Seven rounds of voting in parliament have failed to elect a new prime minister, and if things stay as they are the eighth round will be deadlocked on Sunday as well. The people's faith in the political parties will fall further.
We need a new prime minister, but cannot overlook certain basics. Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned on 30 June after intense (and it now looks shortsighted) clamour for his resignation. Those agitating for his ouster had refused to consider the consequences of having the government reduced to caretaker status without a workable agreement on contentious aspects of the peace process and the constitution.
We are repeating that folly now. In the desperation of having a new prime minister by ignoring the demobilisation of Maoist combatants and dismantling the YCL's militant structure, we are once more putting the cart before the horse.
Political parties here have the habit of reverting to their existing positions soon after signing an agreement to move forward. Worse, they interpret agreements differently soon after signing it. A day after the Maoists and the UML signed yet another 3-point deal, they have given contrasting interpretations of the pact. While the Maoists are saying that the move has paved the way for Maoist-UML majority government, the UML says it only agreed to a consensus government.
The onus is on the UML to ensure that the Maoists honour their part of the bargain, and if they do, the UML should not hesitate to be part of a coalition with the Maoists. Together they have the numbers (347) in the 601-member House. If the Maoists do not agree, the UML should revive the alliance with the NC and seek the Madhes-based parties' support for their government.
But for the future stability of this country, the rejuvenated centrist NC must be brought into the formula. The most desirable scenario has always been a government that includes the Big Three and the Madhesi parties held together by the common goal of completing the peace process.
"........... (and it now looks shortsighted) clamour for his resignation. Those agitating for his ouster had refused to consider the consequences of having the government reduced to caretaker status without a workable ........" this kinda actions have been repeating since ever.
".... putting the cart before the horse." totally agree.
"Political parties here have the habit of reverting to their existing positions soon after signing an agreement to move forward. .................. Maoist-UML majority government, the UML says it only agreed to a consensus government." this is because they have been signing agreements just to fulfil their vested interest. for them agreement is like hiding behind the bush.
do you notice one thing, that was the first time i saw jhalanath being happy- just after the deal, but did not even last 24 hr (after the clarification from UML) and then he came back to his regular expression, body language "i am just a poor boy, no body loves me".
because of the psychology of nepalese society, civil soiciey members, media- NC may have to pull out from PM's race and keep their present stand from outside. they should consult with society, media, public first since people are the source of power for NC.
24 SEPT 2010 | 12:16 PM NST
Look at them, not a care in the world. They country is deadlocked, the people are suffering, but they are completely oblivious. If they can smile and joke like that why don't they come to an agreement?
24 SEPT 2010 | 12:27 PM NST
3. Slarti "The people's faith in the political parties will fall further."
There is hardly anything that the political parties (all of them) have to worry on this front. People have shown themselves to be extremely pliant for three reasons. First is that there is no rallying point - there is no flag they would march under. All of the political parties are on the same side with the largely ineffective opposition by the royalist RPP (N).
Secondly, what are the people going to express there disappointment in? The political parties are for (hold your breath) - federalism, democracy, fundamental rights numbering up to about 150, republicanism, socialism, secularism, tradition (and against it), private property, confiscation of property, redistribution (as long as not done by the other side), individual rights and community rights, for the villages, the cities, the minority and the majority and for religion as well as against it and everything. (If you don't believe check the messages coming on TV and Radio)
Thirdly, they have the media in their pocket who they subtly manage to sow more confusion and (through whom) seek to avoid greater inquiry by shifting positions according to the prevailing mood.
(Signed, 10, 12, 15, 88, 3, 6 and other oddly pointed agreements which ironically (or maybe not) have no point because they end up at no point just the next day.
I want to focus on all these points today and tomorrow.
24 SEPT 2010 | 7:59 PM NST
Firstly we must try and understand what, to me as a Royalist, the appalling standards of media reporting, and the role of ï¿½intellectualsï¿½ like you, has played in creating these conditions.
In doing this I must clarify some important things a) I respect you, I have seen enough of your writing both here and in Himal South Asian and Himal Khabar to think otherwise, b) I am aware of the fact that you are being accused of being rabidly anti-maoist and c) that, in my view you are a slightly left-leaning centrist who does not enjoy politics.
