Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
A human wave

There are more indications that the present regime will not last much longer and that the rulers themselves are aware that its time is running out. History has shown that whenever rulers lose control or run out of ideas, they begin consultations. This is exactly what King Gyanendra started doing recently in Pokhara. But the king's moves only added to the complexity of the crisis. Even if the king hands over the powers of prime minister to a former pancha and announces that he has given up sovereignty and state power, the problem will not be solved. Nor will the crisis end if he names one of his yes men who appears to favour multiparty democracy as prime minister. Even the appointment of a technocrat or justice as the new prime minister will fail. The core issue is: will sovereignty and state power be returned to the people via their representatives?
Other questions waiting to be answered are: should Nepal's democracy be inclusive? Will all communities, castes, ethnicities and cultures have an equal stake in the nation? Will a constituent assembly be formed to write a democratic constitution? Should the Maoists be brought into the political mainstream? These questions can be answered only by the democratic forces. Going by the king's deeds to date, he is not even interested in thinking about them. Even after the Supreme Court paved the way to the return of multiparty democracy with its verdict that the constitution vests power in the people, the king has shown no sign of taking concrete steps to end the present crisis. Even his political consultations are taking place at a time when leaders remain jailed and the security forces have been deployed to arrest others. As long as state power is withheld from the people's representatives, the country will be unable to embark on the journey toward ending the crisis. To lead the country toward a resolution, there is no alternative to the people's movement. The days of street protests only at scheduled times are over. A human wave should engulf the capital and the people should block all highways. After the entire country is under the control of the people, the autocratic regime should be opposed and isolated through non-cooperation. It is this people's struggle that will dislodge the root causes of Nepal's historical crisis and break the autocratic hurdle now in our path.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)