View from the other side. by Krishna Giri in Canberra
I do not want to craft any statement on the legitimacy of the declaration of the ‘Republic’. The country is now a ‘Republic’. Chief Justice Kedar Giri had no guts to discuss the legitimacy of this historic event and put aside the writ to prove that the country has no ‘rule of law’. The country is being ruled by Maoist bullying overshadowed by Indian and western interference. Nepal has become a strategic play ground to play ‘dirty politics’ for neighbours and westerners. There are few reasons:
1.We are between the two giants, largest democracy and largest People’s Republic
2.Either side are having record economic growth to shake the world
3.They are going to be one of the world ‘superpower’ in economy, labour and military
4.The US and EU will play any dirty tricks to shatter these countries and the region
5.Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, Nepal is a safe heaven for foreigners to play the filthy game
6.Either to suppress or to elevate the ‘Tibet’ issue, Nepal is the focal point
7.India and China have bitter experience of war and on top of that, they have their own domestic issues which can blow them apart and west knows that very well
8.Western interests have made a tangible foundation in Nepal; thanks to the political unrest and puppetries of leaders
The west may not have much interest on who becomes our first President but they have long road map to stick in Nepal for their own rationales. Even though the US can not influence its next neighbour down the coast from Miami, but we know how they are performing in the world stage. The US and its allies have prolonged their triumph in a range of places after WWII. Korean war, Vietnam war, Kosovo war, Indo-China war, Indo-Pak war, Iraq war are some muscle breakers where as Palestine, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia, fall of USSR and fall of Berlin wall are some fruitful results of their diplomacies. Where they eying now? Is it Great wall or Red Fort? Or both? Where do we end up if our national interests are guided and vested by foreign interests? The bunker style US Embassy is not there for enjoyment. Neither they can stop themselves from going to war nor can they stop themselves from destroying other nations (diplomacy).
Sadly, they play all games through our own leaders. Our leaders are too busy to make a history by becoming the first X, Y and Z. They want to be written in history not because of their work but because of their role number. Two months are gone but still we don’t have any names or consensus to announce the first President. As long as the King was there, things were easy. Blame everything to the King and the Army. Do people still think these comrades are the ‘blessing in disguise’? I doubt it. Looking at their roles and diversion they playing for last two years, there is not much left to hide. I am not just talking about Maoists. I am talking about the all leaders who just play the blame game. Chasing that dethroned King will not always give justification and recognition. Leaders can guide their cadres to destroy the statues and properties of the ex-royals but history has proved that the Kings had played crucial roles not just to unite this country but keeping it united in difficult times, and hence the last King deserved a respectful exit from the Palace.
To be frank and fair, Nepal’s monarchy was dumped by consensus. Monarchy was dumped even before setting provisions for the to-be new head of state. They want to spread the new style of charismatic leadership in 21st Century from this Himalayan nation but unfortunately they have demonstrated to the world that they are just a bunch of amateur politicians. ‘Consensus’ has become the most powerful word in Nepali politics. SPAM’s consensus is the constitution, peoples mandate, government, judiciary and every thing else. And it looks like these ‘consensuses’ will govern new Nepal for years to come and 28million people will be watching. Let us not forget how we got here. No one can erase the last 10 years of ‘people’s war’ and its consequences from Nepal’s history book. The destruction, atrocities, anarchy and the lives lost. Let the next generation make their judgements about that ‘dark decade’ in Nepal’s history.
Based on the enormous ethnic diversity in Nepal, the first ‘President’ of new Nepal should be nominated from the Indigenous communities. There are 59 identified Indigenous communities in Nepal. To admire their communal status and the pain caused in the past, one of the Indigenous leader who has contributed his/her acceptable life to fight for inclusive democracy and rights of Indigenous people should be honoured as the first President of new Nepal. I am opposed to the proposal of ‘neutral person’ or ‘non political person’ as the first president. Marathon speeches on Indigenous people, their rights and their recognition would not give any answers. Time has come to act and appoint an Indigenous President. Doing so will not only give the country a chance to honour Indigenous people but also stops these cold blooded leaders to fight for the position.
I don’t want to take out the topic of ‘chhetri and brahmin dominance’ in Nepali politics again but if this dominance is not to come to an end, this will not give smooth transition to this new Nepal. We have recently seen the rise of ethnic based parties in Terai. These are not good signs if we want to see a sovereign united Nepal. If we do not respect them on time, no one can rule out the eruption of disintegration alliance when small groups are already waging armed separatist movements. Further more, to answer to these sentiments, we must convey a message as a nation, not as party. All citizens should be able to call this nation their home and be proud of that. To grow these attitudes in peoples’ mind, we have to include people from Indigenous communities not only in the candidates list but also in the high profile portfolios. To esteem the principles of inclusive democracy and create a profound history, there is no auspicious occasion than this to declare an Indigenous leader as the first President of Nepal.
The writer is a student of International Relations, MA, in Canberra, Australia.