Complexity in Nepali Politics

Continuous and intentional violations of peace deal and meekness of the government to take any corrective measure created a vicious cycle of state-of-flux and lawlessness. …Because of frequent indefinite strikes, distribution of citizenship cards across Terai and collection names for voters’ list has been severely affected.

By Chattra Bahadur

A leading daily newspaper recently published the results of the survey stating that almost 70% of the respondents pointed out that the foremost challenge before the government is to maintain law and order situation. And the response is not entirely surprising. We are witnessing frequent and increasingly violent indefinite strikes, shortages and unavailability of essential food items, rocketing price rise with shrinking job opportunities, growing insecurity, etc. At the time of height of the Maoist insurgency, it was often reported that the presence of the government was restricted to the capital and the district headquarters only. However, at present, it appears that the government is not even present in the capital or in the district headquarters.

After the fall of the royal regime and the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) coming into power, the Maoists returned to the negotiating table; and finally, the peace deal was brokered. The longstanding demand of the Constituent Assembly was agreed upon and, in return, the Maoists renounced their armed struggle. For the most Nepalese, it was huge relief and offered a ray of hope of elusive political stability and prosperity.

However, hopes of people were dashed soon to considerable extent when the Maoists could not forego their love for brute force, intimidating tactics, kidnapping, open extortion (often phrased as willful donation), forced indoctrination, swift rebuttal and brutal repression of any opposition, and the top leadership continuously being in state of denial of all the wrongdoings of cadres instead of taking disciplinary action. At the same time, the SPA government stood as a silent spectator even when the Maoists violated every single article of peace accord citing lame excuse of ‘fragile peace process’ and ‘still looming threat of reactionary and regressive forces’. And inability to enforce the peace deal in the letter and spirit, and inability to enforce strict measures for each violation on the part of the government have significant share wherein any sane Nepalese sees a remote chance of normalcy coming back.

Passive posture of the government to take any concrete stand on any issue has cost the nation dear. Continuous and intentional violations of peace deal and meekness of the government to take any corrective measure created a vicious cycle of state-of-flux and lawlessness. It is becoming evident that brutality and devastation of any nature could be justified as a political compulsion and crucial means to achieve the end without accepting any moral responsibility of such actions. All these actions have gained new ‘respectability’ and ‘acceptability’. The organizers of indefinite strikes dominate media space upholding such actions as ‘venting frustration’ in response to the government apathy and police brutality. In the end, they hold the government and reactionary elements responsible for all the damages because, in any case, their demands are genuine and their protests were peaceful. The civic society and human rights activists find the government and ‘unseen forces’ (regressive and reactionary forces) accountable for loss of lives and damage of property. The government surprisingly does not respond either positively or negatively.

After massive Terai uprising, at economic cost of about Rs. 96 billions and loss of human lives, the government and all political parties in the Interim Parliament, including the Maoists, acceded to the concept of federalism; however, model, modality, relationship (between the central and federal governments) and administrative structure are still unknown. Lone dissident voice is raised by the veteran Communist leader Mohan Bikram Singh citing small size, diversity and administratively expensiveness; however, his political party has negligible electoral influence. The Maoists were the first major political force that had brought the issue of federal structure in Nepal to the forefront though the concept did exist in the Nepalese academia. As of now, only the Maoists (as a political party) have forwarded reorganization of geographical area in nine autonomous republic states. Other political parties are said to be ‘working’ on the model of federalism. At an individual level, Dr. Pitamber Sharma forwarded concept of six federal states and 19 districts (on the basis of geographical region); Shankar Pokhrel (CPN-UML) envisaged 15 federal states (on basis of geographical region); Rajendra Shrestha (CPN-UML) has proposed 14 federal states; Pari Thapa (United People’s Front) has proposed 9 federal states; Mahendra Lawoti has proposed 13 federal states; and Late Dr. Harka Gurung had proposed 25 development districts (on basis of economic resources and viability). Other intellectuals have also proposed their concepts of federal states. It is worthwhile to note that most of the federal structure is based on ethnicity and the number of states range between 9 and 15.

