Nepali Times
Publisher\'s Note
How do we get out of this hole?


Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it may be opportune to think out of the box.

The first priority should be to delink the prolonged political impasse from the country's stagnant development and economy. Service delivery and the economy are more directly relevant to the people's welfare and everyday needs than the shameless buying and selling of lawmakers in parliament.

One area where development was beginning to take off was at the VDC and DDC levels in the mid-1990s before the Maoists came along and wrecked everything with their terror. And the reason it was beginning to show results was because we had hit upon the key to local development: grassroots democracy.

So, here is a radical proposal. Why wait for the formation of a new government, the new constitution and then a general election a couple of years after that? What's to stop us from having local elections right away?

Of course, those who have ignored their constituents and fear they won't fare well will oppose this. Sher Bahadur Deuba cancelled the last local elections in 1999 because he felt the UML would sweep them, and did a big favour to the Maoists by creating a political void at the grassroots.

Another audacious idea is for the Nepali Congress and the Maoists to team up to form a new government. It may be just the kind of forward-looking alignment that this country needs to leap out of the political quicksand it is mired in. This is by no means an original thought. Before he died, Girija Prasad Koirala was trying to engineer just such an arrangement. We pooh-poohed it then because GP was trying to strike a deal with the Maoists to correct his legacy, and make himself president.

The political playing field has to be level for this to happen. Which means the first step is for the Maoists to give up their ideology of violence. There is some justification for the fear among the UML, NC and Madhesi parties that if Pushpa Kamal Dahal becomes PM now, he will never give it up. In fact, if the Maoists don't give up violence and agree on a demobilisation timetable, there is no point having a new constitution even.

The internal NC elections have thrown up a new crop of diverse local leaders, which is a heartening trend. The Congress is finally turning into what the Congress should have always been. A NC-UCPN(M) coalition could allow the NC to temper Maoist extremism, and the Maoists could help pull the NC back to its democratic socialist roots. The two parties would complement each other, one with its democratic credentials and the other with its egalitarian socio-economic agenda.

However, if Deuba becomes party chief in the NC Convention, such a coalition would not be possible, because he is a polarising figure. Either way, the eighth round on 26 September won't be the last if we keep doing what we are doing now.

New imbalance, PRASHANT JHA
Special Security Plan falters, SITA MADEMBA

1. jange
"In fact, if the Maoists don't give up violence and agree on a demobilisation timetable, there is no point having a new constitution even."

If only the NT had insisted on this at the time of signing the 12 point agreement. But then, the Maoists were the builders of the New Nepal, the harbingers of change, according to the NT.

Better late than never, I suppose.

2. K. K. Sharma
Ooho ! Now NT is for local elections, is it.? Should we read your earlier papers of the times when the King was trying to conduct local elections. ? Did you not opposed it then ?. Has India told you to advocate for it now.?

And you seem to be one of our intellectuals who think Democracy and Communism can be amalgamated !! Ha ha....... Why not advocate for the lion and the lamb to live in harmony, through consensus. Brilliant idea. !!!

3. who cares
either unite and climb up the hole or someone has to throw in the ladder.

some of our problem:
# so called democratic forces are not united- party, media, civil society. they look to be united until maoist throw some card and they start to fight with one another even though all know by now that maoist can not be truste.

to solve this problem, those weak, unreliable partners, opportunists should be sidelined and neutralized. 

# one of the major problem have been those so called good guys. those good guys are good but are never able to deliver good. 

why, cause they focus more on the procedural than on the goal. if opposition have no respect for rules, those good guys are suppose to bend rules. if they cant let others bend the rules and good guys should close their eyes, ears for sometime, ignore the fact.

if we focus completely on goal, and do not break our concentration by maoist's new proposals or tears or threat or ... we would have been close to getting out of the hole.

you need to respect freedom of speech. if you dont it will help maoist. cause democracy can not be strengthen without freedom and maoist keep on attacking with lie propaganda, foul language.... if we do not respond,,,, we still remember how they were able to fool many during war time.... its freedom of speech one of those which helped to curve their power, attack...... 

if freedom of speech brings unwanted consequence then we counter it with words.

it is never possible for evil brain to defeat good brain. 

4. Sammy
"This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out.A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, 'Hey you. Can you help me out?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves onThen a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out.'"
This is what our saleable politicians seem to be doing, getting into a hole. But they are getting into that hole not because they want to help the ones already in there, but they think its the gold digging going on down there. And look, the hole has turned into a cesspit and they are still there. 

