By Rama Parajuli
Nepal Politics: The King has to step back for a talk
Nilambar Acharya, a prominent political analyst has answers to any question regarding the present political situation of Nepal. He is for a peaceful movement to restore democracy. He expressed his ideas about the ongoing movement in Martin Chautari on 21 June 2005. The main thrust of his argument was that the constitution has to be made active and the King has to step back. Only then the political forces will sit for a larger inclusive discussion. That will eventually lead to a peaceful reconciliation. This is what he said in brief:
Attack on Democracy
The reinstated democracy of 1990 was under attack from the Royal Palace, right from the beginning. Within 10 days of reinstatement of democracy the then King Birendra announced a constitution reform suggestion committee. The announcement agitated the public immediately. Especially the then street protests forced the Palace to take back the announcement. The then Cabinet later formulated a new committee that was announced to the public by the King. Its work was not to reform the Panchayati constitution but to make the draft of a new one. When the new constitution was ready to be launched the Palace came out with a parallel constitution. It again had to withdraw its draft because of fierce protests from the public as well as from the Cabinet. Until then there was unity among the democratic political forces and that is why the Palace’s moves could not be successful.
How the Palace started to get an upper hand?
Unfortunately the unity did not last long. Nepali Congress and United left front developed many differences shortly and the distance among them increased with time. Dispute also emerged within all the political parties including the Nepali Congress and UML, the two largest parties. This weakened the democratic forces. Instead of realizing the weaknesses and the danger to democracy, each faction of the political parties tried to influence the palace and get its favor to gain an upper hand in intra-party or inter-party rivalries. The Palace was happy to manipulate such occasions and enhance its power whenever it got a chance. Finally a situation was reached when the King took over.
New People’s Movement
Now, peaceful people’s movement is absolutely necessary in order to restore democracy in Nepal. The King’s move is unconstitutional. There is no provision of chairmanship or nomination of cabinet on his behalf constitutionally. Only a popular (namely elected) party leader has the right to form the government. The popularity is measured on the votes a party gets in a nationwide election. We will only get such a government through a new people’s movement that will force the King to take a step back into his constitutionally defined location/position. There is no possibility of talk with the King until the constitution is made active i.e. the parliamentary status of Jeth 2059 (last elected parliament) is restored
Journalists, Lawyers in the movement
The movement has started. It has to gain momentum. Journalists, lawyers and other professional organizations are already in the forefront of the movement. Their street action, thereby violating the rules set by unconstitutional forces, is a natural expression of their desire to re-exercise the democratic rights of all Nepalis.
Foreign Friends for democracy
When foreign friends of Nepal speak for democracy, it should not be considered as an intervention in the internal politics of Nepal. Ambassadors of countries with which Nepal has diplomatic relations have come here with a commitment to respect the Constitution of Nepal. That Constitution guarantees multiparty democracy and states that the people of Nepal are sovereign as demonstrated through the political process witnessed between 1990 and 2002. When ambassadors of foreign countries state their commitment to support the political system as described by Nepal’s 1990 Constitution, they are doing what all friends of Nepal are expected to do or say. That is not intervening in the internal politics of our country. If our foreign friends provide arms to suppress the pro-democratic forces in Nepal, that would be going against the Constitution of Nepal 1990 and hence would qualify to be regarded as ‘intervention in our internal affairs’.
No criticisms against the political parties at the moment
Political parties are the main forces that should lead the fight for Democracy. They had made mistakes in the past for which they were severely criticized. If they do criminal activities they have to be punished. But the punishment has to come from the people. The King has no right to give directions or speak against political parties. It is the rights of the people to criticize and elect political parties of their choosing. The King is expressing views against political parties inside the country as well as in international forums. This is a clear indication of autocracy. People are against any kind of authoritarian rule. They have expressed their desire for democracy for many times. Once again they have to rally with political parties for the reestablishment of democracy in Nepal.
(Nilambar Acharya was involved directly in the peaceful peoples movement of 1990. He was the minister for Law and Justice in the interim government under Prime Minister K P Bhattarai. He is the author of the Prajatantrama Sankraman (2004, Brikuti Academic Publications) He was arrested for a few weeks by King Gyanendra’s regime after 1 February 2005).
