1-7 July 2016 #815

In no uncertain terms

The Ass took time off from his busy schedule this week to interview a visiting globe-trotting member of the Development Set.
The Ass took time off from his busy schedule this week to interview a visiting globe-trotting member of the Development Set. It was a free and frank exchange of views which in a clear and precise manner answered some of the burning issues of the day.


Ass: Can you tell us something about the timing of your visit to Nepal? 

Visiting Dignitary: Certainly. We arrived in Kathmandu at 12:30 pm on Tuesday 28 June 2016 AD, it took us an hour to clear immigration and our baggage arrived at the carousel at 14:45 pm. 

Q: Oh I see. Does this mean you are now going to make up for lost time?

A: Yes, we will be trying to catch up with our near- to medium-term fact-finding, monitoring and evaluating appraisal so we can anticipate important and paradoxical trends. For example, there are organisational, systemic, thematic and institutional issues, there is a transformative agenda in the context of economic globalisation in which Nepal cannot avoid being involved. The key to the future is therefore to maximise the strengths and minimise the weaknesses in all approaches to interdisciplinary holistic and collaborative strategies that build on potential risk scenarios. 

Q: Does that mean the international community is committed to maintaining its present level of assistance to Nepal despite competing crises elsewhere in the world? 

A: Let me put it this way: yes, no and maybe. But whichever way, it will require a sectorwide stakeholder consultation at all levels and a strategy that will depend more on changing the structures of organisations and more importantly the institutions that embody them: especially the mainstreaming efforts and the basic organisational re-intermediarisation that are a necessary starting point. In other words, and I can’t emphasise this enough, we need an enabling environment for a bottoms-up approach to empowerment. 

Q: Is that a yes or a no? 

A: Since you are asking me directly, let me answer you obliquely. Although it is vitally important to be cognisant of our global, national and supra-national contexts in the aftermath of Brexit, we need to work under a consistent interdependent framework to institutionalise multilateral monitoring mechanisms without undermining the need for strong localised initiatives, unless of course they are buffeted by various global and regional exigencies. 

Q: What on earth are you talking about?

A: OK, I will get straight to the point. What it demands is a radically-participatory consultative engagement, a sustainability paradigm so that we can problematise the creation of solidarities and identity expressions, consensus-building and the prospective vision of an alternative paradigm. We have to redefine the context in which the normative discourses and pluralistic advocacy are agreed upon between systematic powers and structural shifts. 

Q: You met the Prime Minister this morning. Was that your message to him as well? 

A: Yes, we made it very clear in no uncertain terms that the lowest common denominator is square root of x-cube minus the perpendicular distance between the y-axis and the moment of inertia that passes through the centre of mass. Which is why Nepal needs to take concerted action to make intergenerational linkages between fake universalism and a missionary drift towards a more elevated parochial truth and transmogrifying hegemonic values so that there can be a compelling rationale to adopt a rights-based approach on cross-cutting overarching issues by one section of interlocutors without in any way obviating the need for legally enforceable international obligations concerning universal jurisdiction. In short, this means accessing strong analytical and methodological tools in a time-bound workplan of diversifcation and decentralisation. 

Q: And what was the Prime Minister’s response? 

A: He fell asleep.

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