Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
The new Panchayat

Back to the street after a brief stint in the government, the leadership of the political parties, who have been demanding the reinstatement of the third House of Representatives and formation of an all party government, have now got to see the parade of the regional and zonal administrators. They are also getting to see how one after another former army generals are getting appointed as ambassadors.

International pressure, the superpower countries' two pillar policy of constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy, the ongoing UN meeting on human rights in Geneva, were the hopes for the political leaders that regression would be corrected. Instead, they now have to bear with regional and zonal administrators.

If the developments in the past are any indication, very soon district administrators will also be appointed. News about such appointments are already making the rounds. Based on these appointments, a 'parliament' will be formed. Possibly, the 'parliament' will have representations from all electoral constituencies. But all these parliamentarians will be absolutely nominated. These 'representatives' will form a government. Mainly, these people will remain loyal to the king and they will receive royal orders to remain loyal to the people. All these new structures will have the tenure of 33 months and steps will be taken with the commitment on the constitution of 1991, meaning commitments will be expressed on constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy, just like the way it was done on 1 February.

If the speaker without parliament Taranath Ranabhat becomes the speaker of the nominated parliamentarians, that will be no surprise. But it will take time to destroy a system that has already taken root. Even if they think they have destroyed it, shoots will push up from the soil.

A species of pipal grows on another tree and can sometimes smother the host that it once depended on. In Nepali politics, such pipal trees were never destroyed. Those in power never thought of countering the Maoists politically. What they always thought was: the army will kill off the rebels. What they never thought of was the historical fact that whoever struggles ends up winning the rights. They forgot who fought and won in 1990. They forgot history.

What we see now is that those who were all out to save the central power in the past have now become ambassadors, regional and zonal administrators. After all the state power is class-based. The minute changes that have begun to appear in state politics now indicate such change in the state power. This can be called the new version of the Panchayat.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)