A band of forty

When I was writing, my kid asked, "Band and bandit are synonyms, aren’t they?" No, different ones, I told him. His words twisted my imagination. Politics, as I thought, is terribly common. A kid today knows about it that I did not know even at college. No doubt, student unions did it. It was the talk for traders and merchants, my father and his acquaintances. They were the letdown days of the Ranas when people talked of sluggish business and assessed the impact of government on their respective occupation. For them all, the government task intended relief measures and tax cuts.

However, they all had one voice that the government was blind and deaf, up somewhere unseen to them. When we had no highway, the Bihar train made us take a round trip around Biratnagar and Kathmandu. Here local bogey mates argued over Bihar elections. Hasn’t politics continental flavour!

As I remember my past, some backbencher colleagues did politics because their interest in a degree was little and chance of their passing exams, likewise little. Especially those without background of trading or farming came up in politics. My part of the roadmap was to complete college to sink in a job soon after. Very few friends then stayed in touch. After years, I began hearing the same ones turn gradually into nation-makers as government ministers.

Fifty years went by. Throughout this, heyday of national politics and governments has come and gone. "Down with rotten politics!" With hardly a decade to go, a new chapter let down the former politics. Each time the claim was the people’s call, which was but a blatant lie. Then I saw my kid’s synonym has a truth. My colleagues or yours in turn came, governed the nation, fleeced it flash and nodded off the people. Worse still, all stranded the nation risked with deep cuts and injuries, hardship, black economy and distrusted fast-track politics, forget about lives and property crushed by massive earthquakes. Say then, has the nation any pride except a few hundred corrupt billionaire leaders in a clean chit via court decree with one hundred percent tolerance!

Fortunately, my imagination runs another twist. Then I rewrite the glory of Einstein and Winston Churchill, just backbenchers for classmates later astound the whole world. Such celebrities pin hopes on our nation, and pin hopes on the common people.