Diagnosing Rabi Lamichhane’s character in relation to his recent tantrum

Rastriya Swatantra Party president Rabi Lamichhane speaks at a press meet in Kathmandu, on Sunday, February 5, 2023. Photo: Aryan Dhimal
Rastriya Swatantra Party president Rabi Lamichhane speaks at a press meet in Kathmandu, on Sunday, February 5, 2023. Photo: Aryan Dhimal

When a kid loses his toys, he darts his glance across the surroundings and curses everyone around in frustration. He pays little attention to what he is saying and how his words might affect others. The kid, however, is forgiven keeping into account that he is immature with no control over his feelings and words. When that kid grows a little older, and if he throws tantrums over losing his belongings, people around will give him a sharp stare and might even pin back his ears.

With time, his mischief is weighed and a suitable punishment is imposed accordingly so that he realises his mistakes and develops a good character. The very first and basic thing we are taught at an early age is the language and the correct usage of words according to the context. Needless to say, a person’s character is defined by politeness in language, his ability to keep calm, and his behaviour when he is pissed off.

And, the recent incident of Rabi Lamichhane venting out his feelings in public is one such act by him showing his immaturity and letting down the public’s belief in change.

Lamichhane’s stunt

File: Rabi Lamichhane makes public the bell, the election symbol of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP)
File: Rabi Lamichhane makes public the bell, the election symbol of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP)

The way Rastriya Swatantra Party chairman Rabi Lamichhane lashed out at the media using such coarse language questions his character and the choice of Chitwan residents. He went on blabbering without gauging his words and how they might be perceived by the general public.

Thanks to the loyal supporters he has earned by pulling out tricks, they cling to him despite everything. What is interesting is that he disguised his big blunders by calling them minor mistakes.

He himself said he was spilling out his rage for losing the post of the minister, but his loyal supporters would make no effort to understand this basic thing. Then, they continue to stand by Rabi Lamichhane feeding themselves the hypothesis that everyone is wrong but not their master.

Nepali citizens were sick of the old-aged politicians, and the entry of Lamichhane into politics was because of the public frustration with the old leaders. Now, the question arises: was it a hasty decision by Chitwan residents to pick him as a representative? Is Lamichhane the idol leader the Chitwan residents and the whole of Nepal wanted?

Lack of maturity and professionalism

If Rabi Lamichhane believed he was being ill-treated by the media, he should have navigated through the peaceful way to reach the feet of justice. His violent behaviour only provoked his supporters, and it did not do any good to his prestige. Despite having alternative options to raise his voice, he chose the most violent way.

It is because he needed more sympathy from the public and the only way to do it was by going out in the public and accusing the media just because they covered a story on his citizenship issue.

File: Rabi Lamichhane

Being an ex-journalist himself, why did not he understand that the media are open to raising the issue, and he being a matter of public interest, the media coverage about his citizenship issues is obvious?

Why Rabi Lamichhane fails to understand that politics is a matter of patience and that one cannot run long unless he is mentally robust? However, in his case, mental toughness comes later because he needs to fix his character in the first place.

A good character does not label someone as a “joker” and does not measure anyone’s intellectual height with the width of the underwear. The whole nation was keeping an eye on him when he labelled Rishi Dhamala a “joker”.

What is more problematic is that he threatened the media by telling them that he would encircle the media office if anyone wrote against him without clear evidence.

If there was a provision for an award for hurling insults, no one would match Rabi Lamichhane. He demanded the wives of media persons come to him and he would expose the real identities of their husbands.

What a shameful statement! The most shameful of all allegations, he did not think twice before rattling off the gibberish about what brand of alcohol the media personnel preferred. 

If it is not a baseless accusation, what it is? An hour-long press conference he did was a full display of unprofessionalism. 

Democracy undermined

Rabi Lamichhane announces Rastriya Swatantra Party.
File: Rabi Lamichhane announces Rastriya Swatantra Party.

In a democratic culture, everyone has freedom of speech, but there are limits and one cannot cross the boundary. Just because the public stands before his back, Rabi Lamichhane cannot dismantle his ethics and do whatever that gains him more popularity and sympathy.

He needs to understand that he is a political leader, and every citizen in the nation aspires to his leaders and looks upon them. But, is there any good trait that the citizens can learn from him?

The answer is no because learning to insult someone will not do any good. Moreover, the most important thing that the public must understand is that politics is a sequential event where current actions are dependent on past actions. 

It takes time and patience to change the political landscape. One cannot come and change the politics overnight, and definitely not with a character like Rabi Lamichhane.

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Gautam is a writer from Pokhara.

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