Politics, being the world’s oldest profession, has been honed into a fine art — and nowhere more so than in Nepal. What is less well appreciated is the contribution some of us presstitutes have made to elevate the stature and prestige of Nepali politics to the level it has attained at this point in time.
What has also not got as much attention is the vital role that corruption has played, and continues to play, in politics. Without it the wheels of government would grind to a halt. After all, graft lubricates the rusty machinery of the bureaucracy, greases the process of deal-making, and allows the country to chug along despite being, for all practical purposes, a flailing state.
Nepal’s consistently high ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index is proof of the role that malfeasance has always played in allowing swift decision-making on iffy investment proposals, speeding up bargaining, demarcating a clear chain of command that goes right to the top, and enforcing a one-window policy that cuts through red tape to facilitate under-the-table transactions.
However, now that Nepal is graduating from Least Developed Country status to a Last-but-not-Least Developed Country by 2025, we we will be bound by international treaties to clean up our governance apparatus. It is a pity that we have to fix what ain’t broke, but we will reluctantly have to find antidotes to corruption.
To this task, we have to roll our loins and gird up our sleeves, and there is no room for competency. 2025 is only two-and-half years away, and time is of the essence if we are to move higher up in the Translucency International Index, even if it means bribing them to do it.
By now, we have tried just about everything to stop corruption, but we have been half-hearted. We passed laws to outlaw bribes, and that just drove the business underground. We set up the CIAA, but had to investigate the investigators. We sent our taxmen on junkets to Singapore so they could learn a thing or two about clean government, but they returned with 3 duty-free bottles of Old Smuggler each, and bribed their way through the Metal Free X-ray machines at the airport. We gave them salary hikes, but that just jacked up their cuts.
Now, with advances in genetic engineering, there is hope. Complete genome sequencing allows us to pinpoint the exact genes for greed. Politicians genetically susceptible to purloining public funds can now be detected before they stand for elections, and can be debarred from contesting public office.
Also, since we have hit a dead-end on Covid vaccines, we might have better luck with getting the international community to donate anti-corruption vaccines so we can inoculate members of the executive and legislative branches, as well as the judiciary. The media will also be on the priority list for anti-corruption jabs, since we are a high-risk group at the frontlines.
KleptoVax will come in 2 doses. The first one is an antidote to petty bribes, graft and general crookedness. The second dose allows the body to develop antigens against nepotism, cronyism and Maoism. It is only after 70% of politicians get inoculated will they attain herd impunity.
Since there is great demand for KleptoVax in neighbouring countries, the government will have to buy it directly from manufacturers. The delay is due to a dispute over a non-disclosure agreement on kickbacks.