Learning From Nepal: Do Americans Have What It Takes?

Nepal in foreign press:
An editorial in Bennington Banner of Vermont (United States) titled “Do Americans have what it takes?

Thursday, September 21: Last weekend, a tape was leaked to the Hungarian press in which Hungary’s Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany admitted that he had lied repeatedly to the public. The tape, coming after months of civilian dissatisfaction with the way the government has handled the economic health of the country, served as the catalyst for massive protests by thousands of civilians in the capital. After the third day, they show no sign of letting up.

These protests are a potent demonstration of what is quite possibly the most powerful tool for changing a nation: its people. When the citizens of a country speak together in one voice of dissent, the results can be astounding.

Take Nepal — just last April, hundreds of thousands of its citizens gathered in the streets of Kathmandu. They were protesting the absolute rule of the King Gyanendra, which he had seized in a monarchical coup the year before on the pretext of suppressing insurgents. After only three weeks of protests, he reluctantly ceded power back to Parliament.

Looking at where Nepal is today, working at the freshly drawn democracy which it demanded and then rightfully received, makes one feel a touch envious. Envious, perhaps, toward the passion that the Nepali people must feel to so strongly demand what they deserve for their country. Envious, even, at the struggles which they were willing to go through, and the struggles which the Hungarian people are going through now.

It’s hard to remember the last time American citizens demanded something in a unified voice and then made a valiant effort to achieve it. Vietnam, perhaps. The transgressions of our current administration may not be as egregious as those of King Gyanendra’s, but they are frighteningly on par with Gyurcsany’s.

After all, have not each of President Bush’s reasons for going to war with Iraq been steadily discounted over past three years? Saddam Hussein never had weapons of mass destruction, nor was he linked to al-Qaeda. The only remaining foundation upon which the tatters of the Iraq War justification still stand is that Saddam had the will to use WMD on the United States — as if a single malicious thought of his could conjure an atomic bomb out of mid-air and launch it mightily toward Washington.

It is regretful that Bush’s deceptions, unlike those of Gyurcsany’s, have been steadily filtered through a mesh of confusing rhetoric over several years rather than exploding point-blank before the stunned public in the form of irrefutable evidence.

Herein lies the most heinous of the administration’s tactics: the use of fear-inducing rhetoric as a weapon. At every turn, our president has warned us against the terrorists, that mysterious shadow, that frightening enemy, who wants nothing more than to destroy us and our way of life.

If an issue does not appear to directly affect Americans, why should we care? There’s no draft, no drawn-out battles on our soil, no shocking imagery to shield our eyes from, and no apparent change in our comfortable lifestyles other than the occasional jump in gas prices. Combined with our willingness to swallow any speechwriter’s bombastic spiel, it’s a recipe for disaster.

The prospect that the American population will take anything its leadership throws at it is a frightening one. If we are silent about illegal phone taps and unconstitutional detainment, then what next?

The Bush administration is now trying to push a bill that defines an “unlawful enemy combatant” so generally that the U.S. would be able to scoop up virtually anyone and subject them to a military tribunal. There are parts of the bill that essentially rewrite the Geneva conventions, and it has seen an embarrassing amount of resistance from legal military experts and even some Republican members of Congress. If that passes without a whisper from our comfortable citizens, then what push for America’s increasingly forceful policies will come in the next two years?

Perhaps this time we can take a leaf from Nepal’s book by holding them fully accountable. In the meanwhile, we can applaud Hungary for having the guts to do what we seem to be incapable of doing.

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

99 thoughts on “Learning From Nepal: Do Americans Have What It Takes?

  1. Mr. Pundit-when there are two big enemies of the people and if one of them is then eliminated is it not a good thing? Or does your intelligent brain not understand that simple equation?

  2. Supriya,
    “Replaced by more progressive government’ – which one? Helloooooo? Anybody there?

    And again you go on blah blah about monarchy and again I ascertain that it is the will of half the population – get to understand democracy first then you can blabber. The Nepali Times nationwide survey – it is the latest.

    Again as st had mentioned earlier let us not try to fool ourselves and the world blindly about the logistics of your April revolution. Unless you are a maoist or for that matter even if you are, you should know that many many of the participants were threatened and forced to take part. Wakey! Wakey! We do live in the 21st century asnd therefore the age of information – fast information.

    Demanding the King to give up direct power and calling for a total aboslishment of monarchy are two very different things. You should not take historic instituitons at personal levels. If you restrict monarcy to it’s rightful place I am sure the majority would opt for a ceremonial monarchy.

    Like I said – are you hoping for Lal salams and boot camps?

  3. Kirat,

    I still insist that one of the enemies you mention were infact the driving force for your April revolution. The SPA were merely onlookers. We are lucky it did’nt end up being a maoist takeover. Thank goodness the palace gave in and in time as well.

  4. scoop-the two enemies I mentioned are the Maoists and the King. At least one of them is out of the way-the other enemy the SPA govt. is dealing with -not exactly the way we want them to but at least we can now all focus on this one enemy instead of two.

  5. A lot of us would not even hesitate to call the SPA as an enemy too. So, we have three enemies, the maoists, the spa and the king. After all, you can not say even the spa has ever done anything in the interest of the nation. And if the spa and the king did not exist, neither would the armed maoists. If the SPA did not fail as misearably, the king would not have had the opportunity to take over. If the maoists had not taken up arms, the king would not have had and excuse to take over. If the king had not taken over, the spa would not have allied with the maoists. Come on kirat, we have three enemies.

