Gandhi Resignation, Indian Democracy and Nepali Politics

Not all things from India are suitable for copy but things like Sonia Gandhi’s giving up of two important posts and promising to go to people certainly qualify for imitating and implementing in Nepal.

By Dinesh Wagle

This is why, I think, the Indian Democracy rocks. People like Sonia Gandhi and Atal Bihari Bajpayee, stalwarts from the two opposing political parties, are there to save the Indian Democracy and push it upward as and when needed. Barely two years after she famously rejected the premiership of the world’s largest democracy, Sonia Gandhi, the president of India’s Congress Party today sacrificed two major posts- Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and Presidency of the National Advisory Council. Even if this latest move turns out to be a part of the larger political drama, Sonia deserves praise for giving up greed and trusting the people power. She said that she will be fighting for the Parliament seat from her constituency (Rae Bareilly).

To see Sonia Gandhi announcing resignation in front of TV cameras was a moment of solace for me who was confined in house for the last four days suffering from common cold and staying away from the world of web and TVs. Son Rahul Gandhi was proudly standing behind her. As expected, the move was a breaking news for all Indian TV channels I have in my cable. Suddenly, opposition that was attacking Gandhi for taking “office of profit” has found itself in defense after the announcement. The pressure has fallen in to the court of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) because, as Indian media report, many of its MPs are also holding the “offices of profit”. “She proved that she is no political novice,” commented a broadcaster in Headlines Today channel. “She is assuming the moral high ground,” another commentator said.

I do not want to comment on the rivalry between Congress and BJP, but the Indian Democracy has clearly emerged as the winner because of the brilliant combination of the vibrant opposition, responsible government and the ever watchful media. System as such has nothing to do with its success or failure. The behavior of people playing vital role in that system matter the most. Here in Nepal those players miserably failed to do their duties. They mostly ran after opportunities, they united to suck the country (remember the Pajero scandal) and killed the parliament with them. With the notable exception of saint leader Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, all other democratically elected Prime Ministers either killed or unsuccessfully tired to kill the parliament well ahead of its full term. In that sense, Girija Prasad Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba are the biggest politically failed leaders of post-1990 Nepal. It is unfortunate that even in this time when we are involved in a pro-democracy movement, they are in the lead position. It is our compulsion to go after them without first punishing them. But they should be punished after the restoration of democracy. Nepali people should take note of this.

I have been reading news about India’s astonishing economic progress and competition among multinationals to come into Indian market in various international media including International Herald Tribune. Now, with this kind of activities happening, only the democracy will flourish in India. There is no need for the emergence of an autocrat from within the high walls of a palace. Without any dictator emerging out of the palace promising the save democracy, people-centric Indian political system is functioning well.

With the bold and laudable actions of the actors, the system purifies and moves ahead with the best traditions leaving the dark shadows behind. When people honestly perform duties, the system works. Indian people should be proud of their leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Bajpayee. Bajpayee too played fair game before being the Prime Minister and while assuming the top post. That should not be forgotten. When good people set illustrative example, bad people feel the heat. They are forced to change themselves or face the possibilities of being perished prematurely. “Even the communists who frequently talk of morality have fallen into the catch 22 situation,” said a reporter in Headlines Today.

In Nepal too, we saw Ganesh Man Singh sacrificing the premiership for the shake of democracy and there was Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai proudly announcing his resignation from the Parliament. But their legacy could not be continued.

Sometime I feel like fool while actively participating (though in my own way) in the pro-democracy rallies and patiently listening to the often repetitive speeches of G P Koirala. But I think I have to be optimistic. A hope from within me emerges and says, “Wait and see the day when democracy is restored, we will fight back. This time, people of democratic Nepal, will fight against the incompetence of these leaders and move ahead with the purified democratic system.”

UWB: This blog was written on Friday (March 24) and posted on Saturday.

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

27 thoughts on “Gandhi Resignation, Indian Democracy and Nepali Politics

  1. “With the notable exception of saint leader Krishna Prasad Bhattarai”

    What are you talking about. How does an alcoholic womanizing incompetant leader that makes idiotic statements like he will make Nepal into Singapore qualify as a saint leader?????

