Nepali Times
KUNDA DIXIT
Under My Hat
No laughing matter

KUNDA DIXIT


Don't laugh. Given the present state of the nation, it is our duty to inform all concerned authorities, heads of constitutional bodies, and public sector torsos that laughing in public will henceforth be totally banned in all 75 district headquarters from 1 Jestha 2058. Guffaws, giggles and chuckles are hereby declared against the national interest, since they distract attention from our most serious problem: our continued inability to take things seriously. An alliance of 108 left-out parties led by the Unruffled Marxbad-Leninbad will start a phase-wise nationwide programme to protest the misuse of laughter in all its forms. Led by its vanguard student wing, the All-over-Nepal Campaign To Abolish Laughter and Glee (Revolting) will first target state-controlled media, which is the source of much mirth all over the kingdom at primetime everyday. It is extremely detrimental for our national morality, our territorial imperative and sovereignty that the entire nation breaks into gales of laughter before, during and after the evening news on radio and television. I don't speak in jest when I say that the mouth organs of government lack a certain gravitas. They will therefore be forced to refrain from outright comedy in their broadcasts, to wit: they will be forced to look and sound more tragic as befitting the times.

The various party organs (motto: "He who laughs last is history") also need to be disciplined since they don't seem to realise that there are limits to the average per capita duration that an adult Nepali can break into paroxysms of laughter on any given day. With most of the allotted time taken up by the state media, they must spare a thought for those compatriots who just can't laugh no more. Although the editors are understandably tickled pink by the goings-on in our landlocked Himalayan kingdom of 23 million, they must exercise restraint, and not overstep their bounds. Today, more than ever before, we need journalists who understand that although the constitution (much to our amusement) guarantees the freedom to laugh at whoever we want whenever we want to, this freedom comes with responsibility and should not be abused. And more importantly, we must never, ever, laugh at ourselves since this will have a negative impact on our sense of national self-esteem, self-importance, self-aggrandisement and ultimately erode our self-defence.

Epidemiologists tell us that laughter is contagious, and this is all the more reason that we must stop this nonsense of breaking into fits of laughter at every tiny excuse. Remember: laughter spreads by word of mouth. So, every time you feel like chortling in public, spare a thought for all the innocent bystanders who will be inadvertently infected. This is why, however amused we may be, we must suppress our urge to laugh at least until such time as an all-clear is sounded and we know that the country's current crisis has passed. You, at the back in the Groucho mask, what are you sniggering at?


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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