W-R-O-N-G, now, it’s my Turn!


The title, is what I think is wrong with Nepali politics.  It is also what I think is wrong with a lot of politics, including the part-time versions of politics: office politics, social politics, etc.

The title is deceptively complex though.  If you told a seven year old – the way to get things working for you in life is to use the title as a mantra, the child would probably go around yelling at his or her peers – “Wrong, it’s my turn!”.  It would be wrong, whether they were playing with a toy, playing a game, or getting some dessert.  The biggest wrongness would be the fact that the seven year old did not get things their way.  That’s the simple version of the title, what pops into mind.  (Ironically, the more I see the world, the more I think that child might be successful in life, at the expense of his better peers, if he gets enough protection from his parents during his younger years).

However, with practice, comes proficiency.  You can’t go around shouting “WRONG!” without getting smacked in the face a few times.  By that time, you’ll probably learn tricks of manipulation – silently implying someone is wrong, then slowly increasing your assertiveness so that they are like a frog in boiling water – unable to slap you on time.  That’s probably why Obama seems to be blamed for so many things on public forums (I love the memes though).

If you look around a bit, you’ll be able to find so many variations on the theme- all sorts of machinations to make sure the opposition is labelled wrong, without backlash.  The backlash minimization is where much of the complexity lies.

However, I think, and I’m sure most of us would agree, that that modus operandi is very wrong.  Mostly wrong at least (terms and conditions may apply).

It’s not just any old wrong either, it also annoys me.  It annoys me so much that Nepali politics has been nothing more than a “he is wrong, she is wrong, they are wrong” game, without the subtlety of adults.  We’ve gone through a royal massacre, a royal power consolidation, a complete removal of monarchy, a revolution, a revolution born of a revolution that the revolutionaries were not satisfied with (both sides were wrong, obviously, just follow the title), an earthquake of a lifetime, a blockade that made us angry, and all else.

However, despite all of this, despite of having gone through all of this, our leaders still claim that everyone, except them, is wrong.  And yet, they are not omniscient (you’d expect each of them to be, the way they behave).  They are not strong logicians either.  They are just willing to sell their souls to the devil, to greed, to pride, to all else.

When I grew up, I was blameless.  So were my classmates, and all my other friends.  We came from different backgrounds, different ethnicity, yet we were all friends.  That’s it.  These days, we are to blame based on where we are from, what ethnicity we are, how we look like, and there is not a single blameless person, you just need to ask the right people, and you’ll find out why that given person is one of the worst people in the world.  Thankfully, it is just the weird mantra chanters that shout out wrong though – it is a growing religion, but most of us still follow our own.

In the Geeta, there is a verse that talks about illusion and confusion (I took this from one of the pages that I found when looking for a decent translation, here)

Brooding on the objects of the senses, man develops attachment to them; from attachment comes desire; from desire anger sprouts forth.

From anger proceeds delusion; from delusion, confused memory; from confused memory the ruin of the reason; due to the ruin of reason, he perishes

I wonder if that is how our political leaders have forgotten one of the basic lessons of life: nobody is completely wrong, nobody is completely right.  We have to work together, give each other a chance, and we all end up winners.  Instead, they choose to ignore that the greater good would be to help and co-operate with whoever manages to be in power for a few years.  Swayed by greed and power, they just chant the seven-year old’s mantra – “YOU’RE WRONG”, and go on destroying tiny pieces of our pride, of our country, of our faith, incessantly.

And as a note, I’m wrong, for not being able to do anything about all of this, at least not at this time.

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