Nepali Times
Politics as a spectator sport


Some say politics is the world's oldest spectator sport. But it's not quite as simple as just sitting back and enjoying the show.

In Nepal, the most obvious interpretation is that of politics as a farce akin to professional wrestling, which the public got a taste of last Saturday with the staging of the Professional Wrestling Show 2011 at the National Stadium in Kathmandu. Inexplicably, Maoist Chairman Dahal showed up at the event to welcome the participants. Never short on wit, he declared Nepali politics 'even more unruly than wrestling'. He has a point. With 17 elections to elect a prime minister, seven months of a caretaker government, and now a month of the current unministered dispensation, 'farce' is perhaps too weak a term.

Politics is also a spectator sport in the sense that the audience Ė in this case the public Ė is often partisan to the extent that they exult when the other side fails, even if it is a loss for the country as a whole. Arguably the current crisis began with the fall of the Maoist-led government in May 2009. Chairman Dahal may indeed have overstepped his bounds and no longer deserved to lead a government, but most of his detractors could not hide their glee when he ran into the Katawal affair, whatever the consequences. Similar emotions are now at play while PM Khanal thrashes about, notably within his own party. Everybody loves to see a good downfall, but who really bears the brunt?

But perhaps the most worrying aspect of politics as a spectator sport is the fact of spectatorship. Instead of encouraging participation, our politicians are already backtracking on their commitment to take the draft constitution to the public. It's not just the public who are not privy to their indecisive 'decisive meetings'. The smaller parties have long bemoaned the tendency of the Big Three to monopolise decision-making, and even party cadres are forced to watch as their leaders jockey for power. And when one party chairman signs a secret agreement with another, it becomes clear that Nepali politicians perceive that participation and transparency constitutes, as Noam Chomsky says, an 'excess of democracy'.

We may not have much respect for any of those at the helms of our political parties. But these are the people who will eventually sign off on our new constitution and complete the peace process. In the coming days, the Nepali public must raise its voice to guide national politics. It must also seek to rise above partisanship and encourage positive developments towards the objectives of constitution-writing and the peace process Ė whoever deserves the credit for it.

The next Nepali revolt, SAGAR ONTA

1. Raghu
"We may not have much respect for any of those at the helms of our political parties. But these are the people who will eventually sign off on our new constitution and complete the peace process" Ha Ha, you still haven't given hope on the Maoist have you?????????

2. Rajeshwari

Perhaps it is time for the Nepali people to revolt against corruption and demand the Rule of Law.  Look at the instrumental positive changes in Bihar since the Rule of Law was implemented by a courageous leader.

Look at the changes the youth have brought about in North Africa and are bringing about in the Middle East.  The old people joined the young, and even a powerful military had to bow to this people power.

Do we have a critical mass of youth who believe that every paisa from our taxes and duties should be invested to bring Nepal to the level of India and China?

Should the youth lead such a revolution, then only will Gopal Prasad Rimal's AMO KO SAPNA come true.





3. bichharibaaje
What our great proletariat leader so focused at?
Chhal ta niko dekhinna ni dwantatmak bhautikbaadi baajeko!

4. who cares
"But these are the people who will eventually sign off on our new constitution and complete the peace process. In the coming days, .............."

nepalese should change this attitude,,, nepalese need to work on good alternative, option

5. Slarti
"In the coming days, the Nepali public must raise its voice to guide national politics."

I am not sure what that is if that is not populist nonsense. Is it not your duty to tell the truth, vehemently and clearly? 

To do that you will have to deal with the truth, not escape from it through evasive calling on people's sense of outrage. Retrace your step and find out where you went wrong. Or, and I am sorry I am saying this, are you too scared to do that?

This nation has suffered this much because of the connivance of its intellectual elite with its political fraudsters. As long as this alliance is intact, the "people" will have no voice whatsoever. 

You merely have to go through newspaper editorials to realise how downright silly that alliance has become.

I am sorry I have to make these many comments, but I am also sorry that I have no other choice.

6. Kale Rai
Prachanda is as good in Shadow  Wrestling as in Shadow Boxing in the ears.
 He should spend more time to be our wrestler for the Olympics.
Kabaz khelnapathaideu.  Haridwar ma Ram Dev kaha tina mahina lai pathayebhaihalchha ni.  Swas praswas thika bhayepachhi politics pani sudhrelani.

7. kegarne

Someone mentioned maobadiko "dwandaatmak bhautikbaad." Here is what it means:

dwandaatmak: 1) dandaa-thokne or lathi mungre
2) always seeking dwanda or quarrels

bhautikbaad: 1) obsessed with physical attacks or bhautik karbai 
2) one who likes bhautik sookh subidha, lootko paisa, five star resorts, rolex watches, stolen pajeros

Now you understand what the maoist philosophy is all about.


8. jange

More prescriptions from the NT as to what the "people" should do. The NT has made too many errors of judgment to take its pronouncements seriously.

