हामी लघूमानव हौं।
हामी आफूखुशी कहिल्यै मिल्न नसक्ने
हामी आफुखुशी कहिल्यै छुट्टिन नसक्ने
कसैले छुट्टायाई दिनुपर्ने,
हामी आफू खुसी कहिल्यै अगाडि बढ्न नसक्ने
कसैले पछाडिबाट हिर्काउनुपर्ने, हिँडाउनुपर्ने
हामी रङ्ग-रोगन छुटेका,
पुरानो क्यारमबोर्डका गोटि हौं
एउटा मानोरञ्जक खेलका सामाग्री,
एउटा खेलाडीमाथि आश्रित,
आफ्नो गति हराएका
एउटा ‘स्ट्राइकर’ द्वारा सञ्चालित
हो, हामी मानिस कम र बढ्ता गोटी हौं।
[Click on the photo above to read the complete poem by Bhupi Sherchan]
You will be forgiven if you thought Bhupi Sherchan penned those lines this evening after watching Shyam Saran land in Kathmandu today afternoon as Indian Prime Minister’s special envoy to Nepal to tell the quarreling political parties how to ditch differences among them and form a government. As Bhupi says: We (the Nepalis) are nothing but subhumans, we can’t voluntarily live in harmony, somebody has to come and reconcile us with each other.. we are more carrom-men than humans that are operated by a striker.”
“Prime Minister of India has sent me here as an envoy so that I can, along with excellency ambassador [Rakesh Sood], have extensive round of meetings with all the political leaders in the country to see whether or not there is someway in which we can try build consensus so that a constitution in Nepal is formulated as quickly as possible. We have great interest, as neighboring country in the political stability of Nepal, and in the economic prosperity of Nepal, and as a friendly neighbor we will try and make all the efforts possible.”
-Shyam Saran, speaking to journalists at Tribhuvan Inernational Airport, Kathmandu today.
New Delhi: India has send a senior envoy to Nepal to help resolve a political crisis that has left the Himalayan nation without a prime minister for five weeks. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran has reached Kathmandu to aid talks between rival parties who have repeatedly failed to elect a new prime minister in the latest chapter of a long power struggle. “Nepal’s political situation is in limbo, and India wants to help them set up a stable government,” an Indian foreign ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
India has send Saran, as special envoy, with a mandate to engage all political parties, including the Maoists, and help build a consensus on the formation of a government that can take the peace process and the task of Constitution writing to a conclusion by next year’s new deadline, the Hindu reported.
Saran was India’s ambassador to Nepal from 2002 until 2004. For two years until September 2006, he was India’s foreign secretary. After that, he was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special envoy on nuclear issues and later on climate change. In 2005, in his capacity as Indian foreign secretary, Saran played a key role within the Indian establishment in backing the 12-point understanding between the Maoist rebels and an alliance of political parties including the Nepali Congress and the CPN UML. Based on that agreement the Maoists and seven political parties fought against the king for the restoration of democracy in 2006. The alliance between the Maoists and other political parties came under strain before — and especially after — the 2008 elections to the Constituent Assembly in which the former rebels led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ emerged as the single largest party.
Saran’s current visit to Nepal is significant because Nepal’s two-dozen political parties in the 601-member national parliament have failed to decide who should be the new prime minister, WSJ blog observed (The tile of the entry: India’s New Mr. Fixit for Nepal).
The current care-taker prime minister, Madhav Kumar Nepal, officially resigned June 30 to make way for a national consensus government. But the three largest political parties- Nepali Congress, CPN UML and UCPN Maoist- couldn’t reach a consensus and three elections in the parliament in the last two weeks to elect a new prime minister have yielded no clear result. The last vote was on Monday and the next vote is scheduled for Friday. Given the murky math of politics in Kathmandu, no outcome is likely then, either.
From WSJ blog: India always has had stakes in Nepal’s politics. The two countries share an open border and have a pretty similar cultural, social, linguistic and philosophical profile. Yet, many Nepalis see India’s involvement in their polity as so overbearing, and the size mismatch between the countries as too stark, that it is stifling Nepal’s ability to mature and develop on its own.
Most in Nepal’s political and intellectual circles construe Nepali nationalism as distinct from India’s because, unlike India, Nepal never gave in to British colonialism. But Nepal’s political leaders have so far lacked the independent thinking and ingenuity to govern the country. And the dependence on India remains in one key respect: A land-locked country, Nepal needs to use Indian ports and roads for its imports and exports.
Simply because Mr. Saran is Indian shouldn’t doom his efforts from the get-go. If he can craft a compromise that installs a responsible Nepali government, and then complies with Delhi’s insistence that it wants Nepal’s democratically-elected government to handle its own affairs, he will have served the Nepali people well.
He’s already giving the skeptics ammunition, though. A spokesman for Nepal’s foreign ministry said the ministry didn’t have any official intimation about Mr. Saran’s visit. “If he was coming on an official visit as special envoy to Nepal, we would have been informed,” Harish Chandra Ghimire, a spokesman for the ministry said. “He must be on his private visit.”
Apoorva Srivastava, spokeswoman for the Indian embassy in Kathmandu said Mr. Saran’s visit was “official.”
K V Rajan, ex-Indian ambassador to Nepal said in Delhi: I think like other countries India is also very anxious to see the constitution and peace process move forward and, from that point of view, obviously there’s so much delay in forming a government. [Saran’s visit] is an effort to check first hand and gather information on the basis of high level official interactions. The idea is not to get involved [in Nepali affairs] but to get a clearer picture and see if there is any way India can help in creating a right environment where progress can be made on peace process and constitution writing.
It is an effort to contribute to a consensus, reduce trust deficit between various parties in Nepal. There has been some issues between Maoists and India but deep down there’s trust deficit between the parties themselves. And the Maoists have also realized India is not trying to have its own agenda or interfere in Nepal. What India wants is peace more than anything else.
This visit will give a better understanding for India as to what the real differences between various political are. Solution has to be found in Nepal by the Nepali players, weather India can contribute in clearing the air remains to be seen. But this impasse is not helping.
India is there as an honest broker, friend of Nepal.
Indian ex-Major General Ashok Mehta who has written a book on Nepali army and follows Nepali affairs closely said: India has to get involved in the Nepali peace process because India is a direct, immediate stakeholder and most directly affected being a neighbor. They have chosen the right man (Saran) but the thing is till we reach out to the Maoist, nothing substantial come out. I hope this effort is not simply to form a government but a government that will be able to get on with the job of constitution writing and integration of PLA.
If the purpose is to form a majority government without Maoists, it won’t succeed.
This is an opportunity for India to break the ice with the Maoist. Saran should reduce the trust deficit between Maoists and India. Government of India must take this seriously.
Until now Indian was talking to Maoists through intelligence agencies. That was wrong and wasn’t working. India should have reached out to Maoist at the political level which they have the opportunity to do now.
Related blogs on Shyam Saran and Nepal: