Nepali Times
More things change more they stay the same

We have always known that in Nepal the more things change, the more they stay the same. History keeps repeating itself, usually as a farce.

Now, we can quantify that. The results of this year's Himalmedia Public Opinion Survey 2012 reinforces many of the conclusions of previous year's polls: on whether or not the constitution will be written by deadline, what to do if it isn't, who is to blame for the delay. The poll also reinforces an enduring message that has come out over and over again in surveys conducted over the past 12 years: Nepalis are too preoccupied with day-to-day survival, are disillusioned with politicians and fed up with politics. Their primary concerns are more mundane: jobs, inflation, corruption, health, education.

Still, Nepalis instinctively know they have to work with what they have, and will back politicians who show integrity, efficiency and a can-do mentality. This is clear from this year's popularity surge of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, with nearly a third of respondents saying they'd vote for him if he stood for elections. The reason is clear: more
than half the respondents think he's done a great job since he became prime minister. His populist photo-ops (riding a Mustang, travelling economy, cleaning the Bagmati) seem to have worked and people seem to want to overlook the fact that he has surrounded himself with crooks. The poll also shows that the higher politicians fly the further they fall: Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal used to top all polls since 2006. This year, his rating has dropped to single digit. The reason must be the media's coverage of his contradictory statements, moving to a luxurious villa, his business interests and his son's shenanigans.

Nepalis are thoroughly dissatisfied with the chronic political instability of the past 20 years and the lack of accountability of elected leaders. They seem to blame this on the horse-trading inherent in the parliamentary system as practiced here. So, most of those polled said they'd want either a directly-elected prime minister or president. The issue of ethnicity-based federalism has polarised the political class, but at the people's level there seems to be little doubt that demarcating future federal units based on ethnicity is a bad idea. Reinforcing the results of the poll last year, upwards of 60 per cent of the indigenous people and Madhesis themselves are apprehensive about ethnic federalism.

There is nothing wrong with righting historical wrongs, but it does seem that a few politicians want to propel themselves to power by using identity politics even though the silent majority among their own aren't going along. In fact, nearly half the respondents no matter where they live and which ethnic group they belong to, say if you must have federalism, stick with the north-south model to make viable provinces. This is not the Bahun-Chhetri elite in Kathmandu talking, ordinary Nepalis seem to have inherently more common sense than the politicians who represent them.

The good news is that public opinion still matters in this country. It should matter because only then can we quantify public anger and prod political leaders to respond and reform their ways. Prime Minister Bhattarai's popularity is proof that people still value integrity and performance, and will reward it even if it means clutching at straws. And the lesson from the rise and fall of Pushpa Kamal Dahal is to never take anything for granted: especially the people's trust.

HimalMedia Public Opinion Survery 2012: Complete Poll Data

Read also:

Voters' voice

Make-or-break media

The terrain shifts

The times they are changing, ANURAG ACHARYA

Nation's pulse, #553

Few surprises, #553

1. who cares
i did not use to believe in people, i went on to believe in people during yr last survey,,,,,, but today i no longer have confidence in public...  ............   and repeating mistake is not my style  . ......

public is as good as individuals running media. . (you mentioned similar in some other column, i dont know if we are on the same page or i misunderstood you) not just in nepal, but in other countries like US, India.


1: on the one hand, i guess, most of the media believes in democracy, but on the other hand media also believes and supports agent bhatterai who wants to #$%@ democracy.

and simple minded public are going through similar something something.

2: on the one hand media supports rule of law, freedom of speech, but on the other hand they support agent bhatterai who wants to destroy freedom of speech, who use force on those demanding justice while protects killers, looters, criminals... and also attacks media physically.

same goes out to public. 

3: media is nationalist in mind but they dont know what is nationalism. because of teaching from media, public is also unaware of meaning of nationalism. .... how could they be nationalist and still support agent bhatteria, maoist who has been selling nepal, who are destroying nepal to make foreigner happy.