7 Comments »
1. What democracy??? 2046 a democracy hell with that…….. The handed over system to a country is not a democracy.
Iraq, even though there was an election, you think it is a democracy that the Iraqis can be proud of… India doesn’t hand over democracy……, isn’t it well known that India said that if Nepal gives away its water resources it would stop the democracy thing…
I would say king Birendra was an utterly foolish person to hand over the power to the people then. How many people died in Nepal then huh…200..300 how many? Do you think democracy comes that cheap with the death of 300 people and include the people there who were just the onlookers and died an unfortunate death with them having nothing to do with the so called movement?
I remember that time very well…. shortage of oil, salt etc..It was not a good situation then I remember that.
Even today, the literacy rate is around 40% mark including the people who can only read and you talk about democracy, constituent assembly, Maoism, communism and etc blah blah blah in this country where a majority doesn’t know shit about it.
All that these political leaders want is to be in power and gobble up the money, pretty much that is it ….. I heard it in the TV that the budget for agriculture was always allotted only 2 to 2.5% of the whole budget, that in a country where somewhere 80 percent people depend on agriculture, till today. What did democracy do or reform………
Sher bahadur deuba handed the democratic system in the palace didn’t he? The then PM who was not even in the party, how in the hell could be called people elected…… didn’t Girija kick him out then……… not in a party and the PM of a democratic country what was that????
Leaders mofos head to India all the time to make deals and you think these people will take the country in the right direction? Every time they head to Delhi and you think India is there to help with out any returns……
Man, democracy is a failed system in Nepal……… I believe in democracy so I believe in empowering the people and also that Democracy is a proven system but Nepal alas sadly probably is different. kukur lai ghiu pachdaina and that is sad but true in the case of Nepal.
King Gyanendra may not be the best of the leaders or the most capable person to lead the country but when you see people like Girija, ma ku ne, sherbahadur, prachanda and all of these hyenas who has raped the the country and the peoples trust, he seems like the a bakula in the crowd of kags.
Comment by reply to all — 6/24/2005 @ 2:14 pm
You said: “What democracy??? 2046 a democracy hell with that…….. The handed over system to a country is not a democracy.”
******So democracy means killing thousands?? Then the Maoists must be congratulated for fighting for democracy. Let thousands more die. But this war should be final. Yes, democarcy can’t be achieved through “request” to the palace. It should be snatched away. I agree unless we send anti-democratic forces to graves, we will not have democracy.
You said: “Even today, the literacy rate…around 40% mark including the people who can only read and you talk about democracy, constituent assembly, Maoism, communism….”
*********Hey, do u think Britain, the US, India or any other “democratic country” and China, Russia…blah blah..had 100% literacy when they went for democracy or communism? What nonsesen you are talking about?
You said: “Leaders …head to India all the time to make deals and you think these people will take the country in the right direction? Every time they head to Delhi and you think India is there to help with out any returns……”
*********I don’t call you a royal bug. Will you please remember that it was King Gyanendra in Deuba’s time who repeatedly tried to go to New Delhi for Ashirbad? Do you remember it was FM Pandy who went to N. Delhi to fawn upon India masters before Girija or any persons?
You said: “…kukur lai ghiu pachdaina and that is sad but true in the case of Nepal….King Gyanendra may not be the best of the leaders…who has raped the the country…like the a bakula in the crowd of kags.”
********It is the mentality of royalists. How can you campare the people and the country with a KUkur? Are you a Nepali?
Quite the opposite, how can you trust KG? Are you aware of his scandals? At least one that is beyond doubt is his misappropriateion of funds received through rhinos horns gifts to foreign countries. By now, you should be aware that his senior most minister and a number of family members are among the bank defaulters. Can’t KG clarify T. Giri’s case instead of media haunting and looking for those who leaked the news to the press?
