Noting minutes but wasting hours, days, months and years

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
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  • Updated: Jul 05, 2012 00:16 IST

"Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything," eminent economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said.

The one thing politicians in Nepal don't get tired of is taking part in meetings. They might not yield anything significant, but politicians here are always keen to sit together to address the country's problems.

Whatever their differences, it is this ability to come together for the greater good that always gives hope to millions in Nepal that the architects of the country's destiny will find the magic panacea - if not in this meeting than probably in the next.

Even politicians feel such deliberations could be productive. "In your over two years in Nepal, you must have understood that however extreme the situation might be, politicians here are always eager for talks," a former PM told me last month.

And he's right. During every crisis, be it the formation of a new government, toppling the existing one or deliberating on peace and constitution, leaders have shown capacity to engage in several rounds of dialogues - sometimes within a day.

Most of these meetings are held at the residences of leaders, party offices and the official seat of government. But sometimes to get a fresh perspective, leaders deliberate in five star hotels and resorts. 

It would be wrong to say that they don't result in anything. Over the years, these meetings have given Nepal numerous deals, which the public have failed to keep count of and political parties have failed to upheld.

A month after the CA dissolution, fresh rounds of talks have again begun in Kathmandu. The first meeting concluded that there was a need for more meetings to reach the elusive consensus on addressing contentious issues of the new constitution and power sharing.

Another such meeting was held on Tuesday at Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal's residence. Here, too, the ruling Maoist-Madhesi coalition and opposition Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (UML) stuck to their stances.

More meetings are expected in coming days as parties try to find common ground on the annual budget, new government and peace and constitution.


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