It looks like a destiny for Nepalese, over the last five years, to be optimistic at one time and pessimistic at the other regarding the constitution. Whenever questions of the constitution arise, we always remember the 12-point agreement. Under the agreement, Maoists expressed their commitment to give up the series of violent politics and join the peace process. However, Maoists had added certain conditions and pursued their own values in complex languages under the agreement. Along with Nepalese leaders, Indian leaders also took the credit for this 12-point agreement. India’s former defense minister and current finance minister Pranab Mukhrejee has publicly said that India has played a major rule in the 12-point agreement.
People have stopped discussions on the 10 years long, so-called People’s War. Nobody talks about why this? For what and with what purpose was it launched and what results the country has achieved from the ‘War’. Which power is behind it? It was said that People’s War was for salvation of oppressed, backward and marginalized communities. The Maoist party constituted armed groups, equipping them with arms to eliminate the oppressors. However, People’s War later turned into a movement to illuminate established political workers by expanding violence in society and to weaken the country. By harping on communal slogans, the objective of the so-called People’s War was to increase the political power. The violent movement passed a series of stages destroying the unity and harmony of Nepal. So called People’s war created hate and distrust in society on the basis of religion, caste, communal, and ethnical basis. During the period of violent movement, they declared the state on the basis of ethnicity and formed a parallel government. Living under tyrannical rule for a long period of time, aspirations of people were high, when democracy was restored through Janandolan in 1990. However, the state failed to address all the aspirations of the people and Maoists cashed this frustration to fuel their violent struggle.
Actually, in fewer than four years after the experiment of parliamentary system, Maoist launched the violent war against it. In the initial four years, Nepal made a sound economic progress with positive economic indicators and there were no chances for criminalization in society like now. Corruption was not out of control and social harmony was not deteriorating as is now. People held high aspirations for recognition of their identity and the state was also addressing them. As media enjoyed freedom, private sector came to invest on it. There was linguistic and cultural freedom in the country. The state has not controlled Radio, Television and newspaper on the basis of language, culture and education. State has given the right to protect the language, culture and education of various communities. As the society was in the process of gradual transformation, armed insurrection was launched suddenly. People have made rare efforts to investigate where it came from and why it was launched. As six years have already passed since the signing of the 12-point agreement, Nepal is yet to get peace. The time has come for all us now to ask questions to those who launched the violent movement against a constitution which was an outcome of popular movement and the government elected under constitution. They have to reply what demand the change fulfilled?
Is not it time to think about this question realistically, whether Nepal has moved to more unstable scenario in the last 16 years following the launching of so-called People’s War? Whose responsibility is it to raise fingers against those who pushed Nepal into the current darkness? The question is not the 12-point agreement or anything else. The question was to remember the day when a man was killed in the name of so-called People’s War. Do people have in memory the person, his address, village or locality? Do people know the person who planned this entire violent event and assigned them to launch so called People’s War? If people do not know all these matters behind the episode, they cannot say anything about Nepalese politics. If they don’t have the capacity to interpret it, Nepal’s integrity will also be at stake.
Now we have been busy discussing about the type of constitution we need and what elements we need to include in it. Constitution is not merely a bundle of papers. One section believes that power is more important than the constitution. Other believes that the constitution is the law of the land and country needs to protect the constitution. They hold the view that law is required for public security and law is supreme. Thus law and sovereignty need strengthening. This is the real reason behind the present crisis or two political thoughts represented in constitution writing. Just making a populist expression and commitment is enough for one group. In a revolutionary slogan, we have pushed the country into federalism. The country is in this agenda now. We pushed the country into secularism and we are dragged on it. We pushed the country into caste and ethnicity and now we are trapped it it. With the launching of violent politics, violence is legitimized as a part of politics. Because of all these reasons, the constitution writing process is totally trapped in the present crisis.
Nobody raised anything when the agreement was made at the Constitutional Committee to reverse things in the meeting at a resort or hotel room. There is a trend in politics to blame others by putting all the problems beneath the carpet. Even if he has seen dirt many times, UCPN-Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal is showing he has seen nothing. There is a routine in the Maoist party to blame each other as foreign agents. It is pretty confusing who is whose agent. Even if one follows their statement, Maoist leaders issue three different statements on one single day. It is very difficult to recognize which is a genuine statement of a particular leader.
Why is there the demand for federalism? It is now difficult to justify. They said earlier that federalism is for identity. Now the situation is that they are themselves searching their own identity. Are they Marxist? Maoist? Leninist or Stalinist? Where is Prachandapath and what is it all about? Are these slogans sent by somebody to demand? Does anybody have the answer how Baburam became the prime minister in a party where Prachanda is the president? Out of ten years, both of them lived in India eight years together. Why does nobody contradict the words that one is popular in India and the other is unpopular? Now, their party workers themselves are exposing them.
As said earlier, the question can be raised in other fronts also. Was Maoist violent conflict or in the Maoist leader Baburam’s word “civil war” not originated in Nepal? It is very strange that Nepal’s stability is unacceptable to others. Four or five factors or interests are involved in Nepal’s instability. It looks that Indians dislike a stable, strong, people-participated democracy, people’s dignity, autonomy and sovereignty exercised by Nepal. Whenever any government around the world strengthens its own intelligence agency to work outside the country, it weakens diplomatic service and the intelligence gradually surrounds political leadership. In a situation like this in the neighborhood, countries like Nepal will have to face this kind of situation. For example, the government of Pakistan may not know what ISI has been doing. Russia’s legitimate government may now know what KGB is doing outside. The US president is said to be all powerful. In reality, CIA can reportedly has the capability to destabilize over 60 countries around the world. This is not an exception in intelligence agency of our neighbor India. Similarly, India’s inteligence agency RAW is reportedly said to be more powerful than South Block in dealing with neighbors. Nepalese people have a fair knowledge now that India’s intelligence agency is more powerful in Nepal’s policy matters than political leadership or External Affairs Ministry. It is not difficult to know that demand of various political parties for 7 provinces, 14 provinces or 10 provinces or one Madhesh, two madhesh or Akhanda Tharuhat is also part of this changing reality. There may be constitution by May 27. But, how will it come or where will it come from and what would it look like? All Nepalese need to be watchful about the event.
(Translated article published in Nagarik Daily)