4: media has been saying, its people around agent bhatterai, his family who is corrupt, not he himself.

and cause of the media, foolish crowd has similar view.

both the idiot people running media and crowd dont see that its agent bhatterai himself is helping them in looting nepalese.

present nepal is the dumb result of media, and the great thing is, this same media will be the first victim of their own creation, and same idiot crowd/khate club will be the second victim  ...  ...   ... today, i am too concerned about nepal. but tomorrow, my only concern will be safety of my family. i shall have plenty of time to escape, me and my family, to the greatest country called AMERICA (hope they will make us the great citizen of the greatest country in the world- if we dont get citizenship, i would like to take my word back- great, greatest.)  from shortly coming civil war.

By the way, where can i purchase rifles in nepal? i may need them if we are stuck in this future hell called nepal. but before we leave, we shall carve one state- islamic state that touchs both china and india. that stretches about 200km long parallel to india near delhi. 


2. asdf
Solution/ compensation to Nepal Bandhs and the apathy of the govt.
Give everyone a Tax break of 0.5%  p.a. for every day of Nepal/ Valley Bandh!
Maybe then the government will be compelled to air pragmatic views and policies and not make make the rest of the country suffer! (Government's got to collect the tax to fill up their pockets and the worthless CA members who we need to feed with our Tax money.)
Another Solution to it all!>> Oh! please sell off our country to anyone willing to buy it! China,  India, USA, UK, France, Japan..?? Everyone will still be a Brahmin, Rai, Chettri, Magar, Newar, Limbu and Prachanda knows what (since ethnicity comes first innit?) Only that may be we won;t be called Nepalis anymore! 
The politicians need to realise before loyalty to a country comes respect to its fellow citizens from the people running it! People really do not care who is in power as long as you give them economic Prosperity and a bright future ahead. We do not believe in our Netas anymore, and seriously sick of the ever forgiving attitude of the Nepalis! No pride in calling myself a Nepali.
A disgruntled person living south of the Himalayas!

3. Channakya
You can fool some people for some time ,you cannot fool all the people all the time goes the popular saying. It has applied to Comred Kamaal Pasha Dahaljee too. he becomes a Newark when he is with Newars,Bahun when he is withBahuns, Limbu with Limbu,Tamang with Tamang,Magar with Magar, ... ... ...etc etc etc. The Great Camelion! He keeps on changing colors each times. The people of this country deserves this type of leadership and let us hope that he ultimately win this race for the leadership in the days to come as well.He is the master of deception no doubt!

4. Nirmal
Prime Minister Bhattarai's popularity is proof that people still value integrity and performance, and will reward it even if it means clutching at straws. And the lesson from the rise and fall of Pushpa Kamal Dahal is to never take anything for granted: especially the people's trust.

Being a good liberal-left what matters to me is my capacity to differentiate which means not to base my thoughts on the criteria of discriminations. So, I'd like to expose some of the similarities as well as differences between those two personalities:
 1. Both are responsible as political leaders for the loss of nearly 17 thousands Nepali.
2. Both champion the same ideology -the maoism- that puts bullets as a supreme fact in politics than ballots.
3. Both have not yet renounced violence as a political tool.
4. Both came to so called mainstream politics not because of their integrity and performance but because of a deal called 12 points peace pact done in Indian territory.
5. The near and dear ones of both personalities have gained higher economic and social status thanks to the peace process.
6.  Both are the integral part of Nepali politics where there is rampant corruption and immoral praxis and which is not being reduced despite of their participation.
7. Both of them do not hesitate to use Indian leverage to gain personal positions.
8. Both of them cannot give up factional politics to control the party apparatus.

However there are few differences that make the Nepali press to modulate the public opinion in favor of Bhattarai and in against of Prachanda:

1. Bhattarai finally came to know that in order to survive and continue with his ambition he must follow the words of Einstein:In order to form an immaculte member of a flock of sheep, one must, above all, be a sheep. Bhattarai was a made-to-measure suit for the political class of Nepal. However, Prachanda behaved --like Einstein described-- as an intelligent fool who made things bigger, more complex, and more violent; it takes a touch of genius -and lots of courage- to move in the opposite direction.