  6. Kirat,

    I know. I’m just telling you about one of your enemies – the maoists and “their April movement” (to think that the SPA were somehow involved in a big way is laughable – their involvement was at par with little giggly girls running behind the big time film star). Who’s dealing with whome I wonder my straight thinking friend?

  7. scoop-the Maoists were behind the April revolt but so were a substantial portion of civil society don’t forget that. Even our corporate lawyers (who are capitalist as any lawyers can get!) we thrown in jail for a couple of nights. And one thing that is undeniable is that the April revolt has led to an opportunity of lasting peace and democracy (if the Maoists can be dealt with properly).

  8. Kirat,

    You believe what you have to believe my straight shooter friend and I will hold on to mine. Adios. I’m out of here.

  9. Definitely B.
    Its proved from april revolution that we the nepalese people no longer want Monarchy in any form in Nepal.We want Republic Nepal.

  10. Definitely B (#49).
    Its proved from april revolution that we the nepalese people no longer want Monarchy in any form in Nepal.We want Republic Nepal.

  11. “Even our corporate lawyers (who are capitalist as any lawyers can get!)”

    My ex-lawyer’s bookshelf was crammed with Marx-Lenin BS.

  12. Well which one is the apple and which one is the orange? I guess US would be the orange and nepal the apple. Nepal is famous for its apples and US for its oranges, although Brazil recently overtook US as the major orange producer and supplier. America is hards and solid from the outside like an orange, relative to apples, and you would not want to bite into it. But once inside, you could swim limitlessly though is thin membranes and volumous juices. Nepal is the apple because from the outside the skin is a thin and easy penetrate, but once inside it is like a porous lava rock, pumice, which never changes but there are small holes to travel through. The orange inside is the soft but very fluid like the Americans and the Apple is is sturdy throughout but very rigid, like the Nepalese. On a comical note, the Americans love to look orange, they spend hours tanning themselves for that fake yuppy orange tone. The Nepalese on the other hand are always applying fair and lovely for that “chini jasto goro” rand which bright red blush cheeks, so as not to look phusro.

  13. Well that should add some light into the distinction of the two cultures. Now you all can continue you discussions in vain; I just felt the urge to add my own vanity.

    Happy Dashain Everyone.

  14. Scoop

    We want no feudal lords. Why are you harping on that very monarchy? Who do you hope of? King Gyanendra? Crown prince Paras? What is the benefit of a king who is so wildly hated for, first, doubt of family murder, second, action against multiparty democracy collecting all Sakriya Rajtantrabadis , third, misuse of people’s money on luxurious cars and facilities. What monarchy can give us now. Nepal should learn to live without the feudal shadow. Our ultimate goal should be so.

  15. On a seperate note:

    The government of Nepal today declared Wednesday (tomorrow) a day of national mourning following the confirmation of the death of all 24 passengers, many of them renowned personalities in Nepali and Kathmandu based epact community, of the ill-fated Shree Airlines helicopter that crashed in Taplejung three days ago. With all respect to the passing souls, I believe that this decision of declaring a national mourning day and giving public holiday on tomorrow was unnecessary. While writing this, I don’t want to be portrayed as an insensitive and emotionless idiot but this special treatment to those who died in chopper crash has clearly done injustice to those people who had died a few weeks ago in landslide in Ulleri village of Kaski-Myagdi border. The government didn’t even mention those who died in Ulleri its cabinet meetings. The families were left alone. Yes, I am also deeply saddened by the accident and I am remembering that moment nearly three years ago when I was talking with Dr. Harka Gurung in his office about mountains of Nepal. There were other distinguished personalities in the helicopter and all of them died.

    The government has not given us reason for closing down all government offices and schools and it seems this decision wasn’t based on any legal provisions but simply a political and emotional decision. Was that because so many people died? Or because so many people died in a helicopter crash? Or because there was one minister, three government employees? Or because there were some foreign personalities and a diplomats? If this is because of the death of a sitting government minister, then I have nothing to say because there must be legal provision for such rituals. If not, the state should treat all of its citizens (living and dead) equally and duly focus its attention to those who died in Ulleri village. What about those 26 people who were poor and virtually unknown to the rest of the society?

  16. Yes you are right mr. Dukhit. We have high respect for those who died and they were environmentalist and forest wildlife conservation experts but it is rediculous to daclare holiday on that basis. If we do such things we will work for 100 days only out of 365 days. This was just not at all necessary.

  17. Kirat: Like other bloggers in this blog mentioned, it needs to hammer to your thick skull to make you understand that legacy, heritage, tradition, institution, and unique are pride possession of Nation. Nepal, is only Hindu Kingdom of the world, espoused by the Prithivi Narayan Shah is our heritage and revered by many Nepalis. Like British feel their royalty, like the Thais, they also cherish their Monarchy. Nothing wrong like such heritage of a nation which has been serving for almost 300 year’s without any problem as such. It is only when the corrupt politicians failed to govern and the opportunity was grabbed by the Maoist terrorist. Instead of blindly following pathetic media propaganda, Idiotic political speeches, follow your intelligence (if you have any)! to get the real picture.

  18. Pundit-I guess you are really intelligent to tell me, a Kirat, the greatness about the Shah dynasty? Bullocks. If you are a true Nepali you would have understood. What did my community profit from the Shah dynasty? You Pundit can lick the Shah @ss as much as you want but don’t expect us to do the same just because you enjoy that sh!t.

