Let’s start with a couple of recent incidents that may appear insignificant from those in positions of power.
At a government-run children’s hospital in the heart of Kathmandu, a five-year-old, Rejina Gopali of Thaha municipality ward 10, died awaiting treatment, on Monday.
In a far-flung Budhinanda municipality in the remote district of Bajhang, Jayapura Shahi was found hanging from the ceiling with a rope at her maternal house. Separated from her husband after he took a second wife, Shahi had been running a shop to eke out a living. Local people have moved the local police post, claiming that it was a murder.
While in Bajhgara of Dharan municipality (Sunsari), a house caught fire on Thursday morning after a gas cylinder blast that occurred when the family of Sita Dhital was making preparations for a Dar feast as part of Teej celebrations. A narrow gulley came in the way of firefighting, taking the fire brigade 1.5 hours to douse the flames. By that time, the house had turned into ashes.
Meanwhile, the specter of lumpy skin disease continues unabated. The trail of death and devastation from the disease is shocking. On Thursday, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Beduram Bhusal, informed the House of Representatives that 52,548 animals have died from the disease, 13,83,595 have recovered whereas 73,636 animals remain ill.
Bad tidings do not end there. On Wednesday, a khukuri-wielding Shyam Sapkota (47) of Nuwakot Nepali Congress joint general secretary Mahendra Yadav. While Yadav is in police custody, Yadav is undergoing treatment.
On Thursday itself, Mukunda Rijal, chair, Kathmandu Metropolitan City ward 16, died while undergoing treatment for severe pneumonia. This, even as large sections of the national population continue to suffer from the twin specters of dengue and conjunctivitis.
Then there are those dignitaries from near and afar, who are a cut above the rest. They are so powerful that they can make controversial remarks questioning the status of Nepal as an independent country. As experts par excellence, it is of course their ‘prerogative’ to teach us how to conduct our foreign policy, isn’t it?
Of course, nothing is certain except death and taxes, but this rings so true for the people. While negotiating the roads of this bustling valley, this stark realization comes to haunt us so often, despite the presence of police officers and a more-or-less functioning traffic system.
One major factor is mainly to blame for the incidents—from the death of a child to a close shave for a leader to a cylinder blast to chaotic roads to infringement upon our sovereignty and many other incidents in between.
That is the near-total absence of the government from the affairs of a flailing state. The parliament, civil society, the judiciary, the free press and the people—above all else—should do every bit to make the government govern this country before it’s too late.
Sept. 29, 2023, 1:36 p.m.
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