Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tikapur Revisited

Yesterday's blog was from the heart. This one is from the head, after the shock and despair has more or less dissipated.

While paying sincere condolences to the families of the police and the two year old boy who lost their lives during that afternoon of carnage, one has to question the judgement and preparedness of the police who walked into a crowd armed with spears and axes with an almost suicidal over-confidence. One also wonders why the authority in charge had apparently ordered the Armed Police Force not to fire their weapons. True, that authority has been removed and recalled; is any action being taken against him? Or, in the 'true spirit of Nepali tolerance', has a mere slap in the hand been administered? Security forces have not been attacked and killed in this manner since the Maoists specialized in it over a decade ago. The national trauma reverberates.

On the other hand, there have been reports that the mob was infiltrated by others espousing the politics of violence and the Tharus, generally known as a peaceable people, were used by these culprits for their own nefarious purposes. Regardless, the Tharu mob did come out armed with the implements mentioned above; it is unclear whether they meant to use them or they were just for show; even if it was the latter, it was not prudent at all.

The Army has been mobilized in Kailali and two other districts to maintain law and order. Curfews are the order of the day. The people cower or are even more emboldened, resulting in shootings by the security forces. The area is aflame. The conflagration will spread as the seeds of federalism bloom.

In Kathmandu, it seems the Big Three political parties, at least for now, intend to proceed with the constitution drafting process. Even read in yesterday's paper that 'secularism' remains in the constitution as insisted upon by the Maoists, while a huge majority of the people want a Hindu State. Should the triumvirate not pause to think and promulgate the constitution as drafted now, I can only shudder at what will happen to this country. It's not just the secularism issue. More importantly is the federalism issue where 6 states have been increased to 7 to mollify the folks in western Nepal, but leaving the Tharus out in the cold. Meanwhile, the Madhesh parties, not popular usually with the Tharus, are instigating the latter for their own purposes.

What in heaven's name are the politicians doing trying to federalize a unitary state, ahenomenon that has never occurred anywhere in the world? Yes, social injustice remains as regards the marginalized groups. The solution though is not federalization but strong elected local governance. Mind you, there have been no local elections on this country for over two decades!

The politico pundits have declared this country the "Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal". Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do. We are not federal and will/should never be. Our democracy is a combination of oligarchy and kleptocracy. Republicanism was never an agenda of the Jana Andolan of 2006; it was sneaked in by self-serving politicians whose ambitions


HORATIO said...

Apologies...the blog got posted without the ending, which should read "...ambitions which over vaulted themselves and fell limply on the the other side".

Kathryn Boyd Liftus said...

You have a very clear way of explaining what is a very complex political morass, both in terms of the murders and the constitutional crisis in Neoal. It is mystifying and just plain insanity to face a crowd armed with knives and other weapons with no recourse. The pictures speak volumes about just how uninformed the decision not to respond, even with tear gas, was.

I lack the depth of understanding about the issues of federalism and the constitution which you express so well but your ideas have eminent merit. Stong local government is essential and would provide an excellent recourse for those who are not represented, far better tan federalism. Keep speaking out. Your voice needs to be heard.

HORATIO said...

Thank you for the feedback. I hope others will give them too, otherwise the blog, which is to have discussions, has no meaning.

Subodh Rana said...

I refer to a tweet from Gagan Thapa:

Gagan Thapa (@thapagk) tweeted at 8:26 am on Thu, Aug 27, 2015: @PM_Nepal Hon. PM,Wd u mind calling Shri Modi & advise him to handle Gujarat's riots calmly, not to deploy army & go for wider counsultation!

Are our politicians finally coming around?

Horatio said...

Subodh dai, unfortunately Gagan Thapa does not represent the top leadership of our political elite. Am heartened by his sarcasm, but would be even more heartened if this sort of comment was coming from Sitaula, Oli, BRB, Prachanda or any of the taukeys from the Madhesh Forum.

Anonymous said...

