Whether you accept it or not, Politics is the all-time most discussed topic in Nepal. Nepalese within the country and our diaspora rapidly spreading throughout the world is deeply indulged into several political platforms.
I don’t even know how this notion of Nepalese youths hate politics became mainstream when all I see is tremendous number of Nepalese youths extremely convoluted in politics. Most of us are involved in at least one political party and if not, surely our parents. In a country where affiliating in a Political party is more like a continuation of family lineage, politics is bound to fail. If not, why is it so that despite our enthusiastic presence and involvement in politics, not much of optimism flourish?
The Problem in Consideration
Politics as a subject is continuously evolving. Despite wide variations over the subject-matter of politics, scholars, philosophers and intellectuals unanimously agree that power and people are the core element of politics. As of recent, there is extensive discourse in the west over the nature and course of 21st century politics. Prominent political thinkers and intellectuals are identifying the crucial challenges of today’s global politics and ways to address them. On the contrary, we at home are still debating if Bibeksheel Sajha should be considered a club or a political party. I personally feel that our core understanding about what politics is, is the root cause to where all of this went wrong entirely. Today, what our ‘youths’ do in the name of Students’ Union is an ample of how we do politics in this country. Such actions have not only made our political system dysfunctional but also ruined the possibilities of making this country prosper and stride.
Power is Vital than People
I have many friends with whom I discuss plenty of political issues ranging from the rise of Donald Trump in the US to the recent government restriction on Pathao and Tootle in Nepal. From many of them, what I’ve learned is the term ‘people’ missing from politics. Most of them only consider power as a vital element of politics. I argue that people generate ‘power’ and politicians are an intermediary whose primary job is to connect people with power. They firmly deny it. I see this opinion being hold by vast majority of Nepalese. If achievement of power is actually considered the sole objective of politics, what role do we have in politics? We become valueless whose voice will always be unheard and genuine interest always neglected. As such, people will simply become a medium for any politician to grasp power and authority. The notion of a strong, authoritarian leader benefits the country and leads it to prosperity is an outcome of our same narrow concept on power as the soul of politics. If we cut people and their voice from politics, what is left for us to celebrate? To consider power as ultimate is to hammer our own head.
Ineptitude of Leaders
Leaders lead people and their cause. They are progressive voice of people and society. A person should essentially possess some skills and qualifications in order to be called a leader. We all know what those basic criterion are, and we also know that our politicians seriously lack the qualities of a good leader. Knowledge is the very first thing they lack. I won’t argue that one should have a Harvard degree to be called a leader, but basic understanding about how things work is a must. Knowledge can be gained and broadened from experiences other than formal education. Most of our prominent politicians are neither visionary nor far-sighted. They lack ideas and skills to address people, their concerns, problems and ways to resolve it. They seriously lack adaptability, aren’t reliable and sincere. Otherwise, why is our economy not thriving as promised and expected even after such a huge political revolution? Big mouths, big talks and no work, it shows the prevalence of incompetency among our politicians.
Criminalization of Politics
Our recent political development shows court convicted criminals like Deepak Manange and Resham Chaudhary, among others, contesting elections from party tickets and getting elected to the parliament. Someone like Balkrishna Dhungel is pardoned and granted clemency despite huge public outrage. Where does this courage among our politicians come from? And more importantly, what will these people do in the sovereign Parliament other than sufficing their own interests? Corrupts are already there and to aid them further, people with criminal background are easily getting access to political parties. Mafias, dons and even tole-gundas get affiliated with political parties for safely operating their illegal activities and politicians utilize them for personal benefits. Protecting criminals and the crimes they do result into increment of impunity in the country. And where law-makers ultimately breach the law, can we ever establish rule of law?
Dominance of the Wealthy and Well-Connected
Nepotism and favouritism is a deep-rooted problem that spread from our society to our politics. From a very long time, Nepali politics is revolving around the same few dominant leaders and people who are well-connected with them. There are several camps and factions within a political party, most of them, entirely based on political opportunism. This unfair, biased practice negates the qualifications of a person and makes one’s successive future depend on his/her nexus with someone prominent. In the recent past, our politics has become expensive too. Several politicians have publicly admitted that it has now become very hard for any political worker to raise up the rank within the party or to contest elections without spending huge amount of money. If this is to continue, we will sooner reach that stage where a poor can neither join a political party nor contest election. This will further weaken our wretched democracy.
The Mess of Electoral System
We are a country of huge diversity. It is very challenging for a country with 125 caste variety that speaks 123 different languages to address and bring them all under the same umbrella. The Proportional Representation Electoral System was introduced to avert inequality and establish social justice. It was meant to provide opportunity for the underprivileged, minorities, women and marginalised communities to represent their unheard voices and concerns. But our political parties throttled this core principle of PR Electoral System for their advantage. Today, we see politicians nominating their wife, brothers and relatives to represent in the parliament. Those section of people for whom it was originally created never really got the benefit of it. These power monger politicians have manoeuvred all of us for their personal gains.