Firstly, there seems to be a complete consensus on every bit of politics that is out there. Socialism is among the most common denominators of this agreement. It disguises itself in different ways such NGOism, developmentalism, interventionism, and perhaps the safest call themselves progressives.
This is just a faï¿½ade. The objective that they all share and which may safely be inferred through the messages that they have repeatedly delivered is essentially this.
They are anti-Hinduism and that (naturally) they are anti-monarchy, the rest is negotiable.
The anti-Hinduism of most (nearly all) commentators is absolutely justifiable. I do not complain against that even as I oppose the idea. My complaint is that they do not show the courage of saying clearly, and unequivocally, that they are convinced that if there was no Hinduism in the country, we could well be on our path to great progress and prosperity.
Meanwhile, the anti-monarchy camp too (separate for discussion only, they are the same) is a bunch of liars because they depend not on an idea but a series of accusations that they wish to continuously float to the public to keep them from carefully and independently evaluating facts in light of events that followed its banishment.
Again, in both these cases, the intellectuals and, by extension the media, have sufficient and fairly strong arguments to challenge their justification. Nevertheless, the feeling that with knowledge of facts and in absence of lies people would arrive at their own conclusion scares them.
I am accusing you and your colleagues of being the statuesque(ist) of the new Republic of Hollow-ville called Nepal.
In this republic, the justification to earn the title of an intellectual, a member of a civil society etc, merely requires mouthing of hollow platitudes.
Finally, an most importantly, I think that all of you are members of the same club. You have absolutely no idea, neither any interest in "the people". I say that in quotes simply because there is no such entity and you use that term merely to satisfy the first requirement of the club membership, that everything must happen in the name of the only entity that does not exist.
This way, if someone complaints, they are - right wing reactionary, hindu-fanatic, anti-progress etc. It is perfect defense.
The second part of my final accusation is quite simply that you are safe in the knowledge that your status, regardless of the misfortune that may or may not befall this country, is unassailable. You will have a position of status through your friends and contacts.
I would proceed further in another note.
24 SEPT 2010 | 8:34 PM NST
Why not upgrade MKN to regular PM as he used to be. The search for a new PM can then go on as usual. When they find a new PM they install him.
25 SEPT 2010 | 10:11 AM NST
"Of no school I am part, Never to living master lost my heart, Nor any more can I be said, To have learned anything from the dead."That statement - subject to appeal - Means "I'm a self-made imbecile." Goethe
Sorry about the minor editorial inconsistencies and misspellings. My comment here refers to the first point I made in response to your statement that the "peoples faith in political parties will fall further". My intention here is to show that even as that may contain a grain of truth, the political parties have nothing to fear and they know that very well.
We are all socialists today because socialism has historically proven to attract power grabbers of all persuasions. Hitler through his German National Socialists Workers Party rose to power on the back of the chaos that followed Germany's defeat in the first world war and the subsequent effort by communists to capture power violently. Unfortunately, many of these communists such as Rosa Luxembourg were also Jews, only further bolstering the German belief that Jews were responsible for their country's misery.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Socialist Republic of India, PR of China, the Korean Workers Party, the Vietnamese Communists all used the evident populism of this ideology to advance their own agenda. The Chinese to repel the Japanese, the Bolsheviks to grab power to establish the Utopia, and Indians to extend one particular political groups hold on power.
The common theme in all their misery is the fact that opposition from members of the society who could convince the public of the fallacies being advanced were kept at bay. Methods included the ones utilised by the German aristocracy to keep any dissenters at bay through educators tenures to the most obvious in Cambodia where the enemy of "the people" were simply liquidated, as in USSR.
The ideology's popularity in Nepal is down to the fact that todays decision makers as well as opinion makers grew up to be men in late 60's and early 70's or before. Babu Ram Bhattarai presented his paper in 1977, a paper that he seems to hold dear. These men and women have simply refused to grow out of that time.
Another aspect of this is that it is a Religion. It is characterized by a priesthood which interprets the holy book for the consumption of religious adherents, and to proselytize, and the firm belief that since the end would be good for everybody (because the dissenters would be in labor camp or dead) it does not matter what methods are adopted to gain the tools which would help establish the said utopia.
The politics of today's Nepal is best defined as a conflict between different sects of the same religion.
