Nepali Times
Strictly Business
Systemic failure


Observing the continuing political drama, which is as exciting as watching paint dry, there are those who say that we deserve the politicians we get. Perhaps. But what if we say that we only get the politicians who can thrive in the system we've let mutate to its present form? More than what's in our fate, it's the system that we have tolerated for far too long that gives us the politicians we are stuck with.

There are two system-level observations one can make. The first one is a primary problem. The second is a by-product of the first.

Unresponsive representation: Take a public health disaster. In the last 10 days, more than 30 Nepalis have died due to cholera and diarrhoea outbreaks in the western parts of Nepal. Though deadly when untreated, cholera and diarrhoea are both easily preventable diseases.

Putting aside the concern of whether there are enough healthcare workers and medicines in the remote parts of Banke or Surkhet, what's surprising is how little political representation the victims get in today's democracy. Of the assembled 601, not a single CA member, including those from the affected districts, stands up and says, "These needless, untimely deaths of fellow Nepalis are unacceptable. They have to be stopped. When our citizens continue to die en masse because of preventable diseases, it indicates that something is horribly wrong. When we can't even fix this simple problem, how will we achieve our goals in education, health, livelihood, and so on for a better Nepal?"
The reason not a single CA member says that is simple. They may wax eloquent about Democracy, but they have zero incentive to practice democracy, in this case, by lending political urgency to solve people's problems. Most came to the CA because they listened to their party bosses who wanted to strengthen their numbers, not because they listened to voters. As such, even when they do nothing for the districts that they represent, there is little they need fear: so long as their party has the money and is powerful, it will give them the permission to stand for election again, and win. Voters thus become a means to political ends

Over the years, what this practice has amounted to is this. Yes, we have democracy and yes, we have elections, but the system is designed to be unresponsive to people's concerns.

Not my children's future: People work hard to improve, if not their own future, then their children's future. Human nature being what it is, it's hard for most people to get excited about the future of other people's children.

But politicians searching for appealing generalities often make references to improving our children's future as a way to anchor their present actions to possible future gains. In Nepal, politicians know that, given half a chance, most young people would rather leave the country. It's likely that most politicians' children are not in the country themselves.

Shorn of an honest metaphor that refers to our shared collective future, Nepali politicians habitually lapse into speeches that are filled with abstractions about Democracy and revolutions. When one can't imagine, much less communicate, what the future holds in more vivid, concrete terms, then the question becomes: is one really working for long-term goals or for quick short-term gains the answer to which is plain to all who follow politics.

The content of national politics can be dispiriting. Instead of asking politicians to behave themselves, finding ways to change the context of politics is how changes are likely to come faster.

Hard choices, PRASHANT JHA
Tail between our legs, PUBLISHER'S NOTE
Nay to the government, INDU NEPAL
Following the paper trail, CK LAL

1. hharsh

this is very correct that we deserve these politicians, they are who, what we made. the politicians are our very own reflection. until and unless we don't change ourselves, we will get more of this sort of politicians.

2. Sargam

Simply put, Mr. Tiwari has treated on this thread a thorny subject but extremely in vogue. Those who follow the international evolution of politics as well as economics hear this word Systemic failure almost every time in conversations in business circles, T.V. debates on lingering economic downturns, and when they open the daily Newspapers or browse the websites.

All international top-notch statesmen beginning from President Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy, Chancellor Angela Merkel to Sonia Gandhi inaugurate their public discourses emphasizing on systemic failure, because they are all confronted as much with global financial and economic system. And they want to bring changes to the dilapidated state of the system.

What is recurrent is everywhere where a system of governance is put in place, after a lapse of time that system becomes obsolete and it takes time to replace the same with a new one which is more performing and easy to tackle. But as usual very few people are keen to change a system even it is sclerotic and malfunctioning.

Ironically, it appears that the whole world is seemingly affected by what you call the syndrome of brain constipation. And Nepal ain't skimped on. As far as the dysfunction of Nepalese government is concerned I will spare you the details. When a country cannot even pass an annual budget how that poor country can deliver? For now, folks feel that they have a chip on their shoulder. Nepal is for real in danger of being lost amidst the political spin and inexhaustible recriminations of their own making.

Leaving aside this crummy government, I would better try to explain (if you please) briefly some of those modern way of in situ and in visu applied communication in global Management.

As you know it very well that in the software jargon there are two types of approaches to give a full dimensional effective to a project. And they are 1) Top-down approach and 2) Bottom-up approach. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Both of them are useful according to the given situation at the time of global Management or local approach for the manufacture of products.

Top-down process is characterized by a high level of sensory processing by more cognition, such as final goals and targets to be met whereas in a bottom-up approach every element participates to link together to form larger subsystems in many layers, until a complete top-level system is found. This strategy resembles a 'seed' model whereby the beginnings are small but eventually grow in complexity.

So to say, a bottom-up approach is one that works from the grassroots.

It is evident that every organization has a formal communication system which provides information or collects it through different channels and networks.

But seldom folks think of what you call the grapevine communication, in simple words the communication through rumors or gossips. It is one of the best means of perfect communication to make products known to a large number of consumers without spending a dime. Also to sell books of a renowned writer or to sell movie tickets there is nothing better than the grapevine communication.

As of now, the Facebook and Tweeter are the faster ways to give credence to a rumor. But it also depends entirely upon the person who treats it by means of strict verifications.

Sometimes, a gossip spread through grapevine can destroy the reputations as well as the career of a person. So why we shouldn't abuse it. It's just something that fills in the gap that is left when official information is lacking.

The grapevine can be a great tool to keep people honest because when they are caught red handed being dishonest by spreading false rumors they will be boycotted by everybody as a bigoted loon. So it is a two edge sword which dissuade folks to be dishonest by gauging the pluses and minuses.

All in all, systemic refers to something that is propagated throughout affecting a system or a group, such as society, economy, financial market or human body.

Stay curious and tuned, but don't hold your breath!?!

3. jange
At a time when the whole country is at the cusp of a New Nepal brought to you by the valiant sacrfice of thousands of brave maoists surely there are more important things than cholera and diarrhoea.

The formation of the constitution is the most important and only agenda for the country at the moment and the only way to achieve this is to elect our glorious leader Prachanda as PM.

Once Prachanda is elected PM cholera and diarrhoea will be banished from the land in the same way that the hated and reviled 240 year old monarchy was removed.

As the NT has said- the Maoists are the only party representing change.

4. Bed Khatiwada

Needless to further putting pressure to those non sense political leaders. Incumbent leaders need not be responsible for citizen as 26 out of 42 ministers are rejected by citizen and not elected.


Don't hope milk by oxen.


5. jhyaple
All this just blah-blah-blah. Tiwari is just preaching stuff and you are just filling up space uselessly.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)