  19. It is not fair to generalize all “Kiratese” as pro or anti monarchy. Some like, some dont, and some are indifferent. Kirat here does not like it, a lot of my friends who would be classed as “Kirati” are indifferent about it, some like it, and there are some who dont like it. Most are indifferent, them pro and actually one who is anti but not staunchly. Then again I am just giving one sample or numerous samples that make a population. Everyone has their agendas these days and seem to conveniently skew the data to their advantage. RIP Chebyshev.

  20. Pundit,

    Please dont take the above as a support for you post. You generalize way more than the rest.

  21. Pundit:
    You are a disgrace to the name pundit with your idiotic, unrealistic fantasy you have created in your thick skull. I cannot believe you the nerve to tell Kirat to get a real picture when you are living with a mind set of a 16th century feudalistic hypocritic Brahmin.
    It is because of people like you and Bharat Keshar Simbha that Hinduism is on the decline today. Let me guess, you were one of people involved in that incident where “upper caste” hindus went to chase Dalits out of the temple?

    So here is an idea: get a life! And get a history book of Nepal and read it before you come back here and write another moronic comment!

  22. “Nepal’s future is speeding to its conversion into a beautiful Jihadist Farm”

    Nepal is being converted into a JIHAD BHARTI KENDRA. The population of the Middle East is thinning down despite their 4 wives and 50 children for every Muslim adult male. And the Jihad (Islamic War against all religions) is still far from being over. The millions of Buddists, Christians, Jews and Hindus are yet to convert to Islam. They need more manpower to continue their jihad with the same speed that has been for the last 1400 years.

    It has been proven that new converts are even more devoted and loyal than the old ones. Nepali people bear all the characteristics to sacrifice themselves because of their bravery, honesty and perseverance. Nepali people’s lack of faith in their own religion is such an additional boon for easy conversions. The bad economy, poverty and frustration among the young generation and their hate for Indian Hindus is such a beautiful combination which is rare for any Bin Laden to find. That is why Nepali people’s ignorance of Pakistani ISI’s have so much resulted in the overgrowing Madarassas and the secret meetings inside the heavily funded mosques to formulate their strategies to convert Nepal into a beautiful Jihadist Farm (where Jihadists are given free education and thus indoctrinated for Allah’s purpose).
    Our atheist Maoist young generation (deprived of their cultural roots) and the minority ethnic communities, who have been misled about their own origin are the best to start the recruitment.
    Thus, Nepal’s future is speeding to a beautiful Jihadist Farm.

  23. “Thus, Nepal’s future is speeding to a beautiful Jihadist Farm.”

    I fail to see any beauty in this nightmarish prediction.

  24. Dukhit,

    Adding to your comment, I am sure the late Dr. Harka Gurung and his esteemed company would not have liked this national holiday either. They were all hard working, practical people. These are souls who would probably be honoured if the government officials agreed instead to do a full days honest and efficient work from 9am to 5pm, unlike these beureucrats who come to work at 11am and leave at 3pm. That would be tribute to these fantastic minds.

  25. Lets get real- Monarchy will not vanish as some people wish, fedual tendency will not vanish as some hyperbole about, Hinduism will not kow down as some zealots want it. So only peoper thing to do is acept the fact and manage it. The fight now is that everyone has comments but no one has the answer. All are talking heads but it won’t fly. Maoist got stronger on the basis of doing their thing at the ground level by hook or crook- they ain’t smarter nor visionary, a simple thug whose asipration is to rule and to rule with threats and force. So people unless you work from the bottom rung of the ladder, all your sermons of this and that get blown away in whip of a breeze.
    Who can say things are fine- ask even the maoist, they will probably say no. We all are in one soup but propensity to differentiate and admonish other on the basis of being righteous is dangerous and thats what it is now.

  26. Mr. Bhudai Pundit, tell me what is the current real picture of Nepal that may differ with me, the real scenario, that I am going to hammer you down again now. Does it not your mother, sisters, wife or daughter are the target to be kidnapped and gang raped by the Maoist terrorist? Is it not also true that you stupid man will stand and watch helplessly while they continue their mayhem. Is not true that million of Nepalis like me have suffered and terrorized over a decade?

    Tell me what part of my statement was so difficult that did not enter in to your thick-skull? Are you blind? Or did not even care to read even those bribed media. Can you tell me who have planted bombed in the public transport system to kill the innocent? Who randomly kidnapped children and recruit in their Maoist army? Who blows up the public properties to destroy already inadequate infrastructure to dust? Who planted mines and killed thousands of our security forces and poor police men? Who destroy tourism industry of Nepal? Who drove foreign/domestic businesses out of Nepal? How many thousands of poor innocent Nepalis gave their life so far for what? The list goes on…

    Now all these are done by the feudalistic King or by your beloved progressive Maoist terrorists? Now you are telling me about Hindu, Dalit, upper caste are driving out whom?Do you ever read the Manu Sanghita? If you do not have the basic tenets of ancient Hindu social order under Vedic civilization, please do not make hollow stupid comment like a convert. Caste system as interpretated by Christian groups to cover their inadequacies and our media feed their propaganda. Every society including the Western Christian societies rigidly practice class system(Slavery/caste is a “protugese” word) unlike our ancient text define the social order according to our intellectual strength. Poverty and political corruption is our real enemy. For you to know more, Read book written by Swami Vevekananda than open your dirty mouth on Hinduism. Only tolerance and forgiveness indoctrinated in our Hindu system may allow people like K.R. Narayan to be the president of India.

