Prachanda(L) & Raute Nomads with President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav
Nepal PM Prachanda has cited the power (electricity) crisis and unstable political situation in the country for the last minute cancellation of his 10-day tour to Norway & Finland that was supposed to begin from tomorrow. Prachanda, while inaugurating the Tharu Festival of Maghee in Western Terai, accused the Madhesi groups of creating anarchy in Terai at the behest of foreign powers. Prachanda was responding to the ongoing unrest in Terai in which a Terai-based journalist Uma Singh was also killed recently at her workstation town of Janakpur. Not only Prachanda’s Maoist Party but a large section of Nepalis severely criticize the Indian establishment for its recent interference in the Pashupatinath Priest case, and Delhi’s manipulation of Nepal’s Madhesi groups.
Whatever be Prachanda’s second thought over his Europe tour, most Nepalis would certainly welcome his decision for staying in the country in the wake of several national crises. People know from their experience that no Prime Minister including Prachanda would do any lacharpato (miracle) by visiting foreign countries. In fact, most people including this blogger are extremely jealous of any minister or a bureaucrat touring Europe & Americas while the commoners back home die of cold & hunger. Nepalis satirically call such high profile visits as a honeymoon tour made at the expense taxpayers’ money.
Recently, the only ethnic nomads of Nepal the Raute people from western forests visited Kathmandu for persuading the government to allow them living in the jungles. The Raute people do not like “civilization” including traveling by a vehicle – they complain that their former Chief died of a mysterious sickness that followed a bus travel. PM Prachanda after listening to Raute grievances wished to share some of his privileges of being at the helm of satta (power), so offered the Raute Chief for an air-travel back home. The Raute Chief replied: “While my Janata (people) are hungry back in the jungle, how can I enjoy the luxury of flying?” The Raute Chief instead bought some goats for his janata with the money given by the government for air travel.
Both Nepali media & its consumers hailed the loin-clothed Raute Chief for his opting of dangerous road travel for the sake of his people. Similarly, Nepali readers hailed the Iran President Ahmedinejad for his refusal to enjoy any benefit from state coffers. With the imposition of 16-hour load-shedding in the country, many Nepalis ask how would the President, VP, PM, and ministers realize the gravity of the situation until they enjoy full services through separate feeders?