What has gone wrong in Nepal?

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Hira Lamsal

Something must be wrong with Nepalese politics as this beautiful country is always mired in instability, uncertainty and chaos for more than a decade. It had been thought that the end of the Maoist insurgency would bring about lasting peace and stability in Nepal. But the situation after the Maoist insurgency was brought to an end has not significantly improved and the fluid situation and uncertainty continues to prevail even now when the Maoist insurgency has become history.

 Politics, of course, is always in the driving seat anywhere in the world. It is the politics that sets tone of every sectors and aspect. Thus, politics needs to be cleansed so that its fallout will be positive in all other sectors. The situation we are facing today is because politics has gone haywire and politics has slipped into the hands of criminals and goons. Our politics is no longer in the control of politicians and political parties. Politics has been criminalized and crimes becoming politicized. That is the reason why politicians lament over the death of goons and criminals.

Politics in Nepal is so dirty and rotten that it has spoiled all other sectors. Given the scale of corruption under political patronage and nexus between criminals and politicians, it requires huge commitment and courage from all sides and sectors to clean our politics. Political parties are the main actors in democracy. If the parties themselves are not in good position and order, politics always gets perverted.  Leaders are the ones who need to set example and show the best way to the people. When leaders themselves are corrupt and they always run after power, position and money, it is useless to expect good results from them and their parties. In such a scenario, democracy always comes under threat and people become apathetic to politics and political parties. Out of this situation, either ultra rightist nationalists or left extremist elements and military dictators take advantage and tend to seize power. This has happened in many of the developing and the least developed countries in different parts of the world including in our own neighborhood.

Nepal’s politics is in bad shape as political parties and their leaders get often preoccupied in their own personal and partisan interests rather than working for the broader national interest. It seems as though they have lost their decision-making power and are seeking advice and prescriptions from the external forces and powers. What can be worse than this? This is the making of their own as they never accorded priority more to their own interests rather than the country and the people.

Now the national politics has been polarized into two camps. One is trying to deliver a new constitution and end the present state of political instability and transition. In this front, there are four major parties including the two ruling parties—the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML and two opposition parties namely the UCPN-Maoist and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik). The other bloc is doing its best to fail the constitution-making process and push the country into another round of conflict. In this bloc are both rightist and ultra leftist parties. Some Madhesi parties and ethnic groups are spearheading the protests against the constitution-making process in the name of opposing the federal model proposed by the four major parties. In reality, this is not the protest against federal model but against the entire political process so that Nepal would continue to remain mired in instability and transition. It is their well-orchestrated design backed by some ill-intentioned external forces to not let Nepal come out of the transition. As our political forces are not united and are being guided by others, Nepal is slowly becoming a playground of external forces. The present protests being launched in the name of opposing the federal model, is not at the hands of our political forces but being pulled and pushed by forces from across our national border.

We have already wasted eight long years in the name of writing a new constitution from the elected Constituent Assembly. This is because political parties failed to rise above their partisan and personal interests. Parties and leaders accorded more priority to power rather than giving an amicable and suitable solution that would bring about peace, stability and co-existence in the country.  The parties tried to incite one group against the others, which created the present situation in Nepal. At this time, constitution is the number one priority of the country and all political parties must be united to give the country a constitution. But they are delaying and derailing this process despite the efforts being made by four major political parties to live up to their promises made to the people during the last election held in November 2013.  All political parties, big or small, had promised to give the constitution within one year. They had also promised that they would do it whether they win or lose the election. Given the present power equation in the Constituent Assembly, no single political party has the majority to deliver the constitution. Thus, they have to make compromises. Although late, the four major parties that command more than three-forth majority in the Constituent Assembly, have decided to deliver the constitution  based on the compromise. However, a small minority comprising some fringe Madhesi parties and ethnic groups backed by external forces as well as external powers and rightist reactionaries are trying to scuttle this process.  As their strength is insignificant they are not in the position of influencing the constitution-making process in the Constituent Assembly. Thus, they are trying to create trouble and disturbances in the streets. As a result, they have enforced general strikes in several Terai districts. In the name of peaceful protests, they have allowed people to carry fatal weapons and resort to violence and attack. The recent incident in Tikapur, in which eight security personnel on duty were brutally killed, is its example. Thus, this is the making of the people who do not want to see peace, stability and democracy in the country. But unfortunately, our own political parties and groups have become their stooges and are acting at their behest that has ruined the fate of our country and the people.  

Now we should not go back and further delay the constitution making process. The initiative taken by the four major parties is praiseworthy and it has to be given continuity. If there are genuine grievances, they can be addressed through mutual talks and negotiation. But deliberate efforts to scuttle the constitution-writing process should be countered and foiled. Constitution is the desire and demand of the people and no one has the right to block and delay this process. Moreover, the constitution can always be amended in future through due constitutional process and if there are any grievances and reservation, they can always be changed and improved in future through due constitutional processes. Thus, the constitution-making process should not be obstructed under any excuse.


Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 2:24 pm


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