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Cultivating Democratic Culture

When there is too much of anything, it becomes intolerable. Nepalese politics is a good example of this. Because of the political volatility, it is easy to say that our political actors have not been practicing democracy.

Nepal has never had political stability, whether under the Rana dynasty, the Panchayat system, or the constitutional monarchy.

Even during the republican period, various governments were created and disbanded for a variety of reasons. The lack of a democratic attitude, which is the root of democratic behavior, is one of the main causes of these sad events. As is the case with the attitude, so is the case with the behavior.

Message of myths

It is a negative quality of political actors to be unduly interested or indifferent at all. To be a sincere politician who is motivated by a desire to help others, one must internalize a disinterested desire to serve.

Working without expectation of reward is an essential attribute of all human beings, according to the Shreemadbhagawat Gita. Although the Gita’s message may not always be realized in real-life settings, it can nonetheless be the model for all political actors to follow if a democratic system is to be sustained.

A comparable message can also be found in Judeo-Christian writings. “Lead us not into temptation,” an American fiction writer Mark Twain has remarked in his writing, maybe referencing to the biblical saying, to implicitly communicate a message that to fall into temptation is to defy God’s word.

Twain suggests that the material world is evil in this satirical piece.

This message can also be applied to political situations, where each leader and cadre must resist temptation in order for democracy to survive. Both of these themes are as appealing as they are convincing, despite their religious overtones.

The political players should avoid high morale that is free of the need for mandatory fruit after harvest and the temptation of material gain.

A sense of ethics had thus been developed in ancient myths and legends. The majority of them conveyed moral teachings that influenced people’s thinking and behavior.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, those myths and stories had the capacity to affect the entire community. The concepts of virtue and vice, good and evil, and heaven and hell were evolved from myths and stories based on binary opposition.

The majority of human actions were thus influenced by the messages enshrined in mythological books.

However, we can perceive that the ancient moral standards have lost their strength nowadays. It would have been preferable if the associated superstitions had faded and scientific grounds had been established.

This can be credited in part to scientific discoveries and advancements that have made the world more mechanical today.

People have formed a mindset that disregards humanity, which would safeguard the world from degradation. To our dismay, it appears that our technological civilization, not to mention our country, is degenerating values, as evidenced by a number of examples.

To foster democratic attitudes and behaviors, we must adhere to high morale, ethical principles that have been established for a long time and still convey a relevant message.

No other law, whether a bill enacted by parliament or a primordial rule imposed by a community’s chieftain, can work as well as a sense of ethics.

A country or community develops high civilization and culture when each citizen or community member has good morale and acts ethically.

On the other hand, when a large number of people and members of a society lack morale, the country faces decadence. When a person’s sense of ethics fails, society is on the point of collapsing.

Socialistic values

The formation of socialist values is another crucial component that contributes to authentic democracy. According to Nepal’s freshly promulgated constitution, we are a federal republic on the road to socialism.

However, we have yet to fully define what socialism is and what it implies in the context of Nepal. The manner in which political party leaders compete for power mocks their motto of socialism.

No one can rationalize how the powerful are putting socialism into practice. Socialism looks to be nothing more than appealing rhetoric, which, regrettably, is distant from reality.

Instead, wealthy political leaders engage in crony capitalism disguised as socialism since they lack a democratic mindset, let alone socialist behavior.

Not surprisingly, their followers are following in their footsteps. This trend will, in fact, aggravate the issue.

Crony capitalism, which many observers argue supports the interests of the comprador class, is mostly to blame for the rise of self-interest, the desire to collect wealth, and the seizure of authority in order to get more.

This trend will only lead to a state of cultural decay. Those in positions of power have become selfish, prioritizing themselves and even engaging in illegal activities to amass more than they require.

We have yet to hear a significant political figure express their willingness to hand over their excess fortune to the state for the common good. Instead, we hear that they are permitting their cadres to make money by any means necessary, money that will be used in the next election to obtain legislative and executive positions.

Many of our country’s legislation are enacted in parliament in order to improve democracy. However, such regulations will not be effective unless those who make them do not obey the rules themselves.

We’ve seen how both party’s stalwarts try to justify their claims without realizing they’re breaking the system they helped create.

If democracy is to be sustained, every citizen of the country and political actor must adopt a democratic mentality and conduct accordingly, in addition to following the norms imposed by the system.

They must be truly democratic in spirit and behavior, as well as responsible, for this to happen.

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