Unholy actsRuling coalition and main opposition party are united in their misplaced priorities.
There is something illusionary about Nepali politics and the antics displayed by politicians in general. To quote William Shakespeare from The Tempest: “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” Politicians of stature who are publicly seen to adhere to a particular political ideology or leaning, plagued by ongoing political miseries are seen to seamlessly switch sides, leaving a lot of their ardent supporters (those with a bit of conscience) in the lurch, questioning their belief system. Sharp reactions have been displayed by rivals and critics alike of KP Sharma Oli’s visit to the Pashupatinath Temple on Monday evening, observing the aarati.
This is not the first time Oli has attracted attention for displaying his religious zeal. While an ardent communist fanatically abhors religion and religious practices as preached by one of communism’s earliest proponents Karl Marx, who labelled religion as the opium of the masses. But nothing seems to be stopping Oli, a seasoned politician, from taking advantage of a vacuum that was once within the purview of the monarchs of Nepal. The whole act of politicians is to garner enough support to propel them to power, even at the cost of discarding their purported belief system.
While politicians have perfected the art of switching sides to realise their vested interests, the purpose of power still seems to elude them. The actions of politicians in the last five years have only confirmed any doubts people had about their ability to govern with a focus on public issues and concerns. Despite being accorded a near two-thirds majority in the federal Parliament in the election of 2017, the then incumbent government spent most of its time in internal squabbles, which ultimately resulted in the split of the Nepal Communist Party leading to further political turmoil in the days ahead.
Nothing noteworthy has since been achieved by the patchwork of coalition parties that run the administration today. The country is still grappling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic; the economic situation has worsened. Amidst these crises, important institutions like Parliament and the Supreme Court have been rendered irrelevant through the wanton acts of politicians. With the two primary pillars of democracy, the legislature and the judiciary, in disarray, what expectations can the general populace harbour from their non-performance?
With the elections inching nearer, the canvassing for votes will only add to unholy alliances, and the bewildering antics of politicians are likely to add to the fervent talks across social media. It’s all fair game in trying to garner support to attain power, but politicians should remember that the objective of power should not be an end in itself. It should not be at the cost of good governance but rather they need to focus on diligently working to alleviate the problems of the people.