Nepal’s New Prime Minister Owns a Mustang

Last week the Constituent Assembly appointed a new Prime Minister, Baburam Bhattarai. There has been a lot of talk among friends and workmates about what great things he’s going to do. On Sunday, Tri’s brother was excitedly telling me how he turned around the country’s finances as finance minister and scored the top marks in the nation on the SLC in the year that he took it (the nation-wide high school exit exam). While I don’t think doing well on a standardized test predicts much about one’s success at constitution building, I do think this guy has potential. He seems modest and humble, or at least he’s good at projecting that image. Most politicians buy expensive cars with government money, but Bhattarai bought a Nepali-made SUV for about 16 lakh (about 23,000 US dollars), a fraction of the cost of the typical car a Nepali prime minister might buy. The car is called a Mustang, named after a region of Nepal (You can find a picture of it by searching for “Hulas Mustang” on google). One of Tri’s friends was telling him that when he read that Bhattarai was ordering a Mustang, he got really excited, thinking that he had ordered the muscle car by the same name. No, Bhattarai didn’t order a muscle car…but people are still really happy about his choice.

Bhattarai received his degree from the Delhi School of Planning and Architecture, and I’m hoping that once the constitution passes (if it does), he might get involved in urban development and city planning in Kathmandu. Nobody knows if the next constitution deadline will be met, but we’re all feeling optimistic about it. I think that people are generally more hopeful than they were when I lived here two years ago. While I was riding the bus back from Dhampush, I learned the lyrics of phulko aakaamaa, a famous Nepali song sung by the celebrity Buddhist nun, Ani Choying. We got to talking about her, and one of my bus-mates told me that she recently saw peace for Nepal in a dream. Here’s to hoping…

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One thought on “Nepal’s New Prime Minister Owns a Mustang

  1. Pingback: The Politicians Are at Work but No Cause for Celebration Yet | nepali jiwan

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