The Editorial of The Kantipur National Daily as published on Feb 19,2008 ( Falgun 7,2064 B.S). Can be assessed in Nepali here
Today, Nepal celebrates its fifty-eighth Democracy Day. The Nepalese, ironically show no trace of happiness or enthusiasm for the occasion. And it is not because the people are against the democratic system. Rather the lack of concern and thoughtful action on the part of the democratic government is what has caused the most pain. The government itself has defamed democracy disrespecting The People’s Movement in 2062/63 B.S.
The Nepalese have been protesting for democracy before 2007 B.S (1950). But the people’s expectation of a dependable democratic (Loktantrik) ruling system could never be fulfilled. The Democratic Government celebrates fifty-eighth Democracy Day today. It suggests fifty-years of the establishment of democracy. The government, thereby, has included thirty years of Panchayati Rule and the rule by kings in between according to their whims and fancies as a continuation of democratic ruling system as well.
The fifty-eight years of continuous democracy thus has been worthwhile in a sense. The current government has accepted the malfunctions of the previous government as its inseparable achievements. Doing so, it has not been able to make the people realize the existence and establishment of a modern state. At a time when one should be discussing the achievement of democracy we are sad to be stating the failures of the government. Patiently, we (Nepalese) expected betterment in the situation in the years after the People’s Movement. In all these years absence of democratic spirit and behavior in the ruling government, democratization of political parties and the indifference towards the day to day problems faced by the public have remained the biggest obstacles.
A democratic ruling system can be strengthened only when its people feel protected. So far, the state has been unable to fulfill its primary responsibility of ensuring security to its citizens. The country has been pushed to a situation where in anyone take hold of the laws and create instability. This has struck a blow at the mass belief in the institution of democracy itself. On the other hand, life of the people at large has been crippled due to unmanaged supply system of basic goods. An overall lack of necessary homework, readiness, formulation of policies and their implementation is seen in the delivery of basic goods and services. Unless the state works out a policy for the supply of goods it cannot gain public support. It will only fuel anger.
A bus heading to its destination in Purano Bus Park, Kathmandu. As the Terai banda continues Kathmandu experiences acute shortage of fuel. The number of vehicles on the road has reduced to a minimum and most buses transport commuters in numbers beyond their carrying capacity like this one.
Democracy Day can be worthwhile only when there is a government of mass consensus to start with. Unelected representatives rule the government currently. The democratic spirit and conduct of their political parties and organizations are under questionable themselves. The parties are proving themselves weak through their incapability to respect the People’s Movement. The protesting Madhesi parties haven’t been mainstreamed to create an environment for the elections. The operators of the democratic (Loktantrik) government haven’t been able to attract and stir up people for the constituent assembly polls. In the absence of political and other administration capacities the Seven Party Alliance government is only getting weaker by the moment. Given the situation it is but natural that Democracy Day has been unable to hold any meaning.
The successes of a democratic government can alone pay homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their life fighting against the Rana regime.
Translated by DK