  2. yes Wagle,
    Yes, we need to learn from the incident of her resignation, but Sonia did not resign copletely out of political ethics. Then, as you Wagle say, they also have more matured and watchful media.
    I think Sonia resigned largely because the people there are not as cowardly as we are here.
    why does not the king resign here? Because we are cowardly and we allow him to loot the tax payers’ money freely. we, people and media, also have allowed the political party leaders to shit on our head. we are cowards, not SAHASHI, courageous Gurkhali anymore.
    what right does the king have to take million dollar pay check doing nothing?
    Is he educated?
    Does he have any skills?
    Is he qualified to handle any situation?
    Did he compete for any public office?
    Why is the luxuary he has?
    why not the same luxuary to people?
    why are we growing this blood sucker?
    because he is Vishu avatar king?
    that is simply rediculous, no logic.
    He has violated everything in the constitution. he should resign and start working as a porter or loborer to live his life. he must earn his living, not loot people by unethically claiming to be CNC. The army should learn to disobey him and kick him out if he does not quit.
    Any ruler, king or political leaders, is a corrupt individual by nature. But it is the people that should line them up. Nepali people should learn from the Sonia resignation incident or any such incident that they should act because the leaders/king/Maoists will never learn unless there is true people’s uprising. Rise, people!

  3. Dinesh dai,

    Before people start criticizing you for being a pro-indian or criticizing other parts of the post, let me congratulate you on a good post – something that I sensed had been missing for a while.

    There is indeed much to be learned from India – its economic and political success is enviable but so are the grassroot movements that is shaping up issues of human rights, environment etc.

    People who comment in this blog, I sense, have been more and more radical in their comments. I don’t know if its because of their ineptitude to come up with constructive solutions or they enjoy playing the blame game.

    Like the comment above about Krishna Prashad Bhattarai – I agree with the commenter’s sentiments – yet I have to ask him : what is it that you bring to the table except criticism? Krishna Prashad might be or the Indians might be a lot of things, both good and bad, but what are you?

    What contributions have you made socially, politically, economically or otherwise to gain this morally higher ground to criticize those who have stayed years in exile or behind bars in the name of their country? May be they are evil, but through inaction, we can’t even earn that title.

    I am not an expert on politics or economics, so won’t comment on those. What fascinates me as a Nepali looking south is the way urban India is rapidly changing and how we can emulate their growth. What are the pitfalls and how can we avoid them? What is the role of an individual in contributing to rapid growth? What are the social fallouts due to economic growth and how do we avoid those?

    I wish people would comment on things we don’t already know. Of course KP Bhattarai may be “alcoholic womanizing incompetant leader” but at least he’s done much more than each of us combined for the country. Let’s not quarrel over what others did or didn’t do – let’s focus on what we can do.

  4. The people might gloat about Indian democracy but mind you that there is no democracy within the party. There is huge corruption within the party. Without bribing the senior leaders no one can even declare candidacy for the election. And senior leaders are bribing junior leaders to be in the influential positions. That’s the reason they don’t solve the critical problem facing the country like Kashmir. Hindu Muslim is the another issue the leaders are benefitting from. In the face of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and somewhat Pakistan these leaders act like the superpower in the world. But they can not even build houses for its citizens who born, live and die in the sidewalk. Only way India can prosper is by dividing into separate countries along Soviet Union line. Without central government watching them each country like Kashmir,Bihar, Goa, Nagaland, Punjab, Gujrat, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and other countries can prosper.

  5. Shree Shrestha:
    That is an interesting observation. Too bad its wrong.
    I don’t know where you get your information but India has a strong viberant democracy. If Nepal can emulate a tenth of what India has accomplished we would be in good shape. There are still alot of problems in India there is no doubt about it. But at least its top leadership is generally clean for the most part. Manmohan Sgin may have some questionable policies but his character is beyond reproach. I can say the same for Atal Bihari. Look at what happned to Natwar Singh… do you not read the news. Despite the poverty India is projected to grow at 10% in the next few years. When you have economic growth everything falls into place and gradually India will move into a medium country.

    It really is high time that we Nepalese stop looking around and pointing fingers and conjuring these wild conspiracy theories at India and clean up our own act and take advantage of India’s economic boom!!!!

  6. Oh by the way what are you talking about states like Goa, Tamil Naidu, Gujurat are propering…. read the stats my man.

  7. ha..ha..
    there are some learned peple around UWB
    who think the neighbor is emulative
    good to know that

  8. Good evening everybody,

    As a tour-leader and trekking guide I lived, worked and travelled through most parts of the Subcontinent, since 1976.

    India is a success and Nepal a failure, this is obvious. Though Nepal’s destitution can be compared with some states of India, even those’s misery is shrinking as rapidly as it is spreading in the -hopefully soon ex-kingdom.

    India is criticizable and that itself builds its pride and strenght, as citizens of a democracy are requested not to shut their mouths.

    The repartition of common wealth is certainly not perfect in India, but it definitely works as I am amazed with the great embetterment that occured in thirty years.

    Still a lot has to be done in India, as Indians have to cope with a difficult heritage and face
    a very defying future. But they will do it, no doubt.

    And, after all, the corruption level in India seems not higher than in many western countries, including mine (France).

