The Far Western Region of Nepal is at present reeling under the indefinite bandh running bringing to a halt all day-to-day activities. It is all about keeping the far-west ‘undivided” which is contrary to the recent Maoist proposal of federating the country, that is not keeping the Seti-Mahakali intact. The districts that come into play as per the Terai districts of Kailali and Kanchanpur. The situation has become tense after the sixth day of the bandh in that on the one hand the people of the far-west want it to remain undivided, but on the other hand there are those that want the said district to become part of the Tharuwan Pradesh. And, that in short is the contention. Meanwhile, the political leadership have not been very involved in the issue. The Maoists had floated the idea of the federation while the far-west people and leaders have come out in open to demand one that does not cut out Kailali and Kanchanpur from the far-western region, and leave Seti-Mahakali in its present state. Whatever the tussle may be, federating the country has become a most contentious issue with every major party having its own number of pradeshes, leaving that part of the constitutional issue unresolved. This shows the immaturity of the party leaders as they want to divide the country, as they seem to think it fit to particularly suit their partisan interests.
Now, six days of tormenting bandh have been endured by the people of the far-western region. The far-west remains the most impoverished region in the country, despite the abundance of natural resources. The cry for making the economy of the region vibrant and the people’s life fulfilling has all been lost, and it remains almost the same as it was three or four decades back. Though the region has produced some fine politicians, it has not been able to overcome the chains of deprivation and poverty. Moreover, agriculture has not proved
to be the redeeming factor as food shortages are
recurring every year leaving the people to the
mercy of the government for immediate supply of food-grains, or face starvation. It is ironical that the far-west seems to have the highest number of I/NGOs working in various areas, yet the outcome has been discouraging.
In this context, it would be fitting to remember that the centre ought to place priority in making the far-west economically self-reliant. The bandh that is continuing can also be a reflection of the frustration of the far-west people from the step-motherly treatment that the region has been meted all throughout. The people have their sentiments which they have displayed, and it is for the leaders of all the parties to moot over it and seek a solution. Herein, no party can claim itself to be all-knowledgeable and the saviour of all. Political issues cannot be taken up in isolation. Federating the country is important but economic viability too has to be taken account of. And, bandhs for whatever reason it may be cannot work miracles in a region which already is overwhelmed by poverty and lack of opportunities for the people. This calls for the serious attention of the conscious leaders of all the parties for a viable solution that will satisfy the far-west people.
Nab the goons
The law and order situation continues to remain dismal with reports of incidents like burglary and mugging being almost every day occurrences. For example, just the other day, two people were robbed by a gang of goons in Sipadole of Bhaktapur by threatening them with sharp weapons. Yet, the law enforcement agencies have not been able to stop many incidents like this. They always pledge to do something to prevent these incidents, but for all purposes they seem to be paying only lip service. Because of this, people feel very insecure, especially walking in the evening and at night. There is much talk about more police patrols. Still, it is found that such drives fizzle out and such patrols are nowhere to be seen. This only incites the thugs, robbers and thieves and other such criminal elements to carry on with their criminal activities.
It is high time that the law enforcement apparatus was bolstered. Since many of the goons are able to get away with their criminal acts, the police should make extra efforts to nab them. Again, the criminal-politician nexus should be nipped in the bud.