The recent news regarding government’s preparation to ban the import of inverters and other similar electrical equipments citing they are the cause of increased load-shedding entertained the citizens as intended maybe. Most of us pushed the matter aside considering it as another ridiculous policy that thankfully never gets implemented. Many others gave out a sigh and prepared themselves for another silent compliance and a harder life. No wonder, we have learnt to play the way it is meant to be played.
However, what saddens me is the fact that our government always manages to outrun itself in introducing more ridiculous policy. It saddens me to see the numbness of citizens that prevents them from feeling any indignation when the state run company fails to deliver electricity for 11 hours a day (sounds like 1800s , doesn’t it?), and blames the citizens for finding an alternative to reduce their hardships caused by the inefficiency of the state. I am surprised at the ignorance of the citizens who refuse to acknowledge the fact that in most of the countries in the world, private companies vying for customers are providing electricity at cheaper cost and more efficient way. And we would be better off without Nepal Electricity Authority.
If we analyze the recent decision of government to introduce such policy without embarrassment or reproach, we find that the reason for this is our concept of origination of power. As it has always been believed in our society that the power state has is inherent in itself, be it in the name of King or the so called democratically elected government. The power of an individual is thought to be a derivative of the power of the state. And hence, an individual’s right is something granted by the state and thereby can be taken away or awarded at the will of the state. When translated into recent context, it becomes that electricity is something that we don’t naturally have a right to even if we are willing to pay for it but instead it’s a privilege our state has granted us to and if the state thinks it’s not good for us to have electricity we shouldn’t have one. Our state thinks that we should be suffering power cuts of 11 or even 18 hours a day and that we should be doing it because electricity is something we got because we had a energy ministry and all blood suckers in it not because it was a commodity that makes life easier and anyone willing to pay for it naturally entitled to have it.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if someday the government decides to ban freezes, electric bulbs, rechargeable batteries, and our cell phones not for causing load shedding but for the very reason of being designed to run with electricity itself.