Celebration For Marking A Loktantra Day In Nepal
Celebration For Marking A Loktantra Day In Nepal
By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar
Starting on Monday, April 23, Nepalese people across the nation have begun the celebration for marking the first anniversary of the reinstatement of the democracy and people’s sovereignty in the country according to the Nepalese media. Democracy Day Celebrations Organizing Committee has urged Nepalese people across the nation to light lamps in their residences for commemorating the day and participate in a festive program to be held at the Tundikhel, Kathmandu on Tuesday, April 24, 2007.
After 19 days of the people’s movement in 2006, Nepalese people succeeded to bend the king to the people’s demand for returning democracy and sovereignty to them, he had unscrupulously seized on February 01, 2005. Since then the king has become as good as a commoner. The only difference is he still enjoys living in the palace built at the people’s money. He was supposed to be prosecuted and put on trial but that has not happened yet.
Even after a year, it is still far from meeting the aspirations of the Nepalese people demonstrated during the people’s movement in April 2006. The same unscrupulous and corrupt politicians who needed to be prosecuted are the members of the interim legislature. The only difference is to those unscrupulous and corrupt members added 83 terrorists who had terrorized the Nepalese people in the past and have continued to terrorize in one way or another.
The victims of terrorists and the security forces have been languishing. Similarly, the people injured during the people’s movement are either languishing in hospitals or at home. The Nepalese people’s aspirations for proportional representation, autonomy and federalization are far from met. Will it make any sense to those people to mark the day that did not bring any changes in their lives? The people’s revolution might continue until their aspirations are met.
The seven-party alliance (SPA) in conjunction with the Maoists based on the 12-point understanding reached between the SPA and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) stirred up a people to rebellion. Nepalese people had ignored the call of the political parties for fighting against the regression because the political leaders had run the administration unscrupulously making benefits to their near and dear ones in the past. However, after the king’s takeover and the imposition of a state of emergency by the king, and the complete closure of communication network for a week, and then intermittently for several months causing immense loss of business to the people, Nepalese people came out to the streets against the king and determined to remove him and set up a public. The people’s movement brought down the autocratic king and successfully reinstated the House of Representatives dissolved by the king in October 2002 on the advice of the then-elected government headed by Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Nepalese people wanted a clean government and clean administration. However, the revived House of Representatives had the same old crook and corrupt members. The SPA did not clean up the House rather let the corrupt members enjoy the prestigious position in their parties too. Then, the House promulgated an interim constitution. Pursuant to it, an interim legislature was set up. The same corrupt and unscrupulous members such as Govinda Raj Joshi, Khum Bahadur Khadka of the Nepali Congress (NC) and Chiranjive Wagle of the Nepali Congress-Democratic (NC-D), Bam Dev Gautam of the Nepal Communist Party-Unified Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML), and Surya Bahadur Thapa of the Jana Shakti Party (incarnation of the Panchayat) got the memberships. To those unscrupulous members, added 83 terrorists of the CPN-Maoist. What could Nepalese people expect from such legislators?
Consequently, the take-care government headed by equally unscrupulous Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala did not only prosecute the Army Chief of Staff (CoAS) Pyar Jung Thapa but even did not suspend him for suppressing the people’s movement and for violating the human rights. The Koirala government even promoted another human rights violator Rukumgat Katuwal to the position of CoAS after the retirement of CoAS Pyar Jung Thapa. Prime Minister Koirala nominated his daughter Sujata Koirala – one of the main actors in the infamous corruption scandalous dubbed as Dhamija scandal, to the legislator of the interim legislature.
The political leaders have been not only ignoring the proportional representation, autonomy and federalization for which Nepalese people gave their lives during the people’s movement but also some of them have been vigorously attempting to preserve the monarchy that had been the cause of poverty, denial of equal treatment and human rights. Therefore, all of them attempting to preserve the monarchy can be labeled as the people’s enemies. The irony is that the enemy number one is the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala for his stance on a ceremonial monarchy. It is no wonder that the pro-monarchy political leaders are openly coming out to the streets for preserving the monarchy. In these circumstances, does it make any sense of celebrating the day that did not bring any significant change the Nepalese people have aspired?
The victims of the Maoists and the security have not been compensated by anyone. The brave Nepalese people fighting for their rights during the people’s movement and injured have not been treated well. Some of them have been still languishing in hospitals or at home. Whereabouts of the people enforced disappeared both by the security forces and the Maoists are still unknown. Does it make any sense to them the celebration of the day that did not bring any drastic change in their lives? Did they sacrifice their beautiful lives for bringing the same unscrupulous people and terrorists to power? Nepalese people might need to go a long way before they get a clean government, clean members of parliament and then certainly the rule of law. Therefore, the revolution has been continuing in one way or another in Nepal. It might continue for a long time to come.