Nepali Times Asian Paints
RUBEENA MAHATO
This Is It
A democratic jolt


RUBEENA MAHATO


BIKRAM RAI

It's not that our politicians don't know how much people hate them, they must sense it. But they just choose to do nothing about it because they know it doesn't really make much of a difference.

In a real democracy, elections could fix that. Only those who show integrity and promise would be elected, the crooks would be ousted, and that would be that. But our ruling class knows there are other ways to get themselves elected: cheating, intimidation or ethnic politics.

Voters are disillusioned and have lost confidence in elections because just about everyone is tainted, and it's just a matter of choosing between equally rotten alternatives. Our leaders may not be sure about a lot of things but they are convinced of their indispensability. And the one thing that brings them together is a collective fear of facing voters.

The death of the CA was tragic, but some party bosses are now proposing to revive it just because they have cold feet about 22 November. Nepalis have had enough of that circus already. This is the same CA that failed to do its job despite repeated extensions. What has changed, that it will deliver this time?

Besides, by whose authority do the leaders hope to reinstate the CA? We don't have a parliament, the president is ceremonial and the PM is a caretaker. There is a constitutional void but that isn't an excuse to run this country like a banana republic.

Prime Minister Bhattarai didn't have good intentions when he set out to dissolve the CA and unilaterally announce the elections, but that should not mean parties committed to democratic practice should also refuse to contest polls and call it a "Maoist trap". The NC and UML will risk losing whatever little credibility they have if they keep opposing elections and avoid going to the people.

By now the NC and UML have had enough time to figure out what useful idiots they have been to the Maoist plan. They stopped being agenda setters long ago, they have been reactive and have taken the back seat in politics. Most of their leaders are either corrupt, incompetent or uninspirational. Forget vision, they can't even organise a
rent-a-crowd rally in Kathmandu. If these are the guys supposed to defend democracy, then democracy in Nepal doesn't need enemies.

A massive ideological and structural overhaul of both parties is long overdue. An election would focus their minds, force them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and forge a strong democratic alliance to face elections.
If elections don't turn up good candidates, we don't boycott them. We try and build a system that will push good candidates to the process. The NC and UML complain that the Maoists are trying to drag the country towards a
one-party dictatorship.

Perhaps it's time they go to the next election with young, dynamic and forward-thinking leaders who will reclaim the progressive agenda from the radicals. And perhaps it's also time youth leaders stop whining and take initiative instead of begging the old men to hand them power.

What the people don't want to see are the same old Sushil Koiralas, Sher Bahadur Deubas, Ram Chandra Paudels, Jhal Nath Khanals, Madhav Kumar Nepals, or KP Olis. The two parties are dominated by failed and ageing alpha males from the past, it's time to make a clean break.

A CA election may not solve our problems, but the demand for a constitution through a CA is so powerful and longstanding that any attempt to declare a constitution through other means will just radicalise positions. A better solution would be to hold national and local elections and then have the parliament pick up where we left off on the constitution from the earlier CA.

Local bodies have been without people's representatives for ten years now. There is no presence of the state in many parts of the country, local governance is in shambles. In the absence of the parliament, the caretaker government has grown inordinately powerful. The prime minister thinks he can not just bring a full budget through ordinance but run the entire country from Baluwatar. Unfortunately, the opposition is only making him stronger by obstructing elections and not coming up with their own alternatives.

The only way forward is to resolve the acute democratic deficit in the country through local and national elections. And the first step towards that is to form a national government.

Read also:
All politics is local

Monsoon of the megalomaniacs, ANURAG ACHARYA
A new government made up of old leaders will mean the same old

Humanitarian fallout
Nepal's constitutional deadlock has humanitarian consequences for its people



1. who cares
even though i agree with the problems stated, but i disagree with some of the solutions.

"Our leaders may not be sure about a lot of things but they are convinced of their indispensability."

i think, it bahuns and their media that has been circulating this propaganda "whether we like them or not- parties, politicians- they are the ones who will be solving our problems. no foreigner or divine power will come and solve our problems.  

the fact is any nepali can replace them.

from the example of maoist and shah, we can say, new party, individuals can enter and old one could be kicked out.



