18-24 January 2013 #639

Pardon Mantri Bhattarai


It is an insult to say that Prime Minister Rambabu presides over the most corrupt grovelment we’ve ever had in the history of the Federal Kleptocratic Rapepublic of Nepal. Those of us who are a bit long in the tooth remember with nostalgia and fondness good, old-fashioned corruption when we had scandals named after Niki Lauda, or Sudan. Those were the days when the prime minister’s daughter took a teensy weensy commission on some construction contract here and a jet leasing deal there. So what an affront on the BRB administration that we call it ‘corrupt’. What a slur on its capacity for plunder and state capture. It’s like saying Al Capone was a pickpocket.

All this hasn’t gone unnoticed in Nepal’s lively social media scene, where people have been posting variations on the title of Prime Minister Bhattarai.

An unedited selection:

Primordial Minister Bhattarai

Pardon Mantri Bhattarai

PM Bhattedanda

Pradhan Monkey Bhattarai

Sri Tin Bhattarai Maharaj

Crime Minister Bhattarai

Prime Sinister Bhattarai

Promo Minister Bhattarai

West Minister Bhattarai

South Minister Bhattarai

The folks at Kathmandu Fried Chicken (KFC) must be heaving a sigh of relief that their minor infraction of importing drumsticks from India and not Brazil has been overshadowed by the news this week that inspectors in London found that one-third of the burgers being sold there were made up of horse meat. The Ass’ first reaction to the news from London was: at least it wasn’t donkey meat. I guess we have to be thankful that at least KFC serves chicken and we’re not inadvertently eating crow when we order a bucket of Hot Wings. However, we must ensure greater vigilance. Our own food safety inspectors must do a DNA analysis on all butcher shops so as to ascertain that the sudden absence of street dogs in Tripureswor isn’t somehow linked to the price of mutton in Dharara holding steady. This happened in Nepalganj last year when elderly donkeys were found to have been pulverised and sold as goat keema. I don’t want to be species-ist about it, but are all of you valued readers absolutely sure that the buff momo you ate today wasn’t adulterated with common street fauna?

One of the predictable fallouts of high profile war crime cases coming out of the woodworks is that it has temporarily patched up the differences between PKD and BRB. Like the boy and the tiger in Life of Pi, the two find themselves on the same boat. Suddenly, Comrade Awesome’s roar has lost its ferocity, and he told his party faithful on Monday: “At this rate we will all be in jail, and won’t be able to travel anywhere in the world again. So we must never leave the government, we must back up the prime minister.” Everyone nodded in assent. Instead of weakening Comrade Laldhoj, therefore, the Lama and Dekendra cases have strengthened his position within his party. Which means BRB now plans to stick it out for as long as he can, and if the NC and UML pile on the pressure he’ll offer an ‘independent civil society prime minister’ deal, or a CA revival option. The NC and UML are in a dilemma: having civil society Maoist lackey as PM is even more unacceptable than allowing BRB to continue, and reincarnating the CA is worse than both. The NC should have just taken the Home Ministry when it was offered to them.

Long and short of it is that there will be all kinds of fun and games in the Kathmandu Spring. Everyone and their grandmothers are going to be out on the streets protesting. Gender rights activists, the film industry, Baddie journalists and Goodie journalists are already out there with rival protests, soon they will be joined by the NC’s fraternal organisations, and the UML will field its own affiliated groups to demand the PM’s resignation. And as soon as it gets a little warmer, the ruling party will also be out on the streets that it newly widened protesting against the protesters. Must be one helluva job these days being a riot policeman.

Mukti-cha is willingly allowing himself to be BRB’s lighting rod to atone for having deserted the Maobaddie party during the revolution. As an ultra-chauvinist ethno-federalist the Attorney General has done everything in his power to pardon war crimes and now finds himself splattered as the fhit hit the san after he sent written instructions to Dailekh police to stop investigating Dekendra’s torture and murder. Doesn’t look like Comrade Freedom is going to the Land of the Free in his lifetime.

The total bill for the Dash Baddie Convention has just come in: Rs 25 million of the cash they extorted from Kathmandu businesses. And what did they achieve: they carried on the Kangresi tradition of keeping septuagenarian Buda Kaka Kiran at the helm. Poor Comrades Cloudy and Bigplop, they thought their time had come.

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