Notice the key parties, Congress is Socialist (moderate), the CPN-UML is socialist (mildly aggressive with compromise) and the CPN-Maoist the fundamentalists. But they are all the same, they are all about the people, bearing the shield of victimhood which precludes the need to take responsibility or explain positions clearly and unequivocally to the people of this country.
Another notable practical characteristic of this particular religion is the need for an enemy. Imagine the unity of purpose that Maoists when the enemy was clearly defined, and now.
The all powerful reach of this ideology is so strong and its populism so powerful that people do not stop to ask what all of this would lead to.
Ask any voters what they think of socialism and they would be blank beyond the mantra that it is the best thing for Nepal.
The danger that Nepal faces in the absence of any space for an alternative political philosophy (an environment created by the media) is that the moment of realisation of the all of this falsehood would result in an explosive situation, just as it did in all those other socialist countries of yore.
What I would hope for is someone like you to illustrate all these facts clearly, highlight the fact that this whole confusion is the result of members of the same sects fighting and that there is no reason any of them should do that, that the absence of a credible opposition is dangerous for Nepal.
Perhaps most importantly, I hope to see you talking about facts a whole lot more than merely delving in fantasies.
25 SEPT 2010 | 12:30 PM NST
An addendum to the above. The German Socialists and the Soviet Socialists were opposed to each other as each rose to power, each needed an enemy and the Nazis chose the Jews. However, there methods were extremely similar. While the bolsheviks disliked jews, national socialists hated them. The bolsheviks murdered a large number of political opponents with as much abandon as National Socialists killed the jewish people. Fanaticism is the key characteristic of both these groups and each used history to justify their respective causes. Each had to have an enemy, Germans chose Jews regardless of the fact that some were bolsheviks, had Rosa Luxembourg and others not been Bolsheviks it would have hardly made a difference, being a fanatic hitler would have used the chaos to justify killings anyway, just as Bolsheviks did.
The evidence of the similarity of their method comes from what happened in Poland where the soviets took revenge for an earlier Polish resistance by lining up all the officers of the Army and killing them, 20000 odd. They also killed with abandon elsewhere.
25 SEPT 2010 | 12:59 PM NST
It is fascinating to read Slarti's (insightful and accurate) quotation of Marx's favourite poet Goethe in #6 in characterizing the Nepali Times "golden muddle". How strange to see this combined with pining for the Hindu past.
Now, sickening as it must be to human feeling to witness those myriads of industrious patriarchal and inoffensive social organizations disorganized and dissolved into their units, thrown into a sea of woes, and their individual members losing at the same time their ancient form of civilization, and their hereditary means of subsistence, we must not forget that these idyllic village-communities, inoffensive though they may appear, had always been the solid foundation of Oriental despotism, that they restrained the human mind within the smallest possible compass, making it the unresisting tool of superstition, enslaving it beneath traditional rules, depriving it of all grandeur and historical energies. We must not forget the barbarian egotism which, concentrating on some miserable patch of land, had quietly witnessed the ruin of empires, the perpetration of unspeakable cruelties, the massacre of the population of large towns, with no other consideration bestowed upon them than on natural events, itself the helpless prey of any aggressor who deigned to notice it at all. We must not forget that this undignified, stagnatory, and vegetative life, that this passive sort of existence evoked on the other part, in contradistinction, wild, aimless, unbounded forces of destruction and rendered murder itself a religious rite in Hindostan. We must not forget that these little communities were contaminated by distinctions of caste and by slavery, that they subjugated man to external circumstances instead of elevating man the sovereign of circumstances, that they transformed a self-developing social state into never changing natural destiny, and thus brought about a brutalizing worship of nature, exhibiting its degradation in the fact that man, the sovereign of nature, fell down on his knees in adoration of Kanuman, the monkey, and Sabbala, the cow.
England, it is true, in causing a social revolution in Hindostan, was actuated only by the vilest interests, and was stupid in her manner of enforcing them. But that is not the question. The question is, can mankind fulfil its destiny without a fundamental revolution in the social state of Asia? If not, whatever may have been the crimes of England she was the unconscious tool of history in bringing about that revolution.
