Politicians’ incompetence is turning the best minds away, ruining Nepal’s future

A renowned US-based Nepali expert came to Nepal to help the country create well-paid jobs for fellow Nepalis but Nepali politicians responded in such a way he began to lose hope.

Ramhari Subedi, a system engineer at NASA, at Tribhuvan International Airport upon his arrival from the USA. (Photo: Ramhari Subedi)

Anjali Subedi

  • Read Time 6 min.

Apparently not lenient to any particular political party, he came to Nepal and met several leaders in the last few weeks. In over a month-long stay, he did not seem to waste a single day but trained many groups on cyber security as well as tried to grab attention of the policy makers over ‘where does Nepal stand digitally and how and why to take a leap forward’. His passion about creating well-paid jobs in Nepal was intriguing and his admirers grew manifold rather quickly. This week, he flew back to the US.

Ramhari Subedi, a system engineer at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a professor at ECPI University of Virginia, wrote a disheartening note after reaching the US. On Sunday he wrote on Facebook: This is what I realized from the entire meetings in Nepal: All political parties are busy over nothing but garlands, honor, chairing programs and forming factions and sub-factions.

This is sad but true.

Future destroyed

The dreams of Subedi, who always talks about fixing brain drain and offering attractive options to youths at homeland, are something the common Nepalis easily relate to. Moreover, his own journey of struggles behind how he reached the ‘envious’ position in the US, which he revealed to some of the interviewers recently, makes him an iconic figure in the eyes of Nepali youths. His journey from a remote village of Chitwan to becoming a well-settled professional in ‘the dreamland’ and then harboring this sheer desire to give back the best for the motherland does look really humble. And when his type of person ever looks helpless, before the cold attitude and vision (lack thereof) of the leaders, this does send out the same gloomy message to the people too.

Through this article, on behalf of all Nepalis, I’d like to request the Nepali politicians to follow Subedi’s timeline on Facebook. You don’t need to appreciate someone as an individual, but there are stories equally about you politicians and how you are making someone, who has some clear goals for this country, feel dejected. The thread makes a roar on how shallow and outdated you all are. It’s disgusting that you failed to inspire hope in a man of that caliber.

Had you been really worried about the country and its future, you would definitely pay heed to any person with great dreams and plans for the country. Subedi would simply not conclude that his stay in Nepal and talks with so many politicians taught him only one thing—that all loved above all is pirka, khada and adaachhyata. When are you guys going to come out of this silly bubble and pause to check where this greed for hollow reputation is taking this country to? Where would we have been today if you were sensitive? And at this point, I wonder how many other ace professionals, experts, specialists, dreamers who wanted to join hands in nation-building efforts might have been repelled in the same way.

Let the country aggressively chase the agenda of health, education, employment, technology and good governance. Let things get back on track.

As a result, we lack the right persons at the right place robbing the country of any progress.

There are several countries in the world that were way poorer than Nepal until a few decades ago. Now, they have left Nepal far behind in prosperity and good governance. But Nepali politicians do not feel an iota of shame about it. No wonder, their craze for the front row at programs, greatest honors and hours of speech where they wholeheartedly criticize each other continues.

Look back into thyself

If you look at yourself through the eyes of the common Nepalis or through the eyes of people like Subedi, you’ll understand your true worth. While commoners are struggling for basics, Subedi is someone who rose from the rubbles and now wants to help Nepalis realize their common dreams.

As you’re occupying the driving seat, your disconnection with the population at home and the entire Nepali diaspora costs high for us all and the liabilities will only get heavier with time. Generations will suffer due to your incompetency and personal feuds. We’re already in an emergency state to save our major constitutional bodies including the judiciary. Amid all this, it’s high time the political parties actually gave up their obsession for the nonsense garlands, honors and those sorts of appeasements until Nepal stands tall in the world map one day.

Political cadres should also come out of this deceptive charade. They should understand that their leaders, who they wag their tail to for their ‘bright future,’ are never going to ensure any bright future to them or their offspring this way. When the country is poor and weak, a beautiful future for anyone from the same country is out of the question.

Ramhari Subedi, a system engineer at NASA, meets former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

Thus the cadres should actually dare to remind the politicians of their failures and how they have pushed the country back. The cadres, most of whom are young, should be well informed themselves and should have guts to challenge the ‘tried and tested’ bunch of ‘rulers’ who are actually ruining the future of all Nepalis by not performing their duties well. 

Unless we collectively create a country that is internally strong and externally counted as something, the hollow pride of our leaders and VIPs will just be a farce. We will gain respect when our Nepali passport commands respect worldwide.

Whether Nepal profited or lost heavily due to the decade-long conflict and the changes alongside has been a controversial subject. But the end of the war in 2006 was a huge relief for the land drenched in blood. Today, we face multiple challenges as a nation including justice to the war victims. We’re huge importers with almost zero export of goods and productions. Our giant youth population is working abroad for mere livelihood. The social cost of foreign employment, which has been never discussed enough, is already taking its toll on several fronts. Nepalis’ access to health and education is pathetic. For instance, a young journalist LB Bishwokarma recently succumbed to health complications right in Kathmandu. And the story goes that ‘Civil Hospital’ that faces the huge Parliament building from where the lawmakers passed ‘people’s constitution’ had not trusted him for mere Rs 600 and left him to die. Our children are growing up with compulsive dreams to leave this land because they ‘understand’ that the politicians and their near and dear ones alone ‘thrive’ here.

Looking for hope 

We voted for you and collectively we’ve created a hopeless situation and changes are long overdue. If we look at the pace of development of other countries, we simply have no time to waste. It is upon us, the aware citizens, to give the push. Or else, not just we all will die without seeing a happy Nepal, but we’d be handing over this very disturbed country to our younger generations. Such a country which will be vulnerable, meek and silent when others claim our lands, bed-ridden when others impose an economic blockade on us, helpless and unwilling to change. Nepal is and will be seen as nothing more than this. And this means every outer force will continue to have the upper hand and meddle in Nepal as and when they please.

It’s high time the political parties actually gave up their obsession for the garlands, honors and appeasements until Nepal stands tall in the world map one day. 

This reality should sink in all of us. And we should free ourselves from silence or inaction. Let the country aggressively chase the agenda of health, education, employment, technology and good governance. Let things get back on track and for this the professionals like Subedi should cross the bars. Experts and visionaries from other sectors should also come together and interfere. A transparent force with a clear agenda of nothing but development should come forward to completely destroy the current political stagnancy.

The media has wasted enough time in building the ‘macho’ image of politicians of several parties. On the other hand, ruining the images with vested interest has done equal damage. It’s time to open the eyes, do some introspection, call for a fresh bunch of people, professionals, and youths, make a conducive environment to help them take the lead. There’s a saying that your silence amounts to a license for a fool to rule you. Nepalis must have choices now.

It’s not people like Ramhari Subedi but the kursi, pirka, khada and abir obsessed leaders who need to pack their bags.

Anjali Subedi is a journalist based in Kathmandu. She writes on social and human rights issues.