By Dev Joshi
In 1789, 14th July, when the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, Louis XVI, the astonished King, said to his reporting officer:
“But this, this is a revolt.”
“No Sir” was the reply: “It is a Revolution!”
I wonder if anybody, who has cared to observe things and scenes on 26th and 27th Chaitra (April 8 and 9) and henceforth, isn’t thinking of a revolution. At least, I am thinking heavily about a revolution here in my own yard! Just pondering that finally this withered and emaciated superstructure of Shah dynasty built some two and half centuries ago is, at last, crumbling, basically due to the monarchy itself as has been with the French Revolution. Madelyn had commented about the French Revolution: “It was the French Monarchy which made the Revolution.” It is too apt here.
Time changes. People change. And things change too. The universe is in flux. In just about two week’s time, we now live under an entirely different political landscape .The nation has been brought to a grinding halt, people have ceaselessly and tirelessly poured and flowed themselves in the streets across the country. But, the king does know that his whole state is now in stake and the political officers in the Singhdurbar do know that their days are numbered. Even some police officers who brutally wrecked and oppressed the demonstrations are writing to editors of popular dailies that they weren’t the ones to create tragedies in the streets. All these points prove that revolution is in air in Kathmandu and in the whole Nepal.
There is no question that in these two weeks of great struggle, an epoch has indeed germinated. King Gyanendra’s fallacious design to make himself an enlightened despot has been mercilessly thrashed by all those valiant and heroic Nepalis who braved to show the world that they are not submissive, enduring and timid humans to continue to live under the most wretched conditions forever. They rebelled. Rather, we rebelled. We joyfully rebelled to have a new morning in our dark lives and with determination plus vigor to edit the whole history of our shameful existence.
Being daily with the protests, movements and riots and observing the participants of all this saga, I fondly remember an epigram by Karl Marx: “The middle class has played the most revolutionary role in history.” We prove it to be true here in our own home turf too. Here in Kirtipur where I live, I have been gently observing the people who are in the forefront of this movement. Most of them are TU students, offsprings of middle class parents, who want to shatter all the shackles that have created their agonies, tragedies, nightmares and suffocation. The villain has been rightly identified and his evil design to institutionalize the eternal falls and decay of Nepali society is broken now.
These students are all justified with their uprising. More so with gloomy prospects of their future and no signs of any flicker of candlelight at the ends. thus, they now are open in the streets. Most of them doing their postgraduates do not know what they would do once they complete their studies. No job opportunities, continued strife and civil war back in home districts, multiplied with the useless degrees of TU, they are left with very few options other than to rebel . One should seek greater and deeper economic plus sociological meanings of these people’s uprising against King Gyanendra’s tyranny.
Enough is always enough! That’s what everybody is feeling right now. People are ready to sacrifice their economic interests and their daily life-patterns for the dream of a better Nepal. A peaceful, prosperous and just society is what I dream. I believe the mass doesn’t have any different dreams.
But contradictions exist and thankfully, people have identified them too. That’s why Kirtipur was boiling in rage against ex-PM Girija Prasad Koirala after his infamous interview with BBC. Girja’s old and decayed agenda of revival of House of Representatives stinks of that familiar power-lust. So say the people and Girija’s track records do not lead us to any better conclusions.
It’s high time the leadership began to execute plans to usher a successful revolution for The Republic of Nepal. Slogans matter. They will matter here too. Gandhi’s Dandi March mattered and was too successful to woo the whole Bharat Barsha to long and fight for the Swaraj. The salt wove all of them in a single slogan. Lenin wove his people in the slogans of peace, bread and land. Here too, we need a slogan that’s just waiting to be formally announced by the leadership. Peace and republic is our slogan. There should be no faltering and wavering to deny this. If once again the leadership fails to gauge and evaluate the sentiments and aspirations of the people and if once again leadership at the center indulges in another agreement to murder this lovely child of revolution, history will not forgive them for their sins. People will rise against that too and we have to take little more time for our struggle.
But for the time being, I wish everybody a happy revolution! Once we have a successful revolution, the great voyage of nation building will begin which surely will be more strenuous, complex and arduous. But we will do it. For now, once again, happy revolution!
UWB Note: Joshi, a postgraduate student at TU, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org