Then, whatever bitterness the spectacle of the crumbling of an ancient world may have for our personal feelings, we have the right, in point of history, to exclaim with Goethe:
ï¿½Sollte these Qual uns quï¿½len Da sie unsre Lust vermehrt, Hat nicht myriaden Seelen Timurï¿½s Herrschaft aufgezehrt?ï¿½
[ï¿½Should this torture then torment us Since it brings us greater pleasure? Were not through the rule of Timur Souls devoured without measure?ï¿½] [From Goetheï¿½s ï¿½An Suleikaï¿½, Westï¿½stlicher Diwan]
25 SEPT 2010 | 4:40 PM NST
Arthur, either post the link or paste the comment. What is your point of taking up so much space on a non-issue. Of course Hinduism is the cause of all misery in India, Nepal, USSR, Africa, in Stalins purges, in North Korean dictatorship, in the misery of Europe in Marxist times, and afterwards and before, in the misinterpretation of history and in Hitlers rise, oh no, hang on, Marx's socialism had a role to play didn't he. Read my post, and don't waste your own and my time with copy paste work.
25 SEPT 2010 | 7:16 PM NST
#Slarti & Arthur Both of you are advised to read ,if you have not yet read, Megnad Desai's Book -Marx's Revenge-The resurgence of Capital and The Death of statist Socialism. mostly only reading the earlier Marx Vol.1 and specially Chapter32 and on Communist Menifesto has brought about devastating results.
25 SEPT 2010 | 7:57 PM NST
Extremists - not good any where in the World.
NAZI's - Nationalists-SOCIALISTS party of Germany. pure example of evil. Actually a Combination of extreme right and extreme left -Definately was bad for the world. This is misunderstanding people make of the NAZIs they were a combination of the two extremes and not actually a purely right wing party.
Stalin - Killed more of his own people, then the German's did in both World Wars combined. Tortured, killed and suppressed his own people and political opponents, remember Trotsky(the one who actually had brains- Lenin's favourite one to succeed!!!) Hey Arthur.
Ultimately the far left has been more detrimental and costly to this world than any other wing or group of politics/beliefs. I guess it is the idealistic and lack of practical understanding their leaders have. Also the reigns of power are so much more allurring to their extreme minds making them more willing to dance and court with the devil.
Funny isn't it the most socialistic wealth fare state nation in the World, which all these crazy looney communists preach about in their idealistic tone is actually a prominent capitalist nation with a multyparty democracy i.e. the United Kingdom. Never have I seen a nation that will house you, provide an income for you, provide free health care, even provide you food and your children if your not able to do it yourself. This is a true Welfare socialist nation which only theoretical communists could only dream about. Don't get me wrong it is still not a perfect system but it sure beats anything else I have seen around the globe.
Who is ultimately going to save Nepal, will be the Nepali people themselves, no one else as we have done before in the past when times were hard and very uncertain. We survived invasions from both the British Empire and a also a Chinesse invasion plan we can certainly survive what's going on now. One thing is for sure, Nepali people have an incredible ability to endure suffering and pain which I don't see in many other societies. We have what it takes to get out of this situation and it will come from the people and not from these politicians.
Our leaders, are not people to be inspired by clearly. Our youth should stop following these 50/60/80+ year old dodgy Nepali politicians on marches but instead start listening to and start following rock icons like Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix or the clash a lot more cooler and inspiring. Just like the youth in the rest of the world and stop becoming the lackies to these undeserving all talk but no action politicians. The countries with dodgy governments like Japan and Italy with an high turnover of PMs, the people aren't even aware who is the PM and really in our situation does it really matter???!!
25 SEPT 2010 | 10:49 PM NST
So, now we need to be able to understand European history in order to understand Nepal?
The issue is quite simple. We have a bunch of people calling themselves a political with "coercive apparatuses" taking part in the democratic process.
It is up to Nepalis to choose- democracy or something else.
26 SEPT 2010 | 6:10 AM NST
The problem with Marxism is that its ideology was narrowly formulated against the ruthlessly exploitative capitalistic as well as fundamentalist Christian European societies of the 19th century.
There-in lies its limitations. For Marxists, their view of the world and human history has been shaped and limited by Marx's own views on class struggle, his limited knowledge of world history, and his anti-religious (defined as mainly anti-Christian as Marx had very poor knowledge of other religions) beliefs.
