Nepali Times
Publisher\'s Note
Nepal's Nepal

Of all the characters in Nepal's political firmament, Madhav Kumar Nepal was the last person anyone expected to be a wily manipulator.

When he was installed as prime minister exactly a year ago, it was his very indecisiveness and lack of leadership qualities that made him the perfect compromise candidate. The country needed a dealmaker to bring the three main parties together, and no one seriously saw him as a political threat.

In the past year, Madhav Nepal's biggest contribution was to keep the totalitarian ambitions of the Maoists at bay. It is only now becoming clear how close we came on the night of 4 May 2009 to a complete Maoist takeover. Now, Nepal has shown that he also knows when it is time to go, unlike many of his peers.

To be sure, Nepal wasn't successful in forging a consensus government. He couldn't rein in his spectacularly corrupt cabinet colleagues. And his most glaring failure was to completely ignore the economy and development.

But by surprising even his close aides with the announcement of his resignation, Nepal seized the moment, wrested the initiative and took the moral high ground ahead of the UML central committee meeting. In his resignation speech, he explained that the only reason for his delay was that he wanted to spare the country the uncertainty of succession. He wanted to be seen as a facilitator and not as the obstacle that he was becoming.

Sure enough, the resignation has already intensified the bitter power struggle between rivals within all three parties to be Nepal's successor. The disagreement is not between the parties but within them, among rival candidates for prime ministership. Till the president's 7 July deadline, Nepal has converted himself from a lame duck to a caretaker.

The ideal scenario now would be for the two rival leaders in each party (Dahal and Bhattarai in the Maoists, Deuba and Poudel in the NC and Oli and Khanal in the UML) to bury the hatchet and work towards a consensus government.

Coming out of the autocratic shadow of GP Koirala, the NC is now re-emerging as a strong democratic alternative to the Maoists. But it is absurd to foist people like Sher Bahadur Deuba or some of the tired old discredited faces from the past as if they are the only choices we have. It is time for the party to make a clean break and go for people like, say, Kul Bahadur Gurung, who would be less objectionable to the other parties, and let them prove themselves.

Romancing power, courting a constitution, MENAKA GURUSWAMY
Elusive unity, PRASHANT JHA
Chhi-chhi to chichi, RABI THAPA
Freedom to market, ARTHA BEED
Is it ok to cheat in football?, PETER SINGER

1. Anonymous
If the country does get a new PM and government by July 7, that will be a very hopeful, uplifting thing. But do you seriously believe our ever-wrangling Bahun leaders will manage to form a government by then? In all likelihood this will drag on for a few weeks if not months.

2. sameer
Girija kicked out his own colleague Bhattarai, and Jhalanath was playing the same game with Madhav.  Madhav, on the other hand, outplayed everyone and showed them the door instead.  Good example Madhav...   Bravo!!!

3. who cares

resignation of madhav nepal will break remaining bones of maoist, probably. either by fulfilling their part of promise or by not meeting their part.

actually, timing is perfect. since, its the fiscal year, if govt. can not be formed in time, maoist mainly should be blamed.

if maoist do not comply with their part of the contract, their agents- in uml, eu, un, norway, so called civil society members, media should be made to face to music.

"hurray, brazil is knocked out, brazil is one of the ugliest team who do not play fairly just like maoist, and if other side response, like during the match between ivory cost, things get ugly. with holland too."

the best pm candidate from NC, i think, is the person who replaced girija in CA. he seems to be someone who is very intelligent with open mind- from peaceful dialogue to using force.

*sherbahadur is a proven failure and all the corrupt, crooks have joined his gang.

*prachande a proven failure as well as a looser who runs away from problem.

*jhala nath, who do not have balls and likely will be used by maoist and bame.

*amazing is, bhatterai baje, who is the weakest in maoist among three. he wont be able to face maoist after getting the job.

i think, the next govt. will be the biggest failure in the history of nepal.

4. Kamal Kishor

Madhav Nepal after losing parliamentary election was hopelessly lost but Prachand gave him a facelift. NC, UML and others gave him PM post why because he was blessed by the Maoists and he was the only candidate who could forge a consensus among various groups. They were right. He was not forced by anyone to resign, he had not faced any revolts, on the contrary he was asked by all major parties except the Maoists not to resign. Eventually he resigned; it was a very good decision and a very mature one.

Despite not able to do much in constitution writing, economic development and giving a clear cut direction to the political paradigm shift, he has achieved a major goal set forth by the ruling parties, to expose, weaken and force the maoists to take softer lines on all the major issues.

Now the maoists have to talk to evrey political party in Nepal for a favor. They have to go door to door. Even if they will be able to form a majority government, they will feel the sword hanging above them all the times: losing majority. They can't be as arrogant as the first time.

They have dire needs to be in the government and they will try their best to get it. This is the time for NC and UML to extract major consessions from them on all the major issues. They should support the Maoists to form a government, if they meet the minimum condition put forth by them and make it very clear that if the maoists don't fulfill it within a time frame, the support would be withdrawn.

This is one opportunity to transform the Maoists into a civilian democratic party and help the maosists get rid of their hardline posters and policies.