1. The Home Minister ordered the Police to handle crowds without firepower. Only officers were permitted to carry their pistols for self- defense.
2. The Home Minister was elected also from the Tharu Constituency of Bardia and does not want to alienate the Tharus at all.
3. The day before the incident, the Tharu leaders assured the Adminstration and Police that they would not resort to violence at all.
4. The movement of the demonstrators tried to enter the declared prohibited area.
5. Ex- CA members, CA members and a female Tharu leader who were leading the mass admit that there were unknown miscreants in the masses who committed the acts of violence.
6. There were criminal gangs from the South who participated in the violent acts but the blame is on the ex-Maoist combatants.
7. The SSP got off from the APF vehicle to talk with the leaders of the mob. As he got off, a Sergeant was brutally struck. As he approached the sergeant, two miscreants pierced him with spears from behind and his pistol snatched. The SSP was severely injured as the AFP SP slyly withdrew from the spot without reacting.
8. Two other inspectors with pistols were struck simultaneously and disarmed. The armed element APF vanished extricating two Tharu leaders to safety as ordered by their APF DIG, a Tharu closely related to Bijaya Gachedar.
9. The DIG rushed the Tharu leaders to Nepalgunj for safety as ordered by the APF DIG.
10. The crowd lynched the injured policemen from the house where they were in hiding and killed them. It is learnt that the culprits were criminals from India who withdrew in Indian jeeps across the border.
11. The NP DIG was another unprofessional officer with forged certificates. The APF DIG was another useless person who was least bothered about professionalism and was only busy pleasing political leaders. However the SSP was a quiet, professional and confident officer who was very talented in crime investigation.
12. Now the Tharu folks who just participated in the demonstration have run away. This move has created the mistrust between the Tharu youths and the Police, and hidden the true picture of the actors and the sequence of actions that happened.
13. The Tharu leaders neither cooperate to disclose the facts nor accept the accountability factor.
14. The NA was taken out for deterrence only. The PM and the Cabinet were definite that if asked the Madhese President would neither permit the use of the NA nor would India advise positively.
15. The Gov cannot dare to prosecute Amaresh Singh, Upendra Yadav and Rajendra Mahato or ask questions sternly for inciting the Tharus.
16. The Indian game plan is to involve the Tharus in the movement to declare "One Madhes one Pradesh." Then next phase would be to activate the fate of Crimea gradually. Then Madhese leaders would be reduced to heads of Village Development Committees if ever victorious in the elections.
17. The irony is as the Indian PM criticized the Nepalese PM, his home state is facing riots that have inflicted human casualties too.
18. The NA has been made the crow in the fog by Girija and India feels it has been successful in neutralizing the institution effectively. It has become a sword for ONLY brandishing - not for use !!!
19. The NP, APF , the bureaucracy, the judiciary and the media are totally corrupt, ineffective and politicized shamelessly.
20. The unification of Nepal is facing a counter-motion to disintegrate the nation. The ethnic groups have been instigated too. Now how effective are the religiously and politically enlightened Bahuns to take care - we shall see.

HORATIO said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for providing an in-depth behind-the-scene analysis of the Tikapur fiasco.

HORATIO said...

Just read the news that the Army Chief has presented the Speaker of the House officially with a statement that NA will not accept Loktantra. The die is cast; now cross the Rubicon!

Akash Bhairab said...

This is big time. Is this really true?

Anonymous said...

Glad that you've resumed your blog. Something very deep but invisible is going on. Pro-Indian parties and politicians are apparently working against each other: this simply does not make sense except if the Indian strategy is to create a civil war-like situation and then, in the name of containing the spillover effect into India, to take control putting an end to the Loktantra experiment which the Modi government did not initiate.
Furthermore, if a civil war-like situation does develop BOTH India and China (who are, in my reading, against federalism in Nepal, China more visibly than India) COULD act jointly in the cause of restoring peace and tranquility in a region of declared strategic interest to both.
Don't forget that Beijing and New Delhi have recently - in their Lipu Lekh deal - advertised to the world that they share some vital areas of strategic convergence, even while Nepal's impotence to do anything about it has been made embarrassingly obvious to all.

HORATIO said...

Akash Bhairab, saw the post in FaceBook yesterday. Also have heard that the news is around 3 weeks old. So not sure how much credence to give to this news - which is indeed big time.

kiran thapa said...

That was a good read at a time when all of us are either speechless, spluttering or ranting at the recent events at Tikapur in particular and the Terai in general.

Our country has teetered at the brink many times but has managed to somehow make a come back.

Lets hope that all will be well again soon.

HORATIO said...

Well, as the saying goes, hope springs eternal in the human breast. Let's hope that we may not have to resort to a national beating of the breast. Remedial action, in any way each one of us can take, may be the best solution to prevent Armageddon.