Absence of Transparency and Accountability
Corruption is a vital problem of this country and our politics has only helped unfurl it further. Nepal ranks 122 among 180 countries in the Global Corruption Index, published in 2018 by the Transparency International. Neither our system of governance nor our political parties are transparent and accountable to the general public. There are several instances where court convicted corrupts were warmly welcomed by a prodigious crowd of political workers. Five years ago, veteran Nepali Congress leader late Khum Bahadur Khadka was welcomed with 111 Kg of garland. Another convict, JP Gupta was also welcomed by an exhilarating crowd of political workers. Our political parties and politicians are never accountable of what they do, how they do and for whom they do things that adversely affect the life of common people like us. Unlike in the U.S. and some other countries, we don’ have specific laws and policies to regulate and monitor political funding. As a result, political donations received by political parties and politicians have become completely non-transparent.
The Trouble With Us
The list of problems with our politics keep growing and has shown little to no sign of improvement. We are more concerned over “what’s happening in the US?”, the future of #BREXIT, “why Narendra Modi is bad for India?”, but spend very less time to figure out what’s wrong with our own country. We don’t know where we are heading and are completely unaware about what we are getting and missing. If we cannot admit to have a faulty system of politics, we will never aspire to change for better.
The way we are, and the way we do politics in this country has long denounced the basics of accepted political principles and practices. Our version of dysfunctional politics still considers political belief as an outcome of family inheritance. We are never concerned on building a strong and better platform that is capable of holding our political ideals. Instead, we regularly come up with deceptive notions like an autocratic leadership completely transfigures the entire country forgetting that a decade ago, we all fought together to dethrone the tyrannical rule of such an autocratic king.
Our sheer hope of a prosperous and developed nation just hasn’t made its way simply because the soil where we have sowed the seeds is not fertile enough to produce the quality of politics we have desired. Sometimes I wonder if it was us who spoiled (our) politics or (our) politics that spoiled us? It still remains unclear but to quote French philosopher Joseph de Maistre, “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.”
El Camino: “Not many of us get a chance to start fresh”
The feature length film, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, rolls out as a long episode of the show, telling the escape story of Jesse Pinkman from his former self.
Back in 2013, when the last episode of the show Breaking Bad premiered, we saw the guy Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) screaming on top of his lungs in an El Camino as he finally managed his escape from the literal hole he was kept in by the neo-Nazis. That alone was a satisfying moment as the beloved loyal anti-hero got his freedom back. Now, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, picks up the story exactly where it left off. This time the escape is from the trauma and consequences of his naivete.
The movie unfolds as he stands with a former acquaintance, whose identity I won’t be spoiling here. Their conversation ends on a symbolic note where they take upon “The last Frontier, Alaska” as the ideal place to start fresh. The movie pretty much revolves around Jesse venturing into his memories and planning his next move to get there. Time and again he is haunted by the shadows of his time under the captivity of Todd and the nazis. Through the movie he holds on to the slightest of the possibility of his new life. The kid that followed Mr. White’s every decision, now reflects on his inaction and idiocy back then while trying hard to survive every step now. With all the Albuquerque police on the chase he carefully assess the situation and acts as a man who has nothing more to lose.
The movie reverberates through cameos of different characters. The second trailer flashed the old friends of Jesse, Badger and skinny Pete were the first one to have him knocking on their doors. Apparently they were the only humans who he thought were on his side and they didn’t let him down as he was their “hero and shit.” However the first trailer went all in as a 1 min spinoff to the movie; for the cuts of the trailer isn’t even in the movie. The movie has appearances of other key characters from the original show. As I had watched the full show years ago, the movie felt much closer and relevant but that doesn’t mean the movie doesn’t work as a standalone story.
Whatsoever the case, the one thing the movie does and does perfectly is giving Jesse Pinkman a clouser he deserved. The funky kid who liked the philosophy of “going where the universe takes you” probably understands the metaphor in it now. The last 48 hrs of Jesse in New Mexico as shown by Vince Gilligan’s direction is spot on for me. The hints of his new life is all over the flashbacks while the consequences of his old one is what he is trying to escape from. Ending with him in Alaska as a new man, his “goodbye letter” to his ex-girlfriend’s son made us realise that he indeed can not make things “right”. Although the letter also shines on the fact that we still can apologise for our actions and move on with a fresh start.
Satisfying at its core, the movie is, expectedly, done justice by the amazing play from Aaron Paul. The two hours of screen time feels complete and overall the movie leaves with the relish of the show.
Movie Review: Cha Maya Chapakkai
Cha Maya Chapakkai is a movie to be rated 4/5 considering the facts and factors mentioned below.
