Why Gagan Thapa’s Bir Hospital press conference was an encouragement for criminal bureaucrats?

Recently, two new cabinet ministers became a big news headline in Nepal.

Minister for Energy Janardan Sharma – became headline because he ordered to cut off electricity supply to the customers who had huge amount of bill overdue to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), including former King’s Mother’s resident and some government offices.

Minister for Health Gagan Thapa – became headline because he inspected country’s oldest hospital Bir Hospital and showed some pictures of nightmare dirt-sewage condition of the hospital toilets sent to him by someone on this Facebook.

1. When the news of Minister Janardan Sharma broke, most of the people in Nepal were kind of sad and started to feel so sorry for former king’s mother because she was old lady and that day was her birthday too. Some were so angry that they started protesting in social media, the plight and misery of former queen having to stay in candle light was flooding in all reputed news channel.

It is very difficult to understand this kind of psychology of Nepalese society who often show such compassion to someone who breaks the law and who literally refuses to pay tax. In case, if the former queen wants she can buy the whole NEA, she is a very very wealthy person, a millionaire or probably billionaire. There are millions elderly people out there under open sky without food but we are worried about a millionaire who refuses to pay bills!! Shame on us !!

Real story: This is not isolated case this type of thing happens in Nepal everywhere in all classes of society. When I was about 8 years old, one farmer’s whole family disappeared for 2 days. Later on all the family members returned home except one around 40 years old bachelor member of the family. This man was brother of the father of that family so he was living in his ancestral home with his brother’s family. Later there was a search operation by the villagers and found him dead by the river a week later. Then he was cremated by the same riverside and the case finished. Even till today, I am very curious why this guy was dead and why family disappeared for 2 days and why there was no police involved or why nobody reported the police? I once asked my dad this, he said, if villagers had informed police this incident, there was chance the whole family would be in trouble and this could even end up in murder investigation or something serious. The villagers didn’t want to give that family any trouble since the bachelor man was alone and had no one to cry for him and as he is dead – he is dead so why give other people trouble! Still today, I often wonder what had really happened to that man. Nobody never knows.

This type of serious case are left unreported or dismissed everywhere in Nepali society and its absolutely normal!! This makes me so shocked now since I notice how small matters like staring or swearing at neighbour ends up in court here in UK. And even shocking thing is that, even if you report crimes like rape or murder attempt most police officers and witness try to solve the problems at police station with so called “milapatra” – mutual agreement/contract and case hardly reach court for justice.

In Minister Janardan Sharma’s case, he was in fact doing the duty of the local NEA officer. In fact to cut off any customer’s power if they are really overdue without any valid reason should have been a regular duty of local officer not a Minister. However, instead to thanking Mr Sharma for his initiation, the newspapers and many people were moaning at Mr Sharma !! This is purely a stupidity and lawlessness of Nepali society.

Now I know why poet Bhupi Serchan said Nepali people are brave because they are stupid !

2. Now let’s talk about Minister of Health, Gagan Thapa’s stunt press conference after monitoring Bir Hospital. This was hailed as a great step forward and a big initiative by Mr Thapa, in all major newspapers and social media by public.

Let me ask you one thing- if you are an employer and see your employee doing absolutely nothing he/she should be doing for many years – would you organise a press conference and tell media that – “ look this is the condition of my organisation, I have asked employees to come up with 100 day plan of improvement” or you confront the employee who is doing absolutely nothing and ask for reason and right away start disciplinary procedure? I am telling you, Mr Thapa’s press conference is an encouragement to the useless officers who are literally putting lives of all of us at risk.

Dear Honourable Minister, everyone knows what is the condition of the government Hospitals in Nepal, we have had enough of press conferences and plans. We need action. You showed the evidence that there is unacceptable and utterly dangerous situation in Bir Hospital, everyone in surrounding community and all patients and staffs’ life is in danger of contaminating dangerous disease by using the facilities there. Now, you have evidence, you are in the post of chief executive with full public mandate, why are you not coming forward with an action? Forget about 100 day action plan, why don’t you sack the Bir hospital officer responsible for domestic/cleaning services? Why can’t you take this officer to the court for putting patient, staff and community’s life at risk? What is stopping you doing this? And it’s not about Bir hospital, start from there and keep throwing out every useless government officers in MoH, take them to the court for justice.

There are brilliant young and educated people out there to show results tomorrow morning if you can hire them. Don’t be afraid of your karmachari Sangathan or you will also be one of those ministers – absolutely useless twatts.