Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Democracy



Democracy is not just an ideology, it is a lifestyle. Democracy is such a popular word that it is dog-eared with use. Even Stalin used to call his regime a 'people's democracy'. Totalitarian countries of eastern Europe all called themselves 'democratic'. After his military coup, Pakistan's General Ayub Khan called his government one espousing 'basic democracy'. The word 'socialism' was similarly in vogue: Jawaharlal Nehru liked to call himself a socialist and BP Koirala called his capitalist multi-party democracy 'democratic socialism'. Even Hitler, who was responsible for the deaths of more than six million innocent citizens, was the leader of the National Socialist (Nazi) party. Here in Nepal, for 30 years, our own authoritarian Panchayat system celebrated 7 Falgun as 'National Democracy Day'. None of these were truly democratic or truly socialist.

Just because you call yourself democratic, you don't become one. The human body is made up of many organs, if one fails the others are affected. Similarly, a democracy is made up of many institutions. Democracy is not just an ideology put forward by someone, it is the result of millennia of political evolution starting perhaps from ancient Greece. Along the way it picked up elements of British parliamentarianism, the American declaration of independence, was inspired by Voltaire, Rousseau, John Locke, Jefferson. And this evolution hasn't stopped, democracy is still learning and developing.

Around the world, there are different kinds of democracy: Japan, India, Philippines, Britain, Australia, America all have different models but they essentially share a few common elements: minimum basic individual freedoms, you can't detain someone until proven guilty, you can't arrest anyone without cause, you can't force anyone to change his thoughts and beliefs. Democracy is about freedom but not just about freedom. It must be the same freedom equally to everyone.

There are many who use the word democracy without knowing its meaning. Most Nepalis know it is a system that is desirable. Everyone in Nepal and outside is saying there is no alternative to democracy in Nepal but do they really mean it? Do they really believe it?


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


ADVERTISEMENT









himalkhabar.com            

NEPALI TIMES IS A PUBLICATION OF HIMALMEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED | ABOUT US | ADVERTISE | SUBSCRIPTION | PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS OF USE | CONTACT