The proposed date of the Constituent Assembly is approaching near. However, it appears that the government may not be in position to hold the Constituent Assembly elections because federal structure appears to be multifaceted and complex political demand which will take time to be solved. Because of frequent indefinite strikes, distribution of citizenship cards across Terai and collection names for voters’ list has been severely affected. At the same time, many groups within a single community pursuing same interest have made things more difficult. For instance, madhesh interests are pursued by the Maoist-affiliated Madheshi Mukti Morcha, Sadhbhavana (Anand Devi), Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (Jwala and Goit), and Sadhbhavana (Bardi Mandal) with Janatantrik Madeshi Morcha. Their major demands are same (regional autonomy with right of self-determination and proportionate representation according to population) and different groups have strength in different parts of Terai. It is also possible that other fronts would emerge soon.

As of now, MJF has rejected talks-proposal putting forward precondition of the resignation of the Home Minister whereas JTMM (Goit) has stated that the environment is not conducive. JTMM (Jwala) has also forwarded list of preconditions before talks. Eventually, if talks would take place with MJF and JTMM (because they were invited by the government) will other groups accept the outcome of the negotiations? Will top leadership of other groups rise above their respective party interests to agree to the solution reached henceforth or initiate another round of massive protests paralyzing lives across the nation stating that some other demands remain unfulfilled and they were not included in the negotiations? And in such situation, what will rest of the nation do?

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30 thoughts on “Complexity in Nepali Politics”

  1. Well written. Lack of action and purpose of this SPAM is slowly being obvious. But cost we as a citizen will bear is not only limited to now but generation to come so unless a drastic action is taken to control this slide- Nepal will never rise as a nation where it citizens can enjoy the fruit of its labor and will be seen as a pariah nation that feeds by killing its own- an outcast.

    I say give us peace, liberty and freedom but not at the cost of a nation and our unalienable rights as human.

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  2. It means the whole exercise of SPAM is futile i.e. without plan, programme, mamangement and goal….It has been now prooved that they left the country in nowhere direction. If it continues it will furthere come to the serious ethnic conflict….

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  3. For the gazillionth time the maoists are up to no good and the SPA don’t have the ball$. I believe the Congress and UML (if they still consider themselves democrats bar the name) should just take the lead and put their foot down. If they can’t then call in the UN or they have no choice but to call in the guards.

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  4. Time to pull in all the aces, if the Indians and Americans are for the democrats, just announce it and show support openly, close the Indian borders and tell the maoists time to put their cards on the table. No more double talk and childish excuses, shoot straight. They have broken every agreeement again and again, so what is stopping the democrats to tell it to them like it is, otherwise they may have to break agreements. At this point in time the maoists will find themselves very exposed. We know them all, and with the borders tight, they have nowhere to run. And unlike in the past, the people are out and ready.

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  5. Yes Girija did do nothing when maoist started to kill in early 90s when he was PM. That is why maoist rose to this moment.
    Till Girija is PM Nepal may go to cilvl war.

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  6. SPA should along with their friend, US & India should tell the maoist to shut up and behave or the SPA should go alone and forget about the maoists.
    The people will take care of the maoists, like the forum did it in Terai and the Janjatis will take care of them in the hills.

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  7. It is all too clear that SPAM don’t want to hold elections. The Maoists should know by now that they are not going to win any majority and CA will not opt for a republic. Having an eletions will surely mean a great deal of humiliation for the Maoists. As for the SPA they too are scared since people are so fed up with their incompetancy.

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  8. Hi Bhudai, when we talked about the SPA being the lesser of the evil -months ago- we never realised how incompetent and gutless they would be, did we? These so called leaders never fail to surprise!

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  9. Now I think they are but spaM.
    Not farsighted at all.
    Driven by foreing interest, particulary Indian.
    Sorry if I am wrong.
    NOne is good; neither the monarchy nor these parties.

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  10. Democratic political process in broadsense is inclusive (in theory). However, the staus quo or privilleged group of people or tribe in power can overrule and discriminate the marginalized group of people.

