When the Maoists launched their 'people's war', the eighth five-year plan was nearing its completion and Nepal's economic growth was nearly six percent. The conflict has had a huge impact on the economy and development. On the positive side, there has been a massive change in the political sphere. The nation is now simmering with debate on social and political issues increasing awareness about the root causes of the revolt.
No change can take place without friction. The Maoists resorted to the insurgency after concluding that normal political efforts could not bring change because politics and the economy continued to be ruled by traditional power centres. Despite almost a decade of rule by democratic forces, no social change occurred and economic gains were not evenly distributed. It is hard to decide who is more responsible: the rulers or the rebels. I think the ruler should shoulder more of the responsibility because they weren't inclusive. Conflicts like these do not have military solutions and should be solved through dialogue. But that depends on how flexible and inclusive the ruling class is. Every second or third sentence of the king's speech on 1 February contained words like 'democracy' and 'people'. But if you look at the speech as a whole, it was neither for democracy nor the people. Some people who accept elections as the foundation of democracy are balking at a constituent assembly, an idea that King Tribhuban was discussing way back in 1950. Today, the Maoists are also opting for it because they have realised that they cannot win only by means of arms and they want an alternative medium. In my opinion, a constituent assembly is the medicine to cure the problems surrounding the 10-year insurgency. Just like King Birendra left it to the people to decide in 1990, King Gyanendra must also hand power back to the people.