5. Slarti
"I have a dream...", said Martin Luther King. "I shall live in it....." concluded Mr Dixit.

I admire the optimism and I think this would work. However, would it be inappropriate to expect a little more fact-based and plausible analysis?

The fact is that NC and the UML parties are both hobbled by the interplay of two factors - a) dealing with day to day developments, reacting to Maoist actions and b) guiding their efforts to meeting long-term objectives. 

The fact is that none of them have the requisite leadership skills to deal with the situation. They are making frantic efforts, no doubt about that. But they appear to believe that the best way to get out of this hole, as Sammy says, is to dig in the hope of striking gold.

Of course I could add my two bits about what they could and should do, but, what would be the point!! 

Nevertheless, I would place my bet on the idea that they need to reboot their proverbial systems, redefine the conditions they are in, and then figure out how to get themselves to the desired objective.

6. sudhir
Dear #2: We will never get out of the hole, as long as we have journalism like this: where instead of featuring the biggest story like the parliamentary corruption scandal (Mahara/Chinaman connection), the editor chooses to rehash the same old "mixed political vegetable story": little bit of this and little bit of that.  OK, getting along is the best thing, but politics is not that simple.  This is the most unfocused editorial from Kunda Dixit. I don't get it! 

7. who cares
ha ha ha 
(real laugh, not sarcasm) 

8. Harka Yonjan

How do we get out of this hole?

I have the answers. They are as follows:

1. First, ask those legal experts who proudly write as makers of the Interim Constitution in their biodata or those advisors who were associated with the making of the Interim Constituion. If they could not anticipate a situation like the one we are facing now within two years of the Interim Constituion is in place, bring out the names of those so called experts, and blacklist them so that they will not repeat the same mistakes or new ones in the new constitution to be drafted.

2. Ask the UML and Madhesi Parties what they meant by neutrality. The Nepali people did not elect them to take this position in the CA. If the UML, as the third largest party in the CA, is playing the game of being "neutral", then they deserve to be punished by the people in the next election. When the UML leaders like Oli and Bamdev are taking a side, what is the meaning of being neutral in the CA? Is this not a tactic to prolong the life of the most incompetent government currently in place? The UML could boycott the election of the PM if they do not feel it has the choice they feel should have. By staying neutral in this case, they are holding the entire country to a ransom.

3. Take out the salary and benefits of those CA members who remain neutral in the PM election and I am sure they all will either come to vote or boycott.

4.Downsize the current caretaker government by keeping only 2-4 key portfolios. Most of the portfolios could be put under the Caretaker PM. Now that the NC has a candidate for the PM, the current government does not have the majority. This will facilitate the making of the new government with the election of the new PM.

There must not be any visit within and outside the country by any minister during the time of such a prolonged caretaker government. It does not make sense since most of the ministers are rendered useless by the prevailing situation.

5. Lastly, if the new constitution cannot be drafted and approved by the CA within the extended time period, the first heard that should roll be of the CA Speaker.

NO MORE extesnion of the CA. IF THE CA MEMBERS CANNOT come up with the new constitution, what is the use of paying them their salary and benefits.

I challenge to Maoists, will they take the unprecedented step of announcing that their members in CA will NOT take any salary and benefits at least for the one year extended period if the constitution is not drafted and approved by the end of the current CA term?

It all boils down to money be it the Nepali Congress, UML, Maoists and Madhesi Morcha or other fringe parties.

Who cares about the country and its people?? Shame on you all political parties. You never learn a lesson from the history. 

Just think of it for a minute:

Each of these parties have  hundreds of leaders and thousand of workers who basically do nothing but just party propoganda and at times do not hesitate to go into cut throat business to achieve their goals, be it an individual or partywise.

All of it means these thousands of people are non productive. In no way they help the economy of the country or much needed physical development process.

How can the country progress with these lazy bums who do nothing but talk. No wonder they have pushed this beautiful and peaceful country of ours into chaos....

Shame on you all politicians!







9. DG
#2 K.K.Sharma
I have been an avid reader of the NT from its first publication.
If my memory serves right,Nepali Times had even in the past supported election of local bodies.  Hope NT comes forward with their previous writings to keep the record straight.

10. Gole
 Kegarchhas Mangale ,afnai dhangale,(what can you do now Mangale, its all due to your ineptness.),goes the local saying.
If you sow wind you reap whirlwind.
We have seen the fall of NC with Girija's rise.
It could continue in the skin of its departed leaders till date.( mareko neta haruko chhalama Girja le yetinjel rajaigareo.)
If at this critical time of the history of the countryhen the challenge of the communists is to the democrats,we need a leader-statesman, who can straddle both the worlds, of the haves and the have-not.

