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Nepalis’ April Mandate and Political Morality

Nepalis’ April Mandate and Existing Political Morality


by Mohan Nepali

The development of the principles of political morality is vital for appropriate implementation of development policies. Political morality is related to internal character. The exterior political systems can never be correct without building up internal moral infrastructures. Both educational and media systems need to pay a serious attention to this fact. Mere superficialization of issues and events does not mold us well. Ignoring our internal variables does not result in better understanding of issues.

The April uprising clearly indicated the profound aspirations of the Nepalis for tremendous changes in all spheres of their lives. Mainly the hopes and aspirations of the working class people were manifested during the 19-day mass movement. They produced a street verdict of the republic, indicating their keen desire to dismantle all kinds of feudal structures to replace them with the new ones that can tally with the needs of the 21st century. Once the king retreated from his direct rule, it was believed that Nepal was heading towards revolutionary changes soon through the restored House even though the House reinstitution was not people’s demand at all. The Nepalis generally believed that the bloodbath could be reduced through the House restoration because there was a possibility that more people could die in case the people wanted to establish the republic directly from the streets. With this in mind, people wanted to wait and see. But the restored House revived many anti-democracy elements. It also revived the corrupt leaders that were getting extinct. It predetermined the royal successors while the majority of people were for abolishing monarchy. The restored House became a place of party conflicts overshadowing the issue of abolishing feudalism. The restored House equally mirrored the same unchanged political character, disreputed for being less accountable to people.

The greatest mistake that the eight parties made during the period of 15 months’ political and constitutional exercises was that they maintained the old mechanisms set up by the previous rulers. They gave people the sense that they were like previous rulers, with belief in old mechanisms. They morally and politically depended on the same old structures. Now the greatest mistake they are going to make is holding the Constituent Assembly elections by relying on the security apparatus cultured and molded by the existing feudal monarchy.

What is more surprising is that the seven parties currently in power have never sought any change in their political leaderships. Previous corruption scandals have ill-impressed people. Generally, people believe that most of the leaders, belonging both to central and district levels, easily sell themselves off for money. People even doubt that the billionaire king of Nepal and his billionaire partners may most probably buy them before the Constituent Assembly polls can take place. Thus, moral reliability lacks alarmingly in the existing political leaderships. The first thing they could do after the April uprising was to replace their corrupt leaderships with the clean-imaged, new and dynamic ones so as to ensure the environment for overall transformation. With these existing political leaderships, even nominal changes will be bargained a lot.

Although the law of self-preservation is generally considered the first law of nature, it must not be held at the cost of public wellbeing. It means the threshold of transformation of the Nepali society must not be misused for preserving anybody’s personal paradise at the cost of the general wellbeing. If the existing political leaderships of Nepal maintain traditional structures by repainting them to deceive people, practical effects will begin to appear within a half decade with the possibility of more exacerbated conflicts. When leaderships do not voluntarily quit, people may use force against them. At present, the clear possibility of sidelining progressive and change-minded political forces is equally growing. Especially, India and the US are openly trying to play antagonistic roles in Nepal. In the name of preventing Maoists from the mainstream power, they are deliberately nurturing feudal warlords and smugglers and heinous criminals labeled as democrats. Real investigation can prove this argument. Home and Defence Affairs officials are not working for their own people. Massacres are taking place with growing impunity, a concern not only for ordinary Nepali citizens but also for the international human rights justice systems.

The April uprising of 2007 was meant not for all these evils. It was for mapping a new Nepal. The direction of the movement has almost been derailed. Therefore, before the Constituent Assembly polls, it would be quite relevant to reconsider the existing political morality. It would be much wiser to question: is the existing level of political morality compatible with the April mandate?

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