2. Prachanda was a kind of panda brahmin of India -very demanding and strict- who wanted PLA structure intact until his dream of being Nepali Lenin becomes reality whereas Bhattarai is very clever and is able to express his satisfaction with little bit of dakshina he can have as long as it allows him to shorten the rituals and take rest. Opting for the proffession of a panda is  alike trying for a lottery however being a kind of purohit brahmin assures you the resource of continous income.

One curiosity: Would you please inform us about the criteria that you follow while readying the HIMAL MEDIA PUBLIC OPINION POLL. It's not that I'm doubting over your professional integrity but would like to know the age, educational back ground, spots where the poll was conducted ie the socio-cultural and economical status of to give the poll its due credit.

As Einstein said, "The important is not to stop questioning . Curiosity has its own reason of existing."

5. Kedar Sharma

Its silly and really ridiculous to have any trust in the Comuunist of Nepal. There is really no difference in character and morality between Dahal and Bhattarai. We should not be fooled. Wake up,  communism is blast from the past. Even the Chinese have a hard with it. What is sad is that there is no one in Nepal today to counter the communist thugs. NT writes that as follows abiut Dahal, " contradictory statements, moving to a luxurious villa, his business interests and his son's shenanigans". What a total jerk Dahal is and yet Nepalis worship him. I know that the Netas in NC and YEAMALEE are the same. If Nepalis want to choose Bhattrai as their President, something is really wrong in Nepal. Its sad because we have to pin our hopes on communist killers.  


6. Shyam
The Maoist are getting a taste of their own medicine. May 27th is drawing closer. What is the plan for RPP and the supporters of Gyanedra Shah. Its again the politics of Bandh. Nothing has changed. Who will be PM - Sushil or Deuba or Poudel, who will India pick. Its really a banana republic, you know.  

7. Nirmal
With regard to my curiosity, the link is much more clear. Thank you.

8. Tapan Das
Never trust Bigreko Bahun.,the self-alinated ones in  particular.  They are all liars.Nanga nache hazar dau.
Let us all show them their Waterloo in the co9ming election by bycotting them, no vote for these wild animals. Enough is enough.
Fresh fields and new pastures.
Vote for young democrats. Vote for the likes of Gagan Thapas.
Discad these fossilized lioars ,condemn the fallen ideology, vote for prosperous democratic Nepal.
 Punish these children of satans.

9. Durga Thapa
The Nepalis Netas are HATED and not LOVED by the Nepali people. They are scared for their  life, so they need a heavy security of thugs around them to go from point A to B. Why is this ?  Because, they are all the same, UML or UCPN or NC - LIARS and CHEATS, that have stolen  large fortunes of the people. Its time to get rid of these old rotten apples. Dahal should be kicked out Nepal, he can go serve the Indians. A new generation of leaders must emerge now, if Nepal is to move ahead. A batch of leaders that are indepnednt from the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. How about a woman leader,  does it always have to a male Bahun for Nepal. All the Bahuns so far, they are all tuned out to be crooks, can anyone deny this.      

10. Suresh
Two national unity governments in three weeks ! Two freaking PM in 3 weeks,  what kind joke is this. Come on people are U not sick of this drama... are U not ready to puke at this leadership.  Come on Man.

11. Padma Kafle
Appeal to the second generations leaders of NC. Do have the guts and brawns as well as brains to tackle the communist scrouge head on. If the Communist are really supported by the Indians who want to disrupt Nepal, then find support from the Americans or the British, or even the Pakistanis. The bottom line is to wipe the C word from Nepali politics. If UML and UCPN want to survive they can change and become democrats. This is happens all the time.  The time to run Nepal as a Corporation instead of a Nation has come. We need busniness graduates and engineers to build our country. People who are capable of solving problems on a daily basis. The old Nepali style has to go. Bhattarai can stay, he has a Ph. D, but let him join the Nepali Congress. The other uneducted mass of idiotic leadership must be wiped out. This is the 1st and foremost task of Nepalis.      

