Politics and election
Periodic elections are the beauty of democracy while democracy is defined as the government of the people, for the people and by the people. Such governments are formed with elections and active participation of the people. Periodic elections are rightly taken as the beauty of democracy because of the fact that the elections provide the people with an opportunity to pick and choose their favourite representatives who they believe will work to safeguard their rights and freedom and, thereby, achieve progress, prosperity and unity. However, in the context of Nepal, like in many other developing democracies, elections have been used by the political parties as an opportunity to take advantage of the poor and their ignorance. Here, the leaders have been unfortunately using the elections to cash in on the naivety of the common people and then fulfilling their vested interests. Democracy in Nepal has not thrived as expected because we badly lack the very prerequisite of democracy, that is, education or educated societies. It is because only the educated mass will be conscious and make rational decision without being influenced by anyone or anything. The vast majority of Nepali people living in rural areas are uneducated and poor, unaware of what is happening around the world. Due to lack of education such a large mass has not been able to elect the right person through elections. They have just been casting their votes for the same party and leaders for years. The leaders, on the other hand, have been wooing the people with promises to be broken after elections. Therefore the elections in Nepal have just been a ritual which comes in every five year without any substantial changes. So, in our context, democracy has benefited only the leaders and their political parties, not the people as it is defined as it should be. It is important to educate a vast majority of people who can really understand the meaning of democracy in their lives. Once the people are well educated then they will be able to distinguish what is right and what is wrong.
Rupak R Khanal, Bhaktapur
Apropos of the news story “No freedom under communism, THT page 6, Nov 30”, Nepali people are one of the most powerful in the world, politically. So Sher Bahadur really does not have to worry about freedom of the people, who in the past have chased away the Ranas and the Shahs. Anybody who tries to take away Nepalese’s freedom will pay dearly. In any case Nepali communists are not like Pol Pot or Stalin or even Charu, Che or Fidel. They have weakness for money, business, liquor, foreign trips and all other capitalist trappings. Instead what Sher Bahadur should do as home minister is to control the devastating bombings that are beginning to claim lives “Home ministry fails to check poll-related violence” (THT, November 30, Page 3). It is his first and foremost duty to save lives.
Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu