Crisis to cureIf people do not raise their voices, Nepal will be a hopeless place to live in
Our part of the world has experienced the glorious history of Rama Rajya. We had a benevolent king like Janak; great saints and philosophers like Bedabyas, Kalidasa, Confucius, Lao-tzu, Chanakya, and Gautama Buddha, the light of Asia and symbol of peace. Great arts, monuments and marvelous temples were created during the Lichhavi and Malla eras in Nepal. Our country was prosperous once, but currently we are one of the poorest countries in the world. The values elaborated in the Vedas, Geeta, Ramayana such as righteousness, propriety, trustworthiness, courage, etc. are eternal. Where have these values gone? Why do we not see leaders and common citizens possessing these values anymore? It is high time we explored the root causes of the problems and devise appropriate solutions to fix them or else the features of modern age such as globalisation, liberalisation and free-trade will increase our dependency and bring more misfortunes upon us.
There are many reasons behind our current adversities but the lack of visionary leaders is the principal reason. Many nations have transformed themselves dramatically due to the contributions of great leaders. We have abundant natural and human resources, but we lack good leaders to mobilise them for national prosperity. Hydropower potential of the country is one of the greatest in the world, but still it is reeling under hours of loadshedding. Why has Nepal not been able to come up with a vision to develop hydro projects and run industries by clean energy alone? We could be using electricity in our kitchens rather than importing cooking gas and spending hard-earned money. We do not lack a young, energetic labour force, technical knowhow, or people willing to invest. What we lack is energetic, inspiring and ethical leaders to lead the nation. People are ready to support leaders with strong moral values regardless of their religion, ethnicity, gender and political ideology.
Charismatic and energetic leaders such as British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, American President Barack Obama, and others point to what we are lacking. A leader requires a high energy level and stress tolerance to manage a hectic schedule, long working hours, conflicting demands of various interest groups and pressure in making vital decisions. Nepal has not seen such capable leaders who can convert a crisis into cure for a longtime.
We do have young, educated, and hopeful figures in all political parties. A few of them got opportunities to lead some ministries. Through their high calibre and work, they were able to touch peoples’ hearts. But some good examples here and there are not enough to solve the cumulated, complex problems prevalent in all sectors and segments of the country. More of these young leaders should come forward now and not wait to become old to lead the country. If they are not ready to break the current hierarchy and structure, and make their voice heard, the dream of nation-building will never be realised.
Not just leaders
Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it.” Instead of wasting our days in queues for half a cylinder of cooking gas or five liters of petrol, why cannot we unite and stand against it? If we add all the gas bullets that entered Nepal after India’s blockade (according to the Kantipur daily, 443 gas bullets entered Nepal), every households should get at least half a cylinder of gas. But most of us did not get it. If the crisis is only for poor citizens, if people in position and those close to them are getting everything even during the crisis, if shopkeepers are increasing prices every night, and we are not speaking a word against it, our society cannot be a just and prosperous one in the future. If people are not raising voices against the irregularities of the government, as Einstein said, Nepal will be a hopeless place to live in.
We citizens are the future of the nation. The progress of the nation is our responsibility and we cannot get away from our duties by only blaming those in power. After all, Nepal is a democratic country and these people are elected by us. Instead of playing the blame game, we must show our commitment to the progress of our nation either by putting forward our best qualities or by showing strong support to those who do. It is high time we took some actions instead of merely talking about the nation’s failure. Dear young leaders, if you are worried for your nation and think you have what it takes to bring some positive changes, then you should step forward. Nepali people are ready to welcome and support a worthy and qualified leader to lead the nation to prosperity.
Simkhada is pursuing a PhD on Leadership Styles and Performance of Organisation at Kathmandu University