    Now I strongly believe that the people with poor knowledge like you why become the victim by pedophilic Christian missionaries. It is dimwit people like you who do not know about Hinduism feel shrinked by the talk of Caste not me. Have you ever thought why forty millions Christians form the West(US/UK) have turned towards Hindisum/Bududdism ? Hinduism will be in danger in our country only when Christian Prachanda (Puspa Kamal Dhahal, all these Maoist terrorist master mind) will take over Nepal and start denouncing Hinduism, Hindu and Monarchy in order to put red carpet to Christian missionaries to come to Nepal for harvesting the poor Nepalis soul like you.

  27. Well, Kirat, I do not know how to respond your stupid observation but I can tell you honestly, typical people like you are often became the victim of selfhatred, own culture etc. Like the British spread negative image about Hinduism and looked down many of our social practices and created a self hatred group known as Maculaties to preserve their western view and to denounce our own culture. Every nation should be proud of their cultural heritage and History. If to be proud of our own culture and history, according to you, is licking A$$ then go ahead you lick A&S of the Maoist terrorist whose ideology of terror never was a part of our Hindu or Buddist cultural tradition. Problem, now a days, in our society is people like you who would stand up as one of the anti King Banner Holder to be counted as progressive. I hope. Bhattarai or Prachanda will give you a medal of honor for your excellent anti Monarchy demonstration with violent street protest and by destroying public properties. That is why I recommended that your thick skull needs to be grilled to put some sense in to it.

  28. Bhudai got a complex so inflated that he thinks he sees better from a far. I bet you he’s talking from a centerist democractic platform. He believes by espousing ideals and values of centerist democract that is “don’t fix it, if ain’t broken” all will be settled from negotiations. All that is a dream, now, if he could only see the real situation is in Nepal.

    In case of Hinduism- everyone has the right to choose and practice their belief but this does not mean a polysetising. What I see is this, just like cigarettes were dumped in the shores of Asian countries by companies like Philip Morris when smokers declined and rules were enacted to sue for damages in U.S.- they went for vunerable populace- Asia. And in the same style- Christains are doing the same with their religion- dumping on us by bribe,money and exploiting the conditions in Nepal. The go jugular when the condition is right, and right it is now in Nepal.

    How can they even propose a church in Pasupatinath temple area- are they looking for confrontation or think they can railroad us to neverland. It is not right and they know it. what would they say if other religion propose to build Mosque or temple in Vactican. May be they are planning to take the advantage of the confused situaation but I see evil in their design and practice.

    All I see is lack of pride among people who assume to be cut above the rest just for the fact they can blog and residing in foreign land. To those people, I say you can live and have a wonderful life but you will be always a second class citizen even if you marry a girl of that land. The saying that “mother land is better than then Heaven” is apt and true, just you wait. More you prodd the confusion in Nepal, more chance that you will treated as pariah in the community that you live in, even in U.S. of A.

    As for Kirat- better left untouched.

  29. Attn to Kirat and Bhudai Pundit: Read following article, hope that it will enter some thing into your thick skull.
    On constitutional monarchy


    One of the most misused, mishandled, and misapplied passages in the Bible is the narrative of a woman caught in adultery, recorded in John 8:1-11, and known to every child in the Christian world. This narrative serves as one of the fundamental lessons that can help the process of resolution of the ongoing conflict in Nepal as a national problem.
    As the narrative goes, some scribes and Pharisees bring a woman before Jesus who had been caught in adultery, and ask him what should be done with her. Allegedly, the law laid down by Moses those days commanded that such a woman be stoned to death. Jesus chose not to answer for a while. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

    Jesus was not questioning the right to carry out this prescription of the Law, but he was insisting on one fundamental condition, namely, that those who want to stone the woman to death have no sin on their consciences. This challenge to the self-righteous group of these scribes and the ‘Pharisees’ (‘hypocrites’ as seen in the bible) more than what was necessary to save the woman from the wrath of the sinful adjudicators. Needless to say, the crowd began to thin out; Jesus and the woman were alone left there at last.

    This narrative has immediate relevance in our context, where certain sections of the political leaders and the Maoist insurgents have almost decided for the nation that King Gyanendra is the convict of democracy, and so the monarchy must be abolished, knowing that they too have never been honest to the democratic experiment, and there is no reason why they should be spared. In other words, why not a referendum on whether the seven parties and the Maoists have outlived their utility; and why not to abolish these parties as well?

    In fact, there is no dearth of the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees around us, who find a lot of problem in King Gyanedra, but none at all in them. They are notable in political parties and non-governmental organizations. They also exist in the press and professional organizations. Some of them are in the universities and colleges. The Maoists of course are the extreme (puritan?) examples. Some are invisible on the political radar of the country; they only act through instruments, well paid and mesmerized.

    No matter which corner these critiques come from, they all have the elemental claim that the problem of democracy is out there in the Narayanhiti Palace; but they all are nice ‘guys’ who remain governed under the law; far from corruption and abuse of authority. They take it for granted that they are democratic, morally superior and bathed in cow milk (low cholesterol?) and devoid of any sin on their consciences – as if they had little contribution to the mess that the contemporary Nepal is in.

    Very loud claims, indeed! – at least no humble citizen worth his or her salt can make it with that effrontery, let alone the whole country. At once, the king has become an object to be despised, a feudal lord, a scar of the history; somebody who is a scrap which must be immediately dispensed with. At once the Shah dynasty has been termed as the only cause behind everything bad this country has so far indulged in.

    These claims sound hollow, if not nonsense. It is not the king who forced weak performance or failure of the ‘majoritarian’ democratic system in Nepal. It is not him who devised economic policies and created deep economic and social crisis that grapples this country. He is certainly not the reasons behind the institutionalization of corruption, mediocrity, incompetence and professional ignorance. He is not the one who is responsible for the declining rule of law standards in the constitutional state.

