One thing is for certain. The days of 14 or more hours of power cuts are over. People in Nepal are not concerned about the next load shedding time table, and their lives no longer revolve around such time tables that used to only increase the number of darkness in Nepal. Although there might definitely be a team of people behind ending such shameful reality that persisted in Nepal for years after years, the new reality is that the biggest problem we have to face now is sudden power cuts from time to time that lasts for some minutes. The credit has gone to Mr. Kulman Ghising aka “Cool Man”, the current managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), whose personal determination and action helped to expose the nexus between the criminal-minded NEA authorities and industrialists, and put in place the policy that allowed “light” to return to Nepal.
The question on social media that is occupying everyone’s mind is whether Kulman Ghising, whose term is coming to an end at the end of Bhadra, will be allowed to continue or will be replaced with someone close to the current prime minister. It is evidently clear what the citizens of Nepal want. To them, Kulman must be a shoe in for the great work he has done. In many eyes, he is a hero worthy of something greater, and probably the only shining star in the dark nights of Nepal’s political dark nights of corruption and abuses.
Even the personnel of NEA speak in his favor. Before Kulman, the power cuts for 14+ hours every day was making the people working in NEA lose face in the community. In the 35th anniversary celebration of the NEA, speakers raised the demand for him to be reappointed for another four years. Now they can proudly walk in the streets, they argue when vocally siding with him.
This issue got a viral status in social media when a popular actor Deepak Raj Giri posted about Kulman. What he had hoped would be a reappointment was misconstrued as an already done deal when people did not fully read the status.
आज बसेको मन्त्री परिषद बैठकले कुलमान घिसिगं लाइ नै बिद्युत प्राधिकरणको प्रमुख पदमा निरन्तरता दिने निर्णय गरेको छ !!!सरकार संग यस्तै आशयको समाचार प्रेसित गरेर जनताकै पक्षमा उभिनुको बिकल्प छैन…
However, many other celebrities showed their support to Ghising on social media, including a popular comedian-actor Hari Bansha Acharya who came out referring to the dark days. He opined: There are many forces of darkness in this country. They have to be searched and removed. Let us honor the ones who bring light. His energy elevates the whole nation’s energy.
यो देशमा अन्धकार ल्याऊनेहरु धेरै छन् तिनीहरुलाई खोजी खोजी हटाउनु पर्छ | ऊज्यालो ल्याउनेलाई सम्मान गरौ । उहॅाको ऊर्जाले देशको ऊर्जा बढ्छ ।
So positive is the image of the Managing Director Ghising that there are many artists who have joined together and brought out music videos and posted on YouTube. He has been called by such epithets as “Light of Nepal” or “the Light Hero.” All in all, Mr. Ghising has done what was once imagined to be impossible. There is not a single negativity in the eyes of the public so the continuation is the desire of everyone because they shudder to think of those dark days returning again. By his performance, the economic and social positive result it would be unthinkable to remove him. Nothing speaks louder than his feat of turning around of NEA from annual loss-bearing to a billion rupees profit-making body.
Not so fast though. The Energy Minister Pun dismissed the viral news and clarified that his reappointment matter has not been taken to the cabinet for decision. Inside sources are not so confident of him continuing for various reasons.
One, he is not an Oli guy. He was appointed by Prachanda and is from the Maoist faction. Nepali Times reported: “Prime Minister K P Oli is said to be personally not in favour of Ghising’s extension. Insiders say he has promised the job to Sushil Gyewali, currently the CEO of the National Reconstruction Authority that coordinated earthquake relief. Oli could also be seeing Ghising as someone close to the ‘Maoist’ Dahal faction of the NCP.”
Second, the operatives of the dark forces that perpetuated the dark days in Nepal are not in his favor. In fact, those NEA officials with nexus with the business entities who profited from the power shortage have been trying to oust him. The person who was one of the chief architects of darkness is actually in the field to be reappointed as the managing director.
Lastly, his popularity and the credit he has received, out shadowing other team members and even the energy minister himself, has caused jealousy among the political and NEA circle. His opponents do not wish to see the media spotlight continue. Instead of praising his unprecedented success, their ego could play a role in not recommending him to continue to address other remaining problem. An article in Online Khabar argued that it was not Kulman but the trend that got rid of the power cuts. Anyone else beside him could have achieved the same results.
It is evident that there will be opposing forces fighting it out, and next month, we will know for sure which side wins, the people or the business, political nexus. Looking at the trend in Nepal, we should not be surprised if Kulman loses. Neither should it be unthinkable that if “Cool Man” is removed, people will also lose their “cool.” Either way, we might be in for an unexpected news.
The writer is a graduate of Arizona State University in Political Science. He is working as a social activist and motivational speaker for students across Nepal since 2007. He also blogs at Strong Blog.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necesarily reflect the official policy or position of Nepalisite.