As the agitation intensifies, the beleaguered king has only few options left
King Gyanendra seems unfazed by the ongoing agitation that has successfully entered its 13th day. Although, by meeting two former primeministers, he tried to show that he is willing to participate in dialogue, these meetings only indicate that he is hell bent on committing confrontations and violence. His meeting with the irrelevant and redundant leaders like Krishna Prasad Bhattarai is an ample proof of this. Bhattarai is neither active in the movement nor is he up to date on the recent happentances. He is also incapable to analyze the situation and the ground reality of the country. Therefore, he is reiterating the old agenda: revival of constitution. Not only that, he also absurdly claimed himself a royalist. King wants to diffuse the movement through such meetings. He wants to pretend that he’s consulting the leaders. But, what he needs to understand is no matter how many leaders he consults; the ripples of movement will not slow down. Nepali people have marched forward ahead than the leaders can imagine. Their agenda is not the cosmetic change in regime, but sovereignty of people and inclusiveness.
King should now address the agendas, not the leader. But then, even the ex-panchas like Surya Bahadur Thapa is saying that now agenda is greater than person. People desperately need a long-lasting peace. For that, they have proceeded the issue of Constituent Assembly (CA). Except the king, all the political stake holders i.e. political parties and the Maoists have agreed to accept the outcome of Constituent Assembly unconditionally. If king addresses the issue of CA in time, he may have a place for the ceremonial king or safe exit. Even exit will be a respectable one. Otherwise, oft-quoted French Revolution might materialize in Nepali context. Therefore, king’s stubbornness will result in his own fall. But, the king might have felt that people would be exhausted if movement is deferred for some time.
King’s mentality is that of a person who never looks back. His recent meets with the ambassadors has hinted this. Sources say that he repeated the same thing with the envoys. In that meeting, he said that he adheres to dialogue and for that he has appealed in his Democracy Day and New Year messages. Indian envoy warned that if the king remains stubborn, India might not be of any help. Envoys seem fed up of king’s stubbornness. Which is why they are keeping mum after meeting the monarch. The powerful envoys’ reticence signals that king is reluctant to relinquish his power. This point was voiced in KP Bhattarai’s reaction to scribes’ queries yesterday.
People are not ready to give up easily. Because this movement is triggered by the public themselves. People ranging from professionals to common folks are marching in the streets. This time, they are for all-out change, which is why, in the 13th day of strike, its gaining momentum. Nepali society is basically tolerant. They don’t want to be involved time and again in such movements. So, this spring they are fighting for a finale.