However much we love our country, there comes a time when we have to take the bull by its horns or, as they say in the trade, hoist ourselves up by our own petard.
Since space is a bit limited this week due to commercial encroachment, let’s not waste too much time beating needlessly around the bush, since a bird in the hand is worth two in the aforementioned bush, both of which we can kill with one stone at an opportune moment. So, without further ado, more to-ing and fro-ing, weighing pro’s and con’s, allow me to hand the floor to the Chair to list ten reasons why we think we should all get the hell out of here:
1 Nepal’s population has crossed 29 million, our food and fuel imports are rising exponentially, foreign exchange reserves can only pay for six months of imports. It is therefore every Nepali’s patriotic duty to do his/her/its part not to be a further burden on the Motherland. The last one to leave please turn off the light.
2 This is the year with elections for all three levels of government. So, let us vote with our feet.
3 The latest Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International shows that Nepal’s ranking is stuck at #117 in the list of countries deemed to be most corrupt. This means that despite ample opportunities for malfeasance during the Covid-19 crisis, and utmost efforts by the country’s bureaucracy, politicians, industrialists to foster a culture of bribery, Nepal is still exactly where it was last year in the Corruption Index, while aggressive neighbours like Bangladesh and Afghanistan have become more corrupt by leaps and bounds. There is no future in a country that cannot even bribe its way to the top of the corruption rankings.
4 Ten years ago, this country’s top economists had confidently predicted that by the end of the decade Nepal would be a ‘failed state’. We have failed to achieve that goal. Instead, Nepal is preparing to graduate to Middle Income Status by 2025. If we cannot even be declared a failed state, it is futile to waste time hanging around to wait for it to happen.
5 The government is making it impossible for illegal sand miners, limestone quarry contractors, cement tycoons and willful defaulters to earn a decent living and flaunt our wealth. We are not even allowed to adulterate honey anymore. How can we live in a country that does not respect risk-taking and entrepreneurship to take someone else’s money and run?
6 There are no more idols left to steal anymore, so why hang around?
7 There is too much petty corruption, but not enough major payoffs, profiteering and breach of trust on large infrastructure projects to make it worthwhile to do business in Nepal anymore.
8 The new Media Code of Ethics does not even allow journalists to accept free lunches and envelopes.
9 To take a nice hot bath.
10 You gotta go if you gotta go.