5. Arthur
"the NC is now re-emerging as a strong democratic alternative to the Maoists"

Wow! In what parallel universe?

6. Nirmal
If  Madhav Nepal and some people(including the publisher) thinks that he was successful to keep the totalitarian ambition of the Maoists at bay, sorry but I must say that it is a lopsided analysis. Why does a govt(aparently anti-maoists or anti totalitarian according to these analysts) which had a clear majority have to resign then? He put all the blame on the Maoists which only demonstrated how coward he is politically, as If he were a saint and his tenure has been a true enlightment for the political culture of Nepal. He had to go solely because of him and his incompetent cabinet(the rules of the game are slowly working) which was neither able to run a country with good governance nor was able to make pacts with the opposition, If one is skillfull he can make a deal even with the demon!

I can't speak about others but I, as a simple commentator, will try as much as possible to remind  how makune prabriti worked all these 13 months, to everybody whenever I feel the neccessity. What i am not going to do is to clap Nepal led govt just because there is a party called Maobadi whose political language and behaviours are suspicious and "I" feel secure because of his anti-maoist rhetoric. In my knowledge it is truly a kind despotism.

7. Budabaaje

"In the past year, Madhav Nepal's biggest contribution was to keep the totalitarian ambitions of the Maoists at bay. It is only now becoming clear how close we came on the night of 4 May 2009 to a complete Maoist takeover."

So it's taken a year for Messeur to fully appreciate the "totalitarian ambitions" of the Maoists, eh? Could one old man humbly remind that the Nepal Army (not to mention the King) had been warning the whole country about this since years before? When King and Army fought tooth and nail "to keep the totalitarian ambitions of the Maoists at bay", it was called "tyrannical", "feudal", "suppression" etc. etc. King and 'jarsaps' were "despots" and Maoists were the heroes. Now Makune does it, and it's the most admirable thing any Nepali leader has ever done, huh?

Wah-wah! Bahuns in media singing praises of Bahuns in politics. That's all "democracy" in Nepal is about. So that Bahuns can chatter, prattle, sermonize, eulogize and pontificate while everything else falls apart! That's what Nepalese "democracy" is all for. (Might as well call it "Bahun-cracy" as far as I'm concerned.) 

And finally to say what NT never will: at the end of the day, it was the Nepal Army, the hated Nepal Army, and specifically Gen. Katwal, that prevented a Maoist takeover of our country! If not for the (R)NA, the Maoists would have attained their ambitions riding on the backs of the "useful idiots" in Nepal's politics, intelligentsia and media!

8. jange
"In the past year, Madhav Nepal's biggest contribution was to keep the totalitarian ambitions of the Maoists at bay. It is only now becoming clear how close we came on the night of 4 May 2009 to a complete Maoist takeover."

Surely you jest! Since when did the NT change its mind about the Maoists being the only party representing change? Or was the total takeover by the Maoists the change that you wanted for us all?

If you are going to make an allegation such as this you should do so with facts and not innuendo.

Bad journalism!

9. Slarti

Budabaaje, well said. I, however, do not believe it has anything to do with being a Brahmin. It has more to do with being part of a peer group of hollow men and women. To this group, all action must confirm to some of their own meaningless stereotype. The king did indeed do the right thing, that he had to go is irrelevant. As long some of us understand what he did, the rest does not matter. Whether he comes back or not, others show any respected or not…….. all of that is irrelevant in my view.

None of us, including the king, are going to live forever; we will leave posterity to decide the implications of all of our actions.

Meanwhile, do not expect these people to be sensible. Notice how another article suddenly brings up the "coy" (pretending, in a teasing or provocative way, to be reserved or modest) appearance of the king, and not the fact that people may just have started wondering……"so what was the point of all this fuss again".

10. Budabaaje

Yes, Slarti. These people do not have the guts or the moral fiber to ever admit that, after all, THE KING WAS RIGHT! Yes, he made some mistakes and angered the people. But nothing to deserve the abolishment of monarchy. Posterity will surely see these lying, senseless, incompetent, opportunists for what they truly are!

The monarchy acted in the best interests of the country. It was prepared to take risks in the larger interests of the nation. That's far far more than can be said for the Bahun politicians and their Bahun yes-men in media and civil society, who act only in their narrow, self-serving interests. The monarchy had Big Shoulders to bear the burden of governing a country like Nepal and Big Balls to stand up to a bully like India. The current crop of political and intellectual leaders--who courted grandiose visions of replacing the monarchy--only have Big Mouths and multiple-times Forked Tongues!

The truth will come back to haunt these Cheats. The monarchy should and will be restored in our country! Let that be the rallying cry of all honest men and women!

11. Sargam
So # Budabaaje is the kind who sits and sulks! In effect, you were so into your Monarchy system that you wouldn't bold looking at something else which could be nonetheless better disposed for your grand children.

I also love military for its discipline and its steadfastness of purpose, but not to the point of lamenting the past.

I simply hope you did not make your hair gray in sunshine. Otherwise with a lineup like this you'd very soon regret to have taken birth. That will be too bad for the generations to come.

No brinkmanship please. It's time to sever the umbilical cord. Because this 'engine' is already about to give up the ghost!?!

12. Slarti
#11 what???

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)