Looking glass

The nation is mourning the sad demise of the revered Nepali Congress President and

former prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala. His untimely passing away has left the nation in a fix as

to how the days ahead can grasp with the meaning of the tragic loss. His funeral took place with full state honors which was attended by tens of thousands of well wishers and leaders of various political parties and also leaders from neighboring India. That Koirala was a towering figure and the grand old man in Nepali politics can be attested by the tributes pouring in from people from all sections of life and also those who knew him from close. Koirala was a leader of international stature and is regarded as the greatest politician the country ever had and also a leader of South Asia as a whole. In the span of six decades of involvement in politics Girija Prasad Koirala reached the zenith in politics, starting as a labor union leader in Biratnagar. Koirala was an institution in himself, and it was under his stewardship that the political changes, particularly in the last two decades, took place. He was the one who brokered the peace pact and ended the gruesome conflict in the country by making the Maoists abandon arms and sit down for talks. He is regarded as a “peacemaker” and lately it was seen that he was in the thick of virtually every major political developments actively despite his frail health.

The passing away of Koirala could not have taken place at an more importune moment when the Nepali people needed him the most. With about two months left to promulgate the new constitution Koirala was one person who could have guided the various belligerent political parties to shed their partisan interests in the interest of the country and people so that the constitution could be drafted on time, thereby, bringing the peace process to a logical conclusion. As of now, chaos seems to reign everywhere, not only in politics, but the economic sector too. It is difficult now to imagine how the country will extricate itself from the seeming quagmire without the leadership of the illustrious Koirala. Koirala wished the best for the nation and people and did all he could to encourage a politics of consensus, which is the only way out to see to fruition the achievements of the People’s Movement II. Certainly, the country now lacks leaders of Koirala’s stature and this is an irreparable loss, so the best the leaders could do would be to realize his dream to see a peaceful and prosperous Nepal.

Now, the nation is resigned to the fact that the octogenarian leader is not around to give his sagacious counsel. A sort of vacuum has been created in his absence that will perhaps be impossible to fill. The next generation of leaders should adopt the ideals of Koirala and learn from him. Koirala had made a lot of sacrifices in the fight for democracy, and there is no single individual who could have contributed more in the struggle. His contributions has been duly recognized and tributes flowing to him from world leaders who are all praise for this remarkable man and a political statesman of the highest caliber.

Haunting dread

A review of the total security coverage has come under the scanner but obviously the better days are defiant in the set up. The insecure feeling that has proved all too pervasive is having an impact on the economy machine more than meets the eye. If bandhs, strikes, extortion, violence and the like are taken account of, it has proved to be a death knell to the livelihoods of the people at large. The scene has all the trappings of a horror tale with no wizard to wave his magic wand for the threats to vanish, and the creation of a congenial environment for the right of the people to go around with their day-to-day living in optimum security and the freedom to pursue gainful employment.

In particular reference to the Birgunj hotels that have felt the heat of all that hampers their smooth functioning. The closure of one or two hotels may be the norm, but en masse on the verge sounds bizarre. The fear of unknown assailants landing any time to create a mayhem and abductions and murders at the twitch of the finger has created the unprecedented panic among the Birgunj hoteliers. Mind you, the state in other parts of the country is also no different. Pleas abound, but response stands invisible.