If we are going to have the leadership of the like s of Sher Bahadur Deupa or a Sujata , God even cannot save this god-forshaken country.
Girija was a havildar, these are jhadudars.

Kuchole badarera faknu parne haru lai havale badarera laijaos.

It applies to all parties who can claim themselves as party too.

I have no special fascination to any party  in particular.

Our interest is democracy versus one party rule, of the dictatorship in the name of proletariat.

11. Arthur
I guess the point of proposing NC Maoist alliance is simply to oppose Deuba as NC leader. But all NC leaders opposed consensus government and insisted on splitting the united front formed against monarchy and going into opposition instead of accepting Maoist leadership after they emerged as largest party.

Obviously Nepal will remain stuck in its hole until the smaller parties accept that they cannot govern without leadership of the largest party.

This is so obvious that proposing local elections can only be a distraction from it. The minority parties fear that they will become even smaller in any future election. They have far more support among DDC and VDC bureaucrats than they could possibly win from votes. So they have good reason to fear elections. Since they are the "democratic" parties and they would lose any election they consider the results of election "undemocratic" and cling to office in order to prevent a constitution being drafted and elections held.

Naturally in order for these "democratic" losers to stay in power they need the largest party to give up its army. Only then can they rely on the Nepal Army to supervise "elections" that would make the "democratic" losers into winners.

12. Jumpin' jack
Like always, dig another and jump right into it!

13. Gole
# 11         
                      Momentary majority .

People,s mandate has already expired. All the parties are spent up cartridges.
Tyranny of the majority or democratic despotism  is to be avoided;in it there is no place to maintain private army by any partr.
We don't need advice from any agent provocateur s at this time of crisis to muddy our water.
Civil society's job is to be a countervailing force against the state and partiesto oppose despotism violence and protect the civil liberties and rights of individuals and groups.  Playing field should be level. There is no place for private army and militias ,it has to be disbanded . They can be absorbed easily invarious organizations; other parties should not diolly dally in this critical time. They should be accomodated with honour.
Totalitarianism is the antithesis of constitutional representative democracy.
The state and the ruling party command all aspect of economic, social,and political life.
Majority rules, but they should keep in mind that tyhis is only temporar phenomenon. Every game has a rule.

14. jange
Which direction is "agragaman" when you are in a hole?

Or were they at the edge of the hole when they decided to go in the direction of  "agragaman".

15. Slarti
#12 and #14, absolute gems

16. TheXylazine
Isn't it on the best interest of  this nation and her people to bury the hole with all good-for-nothing corrupted politicos inside it? ? :) :D :D

17. King
Hole in one is a good performance in golf.
No one returns from inside a black hole in physics. it is  dissolution , a pralaya.
But one can return from Yama the hell hole.
We have plenty of pot holes every where.
Beware of holes and corners.

18. santos

Following steps could be the solutions to come out of the hole.

a) huddle all A and Bcategory leaders together and sent them to a boot camp (real bootcamp in desolate place with harsh weather and environment and very basic conditions of living) for several months, devoid them from all the extrenal connections completely and allow them to reflect on the mess they have created of the country, feed them with the real life story of the struggel of the real nepalese trying to keep the heads up from sinking and not the Kathmanduites who have consistent who cares attitude. 

b) Select people from all walks of life who are truely concerened about the national issues and allow them to come with achievable clear action plans to get the country back in track.

c) form a coalition of friends of Nepal ( FON) excluding immediate neighbors (despite being economic giants it is best to keep these two in distance) and allow FON to actively engage in the reconstruction, redevelopment and the implmentation of all action plans without any strings attached. .

d) fin an alternative to the party politics untill the country achieves certain degree of discipline and self sustainment. 


19. Gole
 The Holes.
Command economy, rule by the party,--Cubanor North Korean Style.
Capitalism by and for the Party,economy capitalistic and politics                                                                               communist.-Chinese Style.
Mixed Economy socialistic pattern, politics free confused Style.-Former                                                                                                     Indian Style.

Liberal Democracy Social Justice--Scandinavian Style.
Liberal Democracy, market economy--American Style.
Compassionate Capitalism  Liberal Democracy  with corporate social                                                                       responsibility.--New Style.

Now choose between Communist Fudamentalist Chinese,Indian,Scadinavian,American or Innovative System.,

Choose your  own style hole.

