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.