Respect public opinion

It took only 48 hours for people to tell the four parties what they think of their new Constitution, editorial ‘Pay heed’ (THT, July 24, Page 8). Their design to hurry endorsement of their constitution through the people to obtain legitimacy of their action has been soundly thrashed. The four parties’ ambition of climbing to the top on the human ladder of illiterate lawmakers, admitted through back door of proportional representation, has been foiled by the people. As deference to the wishes of the masses, proportional representation must be completely scrapped; president, prime minister and all other elected positions from ward chairpersons upwards must be filled through direct elections; Bachelor’s degree must be made mandatory to get elected on top executive posts.

There should be other important conditions for president, prime minister and indeed for all elected positions. Some of these conditions are: candidates must not have been charged with fraud, terrorism, crime, debt default, accomplices of gangsters and so on and so forth. Democratic India had been reported to have initially rejected a politician as ambassador-designate to India for his involvement in hijacking a plane and looting NRB money in the 1970s. It is important for people in public positions to be the epitome of honesty and morality. The recent earthquake has proved that our apolitical urban youth in their 20s and 30s, and not 40s, 50s and 60s, are capable of taking care of the country well. The politicians must have got the message clearly within 48 hours what the people want in the new constitution and what the ways are to make the nation prosperous and peaceful.

J. Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur

Bandh culture

This is with reference to the general strike called by the CPN-M led by Netra Bikram Chand on July 24. The strike was against the wishes of general people who do not want any more disturbances whatsoever. Ideologically, CPN-M is the party which claims to be the champion of the working class and farmers. But what they do in everyday politics is just the opposite to its ideology. A general strike, whoever may call it, does not affect the well-off people but the poor who need to work hard to earn a bare living. The major political parties should pass a law against general strikes. Even if they call the strike it should not affect the educational institutions which have been hit hard by the devastating April 25 earthquake. Everybody understands the fact that the bandhs or strikes do not force the government to implement demands of the bandh enforcers. But they continue to do it as they never try to look for other alternatives that may attract a large number of people. The culture of bandh can be discouraged only if the people gather courage to defy it and the people should not vote for those parties which often call bandhs to serve their political interests.

Prabal Rai, via e-mail