Political Polarization in Nepal: Final War against Monarchy

Election Is The Battleground. Pro-republic forces are making their stands clear while pro-monarchy forces are also in the process of consolidating their strength.

By Dinesh Wagle

As Nepal is heading towards key nationwide polls to elect an assembly that will, on its first meeting, decide the fate of monarchy, formulate new constitution, and decide on new governing structure of the country, an all out war and polarization has started against progressive democratic republic forces and those who want to stick with the past by joining their neck with monarchy. I agree with the moderate Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist and Leninist-CPN UML) General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal to conclude that remarks made by former Prime Minister and founding member of Nepali Congress party yesterday (and today) that NC should stick to constitutional monarchy or monarchy should favor democracy are utterly irrelevant in today’s scenario. Remarks of Bhattarai come days after NC, the party of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala who is leading a multi-party cabinet, decided to go with the agenda of republic in the polls in November. Bhattarai cites the policy of national reconciliation introduced some decade ago by godfather of NC and first elected prime minister of Nepal late BP Koirala. BP Koirala, whose birth anniversary was marked by Congress workers today, had returned from exile to Nepal in 1976 saying that it was time for NC to join hands to the king to for the national interest. Time has gone through a sea change and Bhattarai is the perfect example of those who haven’t updated themselves with the happenings of the past several years. To say that Nepali Congress should stick to the working-together-with-king policy now is same as saying that I want to I want to ride Bikram Tempo in Kathmandu (which are no more in the city) or want to travel in Tokyo trains run by steam engine. Monarchy is a snake and to talk about constitutional monarchy in today’s scenario is to provide milk to the snake.

And guess what was the most disgusting scene in Kathmandu today? A man in his eighties who is unable to walk on his own and can’t even wipe out saliva running all over his lips went today in wheel chair to see a 40 something brat who has been hospitalized for his failure to maintain health because of excessive use of God knows what in daily diets. Yes, that was same old Krishna Prasad Bhattarai visiting Paras, son of suspended king Gyanendra, in Norvic hospital today. It was okay for me to learn that Tulsi Giri, another oldie in his eighties and the infamous vice Chairman in the royal cabinet formed after the 2005 royal coup, went to see Paras in the hospital. KP Bhattarai bowing in front of the pampered young man, who has a record to killing people in hit and run case and firing indiscriminately in the discotheques, really made me astonished. Some old people completely turn insane as they get older and Bhattarai just proved that he has lost sanity. Today I have decided that I will think twice before attending his funeral procession. I am that much disturbed by the old man’s odyssey to the Norvic hospital today. As one reader brilliantly pointed out yesterday in this post, Bhattarai has almost come out of grave with a sinful and utterly unethical purpose of trying to save monarchy’s ass in Nepal.

A female counterpart to insane Bhattarai on this regard is Prime Minister Koirala’s daughter Sujata who has been defending monarchy shamelessly in the past few days. Kathmandu tabloids have reported that she was lately sponsored by the palace to argue on behalf of pro-monarchy agenda in Nepali Congress party and I can’t say for sure if those reports are entirely incorrect. Sujata is the kind of person who can very well sell her own father for the shake of money. She is the one responsible for the failures of Koirala as the Prime Minister in the past decade because Sujata exploited and misused his name to loot the country. She is the one who pushed the state carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation to the state of bankruptcy.

As I said earlier, an all out war has begun. Pro-republic forces are making their stands clear while pro-monarchy forces are also in the process of consolidating their strength. Take an example of Pashupati Shumser Rana, another fool who forgetting that once his forefathers controlled the Shah kings as pawns is trying to lick the shoes of the same Shah kings by advocating constitutional monarchy. He is talking about unifying his party with the breakaway faction of Surya Bahadur Thapa, another pro-monarchy man. Many other smaller-than-a-local-club parties with pro-monarchy agenda are also forming alliance in the hope of winning a few dozen seats in the Constituent Assembly. So there is a clear polarization taking place in Nepali politics currently.

Palace will definitely play its hands and Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula appears to have the right judgment on the possible steps by the fedual institution. Addressing a two-day orientation programme on security for the upcoming Constitution Assembly elections in Birgunj today Sitaula said that the political parties had no other choice than to unite to counter the royal palaces’ old strategy of divide and rule. Stating that the elected Constituent Assembly was the overarching goal of the April uprising the Home Minister also that the Constituent Assembly was essential to enter a new era and the process was necessary for the betterment of the Nepali people and not for any particular party and leaders.

That’s right but one of the biggest threats to the CA election is unjustifiable 22-point demands put forward by the Maoist party. NC leader and Peace and Reconstruction minister Ram Chandra Poudel today rightly said that to run away from the election is to run away from the opportunity to make Nepal a republic. By putting the CA elections in uncertain, Poudel argued, Maoists are putting the republic agenda in uncertainty.

I rarely agree with Nepali Congress leader Shusil Koirala but today I find him convincing when he said in Pokhara that 22-point demands of the Maoists are their way of bargaining things. “They will not quit the government [as Prachanda has threatened to do by September 16 if their demands are not met],” said Shusil Koirala, the bearded backbencher in the parliament and Vice President of NC who is infamous of holding kothe baithaks (closed door meetings) to conspire against colleagues of the party. Shusil was speaking in the general assembly of pro-Nepali Congress journalists’ group Nepal Press Union in Pokhara today.

