Insulting 'We the People'

<br>Yubaraj Ghimire

May 22, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-21 May .18-2012 (Jestha 05,2069)<BR>

A subjugated mind influences a character in its own way. Blindly following the ‘master’ for some selfish reason is their fundamental character. Equally, such characters have an ambition to subjugate others. In case of the political leaders, it is naturally the people who they would want to subjugate. Such leaders do not adhere to any established norms, ethics or values.

Madhav Nepal fits such a description, along with many, in our politicaldom. On May 16, Madhav Nepal said “the political parties have come to an agreement. What else is the consensus? Process is nothing. It can be completed in a day.”  Buoyed by euphoria over the ‘latest agreement’ reached once again among four big parties leaders just a day earlier, Madhav Nepal said the constitution that Nepali people have been waiting for long, is now just within their arms. And for him, adhering to the established norms for preparing and finalizing a constitution just did not matter.

Let’s look into the man’s past, Post 2001 June.  Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCN-M) used his photograph –showing him offering coin at the feet of King Gyanendra—soon after he ascended the throne. Soon after the palace massacre, he urged upon the new king ‘Your Majesty please don’t forget me when you constitute the probe commission to go into the palace massacre’. The King obliged, but he backed out.   It was not only Nepal, then the leader of the opposition who disappointed many in the wake of a major tragedy in Nepal’s history. G P Koirala, Prime Minister of the day, failed all as well.

He chose not to call the session of parliament and take responsibility to form a commission of inquiry.

In 2008 April, Madhav Nepal lost the poll to the constituent assembly, but showed little qualm in getting into it through the back gate, and use the post of the Constitutional Committee’s Chairmanship as a stepping stone to grab the PM’s chair. Nor did he feel any discomfiture in continuing as the care-taker Prime Minister for more than six months (after he resigned). After all, what is ‘norms and precedence’? President Ram Baran Yadav demonstrated ignorance or character of the same degree that Madhav Nepal possessed as he chose to let Mr Nepal to allow him to continue as the care-taker Prime Minister.But in democracy norms, process and procedure matter, and so does ethics.  There is writing on the wall, and the slogans are very visible. Their echoes in future will be difficult for the likes of Madhav Nepal, Baburam Bhattarai or Prachanda to ignore. Democracy is a process. So is constitution writing. Constitution is not what a set of discredited  politicians offer.  It is what belongs to the people. Its legitimacy is guaranteed by the process followed.

On May 15, a ‘miracle’ happened once again. Big Four met, and came out beaming with claim in chorus ‘we have done it’. And the day following , Madhav Nepal  literally said ‘how does the process matter when we the leaders have done’. It was clearly an insult to ‘we the people’.

What did the leaders do?

They pushed beneath carpet the vexed problem of Federalism. They could not decide on it, so they chose it to defer the problem to the posterity. A shameless incumbent Prime Minister , as shameless Madhav Nepal said ‘we all have the constitution ready by May 27, and I will not stick to the chair indefinitely. I will hand-it over to a leader of another Party who will deliver the constitution’. But what is a constitution? It is a workable and comprehensive document that guides the conduct of the state in deference to well established norms and values . A half constitution is no constitution.  Bhattarai boasted his priority was delivery a constitution on time. Is it The Constitution he promised? Within 24 hours, the United Democratic Madhesi Front , Janajatis , Baidhyas and so many others said they will not accept it. There can not be a please all constitution, but no body will accept one simply because a set of discredited leaders said ‘what we speak is the constitution, and what we offer must be accepted as the constitution’.

Like Subhash Nembang had  issued his edict to the yet to be elected Constituent assembly ‘thou shall abolish monarchy by thy first meeting’. A servile CA did that. A servile CA is not asking its leaders ‘why did you spent four years doing nothing, and why are you appropriating our rights to debate, vote and finalise the constitution’? Four bigs leaders and Speaker Nembang are trying to throttle the process ,and making all attempts to impose a constitution with its rightful place in the dustbin of future history. It is a case of an opportunity bungled, and peoples betrayed.

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