    Again there are chances that within marginalized people the leaderships or the representatives of the group can benefit the most discriminating others.

    How can we make this just is only throught the farsighted and unprejudices legislating process. Therefore, we need fresh new constitution through the CA elections. Our ruling elites and their status quo are contaminated with discriminations. The current government structures are corrupt.

    Therefore, we need Federal Governance Structures in whiich representatives of the poeple can administer the nation. But not the appointed government employees of status quo.

    The Federal Governance Structures and propotional electoral system are the demand of people of Nepal. Nepali People’s Rights Forum that represents – Madhesi, Janjati, Pahadi of all walks of like demands Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

    There is no need to throw indefinite strikes and bandhas for these demands of people of Nepal. It is time for us all to have constructive dialogues among all. The Interim Government must call for the national conference to discuss Federal Governance Structures for new Democratic Nepal.

    First – Immidiately form the Interim Government with the Maoists Representation.

    Second – Have the House of Representatives declare Nepal ‘Federal Democratic Repulic of Nepal’

    Third – Declare the dates for the CA elections

    Forth – Call the National Conference on Federal Governance Structures for all Nepali people’s participations.

    Nepali People’s Rights Forum requests all concern elites, experts, political leaderships, members of civil society of Nepal, leaderships of ethnic organizations, Women’s organizations and enthusiastic people of Nepal and political party cadres TO STUDY THE FEDERAL GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES OF SWITZERLAND to get just idea how we can form Federal Governance Structures of our new Nepal.

    Glory to the people of Nepal and their civil liberty and civil rights.

    Down to the breakaway regressive forces, tribalists, primitive traditionalists and feudal oligarchic staus quo.

    Glory to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

    Long live Nepal, Nepali People and People’s Democracy

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  11. This whole thing is getting messier by the day. Looks like monarchy is sure to bounce back (if KG resists the urge to act stupid), Maoists are getting more desperate by the day, SPA is dudh bhat – incompetent and irrelevant, then of course theres the Janjatis, Madhesis, Dalits etc etc.

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  12. Sheep Nepalese should accept this that their Bahunism and Newarism has ended. You started the hate towards Madhesis. We demand a new Nation: Madhesh.
    Maoists thought they could use the Madheshis; they made the worst decision. Pahades are scared of Maoists and joining them in govt. Madheshis scare the Maosist. No wonder, Prachanda Bhaiya is scared that he needs protection from Madheshis. he is aware, he can be chopped off anytime. History repeats itself. how can madhesis accept a terrorist talking about Democracy?

    if nepal has to be a better place, these terrorists need to be gunned down ASAP. There is no need to feed the terrorists. They deserve hell.

    If nepal has to be ruled by terrorists, I say FkkUK Nepal

    Jai Madhesh

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  13. One can only be reminded of Chamberlin and the Appeasement of Hitler before the World War II, when one thinks of the current situation of Nepal. The SPA is hell bent on appeasing the Maoists as oppossed to making the Maoists abide by the Peace Agreement.

    Appeasement at all cost only gives rise to an authoritarian regime. It gives them the time needed to organize. The Rule of Law has vanished. Loktantra does not mean anarchy. Yes, we all have equal rights but also have duties as citizens, ie, to follow the law which leads to a law & order.

    Either way, creating an environment of lawlessness could be one of the Maoists strategy to capture power. The people will want security & stability so they will acquiese to any authoratarian regime that will grant them peace & stability. In our case, a frail PM & a weak SPA fosters a right recipe for a tsunami to roll in form of an authoritarian regime. People primarily want stability then only freedom & democracy.

