The current thinking seems to be to militarily defeat the Maoists and then bring democracy back on track. But it is now becoming clear that restoration of democracy may make it easier to resolve the insurgency. This is the argument of the international community also. In other words, democracy is not an obstacle to conflict resolution, it is an inevitable part. Biswanath Upadhaya, one of the writers of the constitution, is of the opinion that parliament can be restored in order to provide an exit strategy out of the present deadlock. However, the question will be asked: when parliament was in session in the past its elected members never debated the country's crisis seriously. What guarantees they will do so if it is restored now? Things are different today. Elected representatives have tasted the absence of democracy, they know the effect lack of democracy can have on social progress. Being able to think freely in a democratic environment is completely different from existing in a closed society. We can't move ahead to resolve the country's crisis by keeping a majority of the people out of the decision-making process. The king can have no closer friend than the political parties who believe in constitutional monarchy and democracy. He must move forward with them.
The struggle for democracy is not easy, it is risky but the rewards are great. This was the message Girija Koirala gave after his release from a two-month house arrest this week. Instead of spouting anger and taking on a hardline republican stance, Koirala's message in Sanepa on Saturday was one of moderation.