Nepali Times
Strictly Business
What really matters?


First, the questions: will Nepal have a new national constitution at the end of the next 85 days? Will Nepalis have access to new machine-readable passports (MRP) by this April Fool's Day so that the new passport holders can study, travel and work abroad? Will the central bank have a governor by the end of this Nepali calendar year? Will the killers of media businessmen Jamim Shah of Kathmandu and Arun Singhaniya of Janakpur be caught and brought to justice?

Depending on whom you ask, the answers lie on the negative side, ranging from "can't say" to "no".

Second, the context: Nepal has had two years, 601 Constituent Assembly members, and ample domestic and foreign assistance to draft a constitution. Likewise, it has had almost ten years to roll out the new MRP passports. The post of a central banker is too important to be left vacant for long in these economically uncertain times. And journalists and media businessmen have been beaten, kidnapped, shot at and killed before in the last three years, with - let us remember - nary a suspect tried or jailed.

Against that backdrop, this meta-question: What is it about Nepal and Nepalis that makes us look like we really cannot get our act together for anything? One answer could be: a lack of a sense of priority or a sense of what really matters.

Two years ago, when the Constituent Assembly was put together, it had only one priority: to draft the constitution and present it to the republic. The rest, through important, could come later.

But in the intervening months, that priority was pushed aside by the leaders of political parties, who changed the interim rules several times to suit their own convenience rather than serve the demands of the priority. The result is clear to see. Could there be a more egregious example of political incompetence?

Similarly, over the years, with bureaucracies politicised to a point where few bureaucrats want to stick to priorities that could be dismissed by their routinely changing politically appointed ministers, the MRP issue sat on a shelf, only to be dusted off a few months before the end of the 10-year deadline. As for the delay in appointing the central banker, that is one more example of how institutions have been weakened. Instead of having a qualified person leading the institution at the earliest, the political parties are jockeying to secure the post for one of their apparatchiks.

And the agitating journalists, who have run through the whole spectrum of letter-writing campaigns, editorialising, dharna, gherao and julus before, should be asking themselves: what makes them hope for a better result this time? Rather than continue to serve the public a d?j? vu of their earlier tactics, the media fraternity should now re-examine its playbook and asking itself what its priority is. It's time to perservere, relentlessly, through the police and legal channels. Nothing else will send a stronger signal of the media's determination.

Individuals become productive by deciding what their priorities are, and then sticking to those priorities by learning to cut out distractions. Institutions such as the Constituent Assembly, Foreign Ministry, Central Bank and the media fraternity will serve their public mandate well by first figuring out what they alone can do, and then doing that task well. Else, there will be much noise and no signal.

1. jange
"First, the questions: will Nepal have a new national constitution at the end of the next 85 days?"

Does it matter?

Remind me again. Just what was it about the previous constitution that couldnt have been amended to get whatever was required?

2. Victor Brazenski
Shame on Nepal and shame on Nepalese politicians. They had a clear mandate given by the people of Nepal about 2 years back. Now look at them. Most of the assembly men and women are either visiting foreign countries, or they are busy doing something else rather working on making a new constitution. No matter what kind of political system may prevail in Nepal, it will not matter because, so called politicians have stripped everything from Nepal . Sad to see Nepal is such state but who cares?



Constitution! They will write it in 24 hours. They know that it will be modified again and again and again. They are not professional politicians with a degree in law to use a polished and an appropriate words to make constitution very sophisticated and represent state of the time.

Passport! Do you remember the cabinet in the past (after 2006) passed several minutes in back date. As the old passports can be issued in backdate because they are not required to be reported to international system on real time, therefore, Nepalis will not suffer. The government of Makune and Sujata's ministry will issue backdated passports. Problem solved. Backdating is our national pride, character, and trend. History is a witness. Period.

4. Budabaaje
I'll tell you what'll send the "strongest signal" of the media's determination. Excuse me, the "strongest signal" of all the Nepali people's combined frustration with these politicians: the strongest possible signal is to root for the restoration of the monarchy! There isn't much that can be guaranteed in today's Nepal. But start clamoring for the monarchy, and that is guaranteed to scare these politicians into action. I, for one, believe that there's a strong case for restoring the monarchy only if to teach these politicians a lesson they'll never forget! 

5. half_zero

From the very day interim constitution was amended to have a provision that has allowed to form a goverment with simple majority, all present problems started formenting. 

Ashutosh ji, why have you been ONLY scolding at the parties in large ? Can you narrow down it ?



6. Thurpunsich
For those at the helm of the country, what really matters is: Power, Privilege and Money.

All those who are at the helm, what they really lack is: Competency, Compassion and Decency.

Here is what I think those who are at the helm would be doing if they were not in politics:

GPK = Khardar or a Labor Union Rabble Rouser
Makuney = Bank Khajanchi
Prachanda = Phantom of the Jungle or a Primary School Teacher or a Shoulder-heaving Comedian
Suzy Q = Typist with 21 wpm typing skill or a NRN waitress in Berlin.
Gachhadar = Lathi-wielding Goonda
Bauram = Comedian's Assistant or a Ventriloquist

Readers, you're welcome to add on to the list. Perhaps, the comedian "Ass" could help?

7. Quest-Son
is there difference between constipation and constitution.......
ink is getting compressed along with the countdown....
cons-tea-tution is free-press....
Reading everyday..... with morning tea
Hurray for Writing everyday....
Writer's must bee in the safe zone...
then, Nothing else matters...

8. Baneshwor
Ashutosh is being overly paranoid. The constitution will be written, approved before the deadline............... by India, just as the 12 point agreement was... Dot panic Asuthosh. South Bloc will not let us down. 

9. Khwasa

There is a need to for new generatino politicians. These old generation politicians will only take Nepal downwards.

10. Victor Brazenski
BTW I am now wondering if Sujata Madam has Nepalese citizenship. Didn't she get married to some German guy long time back and became Koirala-Jost? Did she come back from Germany and reclaimed her Nepalese citizenship? I wonder.

11. Sagar Onta
Nepal needs new leadership, a dynamic, revolutionary one, and I don't mean the Maoists, who will re-educate the public on what their priorities should be. All the current leaders are the scum of the earth !! 

12. Arthur
The priority of the present gang is to preserve the present corrupt system that they live off.

A People's War and a people's movement were fought to end that system. Concluding the peace process ought to be the top priority but it is not mentioned in the article. Only not mentioning this top priority is it possible to remain so bewildered about why other priorities are not dealt with.

13. Sanu Bhai
Constitution body suffering from constipation, it is because the majority of Nepalese these days forgot to eat Goondhruk and Rai sakh, instead most eat Wai wai, Ra Ra noodles. The govt. officers these days are eating Chinese Chowmins, instead of working for the new constituttion, they are just playing puppets role for PRC. To please the Chowmin suppliers they are only good at suppressing the peaceful Tibetan protesters.

Consuming too much of fiber less Chinese Chowmins caused all the constipation for the new constitution for New Nepal! I think democratic Dhal Roti of India has more fiber to get away from this constipation of constitution! Chinky's Chowmin will make all the mess in Nepal! Beware!
Think smart all the Nepalese! For the future of Nepal's Peace and Harmony!

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)