Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
"I am worried"

We restored democracy thrice but never succeeded in institutionalising it. We could not manage it. People have sacrificed to achieve the democracy we are enjoying today.

There are communist countries around but only a multiparty system accommodates all ideals, guarantees fundamental rights, and includes socio-economic changes. I am a believer in a socialist economy, where everyone has equal social, economic and political rights under democracy.

This is a critical time. We have achieved democracy. People have the power. Feudalism and monarchy have been eliminated. It is time to give the country stability by quitting the politics of guns. The country needs a constitution.
We need to establish democratic values by writing a good, democratic constitution. But there is no magic wand that will do it for us. We have to develop it by ourselves.

There can be no comparison with America which has had 230 years of democracy, or with Europe, which has had a democratic history of 400 years. We can look at our neighbour to the south. In 63 years of democratic practice, only 15 parliamentary elections have been held. Ethnicity and religions are no longer issues for them. Socio-economic transformation has been the issue in recent elections. India is prospering due to democracy.

So much can be done if we can institutionalise democracy and make use of our resources. Although it has been 20 years since democracy has been in practice, the Maoist insurgency ate up 10 years and the king ruled for 3 years. So democracy has only been practised for five years.

To institutionalise the democratic republic is our priority. We should move ahead by managing weapons and writing a constitution. Political parties have their own ideologies but they should know nothing is above the country.

We can make our country beautiful. But we are wasting most of our time criticising foreigners. We can set an example if we resolve our differences by ourselves. We worked in unison during the CA elections. But we could not work together after the elections. We all are to blame for this.

Our next door neighbours, one democratic and the other communist, are progressing at high speed. Can we not learn anything from them? Can we not benefit from them?

I am worried as to what will happen if we are not able to institutionalise our achievements. We are at a serious juncture. The economy is going down, ethnic and regional issues are being raised. This has made me worried.

The CA is the place to resolve these issues through discussion. History has shown that there is no end to fighting. The Nepali people cannot afford another conflict.

Real respect
Tape trouble
Long-distance call
Nature's call

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)