Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Democracy is not Merely a Brand

The post-1990 democratic era saw the raping of democracy by the very people who were trusted by Nepalis to establish a transparent democratic system in Nepal. These netas left no stones unturned to cling to power and abuse their power.

When it came to benefiting from a certain move, they did not even hesitate to involve the palace in decisions where the king had no constitutional role. Case in point—the house dissolution recommendation of Manmohan Adhikari and the ensuing squabbles.

In any case, on February 1, 2005, king Gyanendra became the latest attacker to the constitution. But what we must not forget is that had the netas done their jobs right, the king would not have the guts to mess with democracy and the constitution.

Did the king make a mistake? Certainly!

Is the king and the institution of monarchy solely responsible for the mess Nepal is in right now? Absolutely not! He's played his part and the latest mess is probably all because of his doings, but in no way is the king solely responsible for what Nepal has gone through in the last decade and a half.

So what is my point?

My point is that we have not heard a single word of remorse or self evaluation from the leaders, who are currently too busy deflecting all the blame to the king and the palace. Like I said, yes, the palace is at fault, but shouldn't the citizens of Nepal have the opportunity to be reassured by the netas that what went on between 1990 and 2004 will not happen again?

What we don’t want is the politicians committing blunders with mid- to long-term repercussions, all in the haste of “providing an outlet to the current crises facing the nation.”

At the very list, the politicians should clearly and concisely answer the following three questions:
  1. What plans do they have to ensure transparent governance based on meritocracy, integrity and accountability?
  2. How do they propose to ensure that the planned constituent assembly elections will be fair and be conducted without any threats or “civil-actions” by the Maoists?
  3. What will happen to the leaders who engaged in massive corruptions while they were members of the post-1990 governments?

Debate along these lines are crucial to allay the concerns of those Nepalis who are suffering from the JJAPKC syndrome (jun jogi aaye pani kaanai chireko). We should not forget that the post-1990 experimentation with democracy failed because of lack of vision and planning necessary to build strong institutions. We should not be making the same mistakes again and simply hope that the brand “democracy” will take care of everything.

This is our country and we should help change it. As Gandhi once said, “the spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within.”


blogdai said...

This is good stuff, saati.
Could it be that you and others like you are starting to turn the corner on public sentiment towards bothe the takeover and the recent protests?

Keep it up.


Anonymous said...

Right on brother! I think people like us have much to do, especially now. I have read it in Blogdai that there is an effort in setting up a platform, lets do it. We should have two distinct wing ( I hope you know what I mean). This is because time calls for it.

I see reason does not have much to do with what is happening in Nepal. It is purely a power play. Just heard Maoist have opened up their shop in Dillibazar ( gov't is releasing Two Maoist,lifers for the Killing of IGP Krishna Mohan Shrestha and his wife), is this rational? It means total amnesty for the murders, loot and mayhem done by the maoist? Is this government trustworthy- it shows that maoist have the rein and whip is with the SPA and Jantas are the sacrificial goat ( Please STOP saying people's movement)

I am a democrat, thru and thru, but I also understand when situation requires we should not hesitate to do whatever is necessary.

I cannot make sense of people saying once Maoist are in the main stream all will be fine. What do they take them for? Gandhi on non-violence march. Give me a break.

Indians have their own agenda, Americans have theirs and for them Nepal is just a place to experiment. Bullshit. Now, time has come to set our own agenda and commit ourselves to achieve that with any means possible.

I am becoming what I do not want to be- but increasingly I see it as a necessary step. I find no solace in just typing or sending my views on blogs- time calls for action but majority of people are nonchalant. Lets not wait till another Pillar of our society is compromised in a pretext to include Maoist in the main stream. It will be too late.

Anonymous said...

As impossible and unrealistic as it may sound, we need reason to prevail in Nepal. The current "path" that is being followed seems to be helping only one faction of conflict ridden Nepal--the Maoists. And all this is happening in the name of democracy. The political elite in Nepal have never had the skills to analyze the ground realities and act per the aspirations of the people. It is ironical that the Maoists are now claiming to do just that--invoking the people's movement in every step of the way. All this while the mainstream political parties are busy fighting once agiain for who gets what post.

2:34 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nepali Blogger said...

Well 2:34, if points 7 and 12 of the understanding is enough, then why all this talk about punishing the guilty of "royal" excesses or this or that? So if Kamal Thapa issues a statement that expresses "commitment not to repeat the mistakes of the past which were committed while in parliament and in government," that's it?

Or how about the fact that king Gyanendra repeatedly expressed his commitment to multi-party democracy? Words are not enough. We need to see concrete actions and so far we have only seen a big blame game unfolding.

One should not forget that had the leaders done their jobs right, we'd not be in this mess today. And to blame all that on the king and royalists is only shying away from following a path based on integrity and accountability.

2:34 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nepali Blogger said...

If you feel I was whining, that’s your opinion.

And, technically, I still haven’t “heard” anything. I’ve just read what you posted. As far as the actions go, I see the same old faces running the same old show. Do you think they have the guts to incorporate a clause of “remorse, self-restraint, integrity and accountability” in the “historic” house proclamation? Or are they so busy chanting democratic slogans that these words do not figure in their agenda?

2:34 said...

I'm sorry to have bothered with your blog.