Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli rose to power through his hardline nationalist stance when India had imposed an unofficial border blockade to Nepal in 2015. At that time, instilling anti-India sentiments among Nepalis worked wonders in his favor.
He is the first prime minister in Nepal’s history to have a two-third majority in the parliament, giving him the numerical supremacy to pass bills without any opposition. And he used that control to pass some controversial bills without the consultation of the concerned experts.
Moreover from the very beginning, Oli has tried to set a precedent through strict codes of conduct for everyone, including the media, public, and even his own party cadres. In October 2019, speaking at a programme in the central capital, Oli had said that journalists do not even show respect to their parents, as they do not call their father “tapai”, a respectful form of address in Nepali.
But his longing to dictate discipline to everyone, barring himself, did not stop there. In January 20 this year, Nepal Communist Party, led by PM Oli, issued an 11-point code of conduct for party cadres and leaders telling that all party members should try to live a simple life and show high moral conduct.
The code of conduct also states that birthday, rice weaning (paasni) and bratabandha celebrations should be limited among family members.
Two years after a myriad of jokes, ridiculous directives, absurdly high moral ground for others, and outrageous remarks by the Prime Minister, Oli celebrated his 69th birthday yesterday in his hometown Aathrai of Tehrathum.
However, his birthday celebration was not short of theatrics as Yangzom Sherpa from Nepal Trust, Lakhpa Sonam Sherpa of Yeti Holdings, and Sitaram Sapkota from Altitude Air were present at his birthday celebration. It is important to note that these organizations have been mired in controversy of late with relation to corruption.
Four chartered helicopters had transported Oli along with his friends and family to his birth home. And the celebration was nothing but a bizarre flex of power in a rural village where people still struggle to get basic facilities.
Talking big talks and failing to walk their own talks is an old tradition among politicians, but Oli went a step ahead and tried to curtail dissent by introducing restrictive bills. If being a good talker is supposed to be an important trait among politicians, facing scrutiny for their inefficiency is also a part of the process.
Not caring for precedents set by himself, saving faces of his party members accused of corruption, coming after everyone who criticizes his government and distributing baseless dreams to unsuspecting public have become some repetitive characteristics of Prime Minister Oli.