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  14. Great article! You have pointed out exact situation of the country. Actually, Maoists had already started politics of power and immensly voilated national and international human rights laws. Obviously, the top leaders Prachand and Baburam including others are accountable and responsible for those violations and murders of thousands innocent Nepali people, who have been still suffering. No one is there to listen the voices of those sufferers, the Government is dumped by the Maoists. At this context, there won’t be surprise if other party or group emerge to play the politics of power with guns. Therefore, the Moists leaders must be punished according to the international and national human tarian rules and regulations as in other countries. Principally, there is no any different among Saddam, Hitlar, Prachanda, Baburam, Polpot, Gyanendra, etc. because they all are responsible for the sever crimes against humanity. So, till these leaders are punished, peaceful Nepal can not be imagined. I urged all Nepalese, and interantional communities to raise this voice and punish all those greedy and human rights violators. Nepalese people should never fogive the Moist leader. They never fulfill the dream of Nepalese people. Moreovere, talking about the other democratic parties, the leaders of those parties are also greedy and hunger for the power only. To achieve power they are ready to do anything , because they don’t have any commitment for freedom, democracy and human rights. They only do what benefits them personally, there mentality is not different than Prachanda, Gyanendra, Baburam, etc. they all are currupt and cheaters. Thanks for your writting. I hope one day our mother land will give us a true and honest leader. Godbless Nepal and Nepalese People.

    Ankur
    USA

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  15. Gyanendra, the criminal against humanity?????????????????? alright i understand that a lot of people did not like Gyanendra… for many reasons.Palace massacre, coup,………. That is understandable.

    But give me 1 reason why is he criminal against humanity. 20 people dead in the violent mob uprising would not be a very good reason to hold somebody responsible against humanity.

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  16. Finally a good analyis of ground realities – away from abstract political, social and ethnic slandering as normally conducted by opportunist thugs to garb their failed leaderhip of socio-economic-political state of the country.

    The problem, one among many is a continual demoralization of security appartus of the country. The tradition initiated by homicidal Maoists continues today as even an eight-year old threatens a police officer for ‘violating his rights’. It is NOT the people who undermine the necessity of security, law and order. Rather, it is the SPAM, the (un)civil society and select opportunists who blow with the prevailing political racket that have brought the country to its present state.

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  17. Guys and Girls:

    You have got to read this by another baje… sano baje. It is fantastic.

    Enjoy.

    ———-

    > “So who (what) exactly are the Bahunists? Well, those who believe in
    > Maoism are Maoists; those who believe in the Royal tradition are
    > Royalists. Similarly, those who believe in the “Bahun-baad” tradition,
    > are the Bahunists….”
    >
    > “It is important to note that not all Brahmins are Bahunists. Just
    > like not all Chhetris are Royalists and not all Janajatis are Maoists.
    > This being said, all Bahunists (like other minority extremists), are
    > bad news. Just like the hard-core Royalists give the Chhetris a bad
    > name, the hard-core Bahunists give the Brahmins a bad name….”
    >
    > “When Bahunists have arguments with other Bahunists, all hell breaks
    > loose – look at what happened when the Bahunists in the Nepali
    > Congress and the Bahunists in the Maoists disagreed – the whole
    > country suffered for 12 years!! This is one of many reasons why
    > Bahunists are bad for Nepal, just like their extremist friends from
    > other camps….”
    >
    > “When Bahunists face a threat to their powerbase, they come up with
    > conspiracies. And not just small conspiracies, but elaborate theories
    > that span many years and multiple dimensions. To the Bahunists, any
    > threat to their undemocratic, exclusive, power-base is explained by a
    > sophisticated conspiracy…”
    >
    > “Slowly but surely, the games, the politics, the conspiracies and the
    > machinations that underpin the “Bahun-baad” philosophy and elevate the
    > Bahunists in Nepal, will come to an abrupt end. The days of the
    > Bahunist democracy and Bahunist candidates representing regions that
    > are home to other ethnic groups, are numbered. Just wait till the
    > Constituent Assembly elections roll around…”
    >
    > FULL TEXT LOCATED AT THE FOLLOWING URL

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  18. “Maoists enter district headquarter with sophisticated weapons”
    -nepalnews.com

    IT IS HIGH TIME WE ABOLISH ANY PEACE ACCORD WITH THE MAOISTS (NOT AS IF THEY ADHERED TO ANY) and release the NA on these Maoists! There is just no other way.