KG wants to loot this country by shutting up the media and civil society so that he can hide his ugly face in the public. Corruption was there, but Kg’s strategy is that by highlighting the past 15 years, he wants to cover up the whole corruption in his good old Panchayat days. He is worried that the free media might bring up the issue any time. He also wants to show the public that his notorous son is more MORAL (so that fit to rule!) than political leaders. It’s a long term strategy…
I congratualte KG for the time being. Dictators always look up in the sky; they are rarely aware that the graveyards are dug on the ground not in the sky.
Comment by savenepal (firstname.lastname@example.org) — 6/24/2005 @ 9:27 pm
Reply to all,
Your quote was indeed analytic and satirical for those people who in the name of democracy wants power.Keep posting.
Comment by kavre — 6/24/2005 @ 11:11 pm
Who is Nilambar Acharya??
Comment by harish — 6/25/2005 @ 10:34 am
wether you except it or not , democracy in 2046 was handed over. It is not something that Nepalese people got it for themselves…… India, has its hand in the downfall of panchayat and as I stated earlier they didn’t volunteer there, it was a business.. yes, my friend revolutions don’t come that cheap………… many lives could had been taken if the then king was rigid…
education, don’t you think it makes a difference…. Yeah no country has 100
% literacy rate but the perentage is way higher then Nepal over there. Don’t you think in a democracy people need to know what their right is…… and should not be the leaders answerable to the people??????
India, for every other thing you don’t need to go to India if you are a political leader. If the people want change in a country then the people want it and its people who should get it,is not it? why go India for everything. Yeah everytime they go to India they’ll make some deal about something …business deals that is,, again India is not there to volunteer for nothing.
Media of Nepal. All I can say is it is yellow journalism even though I don’t really understand journalism as you guys might do but that much I know evey newspaper is tilted towards somebody. Be it gorkhapatra the kings voice or janadesh??? Maoists voice, whatever… like the student union never to help the students and campus be better but rather a political playground.
I am not a hardcore royalist but again compared to these people oh yeah KG is way betttttter .
Comment by reply to all — 6/27/2005 @ 6:15 am
“reply to all” ji:
“wether you except it or not , democracy in 2046 was handed over….………… many lives could had been taken if the then king was rigid…”
*********I do accept partially. But I would rather term it a compromise than a “hand over.” Otherwise, how do you explain the nationwide protests in 1990? How do u explain thousands of protesters moving to the palace?
But you are partially true. That is why the Maoists’ (and now parties’) demand of the contituent assembly make sense. As a teenager participant, I would assume that it was the global trend of democracy that was crucial in 1990. India did play a role, as always. But turning to India, don’t forget that people participated in 1990 and in 1980 plebicite (even if it was fair), the improved Panchayat got a marginal victory over Bahudal.
“education, don’t you think it makes a difference…….should not be the leaders answerable to the people??????
*****Education makes a lot of difference. But it seems to me that you are obsessed with university “degrees.” What do you think about the demand of women rights, language rights, anti-caste movements? Don’t you consider them part of “education” or “awarness”?
“…you don’t need to go to India if you are a political leader…. why go India for everything”
*******Right. I am responding to royalists’ pseudo-nationalism. Why royalist point their fingures to political parties? It’s time to think about KIng Mahendra’s 1965 treaty with India. In the end, Nepal’s palace do every thing if foreigners support its repression of the people of Nepal.
“Media of Nepal….tilted towards…”
****** You must be heard about the open support of parties by the world famous newspapers like NY Times, Washington Post, Sun, the Daily Mirror etc. I am not surprised at all that the journalists are at the front line in the war against autocracy. The ultimate measure of the success of the media is its readers. Nepal’s post-1990 journalism did a great job, I have little doubt about it.
By the way, how did you know all this corruption about democratic leaders; isn’t it through the media? The problem of Nepal’s media is that they knew the importance of freedom when it is already gone. I appreiciate their war against autocracy.
“I am not a hardcore royalist but….KG is way betttttter”
********Still, you look pretty hardcore. Will you please tell us KG is “better” for what? You might relate his past, present and future. Better for what??????????
Comment by Save Nepal (email@example.com) — 6/27/2005 @ 8:42 am
Is the Rana quoted in the news today related to the Ranas who ran Nepal for most of the period 1900 – 1950?
Comment by jgs — 7/17/2005 @ 1:55 am