(As published in People's Review Weekly, 2 June 2011)
My last published article was in People’s Review Weekly 10 months ago; and it was titled “Enough Politics - let’s talk development”. I have tried to keep my word and restrained myself from writing on politics these past months. But the events of the past few days have driven me to pen the following thoughts. As a citizen of this country I feel I have as much right as anyone to vent my disappointment, disillusionment and frustration.
The CA has been extended for 3 months with the following 5 provisos:
1. Completion of fundamentals of the peace process within 3 months.
2. Preparation of the first draft of the new constitution within 3 months.
3. Implementation of past agreements with the Madhesi Morcha by developing Nepal Army as an inclusive institution.
4. Extension of the CA term by 3 months.
5. PM’s resignation to pave way for formation of a national consensus government.
Already the Prime Minister and the NC leadership are wangling about whether a national consensus government is formed before or after the PM resigns. If the man had any honour and feelings towards his country, Mr. Khanal would resign his prime ministership immediately; but he is a mere politician not a leader or statesman. Surely the 3 Big Parties have already reached an agreement on which party the new PM will come from. Point 5 seems to be in trouble already.
Looking at Point 1, certain conclusions can be drawn even by a naive non-political neophyte like yours truly. The parties will most certainly start quibbling over what “fundamentals of the peace process” means. Nothing can be more vague. Does it mean the “logical” end (that over-used phrase which makes me laugh) -- no more Maoist ex-combatants in cantonments, all 19,000 (or whatever) integrated and rehabilitated, all arms from the cantonments with the government, and (dare we dream) all Maoist arms (the real functioning ones hidden all over the country, not the 3,000+ antiques in the cantonments) handed over to the government? If not, point 1 is null and void, placed there to fool the People and appease UCPN-M.
Point 2: interesting if this can be achieved without the Left and the so-called “democratic parties” quagmired again in the fundamental nature of the new polity.
Point 3: even with absolutely no military background, I daresay that no army worth its salt will get dictated to by unprincipled, unscrupulous cunning politicians (mind you, I did not refer to them as leaders). Were 10,000 Madhises and 5-8,000 (the number varies depending on who is talking) Maoist ex-combatants are to be inducted en masse into the Nepal Army without consideration for stringent army standards, not only would the size of the Army go over the one hundred thousand mark, but its efficacy would be doubtful, to say the least.
Point 4: the less said the better!
Therefore, in effect, this extension of the CA based on yet another (9th) amendment of the Interim Constitution - for whose benefit is it meant? The People’s or the CA members’? The masters’ or the servants’? You figure out who the masters and servants ought to be and who they actually are. Is the concept of “public service” even known to the CA?