And like Marx, his current day followers continue to believe, societies other than European (first starting with the Greeks )have had really no meaningful role in shaping human thought, history and civilization.
As such they tend to look at other ancient civilizations like the Indian (and Nepali), Chinese, Persian etcwith contempt and disdain.
It matters not to them that the Indus valley civilization predated the Greek civilization by more than two thousand years, that Gautam Buddha's teachings on nonviolence and respect for all life predates Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato.
Although Marx like other Europeans of his time had a very limited understanding of other civilizations and other religions (other than Christianity), it is interesting to point out that not all European philosophers tended to agree with his Eurocentric views.
For example here are some quotes from Voltaire, probably the best known French philosopher of the 18th century who is known for the famous quote : I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
Here are some of his quotes on Indian civilization.
We have shown how much we surpass the Indians in courage and wickedness, and how inferior to them we are in wisdom. Our European nations have mutually destroyed themselves in this land where we only go in search of money, while the first Greeks travelled to the same land only to instruct themselves. - Voltaire, Fragments historiques sur l'Inde (first published Geneva, 1773), Oeuvres Completes (Paris : Hachette, 1893), Vol.29, p.386
I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc. - Voltaire, Lettres sur l'origine des sciences et sur celle des peuples de l'Asie (first published Paris, 1777), letter of 15 December 1775.
No sooner than India begin to be known to the Occident's barbarians than she was the object of their greed, and even more so when these barbarians became civilised and industrious, and created new needs for themselves.... The Albuquerques and their successors succeeded in supplying Europe with pepper and paintings only through carnage. - Voltaire, Fragments historiques sur l'Inde, op.cit., p.383
Unfortunately for Karl Marx, Lenin and Mao utilized his philosophy for theirmore violent and self-serving ends, using pretexts like"dictatorship of the proletariat" to impose their self-serving dictatorships on the people.
So ultimately it has come down to this- it is almost impossible to be a true Marxist-Leninist-Maoist without these following mutated beliefs :
1.Forget your own and your forefather's history, culture and religion. Instead your history will be interpreted for you based on Marx's medieval views on class struggle and his limited knowledge of world history.
2.There will be just one true atheist-religion as ordained by Marx; and Marx/Lenin/Mao and other local leaders will take the place of the older Christian deities.
Cultures and religions of other regions other than Europe, like Hinduism and Buddhism are really primitive and barbaric, and need to be eradicated as they have nothing meaningful to contribute.
3.Do not consider yourself and others as free individuals able to make free-will decisions. Instead recognize that individuals, for the most part, can only existas part of a broader group and class as defined by Marx; and each individual's thinking is shaped by the class (and ethnic group- this is specific to the Nepali Maoists) they belong to.
For this reason do not question the leaders, as your thinking could have been corrupted by the reactionary thoughts of your class or the primitive thoughts of your forefathers.
4.Above all, remember the leaders are far more intelligent and gifted than the masses, and they are to be entrusted with the thinking and decision making for the people. The people/masses are there only to be used according to their directives to crushperceived enemies.
So even if you do not like things they are doing now, remember they are doing this for the benefit of the people/the masses. And do not question if the leaders are living like the bourgeoisie and sometimes indulging in criminal behavior, in the end it will be all for your own good.
In the information age and the age of the internet, it is getting more and more difficult for the leaders to fool the people/the masses based on such an outdated ideology. No wonder the Soviet Union collapsed, the Chinese have disavowed Maoism, and the ranks of the true believers in communism is rapidly shrinking.
Instead the belief in each person's individuality and uniqueness and respect for individual rights is serving as the guiding philosophy for more and more people in the modern world.
And that is why Maoism in its present form cannot have a great future, being an ideology in retreat destined for the dust-bin of history as evidenced in China, the Soviet Union and the rest of the world. The Maoist leaders would be well advised to re-examine their outdated doctrines and move along with the times, both for their sake and the sake of the people of Nepal.
26 SEPT 2010 | 7:36 AM NST
14. Never mind
We will need the following brave-hearts to expose hinduism, denigerate history, and obfuscate our history to establish, firmly, this republic.
26 SEPT 2010 | 5:53 PM NST
#13 Anil Thank you Anil.You should write in Nepali daily your observations on Maxism,so that our half-baked romantic followers of Marxism. could get their funda cleared.