"election, CA election"

i dont think nc, uml are against it, they only want election through consensus. 

some people are talking about reinstating CA. they are presenting previous example. but what they dont see is, its power of people who reinstated the parliament. so to reinstate CA there has to be support of people's power- which there is not, or agreement of all forces- and not all force agrees.

is not it amazing that the same sher bahadur wants CA back who dissolved the parliament. so we dissolve when he wants and we bring it back when he wishes. right?


and again maoist used to disregard that the position of outdated parliament did not express the position of the parties. today, the same maoist consider themselves to be the largest party as per the position imposed by the obsolete dead CA. 




its the system that we need to develop. not the different solution we should demand every time the same problem arises, as per our interest. 


2. who cares
this is the right time to develop system since NC, UML and other democratic parties are desperate for public support. 

its time to tell NC, UML and other democratic parties, support our "nepalese" agenda and we will support you or agent bhatterai will eat all of you alive since most of the so called democratic foreign super powers are with that agent. 


and individuals like ms.rubeena is in right place to garner public support develop right system.





#executive head.
-executive head should be directly elected by people.

i like american system where the candidate of parties are chosen by people. even local candidates should be chosen by local people. 

this way we can get read of unwanted individuals in power. so we dont have to curse politicians now and then.




#what if executive head runs out of his term or legally loses his job or could not hold election on time?
-if his time still remains, then he should be replaced by is deputy. 
then after if he is gone or time is out then ex chief judge should take the responsibility. since, the max. period of chief judge is 2yr, so ex judge as executive head will be replaced in every 2yr so there will be less possible for him to coup.


#who should replace MPs?
- Parliament should never be dissolved. half or one third of the parliament should be elected at a time. 

if election can not be held in time or some sit is vacant, then they should be replaced by freely and fairly and timely elected representatives from lawyers association, teachers union, professional unions etc. until next election is held.



#one more constitutional body composing of automatic members. we desperately need a body which is outside the jurisdiction of political parties.
 
-constitutional body formed of ex chief judge, ex general, ex igp, head of lawyer's association, ex chief secretory etc.

this constitutional body should be given responsibility to choose potential head and members of constitutional bodies which should be selected/passed only by parliament. 

this body should also have power to investigate crime, abusing of power by politicians. and take them to court. block anti national decisions of govt for a certain time until parliament or court makes its decision.

 



#election.
-power to hold and declare election should be in the hand of election commission not govt. they should have guts to punish those who disrespect rules of the game.


#coup.
-its not direct election, or something else that assist in capturing state. usually.

*if we do not punish those who misattempt coup helps coup. like- maoist tried at least twice before to coup. if we, or should i say, nc, uml, bahuns running media had punished or at least tried to punish them, today, agent bhatterai would not have been in present position.

*those attempting coup should never see sun light again and army should deal with those attempting coup.

*making people running govt. follow rules helps in prevent coup.

*keeping bureaucracy, security force, judiciary etc away from politics also helps in preventing coup.



#ngo, ingo.

-political parties should not be involved in ngo, ingo. 
uml must had thought that political party running ngo would only harm nepal, uml would benefit from ngo. how wrong they turned out to be? they are the one most involved in ngo and today, they are the ones facing the greatest problem due to their involvement in ngo.




#anti corruption law.
-corrupt politician and bureaucrats should be jailed for more than 10 year not 1.5 year. 

-they should pay fine 10-15times not 1.5 or 2 times they loot.

-those helping loot, like agent bhatterai has been doing, should also be considered as corruption.

-those abusing power should also be punished. 

-family, friends should also be tried of corruption, abusing of power. 






SINCE NC, UML AND OTHER DEMOCRATIC PARTIES ARE DESPERATE FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT. SO THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR NEPALESE TO BARGAIN WITH THEM.



look nepalese, those politician wont draft the right constitution on their own. we have to make them to pass right law. 
they talked about many things, but they, all politicians got together to not to draft anti corruption law, all of them stayed away from making independent constitutional bodies really independent. 

so this is the right time to push nc, uml. let them bang their head for few more months and then we should negotiate with them as per our terms, not as per their term.


3. Nirmal

True, elections could fix things, no matter how much the NC, the UML or the maoists could use the same tricks of cheating, intimidation, or showing lollypops to ethnic communities in their favor If the election commission is committed to conduct them fairly.

If hold elections the moderate monarchists and ethnic leaders could triumph. That could be the best scenario so that both forces(so called oppressors and oppressed ones) could negotiate the future course face to face. And this will not just shorten the transition period but will give the country the right direction needed, supposing that both would like to have fruitful dialogue in presence of skillfull negotiators. There is certainly a way out given they emerge as the solid majority voice. Why? let me tell you.

