Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Ram or ruin

Since the country cannot shoulder the burden of a prolonged civil war and because all Nepalis are for peace, the Nepali Congress-Democratic has adopted a middle of the road approach and that is constituent assembly. NC-D was the first political party to make it clear that a constituent assembly was the only solution to the present impasse. The Maoists had come for peace talks during the premiership of Sher Bahadur Deuba. During the preliminary talks before the formal dialogue, they had hinted that they could abandon their demand for a communist republic, which they actually did. At present, they have been reiterating their commitment to a constituent assembly as an immediate way out of the political deadlock. In view of the need for peace and a constituent assembly, the seven parties including the NC-D, have made an agreement. It is true that the king is not ready for a constituent assembly. But, a democratic party cannot make decisions on the basis of the king's stubbornness, arrogance and whim. That is because the party survives and grows among people, not within the premises of the royal palace. It is clear that the country can have peace and stability only through a constituent assembly. In this context, there is one particular point that needs to be raised with the king. NC-D tried its best to be flexible and work with the king. But the partnership became unsuccessful because the king's coterie and his advisers have projected him as a Hindu king. The vice chairmen and the attorney general appointed by the king have gone to the extent to say that the Hindu king does not need to follow the constitution. Certainly there may not have been a written constitution during the regime of Ram. But the Ramayana is full of episodes that prove that King Ram was quite sensitive even about small exceptions. The constituent assembly is the litmus test for the king and the monarchy. Our party does not wish to say anything about it but the people are becoming quite vocal. They have been chanting slogans and they are becoming audible to the king and the crown prince. Under such circumstances, what should an ideal Hindu king do? The situation has provided the king with an opportunity to prove himself unblemished. The king should not turn elsewhere now. If the king passes the litmus test, the monarchy will be even more acceptable and respectable. On the other hand, if the constituent assembly decides against him and the monarchy, the king should step aside.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)