EDITORIAL: Unwarranted move

The ruling Nepal Communist Party is not only trying to inject its communist ideologies in politics but in the society as well

The ruling Nepal Communist Party appears to be veering towards the far left side of the political spectrum, as it has started promoting radical ideas on the pretext of protecting Nepali society, culture and values. The public has unleashed volleys of criticisms against the party in the past for trying to curtail civil liberties and for using the Parliament as a means to pass laws desired by the government. Now, the party, which has made attempts to inject its communist ideologies in politics, is trying to make inroads into societies, where it intends to drum its left-wing views into the people. A glaring example of this is the controversial 11-point code of conduct — a list of dos and don’ts on social mores — which the party introduced for its cadres yesterday.

The code of conduct bars NCP members from using the word ‘ta’. ‘Ta’ carries a negative connotation if it is used to demean someone. But the word is also widely used by best friends to express their close relationship or by parents to lovingly call their children. So, banning the use of the word ‘ta’ will not have any meaning unless peaceful coexistence is advanced to bring together people of different castes, faiths and ideologies. The party should understand that the biggest dividing factors in any society are intolerance and lack of respect for others’ views. These problems cannot be solved by issuing a code of conduct and asking party cadres to take part in village picnics at least once a month or run businesses through collective leadership. If the aim is to create a socially inclusive society without any form of discrimination, then the party should strengthen public schools across the country and provide quality education. This is the only antidote to many ills facing society. So, gimmicks like banning the use of word ‘ta’ and encouraging people to form cooperatives like organisations to conduct each and every business will not work.

The big problem with many of Nepal’s so-called communist leaders is that they talk about egalitarian values and social equality only to pay lip service. Otherwise why would its leaders call for a merit-based society and promote patronage themselves? It is an open secret that many of the NCP leaders are not morally upright and have enriched themselves through bribes and other corrupt means rather than through hard work, ingenuity and innovation. But these very leaders and latest code of conduct have asked its cadres to shun corruption. Isn’t this hypocrisy? Yet the party is tight-lipped over these issues and has instead directed leadership at central, provincial and district levels of the party to take action against cadres who repeatedly violate the latest moral codes. It is not exactly known why the party has issued the code of conduct at this time — especially a day after it nominated Agni Prasad Sapkota, a man accused of murder, as its candidate for the post of Speaker in the House of Representatives. Was this a move to divert public attention from the controversial decision? It is not known. But the party members should not sit back and allow leaders to impose their decisions on them. Maintaining silence on these issues would only encourage the party leadership to take draconian measures to stifle their lives.

Geriatric wards

It is a good move of the government to establish geriatric wards in four more hospitals across the country during this fiscal. They will be set up in Mechi Hospital, Janakpur Hospital, Hetauda Hospital and Karnali Province Hospital. There will be more than 100 beds altogether. The government has already established such wards in 12 hospitals in the last fiscal.

The concept of establishing the geriatric wards across the country is to provide easy health services to the elderly people within their localities. Separate geriatric wards mean the elderly people will get dedicated services from the geriatric experts. The elderly population is increasing in the country due to increased life expectancy and decreasing fertility rate. Therefore, the geriatric services are need of the hour to deal with old-age problems. If there is adequate number of geriatric wards in all government hospitals and dedicated specialists, the diseases related to old-age can be diagnosed at an early stage, making their treatment easier. The elderly people generally suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, among others. This provision will help the family members of the elderly people cut the treatment cost.