By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log (Inside: Prime Minister’s Vijaya Dashami Message)
Did Parliament forget to ban Gyanendra Shah from issuing statements every now and then? The white elephant that was seriously wounded in April has started moaning again. That too on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami! Gyanendra today issued a statement saying that the need and desire of the nation was to make the peace process and the ongoing efforts to guarantee security to the people successful. Good words, we know he is a “poet/lyricist.” But Gyanendra is not supposed to blabber. He is supposed to keep quiet and celebrate Dashain. If he really wants to communicate to the people and make his desires heard, he should abandon the inherited post of king, open up a political party and go for campaigning. He talks about “national unity and reconciliation.” It really seems strange why he is talking about national unity especially after the grand success of April Revolution. That was the biggest example of national unity in the history of Nepal.
By including the word reconciliation, is Gyanendra seeking help from political parties to continue his status as the chief of monarchy in Nepal? Any sane person in place of Gyanendra would have been ashamed uttering words like “making the peace process successful.” Who killed democracy and declared all out war against the civil society? Who blatantly ignored the cease fires declared by the Maoists? Who jailed people speaking for freedom? Who declared emergency, cut off phone lines and internet, censored media? Now the same person, barely five months after people discarded him, raises his head and starts giving us lecture? That too on why peace process must be successful?
There were very few people queuing up to the royal palace today to receive Tika from the king. Some people might argue that the number shows there are still some who support the king. I don’t disagree considering the cruel fact that the monarchy in Nepal has exploited Nepali people for the last 237 years and there are fistfuls of people who have benefited from that exploitation for generations. And there are quite a few people with slave mentality who still feel happy to serve their master. They always seek an opportunity to please their master. Particularly discouraging was the presence of Rukmangat Katwal, the Chief of the Army Staff, in today’s tika ceremony. But hey, who is Katwal? Who raised him? Who sent him in the Army? Who is Mahendra? So, I was not surprised to see Katwal saluting Gyanendra and his wife in Durbar today. But I have taken positively a press statement issued by the army the day before yesterday that says there was no formal directive issued by the chief of the army staffs to the soldiers and officers of the Nepali Army to go to the king and receive tika.
Prime Minister and President of Nepali Congress, Girija Prasad Koirala has wished happiness, peace and prosperity to all Nepalis on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami.
The prime minister has also requested all to celebrate the festival with simplicity and cordiality. Saying that the festival was being celebrated in a much peaceful atmosphere this time as compared to the previous years, PM Koirala added that everybody’s actions should be directed towards fulfilling the people’s aspiration for lasting peace.
In a message issued on the occasion of Bada Dashain, the PM has also appealed to all leaders and cadres of Nepali Congress- Democratic to return to the mother party, the Nepali Congress. Calling on everybody for party unity, the Nepali Congress strongman said all leaders and cadres of NC-D are welcome in the NC. (source)
And I am proud of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala. He celebrated Dashain in his home in Briatnagar with his family and cadres and discarded the king at in taking tika. By the same standard, it would be really welcome move if Koirala stops advocating for the continuity of monarchy in Nepal. May Lord Ram and Goddess Durga empower him to take such a revolutionary decision. Shubha Vijaya!
Note: It’s now time for D Wagle for yet another trekking adventure. He will be away from computer and internet for about 20 days with effect from Tuesday afternoon (Oct 3rd). “It’s a 17-day-long camping trek,” he says. “I am already excited about seeing the upper parts of Manang! Enough fiddling with this keyboard; can’t wait to play with the snow!”