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Mindset Of Current Nepalese Politicians

Issue 50, December 13, 2009

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

If you have been following the Nepalese media you find that the mindset of most of the leaders such as Ram Chandra Poudel, Sushil Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepali Congress (NC), Jhalanath Khanal, KP Oli and some Pokharels of Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML) is to stay on in power at any cost knowing that the Maoists would not be able to form a new government without buying some legislators; then the leaders of the opposition parties such as United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-Maoist) and Madheshi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) have developed their own kinds of mindset and have been going on head-on confrontation with the leaders of other political parties that have been holding together for the sake of opposing the Maoists.

The parliamentary politicians know that the Maoists would not play the political game of making numbers of the legislators for forming a majority government, if they do they would not be different from them. So, they have been challenging the Maoists to make a majority at the legislature and form a new government. Perhaps, Maoists could easily form a new government if they buy a group of legislators belonging to the small parties, Madheshi parties and even of the CPN-UML and NC. They could easily do so but they have not done most probably to demonstrate that they are different from other political players.

Nepalis have already seen how the corrupt parliamentary politicians have bought and sold the legislators only to form one coalition government after another and then loot the national resources. If you take a look at the history of the parliamentary system of governance then you will find that the so-called political leaders have played the dirty political game of buying and selling of legislators and then getting in to power have done nothing in the interest of the nation but did many things in the interest of their relatives, friends and party cadres at the cost of nation. So, you find that during the last nineteen years since 1990, the government led by the NC or CPN-UML have done nothing to build any major hydropower plants, major highways or irrigation systems but they have sold two airplanes belonging to Nepal Airlines Corporation making it almost bankrupt, destroyed the trolley bus system, and Sajha transport corporation in the name of privatization. As a result of not building any hydropower plants for the last nineteen years, Nepalis have been living in darkness for at least 15 hours a week because of the short supply of power even during the rainy season; they have to live with more hours of outage in the dry season, as the country’s rivers get less and less water until the monsoon rains start off again in mid June.

Minister for Energy Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahata has been saying that he is for mitigating the outage importing power from India, rehabilitating thermal power plants and even building new ones but doing nothing to this end and acting vigorously to stop something that goes against the interest of his party. It has been already more than seven months since he has become the energy minister; he has been saying that he is working on importing power from India, rehabilitating thermal plants and so on but doing nothing to mitigate the power. However, he has instantly acted to stop the Constitutional Committee on Governance System to stop him from declaring the decision of the committee, as it goes against the interest of his party. How smart is the minister to do such thing but very lousy to do any development work. This is the real mindset of the parliamentary politicians he has been representing.

The parliamentary politicians know that the Maoists would not buy the legislators and form a new government at the same time they are fearful of the Maoists buying the legislators for forming a new government. So, they have developed the mindset of how to downgrade the Maoists and force them to act violently. Maoists have blamed them for instigating the Maoists to resort to violence and for repeatedly accusing Maoists of various things inventing stories at their will and blowing any incidents the Maoists involve in up clearly in an attempt to disgrace them.

The NC leaders developed the mindset that they have the firepower possessed by the army, the armed police force and the regular police, and they could use it against anybody opposing them. In addition, they have the mindset that the international community has been in their favor and could use the international community’s favor for finishing off the opposition particularly the Maoists at the current time. Then they would think of finishing off the CPN-UML with the same tools they have used against the Maoists; and then monopolize the power. So, currently, they have been very happy to support the person defeated in two constituencies for making the CPN-UML leaders fight against the Maoists.

The mindset of the Koirala family has been to keep the political power and the state power within the family. So, father Girija Prasad Koirala has made daughter Sujata Koirala Deputy Prime Minister and wants to transfer the political power to her, too. Father Koirala has been ready to move the President he has accidentally made, out of the presidential resident and he himself move in there in cooperation with the Maoists. Obviously, NC President Koirala has not been able to materialize his latest dreams and has to surrender to the decision of the central committee members of his party on continuing support for the current Madhav Nepal government. However, father Koirala might not stay on for long with his ambition unmet so, he might try again a new trick to realize it.

Most of the CPN-UML leaders have developed the defeated mindset. Some of them have suffered from the defeat in the elections for the Constituent Assembly held in April 2008. They have not been able to sleep in peace at night since then, and have continued to shed tears. Even Madhav Nepal having reached the position of Prime Minister through political manipulations have not been able to be free from the pains he has suffered from the defeat in two constituencies in the elections for the Constituent Assembly.

