INDEPENDENT NEWS

Dr. Chandrakala: Nepal's Trouble And Nationalism?

Published: Mon 26 Mar 2007 03:08 PM
Nepal's Trouble And Nationalism?
Dr. Chandrakala
Members of the SPAM are sometimes blaming Hindu fundamentalist along with royalists for fermenting trouble in the Terai. For God's sake, who started it? Anyway why abolish Hinduism as a state religion? Was there a specific demand for that during the movement? Why did that happen? Now what do you expect the Hindus to do, applaud the performance? The SPA brought it upon themselves. Ask Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican to renounce their state religion. How would the people react if a bunch of once (long time back) elected members of the House of Representatives were to declare the nation a secular state, without holding a referendum or the political party without contesting on a secular state wins overwhelming majority in the election. Who defines 'people's mandate'? Would history deal with such aberrations kindly?
As far as imprisoning few former Ministers and blaming them without evidence for the Terai unrest is pathetic. The results of the SMS poll conducted by Kantipur TV is a clear indication. More than 54% believe that it won't solve the problem. The stupidity was seen when the SPA government blamed the royals one day and in the very next day formed a committee to find out the cause of the Terai unrest.
Let us face it! The dominant group in Nepalese politics and government, in which all political parties are firmly entrenched, have only paid lip service to decentralization for decades. This has to be corrected. All groups must feel part of the national identity and should be directly involved in decision making concerning them. They can and will contribute to the national mosaic. Affirmative action is must and association with an Institution which rises above the differences are the requirements of the day. One could go into details as indeed should be done by all prominent people from all over the country bereft of political demagoguery or inflammatory presentations. However, one doesn't dare to speak more in such a charged atmosphere.
But the interim constitution was the product of the bullying by the majority of all not so well represented communities forcing them to take a back seat. They cannot be denied. And that also after having encouraged them with so many lofty promises. Expectation minus reality equals frustration, and frustration finds a violent outlet as at the present moment. Get rid of the Monarchy and everything would be all right? It might have exactly the opposite effect. Moreover I am not Royal apologist, but just a student of world history.
The King has been stripped of all his powers including ceremonial status of the Head of the State. That vacuum has been filled by a group of unelected politicians exercising all sorts of power in the name of the elusive "people's mandate". The Maoists have been brought into the mainstream in the sense that they have declared a ceasefire, are now part of the interim legislature and have agreed to handover weapons to the UN Mission in Nepal. Verification of combatants became a tricky issue, so it was agreed that whoever will bring in whatever weapon in the camps will be recorded and stored in containers, the keys of which would be with the Maoists themselves and a siren would go off in UN office if the locks are tampered with. Despite such successes, Maoist .
The issues have been federalism, proportional representative system and fresh delineation of constituencies according to population. The role of the media has been completely opposite to that during the April movement. There has hardly been any international coverage. Instead of highlighting human loss, media report that peace is being restored despite reporting that curfew is still being imposed in major areas and police posts are being looted by Terai activists. Our forefathers kept the national spirit alive and we still hold our heads high. The independence which our ancestors preserved before the might of the British Empire might be compromised by the selfishness and greed of the present breed. Have we become a nation of mercenaries?
ENDS

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