Saturday, November 25, 2006

All we are saying is give peace a chance

I am writing again after a long hiatus. Couldn’t keep on commenting about the current situation in Nepal. For whatever it is worth…

Alright, the peace accord is signed and Nepal is headed for a peaceful future. Good news. If indeed the Nepali people get what they want (which I assume is peace followed by prosperity) I will be as pleased and content as any other Nepali. But the big question is, will we get what we want?

Certain things provide reasons to be concerned about the eventual outcome of the peace deal. While those in charge are willing to forget the 13,000 lives that were lost during the insurgency, they seem to be extremely vigilant about the 23 lives lost during Jana Andolan II. Pardon me if I come across as naïve and clueless, but those numbers do not add up for me.

The SPA leaders are extremely vocal about the corrupt practices of the royal government. And they are perhaps right about certain corrupt practices. But we also hear about Govinda Raj Joshi and Khum Bahadur Khadka being given “clean chits” by the courts. And the same “parliamentarians” that were charged about impeaching judges remained mute about these acquittals.

The general mood of everyone political has been to shift all the blame of Nepal’s misfortunes to the king and monarchy. Is that really true? Now I don’t mean that the king was guiltless. His idiotic steps messed up things really bad and hurt the very institution that he set about strengthening. But how are we to believe that simply doing away with the king and kingship will get Nepal heading in the right direction? When people like Narahari Acharya claim that monarchy is the greatest obstacle to peace, do they seriously believe that monarchy was responsible for 13,000 deaths?

Are the politicians talking about a republican setup in Nepal after thorough analysis or only as a means to deflect all the blame to the weakest party in the current situation? Are they out to kill the beast or simply cornering a cat? To say that they have no hand in what Nepal went through during the last 15 years is grossly disrespecting the rights, sentiments and dignity of the Nepali people. So, while the SPA politicians bask in the glorious role as peacemakers they should also spend time thinking about the best course of action.

I, for one, believe that the situation in Nepal is still volatile albeit a lot less than a few months ago. Therefore we cannot afford to fan the chaos by blindly removing a power source from the equation. If the politicians do what they are supposed to, then the institution of monarchy will automatically be rendered redundant. In fact, had the SPA leaders done their jobs right in the post 1990 Nepal, the redundancy would probably start to become obviously by now.

Hence, instead of wasting time in witch hunting and creating more chaos, people like Madhav Kumar Nepal and other SPA leaders should spend more time democratizing their own parties, weeding out corrupt leaders, and think about ways to make Democracy II more successful. If the soon-to-be-elected Constituent Assembly decides to get rid of monarchy altogether, so be it. But the need of the hour now is to ensure that the Constituent Assembly elections are free and fair, and that people get to vote with their free will without any intimidation from any sides.

Long live Nepal. May peace prevail…