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Who is poisoning our democracy?

Ishwar Dev Khanal

June 1, 2021

5 MIN READ

Who is poisoning our democracy?
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Politicians win but the people never do. In the last one year, people saw a lot of political mud being thrown, and that too anarchically. Trust, in government institutions and political leaders, has plummeted.

People’s hard-earned democracy, a sense of decency, and a bit of discretion have eroded because of these unethical leaders, who, nevertheless, are unhesitant claiming to be working for the people.

The cadres of the CPN-UML reading this opinion will be saying: “Right. Prachanda, Sher Bahadur Deuba, and Madhav Kumar Nepal have no integrity. They are not in any way fit to rule the country.”

Nepali Congress, Maoist Center, or the Madhav Nepal faction of the UML party, on the other hand, will be saying: “Sure. KP Oli has no integrity. He is not fit to become the Prime Minister.”

To explain further, both sides see a lack of integrity and ethics in their opponents. However, common people like us (not party cadres), see there is a total lack of integrity on both sides.

Now, an obvious question that emerges is why people end up with a majority of unethical leaders every time?

Another question that emerges is: Did the “politically conscious” Nepali people realize that unethical politicians will only accelerate corrosion while ethical ones will lead the country toward development, stability and affluence?

A couple of questions: Will these leaders or the “youth leaders” (above 50 years of age) succeed in restoring public trust? Will these political leaders succeed in making them free from corruption? These are some questions to be pondered since these leaders never acted in the public interest.

People, who pay taxes for the elected representatives’ salary and allowances, therefore, should elect their representatives to represent people’s interests, not the leaders’ individual or party interests.

And, people’s opinions have gradually transformed from once healthy skepticism and praise to harsh criticism.

Yes, people assess that Prime Minister KP Oli and President Bidya Devi Bhandari have no integrity. They criticize PM Oli for being an arrogant leader, and the President like the PM’s “obedient child”.  However, I have neither “yes” nor “no” to people’s assessment. I leave it to them.

People also say every time the government holds elections, only a few of the leaders stand out as promising ones while the rest “we elect are experts in lip service”.

Now, if the elections are held on November 12 and 19 this year, thousands of people will go to the polls again with the same corrupted leaders on their minds, and to elect the same faces yet again — thanks to the leaders’ skill of convincing us – often dubbed as “politically conscious Nepali people”.

And, the Maoist party claims the stake for this since according to them, the decade-long insurgency or “People’s War” in their words, made people “politically conscious”. Now, do I have the privilege to ask: What did we get?

I personally feel that unless Nepal can find a way to crush the toxic circle of mistrust, people will continue to suffer from the disappointment further escalating, which in the long run would contaminate the already polluted democratic institutions and democratic framework.

Accountability and transparency are the cornerstones of a democratic political system. Therefore, isn’t it high time that people stopped these politicians from poisoning our democracy?

It is high time that people elected political leaders who can focus on the bigger picture and think beyond promises. Or else, the aspiration for moral leadership in the country would never be realized – at least in our generation.

If not, the option is to face the consequences for another five years with those same elected representatives saying, “no one is without flaws…see what we do the next year.”

The development of leadership needs an ethical construct, not popularity or a good orator. Only then the “hospitable, tolerant, and forgiving Nepalis” will get a purpose-driven leader – a leader who is ethical, honest, compassionate, selflessness, and educated with a moral vision.

People, who pay taxes for the elected representatives’ salary and allowances, therefore, should elect their representatives to represent people’s interests, not the leaders’ individual or party interests.

Accountability and transparency are the cornerstones of a democratic political system. Therefore, isn’t it high time that people stopped these politicians from poisoning our democracy?

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