Nepali Times
ANURAG ACHARYA
By The Way
Another anti-climax


ANURAG ACHARYA


DIWAKAR CHETTRI

The final days of the extended Constituent Assembly is fast approaching once more, and the smell of street protests is in the air again. The tents have returned to their familiar spots in New Baneswor, and bitter political power struggle is slowly giving way to nervous signs of cooperation before the deadline expires on 31 August. We are approaching yet another anti-climax.

But something is different this time. The hint of guilt and remorse that we saw in the run up to 28 May have vanished, as the leaders audaciously claim "we may be losers, but you've got no choice". Forget about the peace and the constitution, in the last three months, the leaders could not even agree to work together on kick-starting governance. We've been witness to bizarre scenes where fellow members have collected signature to unseat their own leaders in the party and in the CA.

Every major political actor in Nepali politics today is a victim of what the Game Theorists call 'prisoner's dilemma', where individuals look to maximise their own payoff with utter disregard of that of the other, thereby leading to Mutually Assured Destruction. The failure of Madhav Nepal government, 17 rounds of elections and the humiliating attack on the Jhalanath government from his own party are a proof that Nepali politics is a zero sum game where one party has gains at the collective loss of all others. No one has learnt the lesson, we are on the verge of yet another majoritarian government.

Fear of the NC and the larger-than-life ego of the Maoist chairman is leading the nation down a spiral. Although the UML might have lost interest in cashing in on their divide this time, the Madhesi front is looking to score brownie points by entering into a deal with NC. Even the school kids who sat in front of the CA building for weeks with their hands tied to one another in a futile attempt to drive in sense of cooperation among the leaders know that so long as we follow a majoritarian culture in a bitterly divided nation, we are all losers.

This time, the power deadlock has stopped baffling, enraging, angering, provoking and even amusing us anymore. Ours is a generation that has grown up in the shadow of violence. The decade long violence and half a decade of painful transition is clearly taking its toll on Nepali society. The lack of physical and social security has led to growing desperation among the youth who are losing faith in the state. They do not fear this weak transitional justice system. We are experiencing what happens when the future of the nation manifests itself as a violent present.

The unseemly political cock-fight for power is leading this nation towards not just political and economic crisis, but social upheaval. Perhaps the power clogged brains of our rulers can't understand that the anarchy and impunity that prevails in the streets today will come to their doorsteps tomorrow.

The public's faith in politics is now largely eroded. Nothing can be more dangerous than a society that loses faith in politics, because what reigns then is uncertainty. In a dire attempt to keep hopeless hope alive, let us hope that sanity prevails and the institution of politics saves itself for the day. It does not require a herculean effort, just a bit of common sense and more assertiveness from a younger generation of leaders in all major political parties with a cross-partisan approach to nation-building.

Read also:
What are they waiting for?
"A moment's sanity for consensus..."

See also:
New countdown
The clock is ticking



1. Kishorilal

Another excellent article.

 

Kishorilal, London



2. KAMAL KISHOR
Very good.

The situation is very pathetic. Each and every political party has lost its glory and prestige. Not a single leader emerged from this decades long struggle to lead the nation. Except "Doshi Chasma", not a single leader is a commoner but a ruler. They want to rule not govern. They not only are trying to rule over party but over country. Each one of them have clearly revealed their desire to be another king. They act like ruthless kings. They won't hesitate to murder others for power. 

It is a sad and pathetic feeling that is being manifested every where. I am afraid that this is another indication of people loosing their hopes. When people see that the bus that supposed to take them over the top is not bulging at all but blocking their path, they will push it over the cliff. I hope I don't have to see that. 

I don't know how but we should make it clear to these leaders that another people revolt is brewing and this time it will be against them. If that happens, it will be similar to Paris Commune.


3. Rojan
No hope from the Youth in the political parties ... they have already been co-opted.  The need now is for the Youth to step up and bring a new political party.

4. Danny Birch
Guess what? There is nobody nothing in Nepali politics to give any reasonable excuse for faith of any kind. You can't lose what you have never had.

5. Soni
"The final days of the extended Constituent Assembly is fast approaching once more, and the smell of street protests is in the air again."

These final days have been approached before and the stench of phony protesters and their protests is nothing new.

