Democracy has not failed. The corrupted politicians have slowed down growth. ➤

Democracy has not failed. The corrupted politicians have slowed down growth.

During the Monarchy, resources were misallocated or not allocated all. The rural parts of the country was very poor. There was little economic activity happening. People only 20 years ago were very poor. Ask your parents. They were likely in the villages farming and living a subsistence lifestyle. My parents both were before they god married.

Democracy empowered all parts of the country. We saw rapid building of roads. We saw power lines reach all parts of tue country. These roads enabled for people to come to KTM or to parts of Terai easily. This migration and the subsequent globalization opened Nepal up to the world. The migration would probably not have been possible under the Monarchy whose motto was, “Aafno gau afai banaune”.

A point about migration that was a result of roads being built: Economic theory argues that migration is good because it leads to efficient allocation of human capital. People can move to where the jobs are. They can move to where businesses are. This leads rapid urbanization which comes with benefits in education as well.

People are obviously going to leave for jobs abroad, that’s basic economics. The problem is not that people are leaving in droves—a lot of them can be compelled to move back. However, them moving back is not important. The problem is that the rate at which these people are leaving is high. Meaning every year some % of the population leaves. If the country was functioning better, people would still leave but at a smaller percentage.

The only thing we should look at is year over year growth rate. If you look at historical data, in 2017 gdp growth was 9%. ‘18, 7.6. ‘19, 6.7. This growth would have likely continued if not for the pandemic. Nepal is improving in almost all metrics imaginable. Quality of education has gone up because people could move to KTM to educate their kids.

What we see happening now—I like to give the example of dozer साउ—is that the people who led the development of the country, a lot of them dozer साउ, are finding ways to cheat the system and keep their hold on power.

Many mayors and ward adakxyas have made their money through construction. This is happening because there isn’t a check on their power. The three party system only enables this for the incumbency of the 3dal prefers to remain as such.

The constitution was promulgated in 2015. Democracy is only 8 years old in Nepal. People have not learned to wield their democratic powers. Democracy is not just voting, it’s being able to run for election, campaign for an idea and bring that idea into reality. This was not a luxury the Monarchy offered.

So what’s next? What do we do to remain optimistic?
We need to learn to use our democratic power. Balen, Harka, Rabi and RSP have shown us that democracy can work. This needs to be scaled across the country. We need to see competitive elections. The root of the evils are the three dals. I come from a Congress household but recognize that while I agree with their “democratic ideology” over the socialists, I do not believe Congress, UML and Maobadi have a place in the Parliament.

So let’s make change, not by petitioning for the return feeble ex-Monarch and a failed and obsolete political system. But by running for local and federal elections. 84 can be an inflection point where the country votes against corruption.

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