Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
"My heart breaks to see the country's state"

Is this the republic you want?


We fought for a democratic republic to bring long-term peace. Even after the king was gone, the priority of the parties was to strengthen themselves, not the people. The people's republic that the Maoists are talking about is against the 12-point agreement. This never-ending bickering has weakened their political strength achieved so far and has provoked a resurgence of anarchy. Now, the political parties are engaging in backstabbing that will only undermine the spirit of a true republic.

So whose fault is it?
The party that's leading the government is encouraging anarchy. What we want is a collaborative and inclusive democracy, not the retributive people's democracy that the Maoists talk about. Instead of utilising their power and working with other parties, the Maoists view their partners as enemies. But there can't be an 'enemy' party. They have chosen to disregard the results of the election.

Are the Maoists headed for a downfall?
Yes. A government that betrays the trust of its people and cultivates enmity instead of accord can be headed nowhere but down. Their actions will lead to their own destruction. That's why Prachanda looks so helpless now. People who have been charged with criminal activities have been given positions in the central committee. It shows that the gun still holds the upper hand inside the Maoist party.

Will the government draft the new constitution on time?
Doesn't look like it. The Maoists haven't even set an agenda on national reconstruction. Some party activists haven't even thought about what the new constitution is going to look like. They may fear that revealing their agenda will expose their failings. Meanwhile, they distract us by fighting over petty details. Other parties are preoccupied with army integration. For most parties, the constitution and national reconstruction are still not a priority.

Isn't the One Madhes demand an indicator of national fragmentation?
Only a few Madhesi parties want a united Madhes. However, a united Madhes is inconsistent with federalism because it will not fulfill what the Madhesi movement stood for. In reality, creating a united Madhes will only result in a shift from one unitary system to another. The Madhesis demanded for federalism, not for a unitary system. That demand was met. If they don't realise this, they will lose what they have.

When will peace come?
My heart breaks to see the country's state. We want political parties to become stronger but they are the ones causing conflict. The politicians themselves are fishing in murky waters. This is not my hopelessness talking, this is a call for a new generation of politicians to come forth. It's clear that the current politicians can't do much.

Why do you always dress in yellow?
Yellow signifies peace and harmony.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)