20. Satya Nepali

In order to answer your question, how we get OUT of this hole, Mr. Dixit, I suggest you start by trying to answer how we got INTO this hole in the first place.

In particular, try examining what role YOU (i.e. Nepal's media, not just your intelligent self of course) played in getting us this far.

Have you always been HONEST to the Nepali people? Have you let it 'slip' sometimes? Have you exaggerated some points and hidden others? Have you sacrificed any principles to take short-cuts? ...and so on.

If you go through this exercise seriously enough--and of course, honestly enough (presuming that's possible)--you should arrive at a pretty revealing list of what you've done right and wrong in the past half-dozen years or so. See if you can retrace your steps identifing where you went wrong, and PUBLICLY ACKNOWLEDGE THEM. And that, Mr. Dixit, is the WAY OUT. Not only for you, for all of us.

By now you must have realized that your ranting and raving, moaning and groaning is not gonna change the politicians one bit. Which is why the only option you really have is to change yourself. And for that this reflective exercise should be very helpful.

But remember, it all depends on HOW HONEST YOU CAN BE WITH YOURSELF!

Ready for it?

Then, go.

...can we expect to see the first results of this exercise in next week's editorial? :-/


1.       Despite differences you need unity to build the Nation.

2.       If you solve your problem wisely by yourself you will upgrade your abilities to work for bigger platforms of the World including taking initiatives to bring some mega projects between China and India. If you try to learn from neighbors, learn their good things and not bad things like buying and selling of CA members. Moreover in most of the issues, best source of knowledge and experience is available in USA and JAPAN.      

3.       For the good of Nepal, now is the time to let Congress govern the Nation because it will help bring the relatively good Constitution (in comparison to other parties) and take local election on the floor.

4.       Madhesi Forum, UML - do not be greedy at the cost of National interest. Let Congress lead the Government. You are doing good by not supporting the Maoist though.

5.       For the Maoist, this is the golden opportunity to improve your image in the World�s knowledge if you support Congress and let them rule. If you go to power you will not be able to bring good Constitution. And always remember right things cannot be achieved by wrong doings.

6.       Local election is long due and this may be a relatively neutral time but this is not a right time. There are some issues where wisdom must prevail.  Issues will come: (a) why not to dissolve Constituent Assembly and let them go for election as well? - I think, CA should be given a time to work for the extended period of time. (b) There will be efforts to bring back Kingship which is not a right path to go. (c) State restructuring issue, Madhesh issue  will also come which should not be an issue at all. Nepal has already stabilized political structure. If it brings new one, it makes sense to pave the ways for economic corridor between China and India.  

7.       Right thing will be to let Congress lead the Government, all help them bring the Constitution and go for election after that.

8.       Kunda, you deserve to be a President, not the Prime Minister. 

22. K. K. Sharma
#9. Yes, why does not NT bring out the issues when the King was trying to conduct the elections, to bring back the derailed, Constitution on tract...As per his Constitutional duty to " preserve and protect the Constitution". 

When Deupa ( later called Deuba) did not extend the defunct local government, and as an incompetent PM could not even try to have the elections, I recall the Director of GTZ raving about it. It maybe at that time NT was in favourable towards conducting elections. But when the king was trying to conduct such election, the German was silent. ..[. Though I did not get to read each and every issue of NT, I am at a disadvantage here...] At that time,[ if my memory serves right], NT was critical of the kings move. So just to know for sure, it would be nice if NT could reprint the old issues.  

23. Arthur
K. K. Sharma #21 there is a link for archive from front page. Back issues all the way to the first issue of Nepali Times on 28 June 2000 can be found there. Also there is a link from there to .pdf versions at Digital Himalaya.

Nepali Times, the links are broken from the archive (and from comments archive) for articles in the series named "Publisher's Note". This is a technical problem due to the special use of apostrophe. The automatically generated URLs escape this to "\'". which is incorrect. For example the archives for this issue 519 link to this article as:

That link is broken, perhaps related to the visible description of the link on  the archive page for issue 519 including \' as:

Publisher\'s Note

The correct link is to:

The technical error is probably because "Publisher\'s" has to be used instead of just "Publisher's" for SQL lookup of the article in the database, but not in the URL.

24. jange
Remind me again. What was it that the Maoists were supposedly fighting their glorious revolution for?

So, this is what the Maoists killed those thousands for.

25. Sameer
This ARTHUR is so annoying. He bloody knows everything man! No honestly, this guy is totally redoubtable, would love to sit down with this guy and argue till dawn! 

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)