Self-termed New Nepal will be facing political, economic, social, and cultural challenges more rigorously then before CA Polls. Among many, horizontal and vertical inequalities are the most prominent challenges in post election scenario. Between these two Horizontal and Vertical inequalities, the latter i.e. the vertical inequality is more severe in nature, thereof demanding immediate attention from the government.
Inequality is a situation. And, horizontal inequality is the situation where groups of people in different topography are not given opportunities and priorities to develop their career and economic prosperity. Lacking of opportunity eventually leads them to receive different income. Different income creates a lot of social, economic, and personal disparities, making them estranged among horizontal line. It also refers to the situation in which some people are better and some are inferior among similar groups of people in different demography and stratum of the society.
For an instance, average income of the people living in western or eastern part of the county is much less than the average income of the people living in central part. It means development process of different regions was not started similarly and equitably. Investments were poured down in some part of the country that expedited development process of that particular region and forced other regions or demography lag behind. Such a disparity in long run widens economic, political, and social gaps among different regions and demography. Inequality contrived such a way is referred as horizontal inequality.
Different groups of people in different cultural, political, and economic backgrounds within the country can play crucial role for fostering national unity, if balance is harnessed, or ignite dormant dissatisfaction against the region, group, and their beings as a whole, if disparity let grow wild. Issues of Madhes that have come up now are but recent example of the disparity generated by the inequitable distribution of investments, political opportunity, and social reform process in the region as compared to others. Inequality when neglected by the state, transforms into revolt. Decade long people’s war and two years long Madhes unrest have horizontal inequalities in the root.
Peoples’ mandate to the Maoist party in the CA election this time can be viewed as peoples’ rebellion nature provoked against the both Horizontal and Vertical inequalities. Conflict of inequality between haves and haves not, feudalism and tenant, privileged and underprivileged, affluent and deprived and lot more other social maladies germinate on the fertile soil of horizontal and vertical inequalities. The long feud between the rich and the poor in the entire climate is the outcome of the synergy of Horizontal and vertical inequalities.
People’s movement in 2006 is the recent case in point to ponder in this context. Fundamental demand of the mass taking to street during the uprising was to end the Horizontal inequality. It also included economic opportunity to all, broad based inclusion of all the stratum of society in political mainstream, and opportunity to earn equal income level to all the people.
Maverick Movement lead by the Maoist for more than a decade was the revolt principally against Horizontal inequality.
However, debate and allusion about the Horizontal inequality has lost its magic spell soon after monarchy was dethroned, and inclusion of all stratum of society into mainstream politics paved way through CA polls. Commitments of regional development through federal set up, inclusion of women, nationalities, and other under privileged in political level as well as in various government mechanisms has wheedled the inequality for the time being.
Now the country will nastily face an unprecedented challenge of Vertical inequality. Pangs in hearts and pains in the life cut deeper the people when they comprehend inequality between the same groups of people or inequality among people of same demography.
Vertical inequality refers to the degree of difference between the people of same group in all basic level. Wider gap creating wider inequality among the same group of cast, culture, and demography is ubiquitous.
It becomes intolerable to the people to see some achieving higher economic status and upper hand in power sharing and their prestigious place in society are secured as compared to those who virtually have nothing at all, although they belong to the same group or demography.
For an instance, in the name of women inclusion, prior governments promoted few women of higher ranks who never represented the average Nepali women in true sense. As a result, the real status of average Nepali women remains unfelt even today. So was true in every aspect of representation. Only the selected few were privileged to have opportunity in politics, education, and government mechanism in the name of inclusion. Thus, inequalities in the vertical lines increased more and more in the entire social stratum across the country
Deprived is a situation. It can be alleviated with proper programs. Past governments lacked the vision of proper programs for the targeted group and demography.
This vertical inequality has power to provoke the rebellion even in a genteel man. Every man has a rebellion in him. Ordinary people set the rebellion in him free now and then whereas the genteel ones struggle to suppress it. The vertical inequality provokes both the ordinary and the genteel equally to revolt against the inequality and injustice.
Revolt against the vertical inequality is in the offing followed by CA polls in the country. The polls pushed many parties to the sources of power. Many candidates have won the first past the post and many more have been handpicked under proportional representation. Challenges may remain the same if again; tickets were distributed to the selected ones in the name of inclusion in First Past the Post, or the handpicked were chosen based on nepotism and favoritism in the name of proportional representation. language to define something does not make thing different but honesty in implementation does.
process of social reform and fruits of Loktantra do not reach to the real people, if lack of proper programs to the targeted groups, opportunity for career development and inadequate distribution of relief and investment for development, nepotism, and favoritism remain under covered in different pretext. Then, another cycle of revolt is inevitable to take place.
Economic progress, fearless freedom, sustainable peace and reliable security are only alternatives that can assuage the dormant rebellions in the people’s heart and make him wait for some time more to see if the programs renovate the society.
Parties and so called bona fide leaders will simply fail to build new Nepal and fail to achieve development and prosperity as claimed in their manifestos, if they fail to address the most crucial and urgent demand of vertical inequality before they merely and impulsively term the country as New Nepal.
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