Nepal | September 21, 2019

Nation building: Disgraceful deviation

Atindra Dahal

If we look for better nation building missions politics has to rise above mere survival functions and should muster courage to radically march ahead and rapidly accomplish expected functions

Nation building, Meeting, Education, Conference, Table meeting

Half a year has elapsed since the historic Constituent Assembly promulgated a new federal cum republican constitution and brought it into effect.

This nation building process was assumed to be a golden and bold breakthrough. It has also almost completed a decade. Despite these invaluable accomplishments, the people have sensed no changes in real life.

Rather they vent discontent over the latest political turmoil and perplexities. The reign is similar though the characters and rulers have changed.

Some far-reaching structural changes are obvious. An uprooting of monarchy, official induction of a republic, secularism and federalism are burning examples.

For the first time in history, the inclusive proportionate representation system has been adopted, and many marginalized people are in the mainstream.

Nonetheless, real changes to positively and progressively drive the lives of people are not in sight. We are not unfortunate.

America in 1787, France in 1791, Argentina in 1852, Austria in 1920, Belgium in 1831 Canada in 1867 and Denmark in 1849 had faced a similar pathetic plight when they promulgated the constitution.

Two decades earlier, Germany went into unification following the Berlin wall demolition, and the USSR disintegrated.

Then hoping that the political equation of the world had undergone a big change, famous author Francis Fukuyama made an alternative forecast in a book ‘The End of History and Last Men’. But his prophecy in power equation met a tragic gap; so is our condition now.

Hoping for better nation building and prosperity, we had a series of upheavals since 2007. Unfortunately, the people’s dreams are unfulfilled and have been deliberately destroyed.

The mission of nation building turned out to be a failure in practice. It is so since we were only infatuated with survival functions of the state, but the expected functions were objectionably denied.

Administering the nation and running daily administration are survival functions. Holding elections, forming and dissolving governments, processions, rallies, protests and demonstrations and the exchange of recriminations and accusations are common making politics unable to serve the people and nation.

The most significant duty of the state is to carry out the expected functions. Each individual’s wishes are connected to his/her daily lives.

Economic development, generating employment, extending amenities and facilities, expanding basic prerequisites like education, health, communication, road, water are essential for the people to be positive about the government.

With better cultural and ethnic hobnobbing, creating a wonderful symbiosis among people is a must. Commanding economic prosperity and progressing positively on the index of quality living are essential.

Authors who regard nations as equally a cultural unit together with political organization like A. Heywood, James Dowin, J. Hipler, Yoesh Attal opine in the same line.

Such functions are the features of the emerging Asian nations with better nation building process at the moment.

Mere mutating name and spending words unwisely won’t make a new nation. People are concerned more with the work of the government than the words it uses.

Even in countries without a written constitution, i.e. UK, Israel and New Zealand, people enjoy progress. Countries with contrasting political ideologies too have progressed with equal spirit.

But our nation building mission is stuck only in activities of forming and breaking governments, holding elections, choosing representatives and holding conferences and discussions.

Neglecting the pain of the people, rulers indulged in power games and personal gains.

But the lives of citizens were not taken up seriously. The state never succeeded in carrying out the expected functions of the people. Only appointments, transfers, visits and meetings cum eating are the activities of the state till now.

The daily lives of the people are not improving. Thus, citizens feel more vulnerable in the process.

We always have a reverse pace and deceleration on the progress in education, health, employment, capital promotion and prevention of capital flight, social security, peace and safety, communication, transportation, hydro and industries.

Starvation, plague, social crime, and humanitarian deviation are common. These enervated and emasculated the nation building mission to a great extent.

Political parties were always at loggerheads and bickering on issues like who to lead government, how long to wait to shuffle it, how to name and how to equip executives takes most of their time.

These frivolities shadow the needed actions. For seven decades, politics passed simply on similar sorts of unproductive ruffles. There should be no delay in initiating the expected functions aggressively.

Political and administrative regulations alone will not guarantee democracy unless there is economic prosperity at an unbeatable pace.

Therefore, if we look for better nation building missions politics has to rise above mere survival functions and should muster courage to radically march ahead and rapidly accomplish expected functions.

Politicians should have vision and dedication for this mission. Unless adopted properly, politics is merely a tool to tantalize people.

Dahal is a PhD on issues of nation building


A version of this article appears in print on June 09, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


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