parliament! On the other hand, social media walls are filled with photos of youths leaving the country, and traders and businessmen are closing their shutters.

Upon hearing this, all antennas go up at the prime minister’s plush residence. In a sudden flurry of activity which suggests that some work is being done it reaches the conclusion that the royalists were behind the economic slowdown! Consequently, the state machinery is set in motion and several committees and commissions are formed to investigate the happenings. You know how it goes with these government-formed commissions – when they meet, the meetings seem never-ending. The only hiccup is that these commissions don’t quite know what to do after these marathon sessions! Anyway, once their time is up the meetings duly conclude; they receive their salaries and allowances, and then the commissions vanish into oblivion! 

The purpose of all these meetings was to investigate why the economy had slowed down.

This doesn't imply that government commissions don't work. Right from the get-go, the commission members, often accompanied by their spouses or partners, embark on foreign escapades. Their mission? To unravel the mysteries of why people in these countries have fair skin and are immensely tall! Oh, and they're on a quest to crack the secret behind their impeccable English skills. Of course, shopping is a crucial part of this diplomatic exploration. Meanwhile, the initially allotted three or six months fly by like they're on a magic carpet. Not to worry—the government graciously extends their deadlines by another six months, playing the same game they do with construction projects! Once the extensions kick in, the commissions shift gears to interview a variety of people. Eventually, they draft interim reports, hand them over to the government for suggestions, and voila! Nothing happens, and those reports find a cozy home gathering dust on government shelves.

Take, for instance, the numerous commissions conjured up in the past to tackle the conundrum of landless squatters. Land was distributed, salaries and allowances were handed out like candy, and yet, the problem continued its stubborn existence. It's like the commissions are playing a perpetual game of musical chairs with land distribution. These commissions have been popping up like mushrooms for the past five decades, generously distributing land and unintentionally nurturing a flourishing community of landless folks. Bravo to the government for its brilliant strategy—forming commissions that excel at maintaining the status quo!

Like clockwork, whether it's an airplane crash, a bus acrobatics show, the public being treated to a dehydration challenge, or farmers in need of a fertilizer fairy, our generous government never fails to roll out the commission carpet. After all, once commissions are in the picture, everyone agrees that everything at the government is working. It's practically in the commission's job description to, well, work! If things don't quite pan out, you can't really blame the government—after all, they did their part by summoning the commission wizards!

The only hiccup is that these commissions don’t quite know what to do after these marathon sessions! Anyway, once their time is up the meetings duly conclude; they receive their salaries and allowances, and then the commissions vanish into oblivion!

Brain drain

It’s generally acknowledged that nowadays there is a lot of brain drain happening in the country and that it should be stopped. The Prime Minister and other leaders also are saying the same thing. Brain means mind. It seems that people with any brains are going to another country with their brains packed in their suitcases. This is called 'brain drain'. The worrying thing about this, they say, is that these minds were not used for the benefit of the country. But I don't think so. Because there is no dearth of brains in the country! Our newspapers are practically sagging under the weight of colossal brains, and social media walls are adorned with the avant-garde masterpieces of the most mind-boggling brains in town. Who needs a brain gain when you've got brain bling right at home?

Yes, there are many brains and brainiacs in Nepal. Also, it is clear from the speech and behavior of our high-ranking presidents, prime ministers, ministers, leaders, etc. that there are enough brains there for the country. No matter how many brains go out, it does not matter. Because we have an ocean of knowledge here! Again, the more the brain drain, the more the remittance. In fact, every brain that jets off brings back a suitcase full of remittances, sprinkling financial fairy dust on the homeland! 

Therefore, there is a benefit to the country when there is a brain drain. Plus, let's not forget the brilliant strategy: after the cerebral elite depart, we're left with a brigade of 'yes men,' the unsung heroes of political puppetry. Our politicians must be doing the happy dance, surrounded by an echo chamber of agreeable nods! This brain drain extravaganza is no fleeting trend; it's a tradition that dates back to the times of Araniko. Back in the Rana Rule, brains would bid farewell via trains. Fast forward to today, and we've upgraded to jet-setting brains, because why settle for trains when you can have brains on planes?

In our land of linguistic acrobatics, it appears we have stumbled upon a linguistic hurdle. Our municipalities and metropolitan cities, along with the Ministry of Urban Development, seem to believe that 'drain' is synonymous with waste. To clarify, drain is not a discardable leftover; it's more closely related to the glamorous world of 'gutters' or 'dhal,' our high-class sewers. Picture this: a city adorned with intellectual drains, flowing with the wisdom of a thousand brainy streams. But, alas, we've witnessed the horror when some of these intellectuals take a detour and end up in the murky depths of becoming literal drains. It's a catastrophe we'd rather avoid. So, dear ministers and Prime Minister, let's play a game of catching brains and keep those cerebral wonders within our borders. We wouldn't want our brains turning into metaphorical drains, now would we? Is there a true child of the soil who comprehends this cryptic code of brain plumbing? 

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