By Deepak Gajurel,
Political Scientist, TU, Nepal
It is a complete failure! Nevertheless, it was not unexpected. Based on real politik, analysts had long time back predicted that the Constituent Assembly will not work. The present mess in the Nepali politics too had been predicted in advance. Such predictions were made by some experts immediately after the signing of India-sponsored 12-point agreement in Delhi.
Completing a circle of the power struggle in six years, Maoists, this time, managed to be at the helm of State affairs. They are in the government. Streets too are in their grip. Mass attending Friday’s (June 7) rallies, organized by the 22-party coalition against the Maoist, showed that general public is not interested in listening to the blame game, among/and between so called ‘major’ parties and their leaders.
It's by now clear that 'Parliamentary' parties have come to a position where they had been during their ‘struggle for democracy’ against the King during 2061-62, until Maoists were brought into scene who joined the parliamentary parties with fully armed and with India's explicit supports. (One should not forget that the Maoists have, still to this day, not given up violence, in principle at least). The NC, UML and others are compelled to use the same language now what they used to be against the King’s rule, while they organized protest rallies and public meetings at Ratnapark and later, at Beneshwor.
What went wrong?
Who is responsible for bringing NC, UML and other ‘parliamentary’ parties in this sorry state of affairs? Without any confusion, it can safely be concluded that they themselves are to be blamed. They 'brought the terrorists into mainstream.' And now the same 'terrorists' (read Maoists) are at the throne, challenging the ‘democratic’ forces! Seats have changed with a complete round of six years’ musical chair game.
What a fun and mockery of the system?
The Maoists have succeeded to throw ‘democratic forces’ out into the streets leaving them to cry for ‘democracy’ and the parties are blaming the Maoists for all problems the country is now facing at the moment. Maoists, actually, is/and was since the ‘free and fair’ elections for the CA, at the steering wheel. Now, it would be interesting to find the answer to the question: Where from the Maoists are receiving this gut to throw the 'democratic forces' out again to the streets? Can one believe that Prachanda and Baburam are doing all these on their own? If we do believe this, it would be an illusion, at least for a leaned Nepali who understands a little bit of Nepali politics.
It’s an established and proven fact that ballot and bullet can’t go together and work along. But Nepali ‘Messiah’ of democracy, especially NC and the UML, did not accept this historically proven truth, and joined hands with armed rebel Maoists. This is the main point that parties now in the streets must realize.
We should look back into past six years’ history minutely for more clarifications and images. A few crucial aspects should be taken into account in this context. First, Maoists have not given up violence. Principally, they have arms in their hands which they obviously have been using all these six years of the Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal whether they were in the government or in the streets or even in the now dead CA body.
Here it is ironical to recall that Nepali Maoists are still to this day in the 'Terrorists List' of Washington. Additionally, India was the country to declare Nepali Maoists ‘terrorist’ before Nepali government did the same. Interestingly, and unmatched in the past at least diplomatically, the US, India, EU and other world powers have been dealing with Nepal Maoists as if they have completely given up arms and remains now to be transformed themselves into a ‘civilian’ party. Almost all major world powers have been taking Nepal Maoist’s as a democratic party which believes in ballot. Here lies the real ‘politics’.
The CA elections were declared ‘free and fair’. This declaration by internationally celebrated personality was made when the polls had just begun. The former US President, Jimmy Carter, himself certified this while the election process was still in progress. Should not one count the timing and personality who made this declaration of such a magnitude? Was the election 'free and fair'? Everybody knows the genuine thing and behind the scene activities.
Some experts and influential diplomats had termed 12-point Delhi agreement as unnatural. 'This (12-point agreement) will take Nepal nowhere' were the comments emanating from top diplomatic dignitaries. Have not we Nepalis now found that prediction come true?
At that time, the King was ruling the nation and ‘democratic’ parties were fighting to get into the ruling Chair. Maoists, by proxy from our ‘friendly’ country helped drastically swell the mass in the streets against the King’s rule. The strength of Seven Party Alliance (SPA) was miserable until India brought Maoists in.
Now it would be interesting to see who comes forward to help ‘parliamentary forces’ in their bid to cut down the size of the Maoists. Would there be yet another sort of 12-point agreement? If yes, who will be at the place of Maoists signing agreement in Delhi or in some other Capital?
Only way out:
The CA is gone, without yielding anything substantial to the nation. It was natural and foreseen long back. The parliamentary parties and the Maoists, partners for ‘Loktantrik Ganatantra,’ are now standing head-on, for some kind of collision.
One party, Maoist, seems to be in comfortable position than those of the others, because of its strategies applied during all these years of CA and ‘New Nepal’ illusions.
Others, in the current political confrontation, are at the losing end, for, they do not have any justifiable cause for what they did in the past.
In this imbalanced power structure, parliamentary parties, especially NC and UML have little choice in the days ahead. Forget about Maoists giving way for them. You should take into consideration the behavioral tendencies of the rebels (not former, because they have not given up arms and violence till this day).
So, parliamentary parties, including Panchas turned ‘Ganatantrik,’ have only two alternatives to move forward. The first, going ahead, collide, and get ultimately smashed, politically and probably, God forbid, physically.
Second, and the final, alternative can be a better way for them to survive. Accept the past blunders, of trying to keep bullet and ballot in the same basket. Arms and ballots are opposite elements. These have differing chemistry. And who knows this better than the leaders of NC and UML! Accepting the past deeds will not be enough. You have to apologise to the nation and the people. In addition, it will be you, the parties signing 12-point agreement in Delhi, which must compensate the lost national resources, and human, physical and economic property of the nation.
It is now upon agitating ‘democratic’ forces which way they choose to go. The choice is yours.