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  19. “Maoists enter district headquarter with sophisticated weapons”
    -nepalnews.com

    i dont know if i should LAUGH at the mentality of Nepalese people that has led to this situtation or CRY the my country is in this stage.

    Did the maoist not store “ALL” the weapon under the supervision of UN. Now, all of a sudden how come there are SMGs and AKs.

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  20. And KANTIPUR the leading paper of Nepal has not even posted that in their website.

    when Crooks rule the nation and Crooks are for journalists.

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  21. Baje & bajai et al (j/k..)

    You (quoting the blog article) state that all Bahunists are not Brahmins which may be true. I beg to differ. True meaning of a Brahmin is a learned person. Originally any learned person was a brahmin in the ancient times which degenerated after the Manu Smriti era into Varna system.

    Therefore, anyone who is learned is a brahmin. In today’s context, anyone (whether a dalit, sudra, janjati, madhesi) who is a learned person is brahmin.

    Bahunists are not brahmins. They are not learned, wise or educated. If they were, we would not be in this state. Bahunists are degenerates, patite bahuns who still have not given up that “dakshina mentality” (I perform some duties for the country, now the country owes me something offerings to me).

    It is wrong to imply bahuns are brahmins. Any rational, thinking person is a brahmin in the truest sense of the word. It is not only bahunists, bahuns or patite bahuns who are repsonsible for the the mayhem in the country, but, also the socio-religious system (Hindu-Varna system) that supports that concept in practise.

    It is time not only to chatise Bahunists, but, also reform that part of the socio-religious system that will prevent discrimination based upon birth caste. A true Nepali son & ancestor, Buddha has already shown us the path. Then, only we will be truelly free.

    Welcome to a true lok tantra.

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  22. Time to release the guards but get the Indians to close the borders. We need help and India had better help unlike in the past.

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  23. Actually, as an afterthought we should still give the maoists one last option – join the government, make sure all weapons (including the ones for so called security) are locked up, work towards CA elections and nothing else. If they still misbehave or act worse – break all agreeements, disband the government and call an emergency under the PM and follow through. I believe the PM has the authority for the head of state at the moment.

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  24. I totally agree with you birodhi,

    Todays bahuns are like

    “I perform some duties for the country, now the country owes me something offerings to me”

    Where as other are like

    “I perform no duties for the country, and still the country owes me something offerings to me”

    I totally agree with you birodhi. What an insight!

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  25. Bridohi,

    Truth be told, I copied and pasted an e-mail I received. Your technical distinction appears sound. But I do believe that the writer of that peice on Bahunists presents a credible and reasonable argument on a dimension of discrimination that has signifcance to the underlying social distortions in Nepal.

    The larger point that (I think) the writer is trying to make is that we cannot define our future without lending a critical eye to our past. There appears to be an element of exposing the truth; the articulation of an argument that does not get “air time” if you will.

    So, your insight on the definition of “brahmin” (as a learned person aside), I believe the substance of the Bahunist argument is on point.

    I did enjoy reading your post. Thank you.

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  26. I like the definition of a Brahmin being a learned, educated, wise person who can be a person from any ethnicity or caste… as opposed to the definition of Brahmin that is in currency these days.

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  27. Scoop!

    you are right, absolutely right at this point, Maoists are not political party actually they are terrorists. Still, their leaders and cadres have been terrifying Nepalese people in different ways, for examples,

    -recently MP Mr. Bista entered in Singha Durbar with Pistol, on top of that he thretened and challanged other PMs,
    -maoist’s security arrangement in Nepalgunj for Prachanda,
    -demonstration of arms in one of the District Head Quarter,
    -opposing and disturbing to other parties rally or programs,

    those are only few examples of Maoist’s atrocities. As Scoope has mentioned, all maoists leadersare supposed to be arrested and punished.
    And one more thing, if democratic parties still continue to support the atrocities of Maoists then their political ideologies and parties will be considered same as Maoists, and ultimately all Nepalese people must punish those democratic leaders too. We have seen that democratic leaders have been supporting Maoists for the sake of their own benefits not for the country and Nepalese people.

    Like

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