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Sushil-led Government-65

Issue August 2015

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Some people have been in a hurry to finish off the crafting of a new constitution no matter what happened to other communities if a new constitution were to be beneficial to them. These people had been blinded by the powerful mandate they had received in the latest elections to a new constituent assembly (CA) to craft a new constitution. They had made their mindset so that they could craft any kind of constitution with the mandate. That had been the destructive mindset. A swarm of opposition to the new constitution being crafted by the four-party leaders had been visible elsewhere on the streets in Nepal.


Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli had been in a hurry to promulgate a new constitution for obvious reasons. He was supposed to be a next prime minister after the promulgation of a new constitution. The NC and CPN-UML leaders reached an agreement on transferring the power to KP Oli after the promulgation of a new constitution. So, Oli had been conceding his previous stand on most of the constitutional issues to pave the way for promulgating a new constitution as soon as possible. Lately, Oli had been more sober, and behaving as a to-be prime minister.


Apparently, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala did not want to put the crafting of a new constitution on the fast tract quite evident from the growing discontent prevailing among the Nepalese with a new constitution to be promulgated soon. Some people wondered whether a great tactician Prime Minister Koirala had deliberately created such dissatisfaction with a new constitution among the people to have an environment conducive to continue his reign as long as the crafting of a new constitution continued.


Why Prachanda and Gacchedar were running behind KP Oli to have a new constitution as soon as possible and make the Oli that had a little regard for anybody that opposed him a prime minister had been the anybody’s guess. Prachanda had lost everything to the NC and CPN-UML running after the shrewd leaders of these two political parties. He had not lost only the huge assets he had managed to make for keeping his cadres loyal to him. Poor Bijya Kumar Gacchedar had once dreamed of taking the office of the prime minister. He must have been promised something else otherwise he would not go alone with the deceptive leaders leaving behind all his Madheshi-leader colleagues on the streets against him and his political patrons: leaders of the NC and CPN-UML. Both Prachanda and Gacchedar would be the great losers after the promulgation of a new constitution. No doubt about that.


What would the so-called leaders of the four parties gain keeping everybody out of the constitution crafting? Surely, they would not get anything except for a document hastily crafted without considering the aspirations of the majority of the people. Some people would burn it and others would shove it in a trashcan. The document that would be exclusively made for the benefits of the four-party leaders would be nothing but a piece of toilet paper.


These leaders such as Koirala, Oli, Prachanda and Gacchedar would receive nothing but hatred of the common folks if they would go ahead with the promulgation of a new constitution that had not addressed the concerns of the majority of the people.


These four leaders if not most of the top political leaders had lost the credibility. They had not only betrayed the voters that had given them the mandate not addressing their aspirations for making an inclusive constitution but also they had cheated each other. They made an agreement on eight provinces but they had been talking about six provinces again. Was it really a political game these four leaders have been playing to end the federalism, secularism, and fundamental rights of all the people? It seemed it was. The master player had been Sushil Koirala and the assistant players had been Oli, Prachanda and Gacchedar. They believed that they had made the whole nation a mere spectator.


The nation had not been a mute spectator but most of the spectators they had believed to be, had been taking their issues to the streets or to the CA chair. They were not keeping quiet, and not giving in to the four leaders of the four parties.


Recently, a group of six Raute people submitted a nine-point memorandum to the chairman of the CA Subhas Nemwang demanding not to disturb their life style but address their concerns in a new constitution, according to the news in the Nepalese print and online media. They wanted to live as they had been living for centuries. They wanted their culture, language and lifestyle not disturb.


Women came to the streets demanding the equal rights. They had lied down on the streets protesting the provisions made in a new constitution not giving them the fundamental rights as the citizens of the federal democratic republic of Nepal. The women comprised slightly more than the half of the total population. How could those political leaders not having the vision of what they had been doing deny the fundamental rights to the half of the population?


The cow-worshippers also had been on the streets demanding to make the cow the deity of all the Nepalese, and declare Nepal a Hindu nation. They had the huge support from the neighboring cow-worshippers. They had been pushing the Nepalese leaders hard to declare Nepal the nation of the cow-worshippers. They had made the opinions of the people on making Nepal a Hindu nation as if all the Nepalese wanted it. Thus, they had faked the people’s opinions in favor of the Hindu nation as the neighboring cow-worshippers wanted.


These cow-worshippers did not think about the cow-eaters that comprised the half of the populations. They had said that the ninety percent of the Nepalese were the cow-worshippers but that was not true. The Shah-Rana rulers had suppressed the cow-eaters and forced them not to eat the beef for 240 years. They made the slaughter of a cow punishable by death. The founder of the Shah despotic dynastic rule Prithvi Narayan Shah had forced the Christians out of the country because they were the cow-eaters. The 240-year tyrannical rule had made the Nepalese Muslims feel safe under the rule of the cow-worshippers.


Even now the ruling cow-worshippers did not want to give the Nepalese people the freedom of worship. They wanted every Nepalese worship the cow not anybody else. So, they wanted the secularism Nepalese had enjoyed in the country remove from the new constitution. They wanted to deny anybody the conversion from one religion to another. They wanted to forcibly keep all the Nepalese under the single umbrella of the cow-worshippers. The neighboring cow-worshippers had been hyper active in Nepal to make Nepal: the country of the cow-worshippers.


These cow-worshippers had been making the propaganda that Nepalese had been converting to the Christians with a bunch of green dollars they had received. If that were to be true Nepal would have none to worship ‘cow’ because the cow-worshippers would immediately switched to the cow-eaters, some Nepalese said. It might have some truth. Some Nepalese could do anything to have the monetary gains.


