The fall of the Maoist led government has brought a smile to the faces of many of the Kathmandu elite who had lost their connection with the regime. They are happy to see known faces back in government giving them access to known agents, power brokers and system 'oilers'. The sad state of Nepali politics continues not only because of the politicians themselves who cannot play a fair power game but the people who continuously want to have a set of incompetent rulers just to ensure that they can get what they want. It's not fair to blame only the Maoists for cronyism.
But the Maoist- led government's failure to bring about any real fundamental changes in the way government functions has dashed the hopes of many who voted for them in the name of change. The Maoists also became more interested in focusing on keeping their party workers in business and doling out favours to the people they liked. If only they had succeeded in introducing the Gregorian calendar and making our holidays align with international ones, at least that would have been one contribution to integrating Nepal into the globalized world.
Moving ahead, hopefully the new coalition will find time to break from political bickering to focus on the economy and seriously look at creating a climate of investment and jobs along with tackling the larger issues of rule of law, providing security, dealing with labour unrest and finding a way out of the power crisis.
Investment is required to create jobs and the unions need to be dealt with for investment to flow. Everyone understands this but no one wants to work to ensure that it happens. Even in the US, while the government is bailing out failing General Motors, a company that pays high wages and has big worker unions. Meanwhile, Kia the Korean car manufacturer has established a new factory near Atlanta paying competitive wages and free from the stranglehold of unions.
For Nepal, the challenge is to ensure that we provide opportunities for businesses to start and existing businesses to operate free from hassle. This should be part of our DNA. A strong economically empowered mass can then stem the rot in Nepali politics as it has in India.