To start with, “Dyaaummm Gurl!!!!” – exactly as how my African American friends would describe an exciting moment.
So, the thing we all have been waiting for the past 3 decades is finally here, and nope, it is not the release of a certain version of BaahuBali, nor it is the Melamchi finally coming to Kathmandu to quench your thirst. It is non-other than the local body election, almost “Dashain” equivalent feat for the country itself.
Everyone has their eyes, ears and may be nose and throat(depending on how bad your air is polluted) directed towards Kathmandu. It’s like unveiling of the newer versions of cell phones by Apple, Samsung, Nokia and some new players like Oppo and One plus, but at the same time competing to be the ruler of the cellphone of the Kathmandu valley – analogy could have been better but lets forgive this author for his time constraint and procrastination for not coming up with more elegant analogy. So, exchange cellphone manufacturers with political parties and cell phones with the candidates for mayor; boom, you just solved the riddle.
So, let’s move beyond the analogy of cell phone and try something new. How about a MMO character. Few characters have been unlocked who promised they would fight against the apocalypse of the Kathmandu to make it the most beautiful city in Milky Way Galaxy(our galaxy) if not in the whole universe.
One of those character unveiled is Ranju Darshana with stats
– Hit Point(Age): 21,
– Primary weapon: Smart and determined.
I would engage on the specs of other players another day, however, today let’s take a sneak peak of this new release of character. The demo this girl has given is mixed; few positive, few negative, and rest of us are trying our best to see her as our ultimate saviour. True that specs are one thing, but you have to see how she does in the battle.
Would she be able to break the rings of hells designed by the minions of bureaucracy? How would she fight the bosses started right outside her mayor door and fight each and every nook and corner against the town hoodlums, the crooked businessmans and shrewd conservatives(if elected)? How would she carry on when her elixir(mental health) and Hit points(physical health) deteriorate once she starts fighting for the shy people of Kathmandu valley who waited for this saviour for centuries? I’d say, get her in the game, by that, I mean get her elected, let her swords of words(damn pun!!!) do the work.
I just happened to watch the program “Sarokar” from Kantipur Tv which had invited two candidates for mayor: Ranju Darshana and Kisor Thapa along with the former mayor Keshav Sthapit. The comments on the video were not particularly in favor of Ranju, which was obvious, nonetheless, I would not write her off as “weak”. She was verbally competing with two individuals who were proven in their field; Kisor thapa being the pioneer of city development who had worked alongside Nepal government on multiple projects and widely popular Keshav Sthapit, who, if not father, is like a distant cousin of Kathmandu valley, and his contributions should not be forgotten.
There were few things that kinda set me off, her agendas –not herself– being weak and not very convincing; reading out the 5 points and missing the last one, seemingly pedantic. The “urja” thing was also kinda not okay for me personally. Also, Kisor thapa almost owned her when she said she did a survey of Kathmandu valley. She did come back with perfect articulation and vision. BUT to have someone willing to compete with heavyweights at this early age would get my vote, my parents’ vote(this is illegal though- you can’t make other’s vote for your candidate) and if required even my pet’s vote, heck why not!!
I don’t know what went on the mind of the elite-seals of Nepal who are renowned as “bibek-sheel” when they sat down for choosing the candidate for mayor. Their publicity stunts have taken few backlashes, and I hope that this is more of a well thought- well put plan instead of a cheap publicity stuff. I guess they already acquired the secondary target of publicity if they had any. Anyone in Nepal, mostly in Kathmandu valley now knows who is Ranju Darshana. However, the catch here is, the people getting down in the keyboard wars in the facebook and twitter are her supporters and not necessarily her voters. The day of election, more than half of the people would leave Kathmandu to go back to their roots to vote. Ranju Darshana should be prepared for this, keep your supporters close, but your voters even closer. But again, the paradox is, in the history I don’t think anyone has actually reached to the people of Kathmandu valley. So here is the stats concluded from my poor study of 5 minutes. Almost everyone voting for Ranju Darshana in Kathmandu will be literate, my assumption 97.6%(factual 98%). So, if you go into the mass of literate, you would not get a pity-emotional vote like certain dahal did, with his fake promises to the people of Rukum and Rolpa.
All the voters would know what agendas the party put forth are feasible or not. They are very less moved by emotions and actually moved by waves of new changes, example Maoist party won the majority of seats in 2008 for constitutional election, however, in 2013 they were almost wiped out from the Kathmandu valley for they failed to meet the expectation. But in the past K-ppeps elected Keshav Sthapit from CPN-UML as the mayor of the city. Considering these things, Ranju Darshana along with Kisor have some silver lining on the cloud, adding to which the number of youth who can vote is also very large. Even if she connects with the young Kathmandu, she still has a chance of actually sitting on that throne as the people’s pioneer.
I have no idea how she would tackle the problems that lie in front of her, I would have suggested out of my experience but nobody elected me for the post of mayor in my ripe age of 21. However, whatever she does, the country and the fellow youth will watch closely. I hope she’d succeed and take reign of the valley, and bring out cleanliness and prosperity to the once fabled people-dom of Kathmandu.
Read more from Bikrant here: Bikrant Gautam Blog
Bikrant Gautam – MN, US
I currently work as a web application developer along with pursuing my masters degree in computer/information science. Before moving to US, I worked in Nepal as a software engineer and social worker for 4 years.
I am passionate about sports, music, literature and contemporary issue. At leisure time, you’ll find me either learning, playing guitar, writing or sleeping.
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