12. Danny Shrestha
Nepal Bandh is now in full swing.  Bombs have exploded in Janakpur and Birgunj. Far west is crippled. Who is suffering from this,  ordinary people and the country. Its deja vu. Only now the Maoist are at the recieving end. Lets finish the Maoist for ever and ever. We should put our boots on their neck and keep the pressure building. Its time for pay back. The people should rise and revolt.      

13. Akash Bhairav
Looking at the content published by NT over the past several months- it is more than appropriate if you now rename this weekly to

14. who cares
everyone knows agent puspa is a giant liar, i used to think agent bhatterai was a liar but not as big as agent puspa.... but lately i have come to believe that agent bhatterai is far bigger and the most dangerous liar than agent puspa...  ......... if we remember the past trends, other nepalese will too realize that agent bhatterai is the greatest liar in the history of mankind till date.

###### efficiency: the agent bhatteria has always been devil of destruction. all he does is destruction. from blowing up our infrastructure, to introducing ethnic violence, destroying our economy to mismanagement of road expansion, institutionalizing corruption to terrorizing bureaucrats by illegal transferring, distributing tax money to wasting tax money on partying, 

this agent has been the most incompetent administrator in the history of nepal- supplying of fuel, dealing with agitators, total deadlock in development, signing contracts with foreign company, ....

i think agent got too many bad qualities, on of them is giving up too easily (incomplete job), in the middle, careless, wasting money and time like- listening to public grievance, loan for self-employment, road expansion (poorly managed, poor execution) , etc etc.

in conclusion: opportunist liar, bad administrator, murderer, poor judgement, opportunist, unreliable, 

a can-do mentality: this is the same agent who prevented agent puspa, sub agent jhallu ram, madhav nepal from completing peace process. he prevented previous govt from developing hydro power, today he himself is signing those deals. his can do mentality regarding road expansion is a complete mess.   

if foolish crowd keep on following this kind of phonies, we will never have development or peace,, one will pull leg of other and there will never be any progress. 



15. who cares

16. Budabaaje
The so-called 'naya sambhidhan' and 'naya Nepal' have been exposed several times over in the past few years for the hollow promise that it (always) was. It was only a trick for greedy, short-sighted and selfish politicians to get back to power; and for India to destabilize Nepal and gain ultimate control over us. The opportunist politicians and 'civil society' were just pawns in the hands of India.

There's no need for this pointless, empty 'new constitution' crap. Revive the 1990 Constitution and bring back the Monarchy!

And to NT and Himalmedia, well, why don't you also ask how many people are for new constitution vs. 1990 Constitution? Why don't you also ask whether people prefer constitutional monarchy or (banana) republic? These are the real questions that need to be asked and answered. Do you have the guts to do that?!

17. Prava Basnet
Freedom of press and a vibrant civil society,both lacking badly in Nepal. Its disgusting to see how silent the so called brains of C S are these days. Is everyone who is anyone in Kathmandu, an agent of India. The silence is deafing.Its an open secret that both Dahal and Bhattrai are RAW agents, both are traitors of Nepal, both are liars, and both should be tried for treason. With this two individual bidding India's commands, Nepalisare going to suffer. Look at all the fighting, midnight deals, back stabbbings, knives at each other's throat, how can an ordinary Nepalijanata believein this bunch of corrupted leaders. its always lousy politicsthat dominates Nepali... who are still lloking for the prosperity 1990 was supposed to bring.

18. Surendra Thapa Magar
The political Mafia of Nepal should be really worried.  Everyone now know how pathetic liars they have turned out to be. Nepal is not a private property of the leaders of 4 major parties.  The idiotic group of leaders have now screwed things up so badly, its getting to a point of no return. People are openly talking about revenge against the Netas and the Indians as well.  If Nepal is divided, I think India will also be a big loser.  People like Bhattarai or Dahal have destroyed Nepal and Nepalis will not forgive them. Watch and wait and see...........