    Defections in the parliamentary ranks and file and use of money and muscle in politics is something that owe to other sources. Crazyness in the parties is not something that the king infused with. In any case, it is not the king who took up arms against the full-fledged constitutional system – especially the parliamentary parties, functioning democratic institutions, and the constitutional monarchy.

    In the recent history of mismanagement, and consequent democratic fallout, the king adds to the latest chapter, but he is by no means its only author. The ambition that the king tried to nurture after the coup of October 2002 has definitely been a problem; and his high-handedness in the dealing with the democratic institutions after February 2005 takeover had unambiguously been a serious setback.

    The king performed miserably bad in his relationship with politicians and in the handling of the state institutions of this poor country. Most of his ministers were hopeless, and suffered from Maoist type of extremism, which he himself had been entertaining knowingly or unknowingly. He failed to understand that the Maoists in the palace and those in the wilderness both had the same mentor and same purpose. The former lot encouraged the king to tighten up his grip on power, and the latter helped the people to polarize against him on the same issue.

    The people of Nepal have many grievances against the king, and most of them can be termed heartbreaking. But they were not the reasons the king of this country is being assailed like this. This issue needs to be debated in an open environment which is not only cool, but also objective and rich. Can this nation be built right away without the accumulated strength of all?

    The context is very simple. If the republican wayfarers still think that everything will be alright in Nepal after the king is dethroned; the Nepal Army is amassed, all interested foreigners are given the Nepali citizenship en masse, and the state is restructured on the ethnic lines, they are just over simplistic. A nationhood that is be being forced to disintegrate and abandon sustainable institutions never withers without creating liabilities.

    A word of caution is perhaps very necessary here: what is being defended by the author is not the imperfections in King Gyanendra, or for that matter, in any human being, but to defend the utility of the institution of constitutional monarchy that gives continuity to the Nepalis’ historical identity, and a sense of belonging, that is so important for our aspiration to exist and grow as an independent nation. The institution must be preserved as common heritage — making sure that democracy and the rule of law is the shared responsibility of all — and not just of King Gyanendra only.

    A not-very-known person, Malcolm Winram, commented in The Times as back as March 1996 that those politicians who had been debating the future of the British monarchy at that time resembled a poachers’ convention deliberating on the future role of the gamekeeper. Maybe a little exaggeration, but his comment depicts well what should never be done in Nepal without ensuring a throughtful and deliberative process.



  30. Bravo Mr. Adhikari- well said. You have spoken for the silent majority- your each sentances and words are mirror of our feeling. Thank you.

  31. Pundit-you call yourself a true Nepali when you can’t even be bothered to learn about the culture and history of your own fellow Nepalis. You think we Nepalis are a homogenous bunch culturally and ethnically? Get your blinkers off mate and start respecting your fellow Nepalis.

  32. Nepal: Appraising A Nation’s Ambivalence

    By Maila Baje

    So we Nepalis are evenly split over the relevance of the monarchy.

    Since the opinion poll conveying that impression was conducted under the auspices of the U.S. National Democratic Institute, we probably need not denounce it as the handiwork of regressive forces. (Unless, of course, you want to include the NDI and by implication the United States as part of a vast right-wing conspiracy to retain the Nepalese monarchy against the spirit of the April Uprising.)

    Yet that stark question remains. What makes the monarchy, in its weakest state ever, face a nation so evenly divided? Of course, any pollster would tell you how the inflection and demeanor of the person asking the question would affect the response. Moreover, our traditional predisposition to playing it safe would encourage a collective trend toward fence-sitting at this juncture.

    Still, one can’t help asking a couple of other questions. Has the man reviled by two generations of critics and repudiated into seeming irrelevance barely five months ago redeemed himself in the eyes of the poll respondents?

    On the other hand, were the survey participants skewed – deliberately or otherwise – heavily in favor of the palace on account of class, ethnicity or outlook? Look at the way the question was framed. A whole new coalition of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s ceremonial monarchists and Kamal Thapa-led active monarchists has suddenly emerged.

    Maybe Nepalis have the ability to make a distinction between the monarchy as an institution and the individual sitting on the throne. How comforting it is to know there is always someone to take care of things should the parties and Maoist rebels botch it again and then ready to endure spasms of mass revulsion.

    In the fickleness of our political terrain, even the Maoists recognize the value the palace would represent once the rebels are made to part with their weapons. (Could the Maoists’ public posturing over the status of monarchy be a cover for the consummation of their alliance with the Chinese and the rightward realignment that would imply?)

    How soon elections to a constituent assembly are announced would perhaps depend on how fast the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoists agree on the “status” of the monarchy. From recent pronouncements, the Maoists appear to have climbed down from their demand for an outright abolition to a suspension during the interim.

    The SPA constituents will probably have a response in time for the summit. And the referendum on the monarchy to go together with the assembly polls? You don’t have to be a royalist to expect, given the current state of affairs, the numbers to improve in favor of the palace with the passage of time.

    Actually one royalist is moving in the other direction. Pashupati Shamsher Rana, president of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, announced that his party is no longer in favor of the monarchy. The head of a party that finds itself in the revived legislature but not part of the ruling establishment, Rana hasn’t complained of having been misquoted.

    Nor have RPP leaders of enough standing shown any urgency toward dissociating themselves from Rana’s statement. Is the erstwhile royalist party on the verge of a radical policy shift? Or is the grandson of the last Rana prime minister taking the ultimate revenge on the monarchy for its role in overthrowing the oligarchy?