It is true that the NC, the UML or the Maoists in someways had been the voice of people in certain periods of the history. But the time wears everyone down, more to them who resist to understand the changing nature of the time. Because of over-abuse of the routines, being usury of time, the political crisis that the country and the people had to go through, the fiasco of federalist spirit they led and inter and intra contradictions in which they are enmeshed which have contributed to create the perfect storm which bear the capacity to sweep away all those forces who until yesterday were claiming to be the forces with capacity to resolve the crisis and that in just two and half decades. Still the veteran cliques of party officers are reluctant to admit mistakes and set the new directions necessary, amazing!

Over the last week, the King Gyanendra has successfully led the spontaneous mass to express what he feels and he is willing to do for the general welfare of the society, the ethnic leaders have expressed their strong willingness to create a strong political party independent of mainstream political parties. Both forces that have shown their ability to mobilise the mass without having militant base like current lot of political parties. It is left to see how much they can demonstrate their democratic abilities to cash such support into votes and posterior negotiations. This definitely bodes well for the health of Nepali democracy. It is natural that those who can't give solutions are condemned to disappear and the NC, UML or the Maoists are in no way the omnipotent Gods of Nepal.



4. Sheila Pradhan
Rubena,  your message of incompetent, old and aging, corrupted idiotic leaders needs to really resonate with the young and restless people of Nepal. Its time to revolt against this bunch of traitors that have only plundered and looted the wealth and future of Nepalis. These old men must be punished as well. We must freeze their wealth and take it back.  We need a modern day Junga Bahadur Ni,  that is capable of wiping out this rooten cancer of Nepal. You know, if we cannot find a man to lead us then its time for a Woman to lead us! So far the male leaders dominated by the Bahuns class have failed badly, so lets look for new, smart, intelligent WOMAN leader. Its time !     

5. K. K. Sharma

You can say what you like madam. But the incompetents leaders and the incompetent parties have the backing of India and the Western countries. And this fact renders your opinion  useless and irrelevant. .


6. FG
It always feels to read Rubina. 

But I am not commenting on her article today. Sorry for that. As such I post comments very rarely. 

Sometimes, it used to be fun to read comments on NT articles. Not anymore. Some know-all are littering the forum.

I hope my fellow readers understand what I mean to say!!!  


7. Ramprasad
I disagree with K.K Sharma..the U.S,India and China being foreign nations can  not support anyone who is outside mainstream politics. their choices are limited to the people we vote and put there..

I am young and love my country.. like other educated Nepalis I have a vision and I want to do something for my community and surrounding, I don't intend to become a minister, a state minister ,a secretary or a low gazetted officer anywhere...I just want to help or atleast have the knowledge to help...but how do i do it, how do i do help my country...can someone write anything about it instead of talking about shitty politics that won't make any differenc.


8. Hareyram
If you have the energy and charisma to write comments  much longer and detailed than the article, I think you are doing a grave injustice to your self by not writing articles yourselves. I don't think it will be much effort to email it to the national dailies or whoever you want to, to have it published.  Also, of you write a blog or something, please let me know so that I can get my fill when I want to. Thanks for reading. 

9. Raghu

Elections have lost its integrity in Nepal. Whats the point of having elections when a person who has lost an election can still be the Prime Minister (MKN)??????????



10. 7

@Ramprasad

What you can do is stop interacting on social sites; adding 'Nepali' to your FB username won't do scat.  Do not hit the like button if someone posts a nationalist post or picture. Do not join any one of the thousands of 'Let's change Nepal' groups. When people wanted change/revolt, they went to the streets. Not everyone can start a revolution from their bedrooms. Not everyone is John Lenon. What we need to do right here and now is to stop planning and start executing. It may seem contradicting for me to say this as I live and work in a country that supposedly has a big hand in the politics of our country, but I ran out of options a long time ago. The political and economic situation in our country made less of a feasible option for me to garner my career at home. People fight over CA, ethnicity, political inclination during the day and go home riding on pothole infested roads, through unlit dark alleys, reaches home and sleeps under a candle light. Our problems are severe enough that we don't need pressurized burdens to sink us more underground. Fight for lack of opportunity, the living conditions, education; hell, fight for electricity at least! CA, elections and our right to freedom can come later. I know this post may seem like it's coming from an arrogant college graduate with minimal brain power, but it's not. I'm too tired and lack the much needed hope to ask for anything more than a few amenities, self-nepali-respect and a chance to work and pay taxes in my own country!     



