Nepal’s long quest for transparent governance and development

Nepal - good governance

Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, Nepal boasts a rich and diverse history that encompasses various dynasties, regimes, and political transitions. The nation’s political landscape has evolved significantly, from smaller fiefdoms governed by different dynasties to the era of unification under Prithvi Narayan Shah.

This period was followed by a century of Rana rule, the establishment of a monarchy, and, ultimately, the transition to a republic. Throughout these phases, Nepal has experienced dramatic shifts in its political structure.

Amidst these transitions, a persistent issue has loomed large over the years: a lack of substantial, tangible development and transparent governance.

Corruption: The root cause of hindrance

Many recent corruption scandals in Nepal have been connected to top leaders of major parties. Corruption in Nepal
Many recent corruption scandals in Nepal have been connected to top leaders of major parties.

Corruption is rampant in Nepal, with opportunities for its existence in various aspects of life. From the misuse of fuel coupons meant for government officials to human trafficking conducted under the guise of refugee assistance, corruption is deeply ingrained in the system. Numerous high-profile corruption cases have been swept under the rug, further perpetuating this vicious cycle.

Corruption has been the pervasive issue that has plagued Nepal, and it remains the root cause of hindrance to development. The ethics and morality of the rulers have always been under suspicion and have shown a consistent decline over the years. Corruption scandals involving political leaders have become alarmingly common, eroding the trust of the public.

The public sector, including government offices, has become notorious for corruption. Almost every service seems to come with a price tag, and it is exceptionally challenging to get things done without offering “under-the-table” payments. This culture of corruption has thrived due to the lack of accountability and transparent governance.

Moreover, the complex governance structure within Nepal, given its relatively small size, often raises questions about the costs associated with maintaining it. The traditional approach to governance and the egos of political leaders have frequently led the country to lag behind, missing out on opportunities for development and growth.

Unstable government and loss of the public’s faith

Nepal has seen frequent changes in government, resulting in political instability and a lack of proper governance. This inconsistency hampers the nation’s progress and leaves its citizens yearning for economic, social, and infrastructural development.

In recent times, public sentiment towards established political leaders has declined. The electorate has started looking for alternative options to steer the country towards prosperity and development. The economy, infrastructure, and various development indices have been on a downward trajectory. From minor scams to major scandals, the government and other stakeholders often seem to overlook such issues, adding to the disillusionment of the people.

Nepal faces a range of national and international issues, yet there appears to be a lack of concerted effort to address them. The country’s leaders seem preoccupied with internal politics, often neglecting crucial diplomatic and international relations that could aid in the nation’s growth.

Brain drain and economic struggles

brain drain

Many educated youths have left Nepal to work in other countries, contributing to the brain drain phenomenon. The nation’s fertile lands remain barren due to a lack of agricultural activities, and ageing parents are often left to fend for themselves. Industries have struggled to survive, leading to economic stagnation and joblessness.

Then, there is the erosion of ethics, morality, and humanity within Nepali society, which has reached concerning levels. Responsibility and accountability are often absent, contributing to leaders’ overall decline in trust and moral character.

Nepal stands at a crossroads, and the decisions made in the coming years will shape the destiny of the nation. If corrective measures are not taken seriously and stringently, the next generation will have no choice but to inherit the problems that persist today.

It is time for all stakeholders, including political leaders, civil society, and citizens, to introspect and work towards a brighter future for Nepal. History will remember the choices made in these crucial times. The need for transparent governance, ethical leadership, and a commitment to development and prosperity is paramount. It is the collective responsibility of all to ensure that Nepal moves forward on a path that reflects the aspirations and dreams of its people. The time for change and progress is now.

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Lamsal is an academician, engineer and a researcher.

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