Nepal | June 03, 2020

Political evolution: Wind of change is blowing

Anusa Thapa
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We must admit that young Nepalis and professionals who are proactively acknowledging Nepal’s deep disorder is a good sign for the country. We have to believe that they are going to bring a new-age democracy

Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/THT

If the theory of evolution is to be factored for dynamic growth, then it entails a natural phenomenon wherein individuals with the ability to adapt to change not only survive and thrive but also breed the genes of success in their descendants. For a developing country like Nepal, to be successful in meeting the needs of its current citizens, it too must adapt to change in order to have a prolific and viable future.

Nepal, despite being a country with huge potential for economic development, has not been able to witness this dynamic change in a systemic level. This dynamic change would enable and ensure betterment in lives of ordinary citizens.

As widely discussed, analysed and acknowledged by experts in many fields, we seem to lack competent leadership who is willing to accept and bring about the necessary change befitting a 21st century society.

Today’s leadership needs to accept the challenge to work with the best in a competitive space so that they can create more dynamic leadership within and be more attuned to work for the immediate needs of our globalising population (in which half of Nepali households have a member working in a more developed country).

In a developing country like ours, people tend to have a general attitude about our livelihood because our religion has long inculcated in us certain taboos about matters such as age maturity, female roles and marriage. Nationwide, we have to overcome this societal conditioning because it is the same society that inherited caste-based discrimination from its earlier generation. As time has evolved, Nepalis at home and abroad know that they deserve better than accepting the cultural norms.

People have realised that change does not happen by sticking to the old ideas that one is comfortable with. For change to happen, we need to take a bold leap, sometimes an impossible quantum leap. As seen in the world’s history, change came when a group of strong-willed individuals stood against unfair systems and tyranny.

As evident for some time, we must admit that young Nepalis and professionals who are proactively acknowledging Nepal’s deep disorder is a good sign for the country. We have to believe that they are going to bring a new-age democracy that Nepal needs.

I remember the time when many people felt change was imminent in the country. It was in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake we witnessed two and a half years ago. It was a day of horror and tragedy for our nation but there was an unexpected revelation that came out of it too.

During the panic and helplessness, civil society at home and abroad got together to help each another with an inherent sense of duty. Unexpectedly, youths were seen in outstanding majority, helping out for weeks in the aftermath of the disaster. We not only surprised ourselves in the country, but also impressed the world outside. The disenchanted youth and hopeless civil society have showed that they can be a catalyst for positive change. Many times, we forget the individuals who are already bringing waves of surprising change in health and research facilities and other technological fields in the capital.

The social and economic theory of survival for those who can adapt to change is paving way. The social and economic spheres of adaptive evolution are directly related to the political sphere of life too. Emerging phenomena such as Alternativet, a green political party in Denmark established in November 2013, is advocating for a new participatory political culture and was able to win a few seats in the parliament in less than two years of their inception. Furthermore, since 2015, Beirut Madinati, a Lebanese civil society movement, has successfully risen up, challenging traditional political parties to handle prevalent urban issues.

Such unconventional political phenomena are starting to gain acceptance by laymen worldwide. The time for change is being sung not only by the new generation but also by the ageing population who have already lived half of their lives. Hence, progressive thinkers in the civil society, who are making entry to clean up the politics, have risen in numbers because the status quo has not been able to provide a better governing system.

More educated and exposed young individuals are breaking the status quo and coming into the political battleground. These changing times have also been welcomed by the older generations and uneducated populations in rural parts of the country.

A sign of an advancing country is when more of its population start to choose things that are “different” and unique, rather than following the masses. This phenomenon has started sowing fresh seeds of possibilities in a country where hopelessness has overpowered us countless times. With the entry of unlikely competition in the political scene, the road to a progressive and dynamic change has been paved for our country.

Harvard University, in its “Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation” programme for developing countries, has emphasized the importance of not just identifying the problem but then moving forward by “adaptation,” which is to improve and expand collectively in a systemic level. The political leaders who remain unreceptive to this evolving state and refuse to adapt will soon be marginalised.

Thapa is a central committee member of Bibeksheel Sajha Party

A version of this article appears in print on February 20, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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