With increasing penetration of the Internet in Nepal, 46.04 per cent in 2015 and 38.68 per cent in 2014, diplomats, government and political parties have also entered into digital diplomacy for digital battle to contest with their own context in modern society equipped with science and technology. People with ambition of the materialistic world and race of advancement, won’t now stop in this reasoning era living with digital technology like the Internet. One of the least developed countries like Nepal has 4 million Facebook users in 2016, said Facebook.
Directly targeting significant population in social media, diplomats and political parties are redirecting their public activities in different ways. In a contrast of traditional political movement like public addressing in stadium or in downtown open air, political parties are entering into cybernetic space with their digital social identities to interact on their agenda and impression with people. It is increasing and focusing political expansion and rendering their public activities in different ways. In a near future of political movement in Nepal, major political activities for public announcement and public addressing would be also concluded into cybernetic space than in stadium or in downtown.
Recent netpolitik of Nepal is bystander of latent future movement of political parties. Major political parties – Community Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist, CPN – UML), Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre), Nepal Revolutionary Student Union (Bhaktapur), Naya Shakti, and Madeshi parties including many political figures have entered into social dialogue with population in social media with their digital social identities which has to face political consequences sometimes otherwise. Sponsored links as extensive promotional political activities in Facebook and twitter of Naya Shakti (Babu Ram Bhattarai) and Maoist Center (Prachanda) have claimed digital supremacy once again in political activities and its ability of mediation in political movement in Nepal. Sponsored link is not a normal link. However, it appears in a wall of targeted group of community set into Facebook advertisement with cost of dollars per click. Initially it can be started from US 5 dollars. Naya Shakti has rendered its activities of promotion of party banner and announcement of membership with sponsored links in Facebook and Twitter for many months. How much dollar did Naya Shakti spend for sponsored links to render their political agenda or activities? Cybernetic activities of Naya Shakti paying dollar to international companies for sponsored link in Facebook is an example of activities of other political parties in netpolitik in Nepal. However, the equation goes in hyper in near upcoming days with mega scale of expenditure for sponsored links which wage foreign companies paying in dollars.
After immediate comprehensive peace accord between ruling parties and Maoist party (Prachanda) in November 2006, Nepal had entered into peace process with dialogues and understanding between political parties which came through Election of Constituent General Assembly in 2013. In close monitoring of Anti-corruption expert in 2013, each political party had collected approximately 30 million Nepali rupees and expended in election. Those figures were tracked down as donation for election and election expenses of political parties in 2013 according to The Kathmandu Post on 2nd November 2013 when most of political activities like public addressing and announcements were made in stadium and in downtown open air and social media users like in Facebook were also very low, in other way social media impression was not likely today.
In contrast of yesterday as cited above, political parties would spend money for digital impression in Facebook, Twitter and other social media in upcoming near future like private sectors are already in line of placing advertisement in Facebook nowadays in Nepal. Almost major parties and other parties which are in line of aggressive movement spending money for election expedition in social media in future as political parties of USA, both of democratic and republican, had spent significant money in social media and digital activities like data visualization in presidential election in 2008. In upcoming election in Nepal, political parties would be proactive in digital media for their political expedition during election waging foreign companies, like Facebook and Twitter, paying in dollars. Nepali Congress Secretary General Prakash Man Singh had tabled the details of his election expenditure in which 8 per cent (NRs. 62,150.00) were expensed for printing leaflets and posters as advertisement according to The Kathmandu Post on 10th December 2013. Political parties go for both conventional and new media and spend relatively. If only five major political parties allocate even only 5 per cent of their election budget, Nepal pays off approximately NRs. 7.5 million to American companies in upcoming election in post conflict in Nepal. Not only for social media but also for other skills like portal development and data visualization would be in demand.
Such significant money is going out of Nepal in upcoming days. However, it is an example set of netpolitik in Nepal. With rapid growing of such social media, much Nepali rupees are now going outside of Nepal exchanging in dollar to those international companies, especially American companies like Facebook.
It is economics of digital technology of politics in Neal rendering social activities of not only private sector but also political parties in Nepal. Stopping money outgoing is another latent challenge for government and political leaders to rethink of their activities with own indigenous digital tools promoting local youth and national skilled manpower in upcoming days in development work and politics in Nepal.
Election expenses according to The Kathmandu Post on 2013-11-02
|SN||Political Parties||Amount (NRs.)||Per candidates (NRs.)|
|1||CPN-UML||35 million||0.1 m|
|2||Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal (Upendra Yadav)||30 million||0.1 m|
|3||UCPN (Maoist)||Not mentioned||Not mentioned|
|4||Nepali Congress||Not mentioned||Not mentioned|
|Future election expenses|
|Activities||Amount in Million (NRs.)|
|Budget of Election Per Party||30|
|Social Media Budget (5%) Per Party||1.5|
|Budget of Major 5 Parties out of 121 Political Parties in Nepal||150|
|Social Media Budget (5%) of Major 5 Parties and Others||7.5|
(This article has been published in Arnnapurna Post in Nepali (Transalated) on Saturday, 20 August 2016.) — Click here to download the article in Nepali.