11. Srijana Shrestha
I just want to that Deuba is in jail or Maakuney is in jail or all the traitors of Nepal are in jail. That is all !  

12. Krishna S.
A total "likes" to the comment of # 10.7.
I think the various governments including this one, despite all of their shortcomings, ARE aware of the problems that is often mentioned but their hands are tied up. You try to start a big hyd-el plant with foreign investment, local people sabotage it saying national sovereignty is compromised . You try to dig a tunnel to bring in some glaciar-melt fresh water into the thirsty capital, then the local's vandalism destroys your equipments. Try to bring in a professional organisation to manage the worst-run-international-airport-in-the-world, we have problems.  Try to write a compromised from-all-sides- constitution, the ethnic groups stalls it, then we go on to blame the"foreign hands". 
And, what do we do? Add more "likes", add "Nepali" to last names and think that will solve all the problems. HA!


13. Salil
The article was a good read. However, some of the comments that followed are way too long. I never read those. Why don't they write an article themselves rather than posting those novel-length comments?

14. GG
12. Krishna S.

Aware of the problems but their hands are tied up!  By what? Lets face it, by no other than vested interests!

I agree with you, the attempts of foreign investments, in particular hyd-el sector has failed across the country but its not the locals to be blamed for, blame those whose hands are tied up by opaque accords signed for individual gains. Local sabotage is a reflex response of state's opacity and we as citizens deserve transparency.

Try to write a compromised from-all-sides- constitution, the ethnic groups stalls it, 

Wow bro; I thought it was bahuns who has been at the helm since the CA election who's squandered four years bickering for power and position and wasted billions of rupees. Do you really think it is the ethnic people to be blamed, for stalling constitution writing?



15. onliner
i guess this is the curse of social media, if websites edit comments for length it will be an "attack on freedom of speech" and if they leave it as it is, it will be a headache for readers like me who want to check in on the discussion. 
 
But commentators themselves should realize that writing 5 pages worth of comment is a complete waste of time. Our attention span is so tiny that we will read the first line and maybe the last line and won't give a hoot for all the glorious piece of prose in between. like others have suggested either start a blog, have your article published in a paper, or keep your comments short, and to the point.  


16. Arun
Jolt  is exactly what we need. But, pathetic as it may be, inertia, the comfy state of inaction that our 'revolving' politicians have gotten used to, is pretty hard to beat. The opposition by non-Maoist parties to the election is baffling.  Why miss an opportunity to get a fresh mandate when you are in the minority? The only explanation can come in terms of the butts or the guts. Our decrepit, incongruous, and yet revolving politicians are either physically incapable of hauling their butts (with their over-grown guts) to their constituencies for campaign stumps. Or, they don't have the guts (the other kind)--that they can actually beat the Maoist party whose popularity has dwindled since the last election.  If you are wondering why there is opposition to election, here's the answer: pure lazyness.  All the conspiracy talk, Maoist take-over, is a lazy-talk to rationalize inaction.  There is no hope to be had from these old clowns who have expended their usefulness.  Like you suggest, the only hope is the younger generation within these parties, and they better have the guts, and the energy, to jolt the old guys and convince the to go for the election and make the best of it.

17. who cares
why i dont start my own blog, or publish my view on some media? 


(managing blog is hard, i even created one but forgot its user name, password even the site's address, publishing is also difficult when you are doing this for non personal interest, and why do i need the send them mail, they can easily copy and paste my comment on their media)


1: to right blog or publish article, one needs to be expert or at least need to study, gather facts- and since i am not professional, i cant do those. and not interested in name or fame. 

2: since i am against all the evils- evil foreign powers to national terrorist, so it is not wise to expose myself. 

nationalist usually gets killed and agents are always get paid and are very powerful.

3:.....




and some advice from my side:
* you are suppose to punish only those who dont respect others right to live with dignity and their supporters.

*you should hate those moderators who are always there to protect the lives of the individuals mentioned above but are never able or never there to protect the life of innocent. 

*you are not suppose to hate or attack someone just cause you dont agree with the person or the person fills the page with long comment. 


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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