    Of course they don’t have to suffer from a bloody dictator such as Kim Jong Il or Gyanendra and their Gestapos.

    It is sure that is is not in march 2006 in Nepal that an italian born lady who could have been… well… The First Lady… would quietly resign.

    Not yet. But I’m confident. Something is changing.

    Look : in France we still have to learn a lot from the streets, especially those days.

    Maybe this is merely democracy.

    Good night to all.

    Cyprien Luraghi
    AKA Pascal Dai

  9. Wagley is completely out of track. He thinks he analyses well but absurd ideas only come from his absurd brain. I do not want to say this but will say again, Please handover this site to someone more responsible with a great analysing capability.
    “Not all things from India are suitable for copy but….”

    So you still want to defend you being a pro-indian.

    I had asked you previously “why you din covered the story on Chinsese mission on Nepal?” I know you won’t cover even you wrote on Indian Big Brotherism recently and tried to wash your image.

    But you are like the fox who was treated as a King of a jungle but could not change, always remained a fox.

    Infact you look more indian than a real Indian and remember Sonia is not an indian. so copy from italy because she is an italian.

    May be you also know what a real indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had done in the past, killing the so-called great and vibrant indian democracy, that you love so much.

    Remember Indira Gandi had also defended her emergency move saying that it was necessary for strengthening the democracy. But she was also a dictator, there are those who hate her and also who love her.

    Try to analyse all aspect of what happens around you. All things that look good from outside may not be good from inside.
    Ask BJP they’ll tell you this is another stunt.

    Wagley start writing from your brain not from your heart.

  10. king kong,
    there is truth in what you say,
    but context wise Wagle sounds more plausible
    Wagle is talking about today, the open India

    you are talking about the closed india of some 30 years ago
    you bring up the history of the time when india had not opened up enough to globalization and free trade

    yes, if today india were the same as what it was 30 years ago, following Indira,
    it would have gone far down

    but today india is emulative for the whole world in technology and medical science (and a couple of more areas),
    but india is not worthy of imitation in mainstream culture and politics

  11. why don’t you write a blog from the brain king kong? We can get a first hand account of your analyzing capacity.

  12. Wagle,
    you ate up my comments, why?

    UWB: Thapa ji, no body ate your comment as you can see.

  13. Stupid.

    Don’t follow your mind or brain but follow your heart.

    Brotherhood-Hindu and Muslims, How long will you killing process in Nepal ??? How long such a gruesome act will be remained in nepal???A Muslim man has been beaten to death in Thailand after attacking a Hindu shrine in the capital, Bangkok.such event often happening in Nepal too.

    Indian coffee and Nepalese Himalayan ice,won’t effect to ‘my Whisky on the rock’.

    totally naive policy,grow up !!!

  14. bhudai pundit, before you get too excited about Indian democracy I want you to remind you that Indians still have colonial mind set. Coming out of British colonial rules they have not learnt to treat their neighbours with respect. In the present context India is helping Maoists by giving them shelters and keeping eyes shut in arms deal. At the same time India is encouraging Nepalese politicians to go into the streets to disrupt daily lives. Most of these politicians may as well be in the Indian Embassy payroll. And I am sure some circles in India encouraging the King to hold unto the power regardless what may come.

    India does not want peaceful Nepal. India just want to manage Nepal.

    One other point before making Sonia Gandhi larger than the picture let’s not forget that she will be forced to resign if she has not withdrawn before hand. Indian Parliament want to use the same rule to Sonia Gandhi as applied to Jaya Bhaduri Bachhan. The rule says parliamentarians can not have another profitable job elsewhere. Jaya Bhaduri Bachhan quit parliament to stay in the Uttar Pradesh Film Board. But Gandhi’s congress table the bill to protect Sonia Gandhi.

    So what did we learnt from this incident? My answer is nothing. But we definitely have to learn from the present conflict between three forces: Royalist, Parties, and Maoists. Forget Indian democracy where Party leader become automatically the Prime Minister. Nepalese people should elect their Prime Minister directly. Make this Prime Minister reponsible for all the people not for the party only. To make government stable keep the elected Prime Minister in government for six years.

    Parliamentarians should not be in government as Ministers or Assistant Ministers. Limit their role in just making laws.

    I only hope that our so called leaders listen to us instead of listening to India.

  15. Old ‘King Kong’ is now ‘Ahimsa’

    For about one year now i participated in the discussions on this blogsite under the nickname ‘King Kong’. Since a few days someone else found pleasure in using the same nickname on this blog.

    I want to make clear, that my last entry was from March 24th, 2006 at 12:53 pm on the story “Making a joke of democracy” and was named “Change the name of the party”. Henceforth you will read my entries under my new nickname: “Ahimsa”

    Ahimsa knows: Kings are past, criminals are present and we, the people are the future!

