Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Letter from Nepal

Blogdai found this deep in the bowels of the internet: (reprinted unedited)

To all the haters and those who loves to b!tch about everything. It was such a pain to just sit and watch Nepalese Politicians corrupting the country and just breaking the country apart (I truly think every opposition party leader's favorite time pass was not sex but to plan to fail the government) and to see THE Maoist playing GOD and taking lives of Nepalese everyday. I would like to ask every Nepalese, who would they rather have trusted the country other than King? Do you think it would be a good idea to give another five years to Deuba, or would you rather have Girija or Madhav Nepal or Girija?s daughter for next several years? Can you give me a name of ONE person (I repeat one person) who you think can unite the country?

We have run out of trust worthy leaders. Soon, rich Nepalese and educated / smart Nepalese ?who usually prefer living anywhere in the world than staying in Nepal? would be suggesting to outsource the leaders from America or India (ha! That would be funny). We have already lost more than 11,000 lives during the on going civil war. Whether it was a death of Moist or Army or those innocent civilians they were our own Nepalese people. More and more villages and towns are in the process of converting into United States of Maoist. If we were to give ANOTHER chance (out of those many many chances) to these political leaders, just imagine how many more lives we would lose? How much more deficit, poorer we would have become? How many more villages and towns to become maobadi land?

How long to wait to see the peace? When is my son gonna be able to actually attend school and learn? I know after reading this some of you might even call me Panchhe or Ganendra ko manchha or whatever AND I'm gonna have to say: Damn! Fool! You are still sooooo stupid. I was a big fan of Birendra (and I miss him so damn Much) and I am not too crazy about current king and I am not saying, now the king has taken over and everything is just going to be right. But we have to admit that now it has started to take shapes and forms of development to get rid of Terrorism, corruption, and moreover the hope to better future. (It kind of feels like there is at least a solid plan and determination to fight against terrorism).

All we Nepalese have been so DIVIDED for last few years. May be this is the time we all be UNITED and fix our country?s problem together NOT just sit back, drink tea, watch Zee TV, read newspaper and bitch about government every single day. Give him a chance; we gave these self-centered politicians 14 years, why can?t we give king 3 years. YOU can help to change the future of this country. You don?t have to perform any miracle. Just do whatever you do with a positive attitude and just don't waste time complaining about your neighbor's wife and government.

I am a bus driver and I will make sure your kids get to school and return home safe and on time, so that someday when these kids grow up they would bring positive things in our lives. I am not gonna participate in a street riot just because one of the political leader had to Wait 20 minutes at the airport or neither am I gonna donate my hard on dime to Maoist so that they can buy more land mines to kill more of my children. That is how I am gonna help my country. If you are a shop keeper and you wanna help country to grow, just open you store everyday to mobilize the economy (trust me you play a part in mobilizing economy). Don't cheat on your taxes, keep your neighborhood clean and around your stores and encourage others to do the same thing. What are you gonna do to help to heal the wounds? What?


At 6:57 PM, February 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess we have no other choice but to hope that the king has only good intentions.

king G, if you fix this mess, then i will stop loathing you.

At 8:19 PM, February 08, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Dear Blogdai,

You say you picked it up deep in the bowels of the internet. Can you please give due credit to the author? Provide a link at the very least?

At 8:54 PM, February 08, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:51 PM, February 08, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Sure Morquendi, happy to do it. Would first love to know the name of your "journalist friend" in Nepal- touche' -=blogdai

At 2:33 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Dear Blogdai,

I don't pick my friend's material deep from the bowels of the internet. They email me. So i can't really give a link to it can I? I assure you I will tell you his/her name when it's safe to do so.

You on the other hand, say you found this article online. So you must be able to give a link to it or say on which site you found it at least. You seem to be dodging the issue completely.

What it looks like is that you're just copy/pasting other people's material and putting it up on your site without giving them any credit. You just say you found it online. This raises some serious questions like: how much of the other material you have posted has been obtained in this manner?

That's just not cricket.

At 4:37 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger Ramirez said...

Leaders? What leaders?

Without doubt, one of the most used – or, rather, abused – word in political discourse in Nepal in recent times is “leader” or, in the vernacular, “neta.” Day in and day out, this term is unfailingly tossed around in formal discussions and informal conversations with an unthinking automaticity, being applied indiscriminately to anyone who is even remotely connected with a political organisation or party.

Even the supposedly quality media, including its leading luminaries, use it with a frenzy that suggests their very lives depended upon doing so. Its practitioners apparently don’t bother either to ponder what it really means or to seriously consider which, if any, of the numberless political figures they wish to refer to do, indeed, deserve such a lofty appellation.

Before proceeding any further into this essay let us take a look at how the word is described in the dictionary. According to my Chambers, one of the many meanings of a “leader” and one that applies to the political realm, is a person who leads or goes first. So, how is “to lead” defined? As per the same source, that is: “to show the way by going first.”

My Webster’s defines it, in its political connotation, in this fashion: “a person who has a commanding authority or influence”; the principal officer of a (British) political party; “a member chosen by his party to manage party activities in a legislative body”; “such a member presiding over the whole legislative body when his party constitutes a majority”; and “one that exercises paramount but responsible authority over a state or local party organization.”

Definitions offered by the much larger and more recent Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary are shorter. Thus: “a person or thing that leads” and “a guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement or political group.”

Finally, the World Book Encyclopaedia Dictionary merely says: “a person, animal, or thing that leads” adding “a person well fitted to lead”.

Against that semantics backdrop, how accurate is the blanket use of this adjective with virtually anything that moves across a party chessboard? Or, even more to the point, has not such lazy or muddled thinking accorded all politicians, even those who are half-baked intellectually, virtually illiterate or even corrupt, an aura of authority or legitimacy that they simply don’t deserve?

