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Wake up call for Nepali leaders

india Updated: Jan 24, 2011 00:00 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Desperate times call for desperate measures. But it was not desperation that made Devi Prasad Regmi do what he did last Thursday. It was frustration with the country's politicians.

The 52-year-old hit national headlines when he slapped Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) chairman Jhalanath Khanal at a public function.

Exasperated with Khanal and other political bigwigs for the seven-month-long political logjam, Regmi did what he could to give vent to his feelings.

As 'reward' for his deed, the farmer from Sunsari, is spending a fortnight in prison.

A flustered Khanal, whose desire to become PM is one cause for the present deadlock, tried to downplay the humiliation by comparing Regmi to a gnat.

Dissatisfaction with politicians took another form when a youth organisation in Kathmandu held a race for 'prime minister' hopefuls.

Harendra Bhatta who beat 50 competitors in the run from Constituent Assembly building to Singha Darbar, the official seat of Nepal government, was gifted the 'PM's chair' for his efforts.

There's a bit of history behind this race called Lig-Lig. It is said that every year people of Lig Lig in present Gorkha district used to organise a race to choose a king for a year.

Nearly five centuries ago, Dravya Shah became the king of Gorkha after winning one such race. His descendent Prithvi Narayan brought all smaller states in the area under one rule in the 18th century and gave shape to present Nepal.

Both incidents show growing irritation among Nepal's masses with politicians for keeping the country in limbo to feed their hunger for power.

With just four months left, to complete the peace process, form a new government and draft a new constitution, politicians are running out of time.