Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Full of Contradictions

I saw this really interesting piece by journalist Keshav Poudel on Spotlight on Confused Leadership, Derailed Polity and Bewildered People. His premise is the confused state that political leaders are in, specifically in terms of the current Terai crisis.

It is not very common to see Nepali journalists researching on contradictory statements made by politicians. And I don’t fault them, because there is so much contradiction going on that your average journo would just get swamped by the load.

In any case, text in red is my own two-paisa worth of thoughts about each person and their quote. This posting's a little long, but worth reading (at least the text in black) to understand the mindset of the people who we call our leaders.

As a prime minister, I am also morally responsible on painful incident in Lahan. The incident is also the result of Maoists’ arrogance of gun
Girija Prasad Koirala
quoted by Annapurna Post January 23.

You are responsible for a lot of things Girija Babu. There was a time, when you wouldn’t even negotiate with your own party members (remember the 36 and 24 group?). Had you done your job right when you were leading Nepal all these years, we wouldn’t be in this mess today. It's almost ironic that you have now emerged as our savior.

Palace is in a coma as its fate will be decided by the Constituent Assembly.
Vice President of Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala
quoted in Gorkhapatra, January 24.

Yeah, but did you consult with your party general secretary about this?

The palace is actively backing the agitation in Terai.
Ram Chandra Poudel, Nepali Congress General Secretary.

Sure, Ramchandra ji! And how about the time when you so confidently proclaimed that the Maoists were operated by Nirmal Niwas? God has given you a mouth and tongue. To stop or not to stop diarrhea is your own responsibility, isn't it?

We discussed about the evidences that revealed the involvement of palace in fuelling riots there.
Agriculture Minister and NC CWC Member Mahanta Thakur
quoted in The Statesman, January 24.

Sure, finger pointing is so easy, isn’t it? Now how about actually doing something to solve real problems?

I don’t see any significance in holding dialogue with an organization that has no capacity and strength of their own.
Maoist leader Prachanda
quoted in The Himalayan Times, January 24.

Yes, kill a few thousand more people first before we are willing to call you an organization with capacity and strength of its own.

Dr. Upendra Yadav was with us. He was arrested by Indian police in New Delhi along with leaders of Madhesi Mukti Morcha Matrika Prasad Yadav and Suresh Ale Magar. Indian police handed over Matrika Yadav and Suresh Ale Magar to Nepal Army whereas Dr. Upendra Yadav was released. Dr. Yadav stayed more than six months in New Delhi . You must understand the situation - Dr. Yadav, who was released when two of our comrades were handed over to face most harsh situation.
Maoist leader Prachanda
in Kantipur Television Bahas Program on 27 January.

So what’s the point comrade? Upendra Yadav is an Indian Operative? But wait, didn’t you say just a few days ago that his movement was orchestrated by the palace and Hindu fundamentalists. Or, are you, too, suffering from the say anything syndrome?

We should hold talks with Madhesi Janadhikar Forum and Terai Jantantrick Mukti Morcha. But we cannot deny addressing the problems of Madhesi on the ground that they are backed by palace and regressive elements.
Nepali Congress leader Dr. Rambaran Yadav

But wait, Ram Baran ji, is it or is it not a legitimate movement? If the palace is indeed instigating some of the violence, wouldn’t it be simply prudent for you guys to address the problem as soon as possible? And I can only guess that if you are willing to hold talks with them, you are conceding that it is a legitimate movement?

If we just term the agitation in Terai as instigated by palace or other regressive elements, we are just trying to escape from the reality of Terai’s problems. The agitation in Terai is the expression of suppression of voice of Terai by our rulers. Do not try to get rid of the issues of penetration by ignoring the genuine issue of Terai. Darbar will utilize the opportunity if it gets it. That is not the issue now but the issue now is to address the question raised by people. We have not seen any communal hatred in Terai.
Dr. Devendra Raj Pandey, Civil Society Leader
in Kantipur Television, January 26

Makes sense to me. But I haven't heard you say a word against Prachanda's rigid stance against negotiating with the MJF. But wait, criticizing the Chairman would derail the peace process, right? I can see that!

We have solid information that the royalists had provoked the violence with the support of Hindu fundamentalists.
Dr. Baburam Bhattarai

We too have solid information, Doctor saab, that you guys provoked violence in Nepal over the last decade with the support of Indian fundamentalists.

We had not imagined that there would be such huge participation in our agitation. This is spontaneous reactions against the oppression of Madhesi.
MJF chairman Upendra Yadav
in Kantipur Television, 25 January.

This is our problem, Upendra ji. We cannot imagine anything, especially when it comes to our future. We are just too busy fighting, killing and making nice slogans. That’s enough for the unemployed and frustrated youths to get charged.

They are carrying many truck loads of people from Bihar, India to create violence in Terai. There is no question of negotiation with any of these forces backed by Palace and Hindu fundamentalists from India . We have to now declare Nepal as a Republic state so that the possibility of conspiracy dies forever.
Dr. Baburam Bhattarai
in Radio Sagarmatha, January 27

Well, Bhattarai ji, even if you get rid of the king, how do you propose to get rid of Hindu fundamentalists from India? Are you proposing another fight against the BJP? Actually, it is not a bad idea. But, no, you wouldn't do that after all that India has done for you and your comrades.

Dr. Upendra Yadav flared up this agitation following his meeting in Gorakhpur with Hindu fundamentalists. The faces taking part in the violent agitations are unknown figures.
in KTV Bahas, January 27

Gosh, what a bright idea! How about Upendra Yadav being too ambitious, now that he has seen perpetrators of violence skipping the electoral process to become parliamentarians? Perhaps he too would like to be a saansad someday, comrade, no? And unknown faces? Who knew your face a year ago? Relax comrade, relax!

I was not alone to participate in Gorakhpur meeting. Leaders of all political parties including a leader of Nepali Congress were there too. Some issued a doctored photograph published in local newspaper to destroy my image.
Dr. Upendra Yadav
in Kantipur Television.

Yeah, we have watched a few too cheesy movies, haven’t we? Doctored photograph, by definition, has already destroyed one of your images. What is next? Someone wearing your nakaab will start killing people now?

The demand of Terai is genuine as we have been pressing for the government to fulfill their demands. But the faces involved in the agitation show that regressive and reactionary forces are backing it.
Madhav Kumar Nepal
South Asia Free Media Association, January 26.

Who better to recognize a reactionary than you, comrade? Please, for once, can you take a definitive stance on ONE issue? Why do you always have to cover your ass? By the way, did the palace get back to you with a reply to your binti patra?

Siraha, Lahan, Janakpur, Birgunj and Biratnagar are burning. By labeling the people of Janakpur and Madhesi community as monarchists and communal, some leaders are fuelling the fire.
Brishesh Chandra Lal, former mayor of Janakpur
quoted in Kantipur, January 26

Who needs fuel when we have the firebrand MJF leaders?And who will admit the real problem, when everyone can so conveniently bring the palace into the discussion? I tell you, if the King were to die today and 500 people joined the funeral procession, the politicians would accuse Paras of instigating violence. Shows a lot of self-confidence, doesn’t it?

When leaders of seven parties ignore genuine agitation of Terai’s people using force to suppress their voice, it is my moral obligation to resign from the cabinet.
Minister Hridayesh Tripathi
quoted in Gorkhapatra, January 31

Yes Gandhi ji. You are so good at morality. So good that you went on to investigate the misuse of saansad-subidha vehicles when you yourself were renting out your own subidha vehicle. Do you really have jaundice, or are you simply buying time to come back to being a minister. It’s good being a minister, no?

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