Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
People rule

The Maoist conflict is as much a matter of concern for India as it is for Nepal. India has also been affected with the same nature of conflict. In the name of rebellion, guns have been used for many years in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. We hear India can solve Nepal's problems if it so wished and poses an obstacle to Nepal's peaceful resolution. This is not true. We have not been able to solve our own problems.

We respect our relations with Nepal and will not interfere in her internal affairs. I don't believe it is even ethical for India to lecture Nepal about democracy and her problems. India is not short on public dissatisfaction in her own democratic system and governance. Instead of lecturing Nepal, what we can do is interact and support each other to find solutions. Nepal's problem is not merely the conflict between the king, the Maoists and the political parties. The key problem is how to help Nepali families who have suffered because of the conflict. There has been enough talk about the future of monarchy or the direction of the conflict. More concern should be raised about the system of people's governance. After the multiparty system was established in Nepal in 1990, people had high expectations in democracy. Despite shortcomings, the democratic process was evolving. Then the Maoist rebellion began and pushed the country into crisis. On October Fourth, the monarchy stepped in to become active in a bid to solve the country's problems. King Gyanendra probably had no other vested interest when he made his move. Perhaps he wanted to prove that the palace was more capable than the political parties in finding a solution. But his assumption proved wrong.

The conflict intensified after his interference in state affairs. Nepal's political powers have to understand that no rule is successful without public support. The constitution has defined boundaries for monarchy regarding its responsibilities and authority. It should not cross this line. Nepal is now heading towards a failed state and monarchy is the most at stake. If it continues to cross constitutional jurisdiction to pursue political ambitions, it would do great damage.

As for the Maoists, they base political power in the use of terror. During its initial phase, the Maoist movement impressed the public because it advocated genuine issues in favour of the underprivileged. But their recent activities have pushed the people away. The rebels know that the situation will only grow worse. The political parties and the monarchy should unite to find solutions. Political parties should start pushing for national consensus. Nepal has no choice but to hold general elections. It would be best if the Maoists joined mainstream politics and went for elections too.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)