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Be Careful

Issue jUly 2018

Be Careful

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Breaking up the rules and laws and staging a protest rally at the prohibited area would not bring the positive results rather the NC leaders might be directly helping the Oli government to have excuses for not being able to keep any election promises whether they are providing the senior citizens with the double the current allowances or doubling the per capita income or making the waterways or railroads or so many other things Prime Minister Oli boasted and wants to boast. The opposition particularly NC if it really were to have the chance to win the next general elections, it had to follow up the election pledges the ruling party had made. However, the NC cadres not knowing the tricks of the current President of NC Sher Bahadur Deuba have been going after the government protesting at the Mandala where the government had decided to prohibit the protest rally effective on July 16, 2018 (Sraon 1). In doing so, President Deuba has successfully diverted the attention of the cadres and NC leaders from his failure of performing in the last general elections and from not keeping the tradition of democratic norms and values in running the party. However, the political strategy Deuba has been following not the strategy any matured and hardened political leaders would follow.


President of NC Deuba was supposed to immediately turn over the party administration to others following the devastating failure in the elections to the House of Representatives and National Assembly held in 2017. However, he did not quit the office rather stuck to his position despite the shameful loss in the general elections, and he broke up the tradition his mentor Girija Prasad Koirala had set in the past to immediately quit the office in case of failure of performing the duty.


After the defeat of NC in the general elections in 1994, the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala resigned not only from the position of the prime minister but also from the presidency of the party and turned over the presidency of the party to the new generation leader that leader happened to be none other than Sher Bahadur Deuba. The second time Prime Minister Koirala quit the office was when he could not save so many lives of the royalties in the palace massacre on June 1, 2001, and turned over the office of prime minister to Deuba for the second time. The same man called Deuba broke up the democratic norms and values and did not vacate the party presidency after the devastating loss in the general elections held in 2017. That was a great shame on the party president and on the NC, too that claimed to be the democratic but ruled by the undemocratic process.


President of NC Deuba did not take any responsibility for the election defeat in 2017 rather he blamed some other leaders that had not cooperated in keeping the election alliance with the then CPN-Maoist-Center particularly in the Chitwan election constituency where Deuba said that some NC leaders had made it an political issue pushing the Maoists to the then CPN-UML. Deuba also blamed some other leaders for betraying the official party candidates in the general elections. So, he was not to be blamed for the defeat of the NC in the general elections. However, Deuba forgot to say that he was held accountable to all those things happened and he needed to quit the party presidency immediately after the announcement of the election results.


In order to divert the attention of the party leaders and cadres from the undemocratic activities of Deuba, he sent his cadres to break up the rules and regulations and to stage the protest rally at the Mandala in Kathmandu. However, the prohibition decision has not been effective at that time. What does it mean for any democratic minded people to break up the rules and regulations, Deuba needed to know. However, Deuba has no democratic mind. He wanted to oppose the current government in whatever manner he could at least to divert the attention focused on him to the government if possible to bring it down.


Again Deuba has failed to understand that the current government is standing on an almost two-thirds majority and it would be the dream of Deuba to tear it down before the next elections. So, if Deuba were to send his cadres to break up the laws and rules and regulations then voters would judge that the NC did not honor the democratic norms and values and at the same time, the current government would have many excuses for not keeping the election pledges, and it would point its finger at the opposition for any failure in the development or in other matters of governance.


So, what next the NC needs to do?


The first thing the NC leaders need to do is to follow the democratic values and norms means not to break up any laws, follow the rule of law, and respect the rights of others, and keep the watch on the government to see whether the government strictly follows the rule of law or not rather than charging the government with being totalitarian when the government simply set the special areas for the protest rally. The government has not taken away the right from the people to protest but gave it to the opposition or anybody for that matters to make it at the right places rather than blocking the traffic at the center of the city or blocking the highways keeping passengers stranded or blocking the businesses of other people.


Every elected government is held accountable to protect the lives and property of people and safeguard the fundamental rights of the people to go to work, and earn livelihood and live well without disturbing others and encroaching on the rights of other people. So, the government has correctly set the specific areas to protest so that the protestors would not stop the traffic or caused the traffic jam encroaching on the rights of others to travel without any troubles. How could some NC leaders say that setting the specific areas for the protest rally is the totalitarian move? Are the NC leaders for anarchy means let the people do whatever they like without respecting the rules and regulations and encroaching on the rights of others causing the tremendous troubles to the common folks? If the NC leaders were for such things they would surely lose the next elections, too. This is the second thing the NC leaders need to keep in mind.


