Nepali Times Asian Paints
Editorial
All together now


Constitutional forces of Nepal, unite. You have nothing to lose but your very existence.

The bane of Nepali politics has always been narrow-minded and short-sighted egocentrism. This proclivity to put personal and partisan interest before that of the community and nation has lead to our downfall. And even at this moment of historic crisis when our future as an independent nation is threatened, we show the same fractiousness that has brought us to this state. Not that we are unaware of this fatal flaw-every other political speech we have heard in the past few years from the king to cadre has bemoaned it. They exhort unity and then go right ahead to bring each other down.

The first step in extricating ourselves from this spiral of violence and conflict is to get the constitutional forces into speaking terms. The alternative is that the middle ground will disappear and the country will be irreversibly polarised between extreme left and right. It is to preserve the centre that we need the constitutional monarch and the political parties that believe in the constitution to come together. What are they fighting about anyway?

We have to work backwards for that to happen. First there has to be unity within the political clan that has inherited BP's mantle. Then we need a sense of common purpose within the Nepali Congress ahead of its Birganj Convention and perhaps even a move towards reuniting the party. The four parties on the streets and four parties in the government will then finally appreciate that if they don't work together they are doomed. After that they may persuade the king they are mature and accountable people's representatives, and His Majesty can please return to being a constitutional monarch. It will be at the end of that process that dialogue with the Maoists will make any sense.

This phased unity within political parties, between parties, among the parties and the palace is needed for whichever path we choose to resolve the conflict: ceasefire and talks, elections, reinstatement of parliament or constituent assembly. Even those who believe in a military solution need this political consensus first.

If the constitutional forces don't get it even after ten years and 12,000 lives lost, one wonders when they will ever coalesce into a force for peace. After ten more years of this, 50,000 dead and a country in ruins?


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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