The secularists had been on the streets, too demanding to keep the secular status of the country. They had been ready to fight for that on the streets or on any arena they were challenged. Some diplomats even advised the Nepalese leaders to keep Nepal as a secular state. Prachanda had been instrumental to declare Nepal a secular state but after his July-India visit, he joined the club of the cow-worshippers and had shown no interest to keep Nepal a secular country. Prachanda had launched and ended the people’s war that cost 13,000 beautiful lives of Nepalese for making Nepal a secular state. Currently, the cow-worshippers wanted to waste the sacrifices of those brave Nepalese that gave their lives for the cause of making Nepal of every Nepalese not of only the cow-worshippers.


The cow-eating ethnic people had been against making Nepal a cow-worshipping country. They said that people could worship a cow or any other animal they liked but they should not force the cow-eating people worship a cow. That was not fair to the cow-eating people. The Shah-Rana dynastic rulers had subverted the authority or rights of the ethnic people to eat a cow for 240 years.


The Madhesh had already fifty percent of the total population of Nepal. None of the Madheshi leaders except for Gacchedar was willing to agree on whatever the four leaders had been doing. They said that the country was not of the four leaders of the four political parties only. If the Madheshi’s concerns were not addressed in a new constitution, then the constitution would be a useless document crafted at the huge cost to the nation.


However, the leaders of the four political parties had been convening meetings days and nights apparently to come to a common understanding on a new constitution. I did not know whether they had been simply playing a drama or they had been really talking to each other. Their recent activities had shown that they had already made a final decision on a new constitution. Collecting the opinions of the people, and sorting out the opinions had been only a replayed drama. Their opinion collection had visibly made that the entire populace had been for making Nepal a Hindu state.


All these dramas played by the four leaders of the four political parties had certainly invited a people’s revolt once again. Prithvi Narayan Shah and his descendants could force their will on the Nepalese threatening to kill anybody voicing against them, and even killing them mercilessly if any voice was heard against the tyrants. That despotic rule had already gone. None could dare to reinstate it. If anybody were to dare to do so, s/he would have her/his head chopped off in no time. If the four leaders had a bit of common sense they needed to stop playing a drama and craft an inclusive constitution that would respect everybody’s voice rather than directly going on to the head-on confrontation with the women, Madheshi, ethnic people, and the secularists.


For making Nepal a country of all 129 ethnic people residing within its borders, all of them should have equal voice in one or another assembly. To this end, set up an organization called by any name such as senate or national assembly or any others in which two each of all the 129 ethnic people represented. This institution should be one of the law making elected institutions. Then, the country should have another assembly with the representation proportional to the population. The third institution should be the office of the president or the prime minister directly elected by the people. These three institutions would be almost similar to the system the USA has today.


One of the leaders of UCPN-Maoist Dr Baburam Bhattarai had been the advocate of the directly elected office of the chief executive whether it was to be of the president or the prime minister. Young leader of NC Gagan Thapa had also been for directly elected prime minister. However, their voices had been the two drops in the bucket of the leaders that had stood for indirectly electing a chief executive.


Some political analysts believed that the leaders of the older generation had no guts to face the universal franchise for getting elected to a chief executive. They had been used to play with their narrow constituents. They could get elected garnering votes from about 5,000 to 15,000 depending on the size of the constituent. It was much easier to manipulate the so small numbers of voters than the millions of voters they needed to face the country wide if they were to accept the direct elections to a chief executive.


Then, they put forward many unsubstantial reasons for not directly electing a chief executive. They said that the directly elected chief executive could tend to be a dictator. What they did not like to understand was even the current ceremonial president Dr Ram Baran Yadav liked to give a sermon to the members of the parliament, political leaders and the prime minister on what to do and what not. President Yadav could advise them as a citizen but not as a president. Most probably Mr. Yadav had been doing so not as the president.


Whatever I wrote and did, the country had been in the wrong hands once again. Nepalese would have to revolt against the establishment again. I still remembered what former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had said, “We are ending the monarchy so that our future generations will not need to fight for democracy again and again.” The monarchy had gone but the need for revolt had not passed, yet this time against the crook political leaders.


Poor members of the CA could not do anything against the will of their political bosses. They were supposed to discuss every issue of a new constitution at the CA, and passed the issues by the two-thirds majority but they had been the collectors of the remunerations doing nothing. They had hard time to keep awake at the CA sessions. The so-called four leaders had been doing everything concerning the crafting of a new constitution.


Even the boldest and strongest NC member of the CA Gagan Thapa could not do anything except for stating he was for the directly elected chief executive. Another NC lawmaker Amresh Kumar Singh had said something about the need for listening to the Madheshi people otherwise the country could go to the division. That statement alone invited the wrath of the prime minister and NC leader Sushil Koirala. Lawmaker Singh had to submit the explanation to the NC chief whip.


Twenty-eight NC lawmakers belonging to the Madheshi community had submitted a five-point memorandum to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala concerning the number of provinces to be made, according to the news posted on the August 7, 2015. These Madheshi lawmakers had shown their courage to challenge the prime minister at least. They had rejected the six provinces. However, Prachanda and Gacchedar totally surrender to the six provinces in the name of proclaiming a new constitution as soon as possible. Prachanda and Gacchedar would have been better off rejecting the six provinces rather than accepting them in the name of having a new constitution.


Nepalese did not need a new constitution that had stepped back from even the Interim Constitution. They could live with the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 forever. The Interim Constitution was the result of the joint movement of the seven-party Alliance and the Maoists. So, it represented the entire populace of Nepal. The Interim Constitution had been far better off than the proposed new constitution, promulgation of which would bring political chaos, revolts, shutdowns and even a war as the Chairman of CPN-Maoist-Biplav said.


August 8, 2015

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