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Editorial: Rein in anarchy

Editorial: Rein in anarchy

‘A country is dead if it is full of anarchy’.

The quote above is not a self-invented nugget of wisdom. It is the reply from Yudhishthir to one of the many questions from a Yakshya, a semi-divine protector of a pond brimming with water located in the middle of a forest. 

Close by the pond, Yudhishthir finds four of his younger brothers (Bhim, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev), out in the woods turn by turn as per his instructions to quench their thirst, lying unconscious. Apparently, better senses prevail over Yudhishthir. He somehow suppresses an acute thirst and is patient enough to answer Yakshya’s questions, a far better alternative than facing the archer’s wrath like his brothers, who, it turns out later, tried to head straight into the pond to sate themselves instead of heeding the protector’s warning and bothering to answer his questions. 

Yakshya fires many no-nonsense questions at Yudhishthir and the latter answers them all very wisely. 

The quote in the beginning of this piece is part of Yudhishthir’s answer to one of the questions about death. The full reply from Yudhishthir, considered a manifestation of Yamaraj, the god of death, goes: A person facing extreme poverty might be considered dead; a country is dead if it is full of anarchy.

The Q & A session, detailed in the Mahabharat, has a happy ending. Pleased with Yudhishthir’s wisdom, the Yakshya ultimately brings the fallen Pandavs to life and they all get to quench their thirst to their hearts’ content. 

The Yudhishthir-Yakshya Q & A session is long over, but it is quite relevant even in the federal secular democratic republic of Nepal of this day and age. 

At present, Nepal seems to be in the midst of an ever-lasting turmoil. Kathmandu (its nerve centers like Maitighar Mandala the vicinity in particular, which lie quite close to the seats of the three organs of the state) has been the hotbed of protests of all sorts. Recent days have seen protests demanding amended citizenship provisions, justice for loan-shark victims, teachers’ protests against the government’s indifference toward their demands and a days-long stand to make Kathmandu Metropolitan City fulfill the demands of street vendors.   

Even as a myriad groups continue to show their respective strengths on the streets and bring the Nepali state to its knees, the latter appears too helpless to deal with multiple crises gripping the country. The economy is not in the pink of health. The rule of law has become a chimera. There is a growing feeling in the society that influential people can get away with grave crimes in this country.

The transitional justice process is not making much headway. People are losing faith over the government’s ability to curb corruption by bringing high-profile corruption cases to their logical conclusion. 

Anarchy reigns supreme and the country is on sickbed. The onus is on the government to bring the country back to health before it’s too late.