  33. Mr.Kirat: Read my post to Mr.Bhudai Pundit and try to learn the reality. Joke apart, Tell me waht history of Nepal, I need to learn from you who feel ashamed of our Nepali Cultural heritage and History but feel empowered to be a part of anti_monarchy movement but accept imported terrorist idelogy of the Maoist.

  34. Pundit when you say ‘Nepali history’ and ‘Nepali Cultural heritage’ just remember to study every Nepalis history and cultural heritage not just your own community’s ok? That should take you enough time as you seem to know only that of your own community.

  35. Maila Baaje – good analysis I must say.

    Even if one were to overlook the intent and conditions on/by which polls were carried out, where you rightly touch upon the framing of such questions by pollsters which could be designed to generate expected response, let us for the sake of argument accept that Nepali populace is ‘evenly split’ over the issue of monarchy. However, what is lost in translation is the form of monarchy that Nepalis wish to see continued, or for that matter, abolished.

    There are extremists in every camp, and when we are dealing with multiple forces that define modern Nepal, we cannot hold certain issues on absolute grounds and let rest of it crumble to the ground. While certain issues become defining elements in shaping future Nepal, it also becomes important to view those in context – respective to all others that we are facing as a nation today.

    The question, if we are to allow certain leeway in exploring the issue, is not if monarchy should be allowed to continue further, but what kind of functional role – if there is one, can we appoint the monarch or the institution itself in making this transition smooth. To say that monarchy remains a symbol of unity is as flawed as saying that Maoists represent 80% of rural Nepal. Both premises are flawed: monarchy became the singular point of focus because there were no other sociopolitical forces allowed to challenge the status quo; Maoists claim to be the legitimate representation of rural class because, well, for the most part, they had guns to force people in believing such. Both are self-fulfilling prophesies of groups blinded by many years of rhetorical pragmatism.

    In the least, the current movement has bee able to shake those aforementioned false beliefs. It is no longer necessary that we justify physical violence for other forms of violence present in our society. Maoists are facing their dilemma – even they know arms can only get them so far. And if change is the ultimate goal, it is becoming clear to the higher Maoist rank that such cannot be forced into the middle-class populace using their regular tactics – mainly because those are exactly the class/group they need to court if they want to attain their larger goal of a socialist state.

    Similarly, absolutists – now monarchy activists, need to realize that unifying principal – in absolute terms, can work only when you are able to rule with either: love and/or fear. It is difficult to comprehend a wholehearted public support for a monarch who had his opportunity, but due to gross miscalculation in trying to walk on his daddy’s footsteps – like our homeboy George W., utterly made some bad moves and ended up paying dearly. And it becomes redundant to even dwell upon and attempt to revisit functional aspect of fearful tactic as cohesive element, especially when there is more than one group bearing arms in the country.

    Perhaps the royalists would find it worthwhile to accept their defeat, disassociate themselves from driving for active-monarchy and run as one of many parties instead. And it also remains to be seen: how long the NC is going to carry this ‘bhalu ko kampat’ baggage before it gets bogged down with things that can only hurt them politically in the future.

  36. I agree with most of what freeyoursenses has said. An active monarchy, i think even the royalists would not even dream of at the moment.

    However, i do not believe that Mr. GPK is going to accept any transitions at all. He does not seem to be in the mood of honoring the agreements made with the maoists before. If you listen to the internationla community now, the maoists are considered terrorists even more after the april revolution. Now, the maoists are requesting india’s help to solve the problems in Nepal. The international community has more say in nepal than Mr. GPK or King G. We have lost control and it really does not matter what people think. The parliament tries to please, India, America, Europe, World Bank, their cadres and then may be (just maybe) the people of Nepal. So, people of Nepal i say, do not really matter to them.

    As far as king is concerned, close this subject man. He has been sidelined. Now, the people will decide on his fate after the election to a CA (i dont think the election will take place), we shall wait and see.

  37. The problem for the maoists is that now that the monarchy has been bashed to irrelevance they don’t have much else they can point fingers at without sounding downright silly. Maybe they have also realised that a limp d1ck of a monarchy serves them better then none at all for future reference. When they run into trouble they still have the monarchy albeit in a coma state to point at. Without it, we all have the realistic problems of economics, education, health and so on which cannot be whisked to prosperity with just blasting rhetoric and outdated political ideas given the resource realities of Nepal. The road to better livlihoods is a long and hard one and eventually a fulfilling one, which will easily outlast any of the political leaders of today. Hopefully they will find the wisdom to at least pave the way for the next generation of leaders so that they can continue the effort to do the right things with as little as possible political power grabbing stunts along the uphill climb.

  38. Pundit:

    Thank God the Nepali people don’t share your egotistical, moronic point of view. You keep repeating the phrase “thick skull,” well at least I have a brain inside that thick skull.

    Before you wet your pants in excitement and jump up and down like a gorilla, get something into your hollow head: just because I don’t share your self-centered high caste Brahmin perspective on the importance of the Monarchy, it doesn’t not mean that I am sympathetic towards the Maoists. Don’t bring something unrelated into this argument to garner support for your pathetic nonsensical argument.

    The Monarchy and the institution of Monarchy was an oppressive, exploitative, selfish institution that did nothing for the country. They amassed wealth at the expense and exploitation of the people and gave them nothing in return. It misled them into believing a ludicrous myth that the Monarchy was a representative of God by suggesting that the King was an incarnation o Vishnu. With the exception of a few communities the majority of the country was marginalized! People like you, obviously good the good end of deal so of course it isn’t surprising that you just love licking monarchy arse!

