Attaining Prosperity

Prosperity is a buzzword now but it is a hard reality that it is unattainable without political stability and good governance. Blessed with natural resources, natural beauty and hardworking people the country holds a great potential to develop and prosper. What is needed is a political leadership with statesmanship and strong willpower to focus on development. Such a leadership should free itself from petty interests and a tendency to resort to short term power struggle. The chain of political instability should be broken in order to give a concrete direction to national development. In a democratic polity, periodic elections offer people the opportunity to elect their representatives to govern the affairs of the nation. On the assumption that the elections are held in a fearless environment to elect the preferred leaders through secret balloting, people can defeat the bad leaders and elect the good ones. Party and leaders with a broad vision of national development and people’s prosperity deserve the mandate to rule. Those who place top priority on the interests of the family, cronies and narrow circle of cadre should be rejected. Higher level of awareness is called for on the part of the common voters to make sure that they do not get cajoled and swayed by the lollypop of cash distribution during the election time. This remains the perennial defect of the emerging democracies in the third world countries. Widespread prevalence of corruption in politics, business and bureaucracy stands as a major barrier for development and prosperity.

It is in this light that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has related prosperity with good governance and political stability. As soon as good governance, accountability, transparency and rule of law start to take root, corrupt elements get discouraged. This is possible through the cultivation of responsible and clean political practices. The weakening moral side of politics needs to be corrected. The problem is that there is a big difference between what we speak for public consumption and what we think secretly. We should mean what we speak and we should speak what we mean. We need to put in place mechanisms that minimise corrupt practices. In many instances, loopholes and leeways are allowed deliberately so that morally bankrupt people can take benefit out of them. If anti-corruption watchdogs think in a corrupt way the mean practice cannot be rooted out. Corrupt practices do bring prosperity, but to a handful of people while robbing many others of opportunities. In such a situation, even qualified people are denied the opportunity to compete and succeed. In this regard, Prime Minister Oli has said that the government would work to encourage youths to bring out their talents. If things go in the right direction as the Prime Minister has indicated, many Nepali youths will not be leaving the country in search of jobs abroad. Lack of opportunities and good environment within the country is the main reason of brain drain. The government can reverse this scenario through policy changes and concrete actions.

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