In other words, doesn’t such a practice misleadingly suggest that the person to whom it is applied has talents or the influence that ordinary citizens do not possess or command? Doesn’t it also undermine the prestige and standing of those politicians who are truly deserving of the title of “leader” – that is, those who have either been chosen as people’s representatives in the past, or shown widely accepted exceptional courage, political vision and ability to lead?

Indeed, as I see it, there are two further key aspects to political leadership: one that is, in a democracy, bestowed only by a mandate from the people through elections; and the other uncontested or widely acclaimed political talents and/or vision that are intrinsic to the “ability to lead” attribute referred to above.

By such a yardstick, do all the Rams, Shyams, Geetas and Sitas that fall within the ambit of one or the other political party or grouping in our country deserve to be called and respected as “leaders”?

Methinks not. Quite apart from the fact that very few of the dramatis personae of the Nepalese political stage can rightly claim such an honour, the sweeping manner in which the “leader” tag is attached to virtually all and sundry is clearly untenable. It is certainly unacceptable to those who have a profound respect for logical thought and believe that words have distinct meanings and cannot be manipulated to suit one’s ends, especially if those have a manifestly political motivation.

If the meaning of words is not to be scrupulously respected, for example, why not substitute “dictatorship” for “democracy” or “Marxism-Leninism” with “Mao Zedong Thought” or “Fabian Socialism” with “Fascism”?

To make the point even more clear, let me be more specific. Is the “leader” terminology, as applied to, say Dr Minendra Rijal and Dr Narayan Khadka of the NC (D), well deserved? Although they may be titans academically, the fact that they have never ever been elected by the people surely should, at the very least, rule that out, until at least such a time as they do.

Even more outlandish – to take another example – is the case of Sujata Koirala (Jost) who, I now find, is termed as NC “leader”. Not too long ago, she was merely daddy’s darling daughter, back from Germany. Then, mostly when her father was prime minister, she became a “social worker”, subsequently a “youth leader” before (now) acquiring the halo of a full-blown “leader” as in fact described in a recent Himalayan Times news report.

During this magical transformation process, let it be noted, she too has not been consecrated by a popular mandate. Far less, of course, is known about her political, academic, intellectual and other talents or skills in all this time.

To return, however, to the general from the specific, let us take a look at the attribute of learning, or rather its linkage with leadership. Is it not undeniable that the nexus between leadership and learning is indispensable? Yet, how many in Nepalese political circles, especially at the higher rungs in the respective party hierarchies, are given to deep contemplation and thought about how today’s and tomorrow’s problems can best be tackled in the national interest?

Most, it would seem, are shackled to the past, talking and speechifying as if the world has stood still for decades. When was it, I wonder, that they last engaged in a meaningful study of philosophical tomes or delved into recent economic theories or dipped into the cornucopia of knowledge about the environment, rapidly changing geo-political and other realities of international relations, including those post 9/11?

In the complex, knowledge-driven world of today, how many of our so-called political “leaders” think through problems in concrete terms, especially as far as devising effective, feasible public policy ideas or concepts? Which political “leader” has been associated with what successful public policy decision(s) between April 1990 and October 2002? Most of us, non-partisan folk, would love to know.

How can they, then, be considered “leaders” capable of guiding others, including those who are well educated or possess valuable nation-building knowledge-skills, in this day and age?

To be a real “leader” one must know how to follow, as legendary US Speaker Sam Rayburn was wont to emphasise. Going by that, when political functionaries refuse to contest elections, for example, can they still be considered leaders, especially as such elections are a vital means for gauging the popular will? Furthermore, as Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, one of the “leaders” of the February Revolution of 1848 in France succinctly put it: “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

Finally, let me conclude this exposition with this delightfully edifying nugget of political wisdom from Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu:

Of the best rulers/The people (only) know they exist;/The next best they love and praise;/The next they fear;/ And the next they revile.// When they do not command the people’s faith,/Some will lose faith in them,/And then they will resort to oaths!/But (of the best) when their task is accomplished, their work done,/The people will remark, “We have done it ourselves.”

Do we have such leaders? Sadly, the truthful answer must be: no. Else, the nation would not have been “led” down the abyss of corruption, political instability, rank opportunism, an orgy of killings and wanton destruction, bandhs and a never-ending constitutional gridlock for more than a decade.

At 6:43 PM, February 09, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Ramirez, this was a well-thought piece. Do you have any more. blogdai LOVES positive or negative feedback that is thought through. -=blogdai

At 6:43 AM, February 10, 2005, Blogger Morquendi said...

Blogdai m'man you haven't really answered the question I asked. You're becoming a good dodger.

At 11:34 AM, February 16, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Blogdai is starting to get the picture now after reading the FMETU piece in the Daily News. http://www.dailynews.lk/2005/02/12/new28.html

My friend, you repeatedly post your cloying requests in each thread of this blog, you don't understand the concept of source protection, and when you get frustrated with blogdai's position you say "make something up".

It makes me ask you, Morquendi, what good are your "assurances" that your sources will be revealed?

It seems like you and the FMETU are birds of a feather: grab any info you can get, call it your own and wait for praise that you did not earn.

You fell curiously silent on this blog immediately after blogdai promised to send someone to Kantipur to verify your anonymous "source". Blogdai happens to know a few things about that little episode now. Feel like printing a retraction?

Maybe the water is getting a little hot here so you'd rather do your posturing through your own home channels, like the Daily News in Sri Lanka. Did you author or have a hand in writing (or should I say, compiling) the FMETU piece?

The shoe is on the other foot now, my opportunist friend. -=blogdai


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