Nepali Times
By The Way
Monsoon of the megalomaniacs



We may soon have a new prime minister and a new cabinet, but the problems will be the same old ones that have haunted this nation for the last four years. Nepal's traditional politicians haven't learnt from history, and are therefore doomed to repeat it.

The megalomaniacs in the ruling circles are dragging this country back to the pre-27 May deadlock. Tuesday's all-party meeting made it clear that this bunch of men is impervious to reality and simply incapable of learning anything at all.

Baburam Bhattarai and his coalition partners in government may pat each other's backs but they don't seem to have anything new to offer either. They have been busy with populist agendas while under their watch, corruption and mismanagement in the government have broken all previous records. Inflation and shortage of essential goods has hit people hard.

Political bickering at the top has a chain reaction on the economy, development and people's livelihoods. The expansion of roads throughout the country, construction of hospitals, bridges and schools in remote areas should have brought relief to many. Instead, life has gone from bad to worse because our politics is such a mess. Public resentment against the parties is building, and it is going to manifest itself in elections which is why everyone is terrified of elections.

The opposition NC and UML share a part of this blame, but people will ultimately question the incumbent government for failing to get a grip on the situation. It is those in power that people expect action from.

To be sure, the government has found itself in an unprecedented void. The two main parties in the coalition have suffered serious splits. Its legitimacy is being questioned at every step. But by calling for the ouster of Bhattarai without presenting an alternative, the opposition is trying to drag the nation into another crisis. Both sides are gearing up for a showdown this monsoon.

The NC and UML are putting pressure on the president to act, while the Maoists have invited Janajati leaders to form a new front and join their coalition. Both believe that somehow the other side will relent. Amid all the chaos, Gyanendra Shah's statement in Bhairawa was intended to remind the populace that however bad things were during the days of the monarchy, they weren't this bad.

Amidst all this, an important development is taking place within the Madhesi front. Last week, honorary Madhesi, Sarat Singh Bhandari broke away from the Bijay Gachhadar-led MJF-Loktantrik. Then, this week MJF-Republic withdrew its support from the government after ousting its sitting minister Rajkishor Yadav.

On the surface, this looks like an intra-party squabbling, but one can discern a trend. The fact that Baburam Bhattarai chose not to replace an expelled member of the party in coalition from his cabinet has exposed the cracks in the Morcha, and if things don't change dramatically, the rifts will surface in the next two weeks.

Madhesi pundits reckon this may be the beginning of the end. "Legitimately the present government cannot be ousted until the next elections but it will be forced to resign if the coalition falls apart," a Madhesi intellectual told me this week.

Those observing these developments from the sidelines believe that although the Madhesi parties have been brought together by a common agenda on federalism, they are not driven by a collective sense of purpose. There is increasing tussle within the Front to occupy the kingmaker role. The 'hidden hand' that was supposed to be the architect of this coalition must be getting restless.

Sooner or later, Bhattarai will have to step down. But that will leave us with CA elections, or CA revival which require unprecedented consensus, unlikely at present. Even if there is a roundtable conference as some have been suggesting, how will it resolve any of this?

This is paddy plantation season, so expect more mudslinging, and more sound and fury signifying nothing.

Read also:
All politics is local

A democratic jolt, RUBEENA MAHATO
The NC and UML are dominated by failed and ageing alpha males from the past, it's time to make a clean break

Humanitarian fallout
Nepal's constitutional deadlock has humanitarian consequences for its people

1. Soni
I swear to god I am not being sarcastic here, but I simply don't understand what you mean throughout this article. I genuinely don't.

A) I don't think the problem is the same old one "that haunted the country for the last 4-5 years", but the same old one that has haunted the country for the past two decades. Good quality politicians like Ram Sharan Mahat and others are simply shunted to a second grade status because the parties are run like fiefdom's of a few powerful men. 

This is a simple and clear statement that you could make instead of trying to colour the artcile for use as false propaganda by subtly changing the reference.

"Political bickering at the top has a chain reaction on the economy, development and people's livelihoods."

You say this as if it is a revelation. Politicians are the problem because they did everything to come to power and have been sincerely engaged in destroying this country, I would say deliberately. But for what purpose I don't know.

I have been reading, and have read in this journal once again that local democracy is the only thing that worked properly in this country and that was a gift of GP Koirala. 

People forget that this institution was a pre-90 era institution, renamed by the political parties who like to take credit for everything good. This is not to suggest that the institution worked perfectly well before, but like all good socialists, you appear to be driven to arrive at a conclusion that is only consistent with your worldview, truth be damned.

2. Binu
The way the things are going on do not bode well for the future. Its due to our hidebound  politicians Nepal rendered as a constitutional never-never land.The acute polarization among masses and radicalization of politics is really depressing.

But blaming the already flawed politicians is not the solution. Then who to retrieve this nation back? Don't we have second rung politicians in the parities to do something or Do we have to surmise at the going-to-be-formed janjati's party  presenting a proper solution? Or, ex-king has  any new thing to offer?

Perhaps there is little to hope, be it from second rung youths or janajatis or anyone else, when the politics succumbs from the serious lack of vision in the business of life. New alternative force needs to have a clear vision in the Nepalese agriculture, urban planning, education and public health system and in every realms of social life, unfortunately no one is talking about all these. Everyone talks about politics in abstract and never perceive it is actually only the way for betterment of the people. 

Unless and until newer forces come with the concrete idea on the overall development of people, there will be nothing to be happy even if the deadlock get broken.

3. Dechen
Nepal is like Mexico or the Arab spring...100 years the same mental cases for government and they got for the same! Trust me when there is a major exodus the people know. There is no hope. 

4. 7

Nepal could rise from the ashes like a Phoenix


Expect the worse; what we get in the end will be somewhat better than what we had hoped for. Consensus can tie a knot and jump. That's a fairytale gone completely viral. That will never happen, unless the parties stop deliberately contradicting each other. Homeboys should learn to agree to disagree. I prefer Surya but I cannot say that your Shikhar is a bad choice; same goes with chocolate and vanilla. Nepal needs realists; let's do away with the pessimists and optimists.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)