Knowledge is power, and scholars have both the right and the duty to manifest the power of knowledge. The power of knowledge can contribute to developing informed citizenry, expand their horizon and offer various choices for living in multiple ways. However, the wisdom, a powerful weapon of scholar seems currently under wider scrutiny. Confucius wisely said that one may learn wisdom through many ways: acquiring it by reflection is the noblest way but doing that by imitation is the easiest, and gaining it through experience is the bitterest. A cursory look at the Nepali society reveals that the scholars here mostly belong to the second category. Not only in politics, but in other fields like legal, economic, social, engineering, media or medical lines, we have hardly had the scholars from other categories. They are skipping the noblest and the bitterest way and stepping on the easiest.
A political leader going abroad will prescribe that Nepal should be like Switzerland or Singapore but rarely talk about how to build Nepal that developed world or countries would want to emulate in future. Replicating developmental model or programs and policies from elsewhere only means bankruptcy on our part to establish a link between the indigenousness of our needs, problems and solution.
But, it is a good sign that this model is under scrutiny inside the country now. Prof Yubaraj Sangroula Ph.D., a former Attorney General says that knowledge/wisdom must have primacy over politics. In a recent talk show, he mentioned the fault of scholars as one major factor in politico-economic and moral downfall of the country. Similarly, Surya Raj Acharya Ph.D., an infrastructure expert, expressed worries over the diminishing intellectual accountability. Also, Kanak Mani Dixit, civil society activist and journalist through his article laments Scholars for their inadequacy in questioning and influencing leaders and their views. Similarly, Jainendra Jiban Sharma, political analyst and retired civil service official through his conversation questions the role, particularly of media, in terms of disseminating timely and “value-free” information.
It is about time to question more minutely – are politicians alone guilty? Are scholars of other streams free from any share of the blame in wrong policies being pursued, implementation hurdle, and in resultant frustration among the people, besides the time and opportunity lost?
For long, leaders in politics have been blamed for all the wrongdoings and dysfunction. Of course, politics being the foundation of policies and governance, credit or blame for things going right or wrong, primarily belongs to political leaders. But, it is about time to question more minutely – are politicians alone guilty? Are scholars of other streams free from any share of the blame in wrong policies being pursued, implementation hurdle, and in resultant frustration among the people, besides the time and opportunity lost ?
Currently, general public have begun to point fingers at such leaders and expressing dissatisfaction. This attitude of concern and being argumentative on the part of the people is certainly going to have its toll, in a positive sense on the intellect/wisdom of the leaders in different sectors, and may help address the crippling politico-economic and moral-social reality.
“Permacrisis” is introduced as the word of the year 2022 by Collins Dictionary. The word is defined as protracted crisis, combining political instability, war in Ukraine, climate problems and continuous rise in the cost of living. The meaning and the gravity of the word may not be confined or restricted within The Collins Dictionary. It should inject the power and grace among our scholars to look inward, and adopt corrective measure. Chaos and Frustration may be a worldwide phenomenon, but they need to make themselves accountable for their lapses in Nepal.