  16. It is this very attitude that keeps Nepal suspicious and agitated while India charges ahead with economic reform and social development.

    We Nepalese think too highly of ourslves and flatter ourslves a little too much. India does not have anything to gain by having an unstable Nepal. Why would India want a Maoist insurgency to be successful when they know that it could spillover into India and it will provide encouragement to other insurgants groups in India. This concept that India wants to takeover Nepal is just a pathetic excuse because we need someone to blame for all our problems.
    I realize that the Maoists are getting support and sanctuary in Indian territory. However, the Indian government isn’t the ones providing this. There are many Maoist sympathizers in UP, Bihar and West Bengal. The Communist party has a big clout in these regions.

    India wants to join the security council and wants to be a major world player – you think they care about controling a resource-less landlocked himalyan Kingdom with Strategic importance???

    Of course India is helping our politicans to come to the street and protest an autocratic, lunatic King that is running the country down the drain. They were behind the boudal in 1990 – did you forget that. It is not India’s fault that Girija and his evil spawn Sujata koirala robbed the country. It is not India’s fault our monkey politicans fought for power like a bunch of hungry monkeys in pasupathinath fighting over coconut.

    Of course India wants to economically dominate us. And there is nothing we can do about it given our geographic reality. However, Nepal can also take advantage of India in terms of tourism, education etc. and make lives better for the Nepalese people…

    I don’t understand what your problem is with the Indian democracy. The rest of the world acknowledges that India is a fair democracy and they have fair elections. I don’t every read or hear anyone – including Indian – ever complain about that fact that they don’t elect their prime minister directly. Really lets not even discuss India’s internal matters. All I am concerned about is Nepal being able to tap into India’s success.

    Oh and another thing: do you know our currency is pegged to the Indian rupee? if it wasn’t Nepal would in a fiscal crisis right now!

  17. where are anti-india Durbaria Dhokez today?
    come out of the dark hole of the palace
    here is the golden chance and best topic to vent out your anger against india and show your love for the SRIPECH

  18. Bhudai Pundit, I completely agree with what you have to say. While it is true that India may not have acted in Nepal’s best interests all the time, the truth is that India has to be concerned about India’s interests. One needs to keep in Mind that the Indians do not have any obligation to help Nepal, yet they have done so in the past. For too long we have been blaming India for anything that is wrong with our country or its political system.

    At a time when no other nation cared about Nepal, India supported the Nepalese peoples’ fight for democracy. It is all too easy to sit back and blame “Big Brother” India for all that is wrong in the country. Our leaders have failed miserably in providing sustained economic development and political stability, two things that are of paramount importance to any country.

    They are the ones who need to be held to task for the role they have played in the disintegration of the social fabric of the country. It is time to stand up and be counted, to act responsibly- rather than accusing India for everything that is wrong with Nepal. Besides, India is well on its way to becoming a world power and it is too preoccupied with its own goals to be concerned about spreading an insurgency in Nepal. I mean, these are ridiculous ideas that germinate in idle minds.

  19. I don have time my prof pissing me darlin.

    But India jaye bhade main.
    This is UWB’s topic.

    Gandhi, shyam sharan,Indian democracy, vajpai etc.
    Wagely is limited and myopic.

    Hope that either the americans or the europeans will invite this rising star in Nep. journalism to see what exists beyound India.

    UWB: Dear Coke, You are welcome as always with all your cirticism to Wagle and UWB. For your kind information, your hope has been fulfilled. Wagle has been invited! We will tell you more about this very soon.

  20. This is indeed a great news. I am really happy for Wagle. I criticize wagle’s writing just because i want him to improve i donot have any personal bad feelings about him. but i suggest him to visit and see what exists beyound India and come home with a broader perspective.
    remember that not everything stops in Delhi. there are much to learn from outside.

  21. i know Wagle is not as narrow minded as some might like to think of him
    both of you are, Wagle and Acharya, already as bright as anyone living in the U.S. or France or Germany
    well, it would not do any harm to find out that you really are as bright as the one from the West.
    people who cannot see you beyond india are themselves limited by india
    they are blindfolded by india, not you

    good to hear the good news that Wagle will soon be pursuing his journalism studies in the west (or somewhere abroad ?)

  22. Coke:
    I cannot belive you are talking about a broader prespective when all you do seems to be blaming India for everything. That’s not a very broad prespective! Using your own words: not everything originates from New Delhi!

  23. pls come back home mr wagle after your finish yor studies.

    UWB: Ah..thanks for caring this much about Mr. Wagle. We hope he understands meaning behind this message!

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