The third thing the NC leaders need to understand and keep in mind that breaking up the laws and rules and regulations and challenging the government need to be done when the folks have no other alternative means when the State did not allow the people to protest, not allow to speak out, and write to express their sincere opinions and grievances as during the monarchical rules when the people were suppressed using the State mechanism at maximum. At that time, every logical person supported the political leaders breaking up the laws and demanding the fundamental rights of the people.


Today, the people’s constitution ensures the people’s fundamental rights, the government is elected, and is held accountable to the promises made during the election campaign, the courts are there to sue the government, prime minister, minister or president because none of them are above the law for any breach of rule of law, and the media is there to report everything correctly and properly.


What the NC leaders want breaking up the laws and rules and regulations, and demanding to have the rights to protest blocking the traffic? If they were really to go back to the monarchical regime and use the political tactic of that time and make the common folks suffer, probably, nobody would forgive such leaders and their political parties and they would suffer a heavy loss in the next elections, too in order words they are directly assisting the current government and the leaders of the governing party to have landslide victory in the next elections even though they could not keep the election promises.


So, the NC leaders need to put the party back in the functioning democratic path. It has strayed far away from democracy and its president has been dictatorial or totalitarian whatever words anybody would like to use because the party president has not followed even the party constitution. How could such a party function properly in the interest of the party cadres and the common folks? Such leaders would not work in the interest of the party causing a tremendous loss to the party and party leaders and cadres. So, most of the party leaders and cadres have to fight against the totalitarian prevailing in the party rather than calling any government decisions as totalitarian without proofs or evidences.


If the NC leaders and their political cadres really want to make any success in the next general elections, they have to take the elections manifesto of the ruling political party, and tell the government they want to help the government to meet the election pledges of the ruling party, and the opposition NC wants the government meet the election pledges and the lives of the common folks improve drastically as stated in the manifesto. Surely, the election manifesto has many things the government could not meet, focus on them, and apply every time and energy on them to prove that the ruling party is a failure in keeping the election pledges, and then use them in the next election campaign, and get the benefits of the failure of the ruling party. That would be the most tactical or strategic political thing for the NC leaders to do for getting the success in the next election. Every politician knows that everything s/he does is in keeping the next election in her/his mind whether it is in Nepal, India or America it does not matter but it matters to keep the election in mind for the politicians.


The ruling party has promised that the per capita income of Nepalis would be doubled or even $ 5,000 in five years. Why don’t the NC leaders vigorously follow up what the current government is doing for achieving this almost impossible target? Youth leaders Gagan Thapa had once spoken in the parliament holding the manifesto of the ruling party but none of the NC leaders had done so since then.


The ruling party has promised to increase the allowances to the senior citizens to NPR 5,000 per month in the election manifesto but the current government has skipped it in the budget for the fiscal year 2018. Recently, the government has said that it would increase the allowances to the senior citizens in the next budget or so. Why don’t the NC leaders or cadres speak out against the government not increasing the allowances to the senior citizens, and take the advantage of the ruling party breaking up its election commitment?


Replying to the question of the lawmakers in the House of Representatives why the budget did not included the allowances to the persons chronically sick with diseases such as cancer, heart and kidney the Deuba government had decided to give, Finance Minister Dr Yiubraj Khatiwada said that the record did not show that the government had really made such decisions in other words the Deuba government had not recorded them for making the future government to follow up.


The Oli government has decided to rescind all the political appointees the Deuba government had made after the Election Commission had issued the election code of conduct for the election to the National Assembly in 2017, the news in “gorkhapatra” stated on July 5, 2018. The government wanted to prove that the Deuba government had violated the election code of conduct and the political appointments the Deuba government made was invalid.


NC leaders have apparently no minds of speaking out for the benefits of the common folks but they have carried over the mindset of the time of the monarchical rule when the political parties could change the government through the street movement because at that time they had no other means, and people supported them because of the totalitarian rule of the monarchs. However, the time has changed, every person has the rights to write, speak, follow the rule of law, and go to the court for the justice, or sit for the fasting demanding whatever s/he has in mind but not disturbing others or encroaching on the rights of others. This is a universal law elsewhere in the democratic countries. So, NC leaders have to be careful not to repeat the past mistakes, rather need to follow the correct path to make sure that the next elections would be in their favor.


July 5, 2018

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