These CPN-UML guys have been ready to do everything possible to get back their lost glory. So, they have been trying every possible trick to stay on in power. They do not mind disregarding any political ethic only to be in power. They have never thought of the impact of their current activities on the future elections they would need to face. Perhaps, they might have thought that they would be able to stay on in power forever without elections. So, the Maoists have been accusing them of attempting to impose the presidential rule and dissolve the Constituent Assembly. They might pull on for a year with the might of the army and the armed police force if they impose a presidential rule thereafter they would lose the power forever.

Some guys of the NC having the similar or the same mindset of going head-on confrontation with the Maoists rather than consensus politics have been supporting the CPN-UML ministers such as Home Minister Bhim Rawal and Defense Minister Bidhya Bhandari having the fanatic mindset. The Defense Minister has been ready to use the army for repressing the people while the Home Minister has increased the police force by 16,000 to repress any unarmed uprising of the people. Defense Minister Bhandari has been for going head-on collision with the Maoists and has been ready to use the army for any sorts of repression of the people.

The top-level Maoists have developed the mindset of the need for developing their reputation for they are democratic minded and peace-loving people for the consumption of the international community. So, they have been restraining any sorts of violence their cadres might indulge in. They had been quick either to disclaim any violence committed by their cadres or apologize to the concerned persons for their so-called mistakes and even compensate the family of victims for the loss of the loved ones.

Not all the top leaders of the Maoists have undergone metamorphism of their mindset; some of them still believe that they could set up the government of their thinking. So, they have been instrumental to tear down the government led by their Chairman Prachanda. If you have read the interviews of the one of the Deputy Chairmen of UCPN-Maoist Mohan Vaidya ‘Kiran’ you understand what mindset he has. He has been for setting up an absolute communist state. This utopian idea has not left the mind of ‘Kiran’; he would continue to fight for it even though it has been proved a utopian idea.

If you have watched the TV interviews of the Young Communist League (YCL) leaders’ interviews you find that they have the mindset of they could do everything. They believe that they could end the current government and bring the ministers to the public trail for their corruption; they could capture any fallow land or land belonging to large landlords and distribute such lands to the landless people.

Some of the Maoist legislators sitting on a Constitutional Committee have argued that a new constitution should not have the provision for providing the landowners with compensation for the land taken for the public use. They believe that they could expropriate any private property for the public use. Most of us believing in the private property would not agree on it. If the Maoist guys continue to stick in to such impracticable ideas they would not be able to rule the country. They would need to spend their entire life on fighting for such an impossible idea.

For one thing we have to appreciate the Maoist guys is that they have made drastic changes in the politics, social and economical and even cultural sectors of the Nepalese society sometimes in haste without considering the people’s mindset. They wanted to move very fast during their nine-month stay in power and sometimes getting backfired by their hasty actions without considering the mindset of the public in general. For example, the Maoist government wanted to stop the state expenses on celebrating the Indrajatra festival in 2008 provoking the people concerned with the celebration of the festival and the community to protest against the government. After a week of the protest of the revelers against the government decision on not providing money to the celebration of the festival, the Maoist government bowed to the demand of the people. These Maoist guys must have learned that they could not change the traditional setup overnight by the government’s decision in the democratic environment.

Currently, the parliamentary guys have developed the mindset that they need to stay on in power using all sorts of tricks required for it. They do not believe in political ethics. They need to stay on in power at any cost to the nation and no matter what they need to do for playing a trick on the opposition. One of the examples of the bankrupt of their political ethics is how they have pushed the President to abuse the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 in the name of saving democracy in the country making the black spot on the first President of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

The Maoist guys have different mindsets among their leaders and cadres. One group of high-level leaders has the mindset of going for the multi-party democracy and engaging in the competitive politics playing a fair political game. Another set of the high-level Maoist guys has continued with the mindset of imposing the Marxist theory of communism even though they have seen the failure of this theory in the Soviet Union and currently in the People’s Republic of China. The young communist leaders have the mindset of possibility of doing everything if only their high command permits them to do even though they might need to sacrifice their lives for doing such things.

Currently, a confrontation among the different mindsets has been going on in Nepal. The Nepalese population is made up of mostly the poor and deprived people. They have the mindset of the government doing something for them. In the past, the dynastic rulers standing on the shoulders of the landlords have ruled the poor ruthlessly, and denied them any humanly living. So, majority of the poor would surely support the guys with the mindset of doing well for all the people. In addition, the Maoists have created the political awareness among the poor during the people’s war they have fought. Politicians taking consideration of these facts would be more successful than the politicians working for themselves and for their relatives.

December 12, 2009

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