    Don’t come here Pundit and try to challenge me on Hindu scripture. Hindu scripture has too many allegories and most of it is not meant to be taken literally. Unfortunately, greedy self-centered Brahmins like yourself have taken advantage of this and manipulated and hijacked the religion – people like you are no different from the Bin Ladens. You think you know about the caste system? You dumbass…if you knew anything our scripture says that a man’s action and not his birth determines his caste! You, Pundit, seem to be trying to justify the gross abuse that exists with the current interpretation of the caste system. Why do you think Christian missionaries are able to target and convert so many people? People like you make me sick.

    Instead of trying to abolish arcane and idiotic dogma you just add fuel to the fire. Instead of trying to prove your faith through service and useful work you cite a quote from the manu Sanghita out of context and justify the sickening abuse that Dalits face. Did manu say that Dalits should be denied education, medical care and access to temples? Pandit you are truly Pathetic!

    But listen I feel sorry for you because you only have this blog to rant and vent your frustration. If you go around saying sh*t like this in the real world you are bound to get a “laat” up your ass!

  39. Governance and Arms and Armies Management until Constituent Assembly Elections

    (Courtesy: Dr. Shiva Gautam)

    The current chorus of “Management of arms and armies, and mainstreaming Maoists” falls silent each time someone asks ‘how’. Amidst the confusion of charges and counter charges of delaying the peace process, Maoists seem to be inching towards checkmating the government endangering all the accomplishments achieved so far.

    It is naïve to think that Maoists will just surrender their arms to SPA government and join the democratic political process and will not ask anything in return. Similarly, SPA will not dismantle Nepal army and let the Maoists army take over the country.

    An idea suggesting keeping both armies in cantonments with UN’s involvement until constituent assembly elections is being resuscitated by members of civil society through a petition addressed to members of political parties including CPN (Maoists).

    This certainly is a step forward. But the current problem of armies and arms management will resurface with same intensity once the constituent assembly elections are concluded. One of the most important factors is that security situation is likely to deteriorate the management of two armies is not addressed on time. After the formation of the constituent assembly, the sticky question concerning two armies and their arms is likely to remain same.

    Few important things need to be factored in while looking for ways to move ahead. These are deteriorating security situation, inability of the government and Maoists in providing basic services to the people, firm Maoists’ grip on and government’s absence from the rural areas, and Maoists demands and eagerness to govern

    There are virtually two parallel governments in the country; one is mostly confined in urban areas and another in the rural areas. Even cabinet ministers seem have accepted it. Deputy Prime Minister Oli, referring to Rukmangad Katuwal’s appointment as Nepal Army chief, asked Maoists not to interfere with the government’s decision because the government does not interfere with Maoists’ decision to appoint their regional commanders.

    In the light of above situation, I would like to propose the following which not only incorporates the idea of confinement of both armies in cantonments but also institutes a temporary functioning government throughout the country until a new government through constituent assembly comes into existence.

    Promulgate an interim constitution to:

    1. Divide the country into few administrative and political regions (not according Maoists plan) with a separate region for Kathmandu valley (Capital region)
    2. Form governments both at central and regional levels including members of SPA and CPN (Maoist). But the central government will also be in charge of capital region.

    3. Keep Nepal Army under defense Ministry (central level) to be headed by the defense minister from SPA

    4. Keep Maoists army under a special ministry (central level) to be headed by a minister from CPN (Maoist).

    5. Put the day to day security of the capital (Kathmandu) region under the central home ministry headed by SPA

    6. Put the day to day security in all the regions except for the capital region under regional home ministries to be headed by home minister from CPN (Maoists).

    7. Confine both armies in barracks. The central government will pay for both armies (this is already being discussed)

    8. Form a new police force at regional levels. Though the regional/local governments will consist of both SPA and Maoists, security will be headed by home minister from Maoists.

    9. Conduct constituent assembly election once regional governments formed by Maoists and SPA recommend for it after becoming confident that an appropriate environment has been created.

    The purpose of the above suggestions is to start integrating of two sides while maintaining their separate identity until a trust between the two begins develops.

    These arrangements will initiate the integration process at least at the psychological level. It will allow the Maoists to be the part of the central government. It will also allow SPA to be a part of the local governments and reconnect with people at grassroots levels.

    Also, it will test if the SPA is sincere in mainstreaming Maoists, and if the Maoist are sincere and committed to democracy. The length of this arrangement could be easily extended if needed for various reasons.

    Most of all, it will allow to immediately jump start the development work and delivery of services to the people.

    However, it requires rigorous analysis and bold political decisions. No decision is risk free, but the risk can be minimized with careful analyses, weighing pros and cons, refinements and fine-tuning.

  40. Mr. Pundit,

    “The Monarchy and the institution of Monarchy was an oppressive, exploitative, selfish institution that did nothing for the country. They amassed wealth at the expense and exploitation of the people and gave them nothing in return. It misled them into believing a ludicrous myth that the Monarchy was a representative of God by suggesting that the King was an incarnation o Vishnu. With the exception of a few communities the majority of the country was marginalized!”

    Well look, i agree with most of what you have said. But if you read the bible scripture a few comments ago about a woman committing adultry you would realize that we have a similar situation in Nepal. The democratic governments and the maoists have been abusing, exploiting and stealing money from the people ever since their existance. Does it mean that they should be abolished too? Let the people decide man. Leave it upto them. And yes, there are no saints in this country and almost all of us have raped and sold our motherland unlimited times.