19. Pankaj Chalise
The Ranas looted, ruled and failed the people. The Shahs did the same thing. And now, the Netas are doing the same thing. The Netas need to come from the Ivory Tower, people are angry and fed, all hell can break loose, its a powder keg ready to explode.     

20. Budabaaje
#19 - Even Ranas and Shahs never did it this bad. No matter what they looted, they always did their best to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the country. They were always concerned about national pride. At least they provided some peace and law and order.The current crop of Bahun netas loot like no one ever has before and give nothing back to the country and people ...except their empty 'bhasan'!

21. BB 2

..that's not to say that, therefore, we should go back to Rana-Shah rule. Those were different times. Point is current so-called 'democratic' rulers are even worse.

As I said before, 1990 Constitution was the right thing for Nepal. Better than getting the Indians to secretly write up a new 'republican' constitution for Nepal, it's better that we re-instate the 1990 Constitution.

22. Krishna S.
People who have voted on this polls are obviously more intelligent than most of the commentators above. I shall refrain from my usual cynicism. There is some hope after all. Thank you NT.

23. Chiranjibi Nepal
All the political leader should be responsible for the nations and the people who helped them even in the critical situation of Nepal. Nepalese citizen wants stability and progress in all the sector. They are always positive who work for the people and the nation . all the leader are not bad there are many good leader also but they are not able to do work properly. discuss and worried about the nation for the nepalese people...............  

24. Prema Thapa
The real force behind the Bahun Netas, the backbone of these failed and corrupted Netas, that entity needs to be destroyed for Nepali's welfare. Nepal has a Constitution and now with so much meddling Nepali Netas want to divide the people and the country. Shame and only shame. Gagan Thapa, bring some glory to the Thapa clan. Do not be a weakling, standing on the sideline. If the Bahuns are destroying Nepal, then the Bahuns needs to be taken out of power, I am talking about the political leadership. Kamal Thapa do justice to the Thapa name. Even the old man Surya Bahadur Thapa, rise up and protect the Nepal you love. The blood of Thapas should be boiling, the country and the people depend on you. Its time to punish the culprits that have brought so much shame and poverty to Nepal.   

25. Govind Karki
Its makes happy to see the Maoist at the recieving end. Disolve the C A. Send the Maoist back to the jungle for they are jangalis.  The tide is turning. The need of the moment, more Bandhs, more protest, more bombs, its pay back, give the Maoist what they gave us. There should no respecte for corrupted and lying politicians that have only looted the wealth of the people.  I mean every word when I write, let the Maoists go to hell. 

26. Pratap Shah
There is news reports about extending the CA once again. For real, will everyone just roll over and let the shameless and corrupted to their bone politicians get away with another lie. All of them, ( N C, UML, UCPN -Maoist), they have failed the people. So its time to try something new and different. We cannot let these uncouth Netas to get away with the pain they have inflicted on the people and the Motherland. The politicinas should all be locked up in jail, their wealth forefeited. Let the Army run the country for a while. The Army can bring in law and order. Maybe we need to consult with Pakistani Generals.  Nepalis are just tired and need a break, any break that will restore peace and prosperity, even an Army rule.   

27. Hemant Rana
Krishna S # 22 is an Indian spy. His comments are always pro India.

28. John Kelleher

>> "The good news is that public opinion still matters in this country. It should matter because only then can we quantify public anger and prod political leaders to respond and reform their ways. Prime Minister Bhattarai's popularity is proof that people still value integrity and performance [...]"  <<

I am sorry, but this is patently ridiculous. 

The succession of variable-point agreements brokered between the leading netas [and enabled by New Delhi's ever-solicitous hand] proves that public opinion means less than it ever has before in Nepal.  If the latest Himalmedia poll numbers mean anything at all, it is that the mainstream "democratic" parties have sabotaged their own legitimacy so badly that an unreformed terrorist organization headed by volatile political mavericks enjoys greater public credibility than the parties that have long since abdicated their responsibility as the stewards of multiparty democracy. 

