It is interesting to read pundits seeing royalist conspiracies behind every bush. Meanwhile, the Maoists threaten a flare-up of the rebellion every time negotiations don't go their way, and their armed militia terrorise the countryside.
Is it really possible to hold fair elections and a referendum on the constitution of Nepal under such conditions? Furthermore, changing the constitution of a country should not be a matter of a simple majority-most countries demand a qualified majority of two-thirds, or several referendums separated by general elections. Otherwise, electoral results are easily tampered with.
It isn't enough to just ask whether Nepal should be a monarchy or not. Without such a valid alternative, the real ballot questions could very
Would you want
a) a powerless apolitical head of state, and a government responsible to a parliament elected by the people?
b) a despot responsible only to his own party, whose power rests with militia, and whose name is most likely Prachanda?
. The Maoists have replicated the Pol Pot style of extortion, torture, and murder of Nepali civilians, and this they call 'loktantra'. Maoists openly go to people's houses in the cities to extort and loot money. And the shameless Home Minister is a mute spectator, leaving the helpless civilians to defend themselves.
It is time for the citizens of the Valley and elsewhere in the country to defend their right to live, even if it means taking up arms. The Maoists must be brought to book for all the atrocities they continue to commit.