- that the Maoists were a force for√Į¬Ņ¬Ĺ positive change

- that the alliance of Maoists and non-violent political parties was an acceptable alliance when in fact it was an endorsement of violence as a political tool. This was an abandonment of fundamental principles for tactical convenience and for which the Nepali people will pay dearly for a long time to come.

- that the CA elections were a free and fair election and that it represented the will of the people

- that the extension of the CA was an acceptable democratic practice

- that the Maoists would ever abandon violence as a political tool unless made to do so

9. Nirmal
This editorial sounds quite realistic than what Kanak Dixit tries to explain us so often and that is I (subject Kanak Dixit)hate the shit caused by the maoists but am unable to see the same caused by non-maoists, moreover, he considers his brand of politics the exemplary ones in Asia. True noone will be able to find another lot of corrupt and incompetent non-maoists outside the country having them in our homeland(did you get my point, respected Kanak Mani dixit?), they are unique. But here, I noticed that this editorial is slightly different and tries to clarify the conundrum as following: If it is all about our politics of producing shits then this is our own shit(recognition of truth, perhaps)! I think that's honesty from editor's side so i took it seriously to put my point of view clearly.

By the day, it is as clear as the water of Tribeni that the current lot of politics don't learn neither from oneself nor from others. This lot(with no exception) had sixty precious years, just in name of fighting for Democracy and still they are there where they were 60 years ago practically with some useless cosmetic developments. We had and have all sorts of politicians and political parties from Kangress Emale to Maobadi. Take a recent example, one becomes a PM of a nation with a secret deal struck at the back corridor of the Nation, there is a finance ministry who thinks as If he is a mukhiya of a certain VDC, there is a sancharmantri whose scandal in sansaarko sanchaar is quite infamous etc, in short politicians whose political base is confeccionated  thanks to rising impunity, corruption and patronised politics, well a hopeless gerontocracy with hopeless young people that follow them blindly, but it seems that khaye kha nakhaye ghich situation is not only rampant in our country but largely accepted by our hunekhane, janebujheka and taathabaatha class. And the media reflects this on daily basis.

I don't understand why this hunekhaneka, janebujheka and tatha-batha class is unable to formulate two very important suggestions to both the Maoists and non-Maoists, though it is on their fingertips.

1st Suggestion to the Maoists:
When I hear prachanda and his gang asking and preparing for human sacrifices I wonder for what and why. And I think If this is not a proof of how lunatic the Maoists are being each and everyday in this modern world. We should have all irresponsible statements of the Maoists recorded to present in national and international courts in case there is a large scale of human rights violations tomorrow. Of course with this attitude, tommorrow is not as easy for them as it is today.
Prachanda and the Maoists gang should be provided all the informations and details of Gadafi regarding in which circunmstances he ascended to the power and what and how  he really stood for during last half century. Because, today's political profile of Prachanda & Co. not only resembles to the one of Gaddafi and his aides but in reality helps us to predict its future too as well as to avoid it If worked seriously from now on. The only things that will not be the same in the Maoists' case with respect to Gaddafi's are that Gaddafi enjoyed 40 years of lunatic dictatorial life and he had immense quantity of black gold with him to please his corrupt and greedy western friends. Whereas, in the Maoists' case, it will not be more than 2 years and they do not have enough pennies to please and fool everyone all the time. Gaddafi ruled on the back of infightings and rivalry between tribes in a country of 150 tribes, a mixmax ideology between Islam- marxism-stalinism, and the western fear of islamist extremism. And he stopped ruling when all these three things went against him, and this is not thanks to what we say by the strange twist of fate. Gaddafi's traditional attire did not save him from popular outrage and neither Prachanda with his suit without tie will be able.

2nd suggestion to the non-maoists:
With corrupt and incompetent lots no one can pretend to govern a country properly and last two decades are the true examples of what the nepali reality demands and what this corrupt and incompetent lot of non-maoists are able to offer to people.

Conclusion: Though the shit is exclusively ours, and nepali one dear editor, there is no way the murderers or corrupts be allowed to govern a country and respected as If out of shits we do magic. The day we fail to furnish accountability in this regard, our country will be a lost case in front of the world. At this hour of modernity everyone should have this simple and obvious fact engraved in our brain I suppose.

10. Nirmal
One last point
 Don't forget that the maoists original goal is to toppple these corrupt politicians and establish their regime and they argue that only they and their myopic ideology could bring justice through their violent struggle. Nothing can deal a more fatal blow to the extremist narrative than our peaceful, sincere and forward looking attitudes suceeding where all of Maobadi's guns will fail definately. But for that we should be able to condemn both corrupts and criminals in politics. Let's make the politics the wall made of glass; transparent and beyond any TOM DICK HARRY's reach.

11. K. K. Sharma

We do have an Interim Constitution, since 2006. So what's the big deal with Constitution.? 

Just barking for Constitution without even thinking about what TYPE of Consitution is rediculous. Rest assuredm those intellectuals that are barking for a Constitution now, will be barking against the Constitution when they realise what Type of Constitution they get.

12. kegarne
The picture looks quite pornographic to me. What is pkd doing behind that excited lady? Shame on you, editor. You have a dirty mind...

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)