Who Is Cooking Oli’s Goose?
Ritu Raj Subedi
Six months in office, the powerful KP Oli government seems creaking under the weight of high popular expectations. The initial euphoria and enthusiasm is nowhere to be seen. The democratically elected communist government appears to be losing political confidence and direction. It is bad news for the commoners who want to see the nation quickly return to democratic order and catch the right economic track. It seems that PM Oli is not getting enough support from the bureaucracy and entire mechanism of his own party. They are just paying lip service to the PM. There are various interest groups within the party and government, and Oli needs to break their networks to give impetus to his bid for achieving durable stability and economic prosperity.
There should be no doubt about the intention of the man of indomitable spirit. With a transplanted kidney and a frail body, PM Oli lives on drugs that he takes six times a day. He himself says that he is leading a life in bonus and has no goal other than working for the wellbeing of the people. His remarks make us believe that he will not be guided by any other ulterior or partisan motives. His wife Radhika Shakya’s simple and candid remarks about his day-to-day activity also corroborate his argument. She said that every morning she asked PM Oli to take measures for building and cleaning the road, checking pollution and managing the garbage of Kathmandu. “I also hear the PM everyday instructing the authorities to do these works in earnest. But sad to say the media do not report this. I don’t understand why those getting his instruction turn a deaf ear,” she told an online news portal.
Like an ordinary Nepali housewife, Shakya visits the groceries herself to buy vegetables and other daily items. She also suffers from traffic jam, muddy and potholed roads, and pollution. She shares her stories with the PM husband, the most powerful figure of the country. Perhaps Oli too listens to the complaints of his better half and tries to address them through the mobilisation of state mechanisms. Still the people have not felt a respite despite the issuance of scores of fiats and directives towards this end.
Some days ago, the PM had told a meeting of his party that the government was under siege by internal and external forces that are creating hurdles to its initiatives and actions. He might have hinted at opposition Nepali Congress and foreign NGOs and INGOs hell-bent on cooking his goose. But it is unclear who are putting a spoke in his wheel from within the party. It is said that the party’s powerful cliques have prevented Oli from bringing laws to check the freewheeling INGOs that butt in the internal affairs of the country. Sometime ago Oli had publicly expressed that some foreign organisations have been involved in destroying the social, cultural and religious harmony of the country. It seems that Oli’s nationalist voice has not found consonance with some party stalwarts with divergent ideas and interests. The ruling Communist Party of Nepal is still in the making and this interregnum has also affected the government’s functioning.
It is an open secret that the emergence of communist government in Nepal is not a palatable choice for the foreign powers that have a field day here for many years. There lie geopolitical reasons. Nepal has forged comprehensive cooperative partnership with China to secure greater economic freedom and political sovereignty. A strong, stable and prosperous Nepal can hardly be amenable to the diktats of foreign powers that often thrive under the political chaos and void here. According to a news report, some foreign agencies are active to internationalise the propaganda of communist authoritarianism in Nepal. They have been mobilising mainstream private media and pro-western intellectuals to vilify the government. They are spreading the rumours that the government has curtailed press freedom and freedom of expression. They have gone to an extent that Nepal has already become North Korea. They are buying the idea of opposition NC that the people have to wage a protest against the communist government. The opposition begins to see every action of the government as its bid to impose communist rule in the country. The very news report claims that even the advisors to the PM and President have been knowingly or unknowingly involved in this sinister design of defaming the Oli government that is determined to execute independent foreign relations with neighbours.
There has been widespread perception that there is a flow of ‘dollar’ and ‘euro’ into Nepal through illegal channels. And they have been used for promoting divisive ethnic and secessionist movement and religious conversion. And it is high time the government tightened its screw on such unlawful activities. Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious nation. This unique composition is the asset as well as strength of nation but some diabolic agencies are effortful to exploit the fault lines of this divergence. The funding for identity-based ethnic federalism and treasonous secessionist drive in Terai is a clear example of foreign infiltration in the domestic affairs of the nation.
The foreign parasites and their funded media always attack the state so as to render it weak and dysfunctional. Unlike the government, the state belongs to all citizens. It is the duty of all to strengthen the state and promote collective vision of nation building. It is necessary to distinguish between the state and government. But there has been a practice to clobber the state in the name of criticizing the government. For a strong state, there should be a stable government that should be allowed to complete its full term. In democracy, the government is subject to public scrutiny. It should be accountable to the electorate. But it goes against the grain of democratic principle to demand for unseating an elected government within months of its installation. This smacks of egregious scheme of not letting the nation run on a normal course.
The Media Council Bill that the government has registered in the National Assembly has been dragged into controversy. Media workers have also been divided...