A fractious caretaker government headed by Nepal's own homegrown version of Theodore Kaczynski is not going to cobble together two consensus governments in two weeks whilst magically resolving the most intractable points of Republican Nepal's nebulous constitution.  The latest five-point deal has done nothing but create fresh benchmarks that the government is guaranteed to fail to meet.  When (not if) the CA grants itself another extension, it will have these to cite as justification, and public opinion will continue to mean as little as it ever has.

>> "The poll also shows that the higher politicians fly the further they fall [...]"  <<

Agreed, but the example cited scarcely had much to do with "integrity and performance."  Being the man on top of the heap has never done anyone's popularity any favors in Nepal.  It is what prompts the cleverest amongst the political class to eschew responsibility.  I look forward to the NT's rationalization when Babblin' Baburam's meteoric course streaks a similar downward arc.

29. Kopila Shrestha

Day by day, more and more people are getting angry. But this is not enough. We need to make an example of the Netas currently ruling Nepal. We need make these Netas pay for the loot they commited and the sufferings they have created for the general public. These Netas are swines and deserve to treated as swines. When will the people wake up. Every thing is broken. Who will pay for the Agni Air crash. Will they just get away once again or does any one have the balls to make them pay. Nepalis leaders have sunk to an all time low, bring the image of all Nepalis down to a gutter. Its amazing that no one seems to care. Its amazing that no honest person comes forward to tackle the evil and dishonest. How long are we going to keep believing the Maoist lies. Is there no hope in Nepal. Is this our future, to suffer each day. Do we just give in and give up. Are we all so cowardly that we can defend our God given rights.     

30. Indira Basnet
There is a new word for Nepalis, COWARDS. The loot that started in 1990 continues unabated. But everyone seems to be happy for we have not seen any opposition to the looters. The country is going down the DRAIN, but we do not see one Nepali in the horizon to save us from this destruction. 22 years a long, long time to suffer. Unless we clean house, nothing will change. So lets see what happens

31. Rajani Thapa
Do not believe the lies of the Maoist, people like Dahal and Bhattrai that have killed, looted, lied, cheated. Ask Dahal how he became so rich so suddnely. What is his source of his income. And this man claims that he is a communist. Nepalis are blind. Same goes for other leaders of other parties. Nepal will never move ahead or prosper with thieves at the helm of affairs. Today in Nepal, we cannot find one honest leader that we can count on. Ask again why and how the political parties and their leaders have become so welathy and rest of the people so dirt poor. We are in a hopeless situation and mired in corruption. Maoist terrorist are destroying Nepal and no one seems to care or no one can do anything to stop them. I think this is a confirmation that we are living under a CURSE.  

32. Dipendra Sharma
The time has come to get rid ofall the party bosses. The crooks. They have only advanced their own personal agenda and the country has gone to the dogs. A new and younger generation of leaders must take over the old and decaying. A new generation, a stronger generation, a proud generation can solve the problems. A corrupted man, a shameless man, aman with no character or credibilty can never succeed and all the old foggies belong in this category. We must bring down the current leaders if we want to move ahead. There is no other option.

33. shylock
How would you like it if I took a part of your salary and in return I will stop you from working efficiently, disturb you and at times vandalize your property. I might also plan to take a larger part of your Salary next for all the "Benefits" I've given you! Will you do that for me? Pretty Please!

We've got Income Tax, Rent Tax, Road Tax, Import Duty, Vehicle Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Unregulated pricing everywhere and all I get from our people in power is a just a big fat middle finger! 
What do I pay my taxes for? So that vandalism, corruption, looting, murdering, can thrive..........  

34. kale kisne
fully agree with Ms. Mahato. having been one for over a decade, quit after realizing that the further one went into the profession the greater Patrukar one became. happy now, looking down on the air-bags.  

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)