Comic timing toward political innuendo takes plot atop
Entering in a movie theater with a mindset that the film could be a dud can backlash, as watchers can witness more of negatives aspects, eventually ruining their investment and time. The best way to do it is, watch till the end, and don’t set any mindset for better results yield.
This week’s release ‘Cha Maya Chapakkai,’ scared the hell out of the production team, as can be seen from their Facebook status & posts, as they were perpetually alleging some people playing games on their back to ruin the movie by spreading negativity. What made them scare so much? Either the movie was mediocre, or the movie fraternity was against them for some vested interests. Nevertheless, hard work pays off, which is likely to happen as most of the theaters got thronged with people on day one. Thanks to the publicity in both ways—pro and con. Also, the enthusiasm in theater staffs, most probably working on a commission basis, proves that they sensed post Dashain bonus which may help to clear their festival dues.
The days to follow and the box office results will have the verdict, as the initial prediction could be just a tip of the iceberg.
Let’s divulge the name, why didn’t they cash on the Chakka Panja franchise? Did they take a big risk? If this is the risk, then it is its worth. People well getting obnoxious with the self declared Raja character that Deepak Raj Giri was portraying, who was shrewd, and clever, if not cunning, and was entwined with the legacy to cut loose on financial and social matters. Nevertheless, other side characters are more or less the same as shown in terms of their dialogue delivery, and acting. The production team’s astrological values looked like to have guided them to put the term 6 (cha) in their venture, but in this case, there was not any relevance of this name in the plot, rather some solid name even without 6 would have made the movie name sound relevant, and not make them not sound overtly superstitious.
Another question is why Deepa Shree Niroula did not direct this movie with back-to-back success in her previous projects? Who knows, she could have directed the movie better than the incumbent. Also there was a special appearance room for her at the final scene with Magene Budo, where again she was ditched. This question is easy to ask, but could be hard to answer because the production banner also shows her name, full fledged. The plot is interwoven on the backdrops of two villages—one with water resource abundance, and the other with its paucity. And how political indifferences with vested interest can hamper the commoners is the conflict. What makes a good political leader—the principle, dogmas they follow or, their caliber to solve problems of people to quality of life? These questions are definitely answered with a tinge of love, romance, which antagonists try to use as honey trap that eventually backfires, ending the story in a super happy mood. Almost all the dialogues are superb and natural as they use the body language, complex vocabularies, complicated idioms & phrases alike our top-notch political leaders, and the good part is, they are not mimicked. There is no question what so ever about acting, as the characters fit in their roles perfectly, leaving no room for error and improvement.
Nothing is perfect in the world, neither the movie is. As the movie does not fall under slapstick category, so the maintenance of verisimilitude becomes essential and eminent. Some scenes are slacked, as when Jeetu Nepal is shown mulling over to crash on the marriage ceremony to elope with the bride with scores of people attending the function. And the very next scene, he is running with her hand-on-hand, leaving audience scratch their head in anguish. Cinematography is good with proper use of wide, short, close up shots, and not using excess drones shots add to the glitters. Talking about the background score, at times they relied on the classic revolutionary song from nineties, ‘Gaun Gaun Bata Utha’ which is fitting; however, with only one romantic song, they still could have worked on a revolutionary song and used it for background score too. With people complaining, not having enough songs, this would have really done a world of good to the movie, as the sequence for this song was well set in the second half when the full blooded revolution on high.
The movie is inspired from the true incidents as shown in the initial credits, so there is no question about the conflict, and the introduction part is also taken care with nice narration, so as story telling stands at its best, but the conclusion which I think has been improvised—as for a movie it needs a little fabrication has lacked as characters are shown changing their mind so easily—which does not look too practical as they were presented bold and stubborn throughout. Unlike its first half, which was flowing nicely, the second half is little sluggish, and predictable, as per the standards. Another point, the team should consider in their forthcoming projects, which they have been repeating time and again is to follow basic traffic etiquettes. Yes, in emergency cases, it is understandable to ride double pillion on a bike, but if the riders are made to use helmets, that can add realistic touch and also avoid cautionary note of ‘follow traffic rules’ on lower right of the screen. Heroes look better in capes and also in helmets, while riding motorbikes.
The movie is well recommended for political, apolitical and nonpolitical. Having said that, for a developing country, which has been witnessing mammoth political changes every decade, it is hard to say, who is nonpolitical, so it is recommended for all. It could be best for the people who feel pride of themselves, just by claiming to have not known the name of president and prime minster, as they don’t like politics. This is the second venture of team where they have mingled politics with farce. The first one— Wada No. 6 too revolves around this theme. On that case, they were skeptical, so they hid the theme by not portraying any political affiliation in the trailer. In this project, with the previous success for which they harvested accolades, they were confident to highlight politics as one of the themes, as they have clearly shown flags of political parities fluttering nice and high in the trailer.
