Reviewed by Tulasi Acharya
We must fight against negativeness – especially bureaucracy, corruption and wastefulness. Nong Duc Manh
At a time when our politics are puzzled by people and politicians’ petty interests, if you ask me which Nepali book I recommend that a politician, a leader, a bureaucrat, a lawyer, a journalist, a husband or a father should or must read, I suggest you read Nyaya, meaning “Justice” by Shushila Karki, a former chief justice of Nepal. I even suggest miscreants read this book. If you read this book, cleanse yourself in your attitudes, and maintain honesty and integrity in your profession, you will have already appeased your God, let alone your frequent temple visits to offer flowers to make your God delirious. Just follow as the book asks you to behave. This book is an epitome of naked evidence that shows how the politicians’ corrupt acts play an instrumental role to influence the judicial system of Nepal.
Karki’s thirty years plus experience in the area of judiciary ranging from being a lawyer to the chief justice of Nepal profoundly and cinematically displays the stupidity of people in power. According to Karki, it is unfortunate that politicians became unwise, inhuman, selfish, corrupt, and despotic, which is metaphorically speaking not less or even more than those who reigned in the Panchayati system. They sold their own humanity and honesty in the name of good leaders of the nation. When you read the book, for example, Puspa kamal Dahal aka Prachanda, Lokman Singh Karki, former chief justice Gopal Parajuli, Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta, and so on (We can add more people recently Lucky Sherpa, Om Bikram Rana…) display their true self of their dishonesty and despotism, let alone to address the problems of the nation, to bail the country out of poverty and injustice.
Karki brings out so blatantly that the malpractices within the judicial system are practiced by some judges themselves and how politicians abet those malpractices to address their personal interests. The book shows that corruption, favoritism, and nepotism are rampant in politics, bureaucratic institutions, and even in the judicial system that have marred the country’s progress. It is sad that the executive body proactively tries to directly influence the court and even in the selection of the Supreme Court’s judges by interfering with the “separation of power” which is crucial for the country to succeed.
Karki is not sad at her impeachment because she knew what she did was impeccably flawless. After reading the book, some of the scandals and cases filed in the Supreme Court, such as Sudan Ghotala Kanda, Silwal Case, and others Karki mentions reflect the ministers’ shameful and repugnant involvement. However, Karki also provides a list of good people who truly remained examples for her to follow.
Karki calls such shameful manners from so called leaders into questions. She paints the true picture of present politics by exploring these malpractices as diseases that demote the right and promote the wrong and asks journalists/journalism as the fourth state of the nation to be accountable for honest investigative reporting.
Although there are some repetition of ideas at times and some ideas that could be stated in a few sentences, the book is also an overview of her upbringing, her memories of the Panchayat system, her career and the relationships that show how they shape who she was, is, and will be. The book is also evidence of how one can remain honest throughout if one truly thinks on behalf of the nation and the nationalities. Before closing, here are some of the quotes from what Karki writes verbatim that are useful to contemplate to bring change in ones’ actions. However, this cannot sum up what Karki has written in a 360 page book.
“… तर हाम्रो देश त्यस्तो देश हो जहाँ आफ्नो कर्तब्य पुरा गर्दा सबैको आँखी भइन्छ किनभने यहाँ शक्तिकेन्द्रमा रहनेहरुले गैरकानुनि बाटो हिड्न रुचाउँछन् ।” (पृ. ६)
“केहि कर्मचारीहरुले जति काम गरे पनि गणना नै नहुने, केहीको भने काम नगरे पनि निरन्तर उन्नति भइरहने रोग हाम्रा सरकारी संस्थाहरुमा छ..” (पृ.९)
“जतिसुकै व्यवस्था परिवर्तन भए पनि सत्तामा पुग्नेहरुको चरित्रमा भने कहिल्यै परिवर्तन आएन ।…चाहे २००७ को होस्, २०४६ को वा २०६३ सालको होस् , सिङ्गो राज्यव्यवस्था होइन,नेताहरुले जहिले पनि आफ्नो वैयक्तिक हैसियत परिवर्तनलाई नै सम्पुर्ण परिवर्तन ठाने ।…” (पृ.१४५-१४६)
“…नेताहरुमा अहम छ । तिनीहरुमा राजनैतिक संस्कारको अभाब देखिन थालेको छ । गहिरो अध्यन र गतिलो बुझाइ भएका नेता पनि कम छन् । … लालसा छ । ..मर्यादा छैन…” (पृ.१४७-१४८)
“… तर नेपालका राजनीतिक नेताहरुले राज्यको यस अंगलाई कार्यपालिकाको मातहत ठानेको देखिन्छ । न्यायधिस नियुक्तमा हस्तक्षेप गर्ने, आफ्नो दलको भर्तीकेन्द्र ठान्ने, आँफु बिपरित फैसला भए बिरोधि पार्टीको भनि लेबल लगाउने….” (पृ. १५०)
पर्तिपक्ष बसुन्जेल जनताको पक्ष लिए जस्तो गर्छन , सत्तामा पुगेपछि हिजोको अडान बिर्सिन्छन भन्ने आशय पनि शुशिला कार्कीको छ ।