I don’t even want to think about yet another deferral of the election. I think, perhaps I want to think like that, that Maoists are using their 22-point demands for the publicity purpose and to create slogans in the election campaign so that they could face people. The scenario is such that even Nepali Congress, a party traditionally considered as centrist and “bourgeois” by the communists, has the slogan of establishing republic Nepal and in such scenario Maoists definitely need slogans that sound more revolutionary and more unrealistic.

So let me repeat again, Nepal is going through a polarization which was expected and the progressive forces with republic agenda are destined to win in this battle. And the best case scenario is: all of that will happen by means of election, by means of democracy and without violence and killing.

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58 thoughts on “Political Polarization in Nepal: Final War against Monarchy”

  1. Parase discharged from hospital and Teacher Turned Terrorist “chhabilal Baje” under medical supervision.

    Bad karma brings bad fate.

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  2. Baje – I agree Moaists leaders themselves brought about their downfall. I would rather they disappeared from the face of earth than remain in their current form. But in reality, they can still cause a lot of harm including obstructing elections. We cant let them do that. So the best strategy would be to coax them along.

    Bottomline – my argument is based on the need for 3 things – 1. success of CA elections, 2. subduing Maoists without pushing them to the brink so they accept a subdued yet formidable role within mainstream democracy, 3. need for a strong leftist force who can push marginalized interests (and its in Maoists interest to lead that).

    I know its tempting to write off comrades for good, but they will realise (and have been realising) that total communist Nepal is impossible, nobody wants that. But in a subdued yet powerful role, they can help shape Nepal’s political agenda and usher in a more inclusive culture.

    There are 2 things you and I wouldnt want – 1. one elite tyranny replacing another (you know who I’m referring to), 2. distressed comrades running around like wild animals and causing havoc.

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  3. But in reality, they can still cause a lot of harm including obstructing elections. We cant let them do that. So the best strategy would be to coax them along.

    I’m sorry, but let’s get real: the monarchy is a backwards and feudal institution that should be embarassing to any person from Nepal. You have a corrupt and gross king who may or may not have murdered his own family to gain power.

    Add to that the corruption and waste of the so-called “7-party Alliance” who are united about nothing except maintaining their own position for graft.

    The Maoists alone have fought and died for years to bring a constituent assembly, and now you are honestly discussing how to “coax them along”??!?

    THEY ARE THE ONES WHO MADE THIS POSSIBLE.

    Without the Maoists and their civil war, nothing would have changed. The monarchy would still be in control, or some form of alliance between them and corrupt parliamentary parties who think power is how you divide up the graft.

    The Maoists deserve not just our admiration and respect, but to govern this country.

    They will win the elections, the monarchy will be no more – and the army will be brought under the democratic control of the people. Without Maoist victory, how can progress be made against under-development, feudalism, the poor condition of women or Indian hegemonism? When I see others quoting the USA ambassador, I am sad for you because you do not seem to know what America is doing in the world. I am there now, and they have no respect for the people of the world. Not the American people, but their government. They are not our friends.

    It is the monarchists, and some Katmandu richies who will sell the country away for their own riches. The Maoists alone are patriotic and worldly. The Maoists alone must govern.

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  4. am I missing something? –

    Your problem is your rigid dogmatic views that make you no different from die hard royalist or die hard rightist congressi. I agree Maoists can be credited with a lot of change and awareness this country faces today, but moving forward your unbridled faith in Maoist or any other single entity for that matter doesnt help.

    Come out of your cocoon and face reality. Thats the only way to go forward.

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  5. Am I missing something:

    Those are some interesting points. But they are so elequently worded in English and so blind to the current reality here that I must suspect you are simply an RCP supporter and not actually Nepali disporia. Sorry if that comes off a little harsh.

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  6. missing:

    Yes, the CHANGE , the killing spree, abductions, impunity,bombings,regional and ethnic violence,disruption of every newspaper, the strikes in almost every work place, the ethnic hatred, the lawlessness, the extortion,the political chaos,the public agony…….. It is a CHANGE and they must be admired, for that,huh, of course when you are on gun point !!

    While I don’t have any love for the king, but the sacrifice of 14000 people would be in vain if Maoists would not be wiped out from Nepali politics. It would be a big unjustice for people who believe in peaceful transition if maoist even get more than 10 % of seats. And they are fully aware of the fact so they are trying their heart out to postpone if not cancel the CA polls,it’s an irony though that was their premier demand when they opt for violence in 1996. They should and I believe they would pay a high price for utter disrespect for public opinion. When everybody gears up for the elections, being part of the government they are determined to foil it, if you are so eager to dig your own graveyard in your early days, people would just be ready to attend their cremation!!

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  7. Since the monarchy was ended, the war and the tortures and the jailings have ended, The king and his minnions slaughtered and tortured and jailed 10s of thousands. The only need for Nepal is peace and democracy, Which means continuation of a situation of no monarchy. The end of King Gyne, is the end of a threat of war, which we all have to remember is what he wanted.

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