People had immense faith after finally getting a constitution in a second attempt spending billions of rupees in the process. There was hope that the country had finally come out of its insurgency era and moved towards the path of progress along with stability at the center.
While there were protests growing in the plains due to dissatisfaction over clauses of the constitution demanding more representation, Nepal ushered in its Republic after decades of internal conflict and instability.
The Republic of Nepal was to provide for and satisfy the masses that wanted more opportunities, development of weakening infrastructure, its education and a basic standard of life. The current scenario of the nation, however, transgresses the foundation of what the Republic was meant to be.
There is a current tendency among the leadership and the political parties of being highly multipolar in their approach regarding the system. Over the past few weeks, several incidents have taken place to portray genuine concern over the future course of the country and whether the stability provided by the Republic will gain course toward systematic development. Political parties representing the current political system are majorly divided on the very critical issue of the style of governance and the administration in place.
In a recent interview given to the President of the Reporters Club Rishi Dhamala, the Chairperson of the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (United) Mr. Pashupati Sumsher Rana made his observations against the current system of the Republic that went beyond lavishness and splendor while the masses continue living in abject poverty. With 81% of the population identifying as Hindu, Chair Rana stated that he was confident of reinstating a ceremonial Monarch.
Chairman of the current ruling party of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda said that “Monarchy was overthrown, and will never be restored in the country”. He was addressing a memorial assembly organized to commemorate the 21st death anniversary of Martyr Suresh Wagle alis Basu. He also added that the people chose the Communist movement and made it successful giving it the mandate to run the government.
The Nepali Congress, on the other hand, is silent in its opposition. It has its internal struggles of whether to support the idea of a Hindu nation and bring in a ceremonial Monarch as was the founder’s principle base or to continue along with the Republic. Its internal conflicts spilled out in the open where various leaders and party workers wanted to revive the idea of Nepal being a Hindu state. Former Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba speaking at a program in Padma Kanya campus said that “the Republic is in danger”.
On the other hand, Laxman Tharu of the National Tharuwat Front representing his fight for the indigenous, Madhesi, Dalits, Muslims and women in a press conference vowed never to celebrate the constitution as it was a “black day” in their lives, and the government was oppressive toward them denying them of equitable representation.
With such visions and differing ideological divisions, it is pertinent that Nepal’s political system may go through yet another overhaul in the coming days. The people are continuously suffering from soaring prices and rising taxes. The future of the Republic now entirely is dependent on how the political parties both the ruling and the opposition gain back the popular mandate that was once given to them with loyalty, trust and most importantly ultimate human sacrifice.
A system of fragility
With these ideological divisions that have got the masses heavily confused over the next course of action, the multipolar power structure between various leaders continues to signal messages of extremity making the masses disillusioned with the entire leadership.
Former PM Dahal spoke about how the nation will be guided by the Communist party for the next 50 years, along with making suggestions to the former King regarding his active participation in public affairs, threatening him out of his private residence in Nagarjun.
It received much flak from the people and former Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Kamal Thapa in a recent interaction program with the Reporters Club said that it was a grave sign of weakness to blame a common citizen who has his rights secured by the constitution guaranteed under our Republic.
The former DPM Thapa also revealed how the current government was steeped in corruption colluding with businessmen and the bureaucracy giving an example of the latest NCELL tax evasion case that was one of the biggest scams in the entire political history of Nepal.
This fragility will pose a big challenge toward any developmental project if corruption is not controlled, and there is systematic collusion between the three main tiers of governance and administration. While our youth are bent to look for opportunities abroad, there is a lack of skilled labor and human workforce in our country.
This growing frustration of the people will only increase in the coming days when the inflation of the market that is always on the rise will make necessities unaffordable, and those that come back with their hard-earned savings do not get their worth over all the years of hard work. It will further complex the social fabric of society.
Future of our Republic
Will it be the ultimate tussle over multipolar ideologies of the extreme right and the left? The people will decide once more the next course of action. However, let us not hope that our country slides into another round of unwanted insurgency and destabilization.
Former PM Dahal sees his party rule for the next 50 years, I would credit his certitude but with the current scams underway in every level of the government under his party, it is highly likely that they will perform in the next elections.
With the era of the Republic and 13 years without Monarchy indeed we have moved a step further breaking the shackles of the system of chakari, this entire credit can be given to the Maoist movement and the Communist party, but what has the evolution done? Conversions on the rise in the name of secularism as stated by former DPM Thapa, and the fact that we have a sound culture of our own which we are letting go every passing day.
Nepalese history has been marred by violence, personal enmity, power hunger and struggle to attain power. Within these parameters, there have been supreme sacrifices made by the general masses. Every system that was brought in place and any changes that were made had people giving up their lives destroying families. We seriously need to think and evaluate as to whether these sacrifices were made in vain, or are we respecting their service for Nepal.
This Republic has come after a great deal of sacrifice and insurgency. We, therefore, need to find a peaceful way forward of accommodating and unifying divergent parties in order to create a stable Nepal. This can only be achieved if the leadership is serious toward the genuine cause of the people and not involved in systematic collusion making corruption an integral part of the administration. Dialogue and negotiation is the way forward that will save the face of the Republic rather than violence and insurgency which will do more harm than good.