Let us bray
The ass is just a horse with big ears. This is what gives this particular donkey an acute sense of hearing and wisdom, over and beyond his rugged good looks. That is just by way of introduction to this, the 500th column on the Backside of this illustrious paper.
At times these pieces have fallen between the cracks, as it were, but the Ass is thankful to all faithful (and unfaithful) readers for their time and support over the past 10 years, as well as for the tomatoes and other rotten vegetables thrown my way.
More, throw me more. Yum yum.
So, if I can now have your full attention, please, we can begin this week’s sermon. And that means you with the handset near the gym chasing Poké Balls. Sit down. The Ass has been diagnosed with acute laryngitis and advised by doctors not to say anything for a week, but it is in the public interest and to uphold the values of press freedom and constitutional anarchy that he has to keep braying.
In any other country they would have thrown their hands up in the air and given up by now. But not here in Nepal, because we are a hardy and god-fearing lot who are used to being kicked around by our overlords.
Every government in recent years has come with an expiry limit nine months from the date of manufacture. And so it was that the Oligarchy had to step down in nine months, just as his predecessors before him had done. Comrade Formidable also has a gestation period to do what he has to do, which is probably not much. After that, Brave Lion also has nine months from conception to delivery.
In the next few weeks it may appear to the casual outside observer that there are intense behind-the-scenes negotiations going on about the composition of the cabinet. Hectic talks are indeed going on, not between Kangresis and the Baddies as you might think, but between Comrade Terrifico and God.
The matter had to be referred to a neutral higher-up authority because negotiations between the parties over portfolios are deadlocked over who will get to be the powerful Minister of Superstition and Black Magic. In ongoing consultations with the Almighty a breakthrough is expected in the next few months (provided the planets are properly aligned) and once that happens, God willing, it will be smooth sailing.
God Himself is understandably worried about His status in the new constitution and whether He will still be allowed to rain thrunderbolts down from heaven when he gets the urge, as He has been in the habit of doing from time to time. He may also be perturbed by the spread of atheists, agnostics and secularists amongst his congregation, but we would like to reassure God on that score. As a country ruled by folks pledging allegiance to Co-pilot Baba and other Godmen, the Omnipotent One should not panic just yet about being unceremoniously deposed.
Nepal has always been rescued by Shri Pashupati Nath when it gets itself into trouble, although once it had to be rescued by Minister Shri Kamal Nath. When normal methods of statecraft fail, we have always turned to the paranormal. If there are important decisions to be made, we time them to precise calculations of the position and movements of the moon and planets vis-à-vis Intelsat 5-B in geostationary orbit over the Indian Ocean.
When the going gets tough, the prime minister sacrifices a black goat, and when it is a question of survival Nepal’s rulers just neutralise their rivals by decapitating five species of livestock and domestic fowl to propitiate the wrath of the Goddesses. If Comrade Awesomeness is still stuck on cabinet composition next week, a quick trip to Manakamana to decapitate two castrated goats should be sufficient to overcome the voodoo curse the Kangresis are using against him by sticking pins into stuffed dolls.
So, it is heartening to see that the government has got its priorities right and has set aside non-urgent matters like nominating a full cabinet. PKD and SBD are attending to more urgent matters, such as leaving no stone unturned in overturning all decisions of the previous regime.
Political appointees rewarded for their loyalty by the previous regime with ambassadorships will now be replaced by political appointees rewarded for their loyalty by the present regime with ambassadorships.