A similar kind of situation had prevailed in the nineties marked by the Maoist rebellion and below par performance of the political parties. It was then that Gyanendra appeared on the political scene, putting all the political leaders behind bars. A similar event may stage a comeback if the situation continues to deteriorate in the present state
Not all is well with the country. It is perhaps tottering in the precipice of a disaster like never before.
The three organs of the country, the legislative, the judiciary and the executive, are all in a state of standstill.
The parliament has not been able to function because of the opposition by the UML. This is not the first time that the parliament has been dysfunctional.
In the nineties, the parliament was obstructed for almost two months. But that time, the judiciary was operational. The government was also performing even if below par.
Presently, the court has not been functioning because of the dubious behaviour of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He has been alleged to have interfered in the functioning of the government by seeking the appointment of his relatives as ministers. Consequently, his brother-in-law Gajendra Hamal resigned after days of becoming the minister. The Bar has been on a perpetual strike since months now.
The government's performance has been dismal because the farmers have not received even basic commodities like seeds and fertiliser. If the government cannot provide sundries like seeds and fertiliser, that too for payment by the farmers, one can imagine what other services the government may have been delivering at the present.
The economy of the country has taken a nose drive. Imports are increasing at an alarming pace.
The only saviour of the economy, remittance, is heading on the way down.
The banks are devoid of liquidity.
Madhes is on a boil after a stir launched by the Janamat Party led by C K Raut, whose concerns such as the indifference shown by the government towards the farmers appear justified despite the rather terror-like means employed to address them.
The Rastriya Prajatantra Pary, led by the newly-appointed youth and energetic Rajendra Lingden, is also stretching its political muscles for protests to restore the Hindu nation, constitutional monarchy and strengthening local development by flushing the provincial system out from the constitution.
When the country is in such turmoil, the political parties are reveling in election after election. The conventions have just come to an end, which were fruitless.
Because the dictatorial faces of the UML and MC (Maoist Centre), more so of the latter, were badly exposed by the installation of the party central members and office bearers through an election for name sake in the case of the UML and total selection by the MC.
The UML did not bother to have a policy debate by dubbing it an election convention. The ideological discussion in the MC was quite interesting, but it proved to be a farce at the end because they retained the leader who had admitted several of his faults in the past.
The Nepali Congress had a democratic exercise perhaps of the first order, but it was eclipsed by the lack of ideological debate. The political volte-face by Prakash Man Singh, Bimalendra Nidhi and Kalyan
Gurung also did not send a good message across the nation. It helped in strengthening the status quo at the expense of transformation and change within the party.
As if these were not enough, the country is going through another round of district conventions, which though are being enjoyed by the party cadres, are of least or no concern to the people. It is because the people have virtually been strangled by the never ending waves of the coronavirus.
They have lost their jobs and found it very difficult to have two square meals a day. Despite this, the parties appear very indifferent to them. Countries like South Korea postpone their election until a favourable time if they find it detrimental to the economy.
But in Nepal, the economy and the welfare of the people are generally relegated to the background.
The country has just received a new constitution.
It has yet to be made operational through the enactment of several acts. For this, the people had provided near to a two-third majority to the Communist Party of Nepal led by K P Oli. The Opposition was almost in a state of slumber to the extent that it even did not bother to oppose the plan and policies of the government and ended up supporting them. In such a favourable time, the government should have worked day and night to fulfill the crevices in the constitution. Instead, the Communist Party went on a fighting spree among its leaders, eventually leading to its self-destruction.
Who is responsible for this state of affairs? Obviously the Communist Party of Nepal for dishonoring the verdict of the people and indulging in juvenile delinquency like infighting in the party. So, these parties have the responsibility to lift the country out of the present crisis. For this, the UML, being the main opposition, should behave responsibly. The present blockade of the parliament should be immediately stopped. It should then open dialogue with its erstwhile comrades-in-arms instead of engaging in abusive allegations, which are embarrassing to the listeners as well as viewers. Once the parliament is open, it will provide the for addressing other impending problems.
Corruption has almost engulfed the nation. The government should order a probe to look after the assets of the high officials beginning with the politicians in a top down manner. Because the top three leaders, Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress, Oli of the UML and Prachanda of the MC have been alleged in the social media to have amassed huge fortunes through corrupt practices.
The time has come to reveal the truth. One cannot expect pure water by cleaning the tap top without cleaning the source.
A similar kind of situation had prevailed in the nineties marked by the Maoist rebellion and below par performance of the political parties. It was then that Gyanendra appeared on the political scene, putting all the political leaders behind bars. A similar event may stage a comeback if the situation continues to deteriorate in the present state.
A version of this article appears in the print on January 12, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.