All in all, go watch it. The phenomenal comic timings on a sensitive subject will pay off for your time. Definitely, try to pick the ones in your circle, who say, they don’t like politics, and they will get the answer why did not they like it, and also they will get answers for their political innuendoes.
This review is by Mahendra P Joshi. He is the writer of internationally well-received book, Rocking Rolling Rolpa. His book has been placed in Hollywood Database. Mr. Joshi occasionally likes to review books and movies. He had previously worked for The Himalayan Times.
Oh! I miss India and I am visiting her soon
There is only one race, and that is human race; there is only one country and that is Earth. Rests are all socially and politically constructed divisions. I plan to unsee the divisions and walk the part of the Earth to connect with fellow humans and if possible, to connect them with other humans through this website and through our page.
I need a serious break. In last 2 years, I haven’t taken any off, any vacation, or any break from work. Just slogging my arse off and now body is screaming to take a break. Out of many options, I am choosing India this time, because I miss her. I truly do.
I had spent significant amount of my time there in India and then 2 years back, I packed my bag for Nepal, my home country, to take my entrepreneurial journey further. In last 2 years, world has changed significantly and so my perception and my thought process. In these 2 years, I have grown interest in culture, history, humanity, and my interest in youths have gone more deeper. Anything and everything about humans fascinate me now. In this process of growing up, I have been closely observing India, especially online activities of Indian youths and I could see Indian youths that I had never seen before during my stay there. Those stand-up comedies, those start-up stories, those Tik-tok videos, and those short films in YouTubes and the audience — that says a lot about Indian youths today.
Actually, when I was in India, I was cognitively immature. I would judge people based on many things and treat and deal accordingly, like a teen. I would show no interest in culture or people other than my small comfort zone. I regret that I wasted significant amount of my time on nothing but in shallowness. I was in world’s largest democratic country and I put no effort to understand what does that mean sociopolitically. I was in a land of Gandhi and Ambedkar that world would bow their head down with respects and I put no effort to learn more about them during my stay then. I was in such a diverse country and I put no effort to observe unity in diversity in true sense. I regret many things for missing out then.
Fast forward 2 years, and my mind has become more like that of a researcher. This time, when I see a “Bihari guy,” I won’t see him as a Bihari guy, but as a human with its own distinct culture. This time, when I see a temple or masjid or church, my eyes will try to read the carved arts on it. In chaos, in crowd, in rush, this time I will be palpating economy and not run away from it like how I used to back then. This time I will be smiling more often than laughing, be more excited than pissed off, be more compassionate than judgmental. I will simply be a guy coming to India fascinated by India for everything it holds — as heard, as read, as learned — and understand humans in much broader sense, in much deeper level, and so their culture, so their society, so their country.
This time, when I see a “Bihari guy,” I won’t see him as a Bihari guy, but as a human with its own distinct culture.
So, YES! I am going to India on Oct 15 and the excitement and joy is as real as guilt-filled heart getting a second chance. This time, I have chosen train over air because that’s where India begins. I can’t wait to experience again those 3 days of train journey, and how total strangers become a family sharing sandal to snacks, and even stories. Starting from organised chaos of Gorakhpur, I will be travelling down to south passing by major cities of different states, observing, understanding, learning and unlearning many things in between. And then finally, I will be reaching to Bangalore, where the walk will begin towards the second chance. Let’s see which all cities and places I will step from there.
To be honest, this time I am going more like a backpacker with no certainty on where to stay but I am taking a chance anyway because light will guide when your heart is pure, people will guard when your interest is to learn.
Best thing I have realized over time is that there is only one race, and that is human race; there is only one country and that is Earth. Rests are all socially and politically constructed divisions. I plan to unsee the divisions and walk the part of the Earth to connect with fellow humans and if possible, to connect them with other humans through this website and through our page.
Thus, I am marking this trip as life-changing trip and also a breakthrough chapter of my entrepreneurial journey. Every people I meet and their stories; every place I visit and its history; every situation I get exposed to and everything that I would learn, I plan to turn them all into contents and share them through this website. So, keep checking out this website every now and then and walk the road with me through my words, see the India with me through your screens. It should be fun. Let’s see what future holds.
Hello India, I miss you and I am visiting you soon. Wish me all the best.
NOTE: If you are currently in India and want to get connected with me during my stay there, or lend any kind of support or simply want to be part of this journey, please feel free to write me showing your interest by mailing me at [email protected]
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- El Camino: “Not many of us get a chance to start fresh” October 14, 2019
- Movie Review: Cha Maya Chapakkai October 12, 2019
- Oh! I miss India and I am visiting her soon October 11, 2019
- Woman seat reservations in public transport: Did we fail to understand? October 5, 2019
- Mahara scandal and national opportunity October 1, 2019