The way ahead for Nepal is bumpy

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By Deepak Gajurel

Deepak Gajurel
Deepak Gajurel

Second edition or version of the Constituent Assemble (CA) is sitting in Kathmandu. Coverage of the proceedings of the CA by the Nepali mainstream media portrays that ‘consensus’ among ‘major political parties’ is within reach now. This CA has an equation of almost two-thirds majority controlled by two so-called ‘parliamentary’ parties, namely Congress and UML. The single largest ‘force’ in the first CA, Unified Maoist, seems to be left aside by these ‘old’ parties. Maoist, though weakened in terms of the outcome of the second edition of CA elections, seems dictating the state of affairs in ‘Loktantrik’ Nepal.

However, the ground reality is this: non-consensus is everywhere and among every political player in Nepali political affairs.

Since the ouster of Monarchy, no ‘consensus’ on constitution building and anything in between has been the hallmark of Nepali politics. Prachanda-Baburam-led Maoist party appears to drive the nation at their own will.

Meanwhile, Prachanda-led coalition of Maoist factions have been formed, and has started attacking the ruling parties, namely, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML on almost every issue, from the issues to be incorporated in the new constitution, to day-to-day administration of the country. And not surprisingly, not sparing even the threat of violence or revolution. Others, those being attacked, have not been exhibiting their will for having legitimate counter-attack.

‘Consensus’ has been the most sought schema since more than eight years of ‘Loktantrik’ Nepal, but all in vain. Partners of 12-point Delhi Agreement are now at odds with no sign of a common meeting point.

Maoists alliance, formed among east-while split-away factions of the ‘revolutionaries’, has announced opposition (read obstructing) activities against the current ruling coalition. ‘If the parties fail to reach an agreement, both in framing the constitution as well as in ruling the nation, we will not let you go at your will,’ the threat is clear. Maoists’ alliance’s condition is simple: come and agree with ‘Prachanda’s stands/agenda or face the Maoists music. This is what has been irritating the other ‘major’ players.

Though in less than obvious scenario, the nation is engulfed thus into a political confusion with no clear way out. In this backdrop, there are only two viable alternatives, one is to choose violence to further devastate the nation (preliminary signs of violence have already become faintly visible); and another is the path for adapting to peaceful means.

In case the present political players choose a peaceful path, there can be two means which will be a legitimate exercise, because it would be based on ‘democratic norms and values.’ Creating an environment for generating a ‘political legitimacy’ with broader national consensus is one remedy for the current political conundrum.

The next alternative is to revive the 1990 constitution, which will be a means of ‘continuation of legitimacy.’

Either of the above mentioned alternatives demand a sort of ‘national consensus’ in which the King must be brought into the table. At the same time, other potential political players, including the foreign-funded NGOs that have shown their strong influences in the past, should also not be left in the cold.

However, the present political scenario points towards a different setting. The mood of the ruling as well as the opposition does not indicate any signs of a ‘consensus’, which clearly signals to a confrontation among ‘Loktantrik Gantantrabadis’. The partners of 12-point Delhi Agreement will eventually be face to face. Violence can’t be ruled out if that does happen. 

In case, the political players do not follow the path of national consensus for peaceful resolution of the political imbroglio of the day, the country will be dragged into undesirable situation sooner or later. And the nation and the Nepali people should be prepared, at least mentally for the time being, for the adverse situation.

So, it is advisable to the political forces, especially the NC and UML, to completely abandon the path charted for Nepal by the 12-point Delhi Agreement. Earlier the better, just come out of the illusion of ‘Loktantra’, ‘Naya Nepal’ and so on, and join the purely Nepali agenda: reviving the 1990 constitution and taking mother Nepal into a peaceful and prosperous future. This is the only way for saving you and the nation. Choice is yours, definitely.

Gajurel is a Political Scientist with Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

He can be reached at: deepakgajurel@gmail.com