The effects of climate change were visible on the mountain slopes of Baadasur while walking through the natural trail on a hiking trip at the beginning of January. The Rhododendron, which normally starts blooming in the second week of February and lasts until April under regular climatic conditions, is now observed blooming in the middle of winter. This anomaly indicates the adverse effects of climate change due to global warming.
Nepal, in its neighborhood, is surrounded by countries with nuclear power in their arsenal: China, India, and Pakistan. These countries are so uniquely characterized that one is the arch-rival and adversary to the other, facing each other at the frontiers ready to engage in conflict at any time.
There was a time when politics was taken as a field of study with deep interest and politicians were given due respect because of their conviction, dedication, and service to society. Leaders were taken as the harbinger of change and acclaimed. But today, the scenario has dramatically taken a U-turn where politicians are taken as scoundrels, and thieves of the treasury because of their changed role and contribution to society with a bad name.
Often, petty interests of political parties override national interests. Since more parties mean more diverse interests, undue pressure is put on the Prime Minister to reconcile differences, and at a certain point, it leads to their breaking.
Nepal is losing its momentum in meeting the expectations of its people as a flourishing democratic nation with prosperity and advancement. In the 15 years following the announcement of Nepal as a federal democratic republic in 2008, and particularly after the promulgation of the constitution under a new political setup, the country is descending into chaos, exhibiting all the characteristics of a failed or failing state.
There have been murmurings, gossip, and serious talks within the corridors of Singhadurbar or its periphery about BRI projects, MCC, or Indian investments in hydropower projects, especially in the Koshi and Karnali river belts and the Arun River, a tributary of Koshi. Some time ago, the streets and general populace were divided into for and against MCC in a political line as stimulated by their leaders.
Nepal, as a land-linked nation between the two emerging global powers China and India, draws the attention of the superpowers as well, including the United States. Nepal stands to benefit from this situation immensely if it can conduct its diplomacy properly and wisely.
From a diplomatic perspective, maintaining warm and friendly relations between the neighbors may be one dimension and the monetary benefits the Agneepath Scheme brings along with it another, but accepting Agnipath has more disadvantages for Nepal and Nepalis.
There are a host of issues before the election commission and the state to address as a challenge in order to strengthen and defend the electoral democracy, fostering more inclusive and participatory elections.
It would be a litmus test for Nepal to maintain and continue its age-old non-aligned foreign policy in case any emerging regional super power presses her and forces her to oblige them with a strategic partnership. Tilting against the other with a security alliance would be a blunder for its survival. There could possibly be a Himalayan Triangle, a formation of three nations China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, rather than a Himalayan Quadrangle with the inclusion of Nepal.
By developing residential community areas near the economic zones, the government could ensure the realization of the constitutional provision of creating a just society by levelling the playing field with fair access to jobs and educational opportunities for the landless. Distributing public land plots to the disadvantaged is not a permanent solution.
In order to emancipate and liberate oursewlves from the caste system, we have to, first and foremost, erase and eliminate it from our minds and remind ourselves that discrimination is an act of sin. But that’s a herculean task as the caste system has been stuck deep in our thoughts for over a millennia.
The CIDP is devised to address the requirements at the community level for smaller projects, which could not be included in the national level program (budget). So, it contradicts not only the principle of decentralization but also the democratic ideals because of its distributive character.
Dilip Mahato was crushed to death by a tipper truck in Dhanusha recently. Mahato was an environmental activist and was protesting against the haphazard extraction of sand and stones from the streams and river basins in his district and beyond. He faced the wrath of the illegal mine extractors and faced the consequences with life. Similarly, in another case Pranesh Gautam was arrested for posting a satirical film review on YouTube in June last year. In October last year, singer Durgesh Thapa and Samir Ghising were also taken into custody by the police claiming that their creations promoted anti-social values. Apparently, there was no civic voice heard in the street against this.