I would not worry about the non-delivery of anything with reference to the protesters. Everybody knows that they are paid to do what they do.

 Instead, I worry about the larger set of people who have the responsibility of running their families and by extension this country. 

Those who have to suffer the daily assault of fools claiming to be intellectuals, missionaries claiming to save people's souls from the evils of Hinduism, and the assault of looters claiming to be revolutionaries. 



6. Soni
"No one has learnt the lesson, we are on the verge of yet another majoritarian government."

Might I humbly ask what lesson are they supposed to have learnt which could lead them to national consensus to achieve what? 

As far as the constitution is concerned, it does not need a government but an agreement in the CA.

With regards to peace, all that needs to be done is for the Maoist party to say what it is that they specifically want, and for others to either agree or disagree for as long as there is no agreement. As we know this process has been going on for well over 5 years now.

With reference to the return of seized property it is up to the Maoists to take action and do the needful. This issue has been completely canned not just by the political parties but also by the media.

As far as the larger issues, those with concern to the constitution and a challenge for the CA, there has been an agreement and therefore a consensus for a long time, but how can details be left out of discussion. For instance, about the type and form of governance, the specific structure of federalism etc.

Surprisingly, or not, both these discussions are off the pages. The only reference to federalism is in offensive articles designed to serve the agenda of the evangelists.

Meanwhile, all media is completely blacking out the issue of day-to-day security and peace and growing criminality. The events are all discussed as a summation of underlying issues like easy access to guns etc.

Regardless, of the overall differences which appear to plague the leading intellectuals of this country, there is total agreement that there should be federalism, secularism, and politicisation of all spheres of life. The political class thinks exactly in the same manner.

As far as I can see, not only is there a consensus but a total agreement between the entire political class, journalists, politicians, and intellectuals that together they should destroy the nation of Nepal, and replace it with a utopia.

And that is why I cannot understand the sarcastic and angry tone of this article.


7. Soni
"The unseemly political cock-fight for power is leading this nation towards not just political and economic crisis, but social upheaval. Perhaps the power clogged brains of our rulers can't understand that the anarchy and impunity that prevails in the streets today will come to their doorsteps tomorrow."

They understand perfectly well what they are doing and they also understand that there is nothing that anybody can do to them as long as they stick together.

Try some numbers, each political party has its own army of meddlers and strongmen who would break the skulls of anybody who would oppose the present arrangement.

If in any district of this country people come together to oppose the present arrangement, there would be harsh consequences. If you are working you would suddenly find yourself out of work. If you are a farmer, you won't remain one afterwards because there is unlikely to be any farmland left with you. If you are a young person in a college you would find yourself assaulted by a bunch of revolutionaries, merely for reasoning with them. 

(As an aside, they deliver their gobbledygook, you say you disagree and open your mouth to say why, and a few hours later find a support pipe shoved down your throat)

If you are not working and a good for nothing in general you are already with the political parties. I heard one gent in Tarai say, "I told them I don't talk through people I want the leaders number directly, you know, because you see, I have like, 20 people who would kill at my instruction, and we are hoping that Tarai would be an independent country, because, you see, it gives Nepal 80% of its revenue, only if we can dam all those rivers...blah blah.

The reason why politicians don't care about any of this is because they are positively encouraging all of this.

You merely have to look at all the communication that their sidekicks (Journalists and columnists) deliver to the rest of the population.

"You are evil hindu's, listen to us, we will rid you of your guilt". 

"You are evil men who oppresses women, listen to us, we will deliver you from your guilt".

"You are a landowner whose ancestors looted this property, listen to us, we will deliver you from your guilt"

For how long do you think the people of this country will resist their day of deliverance? 

The politicians don't know the answer, they are testing that, not our patience, they know that patience is more abundant than hydropower in this country, and for reasons read above.


8. jange

It does not require a herculean effort, just a bit of common sense and more assertiveness from a younger generation of leaders in all major political parties with a cross-partisan approach to nation-building.

Been there. Done that. It was called Panchayat. Remember? 

Pathetic article. No mention whatsoever of WHY we are in this situation. Looks like the author knows and is too scared face the truth.

Given the circumstances that they have been placed in the politicians are behaving in a manner consistent with their dharma. Can you blame them for that?



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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