The Poor and Politics in Nepal: Some Random Thoughts

Published On: February 6, 2023 09:00 AM NPT By: Akhilesh Tripathi

It's a good thing that we have a wealth of "isms" – communism, Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, socialism, liberalism, capitalism etc - to choose from to solve poverty, because clearly, just one isn't enough!

The past few weeks were jam-packed with meetings, so many that you'd think the politicians were having a meeting marathon. But of course, all of these powwows couldn't have just been for some fancy food and a chance to sit in a big chair. Oh no, these meetings were all about making life easier for the poor, because after all, the government and political parties are there to serve the less fortunate, right?

I mean, let's be real; the wealthy can fend for themselves. But the government, in its infinite wisdom, has created numerous programs and commissions, like the Poverty Alleviation Fund, Poverty Alleviation Program, Landless Squatters' Commission, and the Prime Minister's Program for the Poor, besides a separate ministry of poverty alleviation, to help the struggling masses. There's so many of these initiatives, the government probably doesn't even know about all of them. But, in a stroke of genius, they've even issued ID cards to the poor households, making them easy to spot! Has any other government in the world been able to accomplish such a feat? I think not.

Looks like our dear leaders have finally realized that the poor exist! How kind of them to have marathon meetings to save the only population readily available for exploitation, I mean, "uplifting." It's a good thing we have a wealth of "isms" – communism, Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, socialism, liberalism, capitalism to name a few - to choose from to solve poverty, because clearly, just one isn't enough! And don't you just love how political parties use the poor to win elections and become rich themselves? The poor are truly the unsung heroes of our country. Without them, who would our politicians pretend to care about to gain power? Truly, the poor are the glue holding this whole charade together!

Where would politicians go to pretend they care about the common folk during election season? Who would they point to as proof of their generosity and concern for the less fortunate? Without the poor, how would they showcase their faux humanitarianism by taking selfies while feasting on meals paid for by the taxpayers? The poor are essential, not just for photo ops, but also as the designated taste-testers for the free food handouts during election time. After all, politicians can't claim to be gourmet chefs if they don't have anyone to feed! Keep the poor hungry, keep them poor - it's a time-tested political tradition!!

The poor - bless their clueless souls - are lost in the daily grind of survival, wondering how they'll pay the bills, send their kids to school, and make ends meet. Little do they know that their rulers are working tirelessly to improve their lives - in air-conditioned cars and with imported bottled water, no less! These downtrodden folk are completely ignorant of the free education, healthcare, and clean drinking water promised by politicians during election season. The only thing they know for sure is that they're poor. They're the perfect target for anyone looking to vent their frustrations, host a symposium, or even push them to the brink of starvation. The poor are just waiting for someone to take advantage of their vulnerability. So go ahead, exploit them, because they're too busy being poor to fight back!

Politicians, masters of deception and spin, have found a cure for poverty that never fails - blame the poor for their own misfortunes and frame a servant or two for good measure. In grand public spectacles, they preach about ending poverty to the masses, purging themselves of guilt as they ascend to deity status in the eyes of the downtrodden.

But the real path to liberation? Just please the politicians and live a life of luxury and wealth! Don't believe me? Look no further than the overflowing bank accounts of our so-called poverty-fighters. And remember, poverty is only reserved for the chosen few, those deemed worthy by the powers that be. Meanwhile, the less fortunate spend their lives dodging death while the politicians plan their next generation's wealth. But don't worry, they assure us they'll provide two square meals a day to the poverty-stricken masses... someday.

Oh, the irony! We'll make enough noise to wake the dead if the milk price goes up by a measly two rupees, or heaven forbid, if the internet goes out for a few seconds. But when it comes to the struggles of the less fortunate, who are fighting to survive with just a roof over their heads and a full stomach, we're as silent as a church mouse. It's like we've got selective outrage or something.

But, just imagine if the oppressed finally spoke up! The show would be worth front-row seats and a bag of popcorn!!

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