    About “It misled them into believing a ludicrous myth that the Monarchy was a representative of God by suggesting that the King was an incarnation o Vishnu”.. Well, did you just find out that our kings were not actually gods. Sorry man, the palace really had you. Do you know the gods inside the temples are actually only stones and not real gods and the whole society has been misleading us into believing that stones should be worshiped? Do you know that US is misleading their people(specially children) by suggesting that the sant clause actually exists? There are also pundits who say buddha was an incarnation of indra too, is not that a joke?

  41. B:
    Fisrly please refer to me as Bhudai Pundit and not just Pundit. I don’t want people confusing me with that pesudo hindu scholar phycho.

    Don’t compare the abuse of the institution of Monarchy with that of the political parties. B, do you want to me insult you by giving you a comparison? But just remember the Monarchy has been raping the motherland for hundreds of years!

    B, just when I think you are worthy of haiving a decent debate you ruin it with your idiotic comment. I am not talking about me you dumbass. I am talking about the all the poor villagers who still worship the ground the King walks on and become hysterical when they see the King.

  42. pundit is trying to follow ‘khas chauvinism’that has been going on in nepal from the time when shah dynasty came in. thier language is national language, thier religion is national religion, everything they do everyone has to do, sanskrit in school, public holiday in most of brahmin festives, áik jati aik vasa aik dhrma’policy but completely negelecting religion, culture, language of other population of 70%, wat an injustice n unfair, so kiss my arse, until n unless this ‘bahunbaad’, ‘khas cahuvinism’shackles has not been broken to pieces, shits always gonna happen in nepal cause they hav created this difference in the society, now they suffer. just saw the casting, nepal bieng ‘secular state’, no more dalits, more to come…liked very much seeing them curse, now they will realize how much it hurts…….

  43. Pundit (Bhudai),

    Do you think poor villagers are idiots? If you say the monarchy has fooled them into believing that the King is a reincarnation of Vishnu then one has to draw two conclusions:

    1. The villagers are idiots and therefore should not be allowed to vote and decide anything for the progress of this nation.

    2. It seems that you believe in a god called Vishnu, whose stone idol is worshipped hence you directly mention villagers believing that the King is a reincarnation, but what of Vishnu in the first place? If you do then maybe you should also be termed not fit to decide and vote on practical matters.

    My point being you cannot have your cake and eat it too and that too when it suites you.

    Religion, my dear pundit is a faith and dicipline which is there and has been through ancient times to bring together individuals for the greater brotherhood, sisterhood, social harmony in order to bond with each other and help one another out. It is just a space for individuals to find common ground and purpose and goes way beyond idols and reincarnations. If you have’nt yet got it, let me explain that in Hinduism we made up many god’s and stories in ancient times so that people would understand and enjoy the concept in simple forms. It was the way to say god is in everything and everyone. The stories are there to teach us what is right and what is wrong no matter what and where you are.

    So before you make idiots out of poor villagers who maybe looking for comfort in faith please understand the deeper knowledge of these issues. To you villagers who may look for this comfort in a King may sound foolish and you call them exploited, but maybe to many others in the whole wide and varied world, you acknowleding vishnu, worshipping his stone form, anmd following any religion for that matter can be looked at as foolish and a person exploited by founders of religion and their disciples well in to this day and age.

  44. Pundit (Bhudhai),

    Let me also quote you
    “Don’t come here Pundit and try to challenge me on Hindu scripture. Hindu scripture has too many allegories and most of it is not meant to be taken literally. Unfortunately, greedy self-centered Brahmins like yourself have taken advantage of this and manipulated and hijacked the religion – people like you are no different from the Bin Ladens. You think you know about the caste system? You dumbass…if you knew anything our scripture says that a man’s action and not his birth determines his caste.”

    I have seen yours and your namesakes arguments on these issues, but no one can be sure as to what the founder or founders of what we call Hinduism today was exactly trying to potray. The reality Pundit is that Hinduism is seen as what it is today, unless you can change the minds of the Hindus it is pointless talking about what it should be like, the reality is this is what it is like. All the evils of religions also exist side by side with all the good. This is because humans are such. Hinduism could have been a great idea of an individual or a handful of individuals but then again it is only man made, and man can make, remake and even unmake.

    However, as I had mentioned the key is that it is a place of sanctuary or common ground to bring individuals together in a common cause like any other religion. How it is practiced today or tommorrow is entirely up to the individual and how it can be exploited is human evil, this is not talking about faith or religion any more but delving into an entirely new topic – the politics and politicisation of religion – please (both pundits) let’s not get confused between the two.

  45. Kp:
    I am not saying the Villagers are idiots. What I am saying is that the villagers have been oppressed and marginalized by successive regimes in Kathmandu. Particularly the Rana/Shah regimes. They have been denied education and an opportunity for social mobility. Hence, their attitude towards the King (thinking of him as Vishnu) is largely a result of the previous Kings keeping them in ignorance and oppression. It is not a result of reason and faith. You however, seem to be content that these poor folks are kept in this state of ignorance. What does anything about me believing in Vishnu have to do with this? I don’t understand what you are trying to say.

    “The reality Pundit is that Hinduism is seen as what it is today, unless you can change the minds of the Hindus it is pointless talking about what it should be like.”

    An absurd comment. Just because things are a certain way we should stop discussing what they should be? I don’t think so. We should always be trying to achieve a higher standard and better understanding of religion.

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