Storming of US Capitol: Desecration of democracy’s symbol

To many democratic movements around the world, plunged into the darkness of oppression, it provides light on the other side of the tunnel. But the crumbling of the United States into bits and pieces like a beautiful image after hitting to the ground is a pill that is hard to swallow for many

The image of the United States has received yet another punch, this time right on its nose, after the demonstrators stormed into the Parliament building, the Capitol, on that unfortunate Thursday of January 6, 2020. The Senators were moved to a safe place to escape the probable injury from the demonstrators.

The demonstrators entered into the Senate Hall and assumed the chairs of the Senators. It gave a memory of some journalists posing as the king by sitting on the throne of King Gyanendra after his ouster from the kingship.

Some of them, however, regretted their decision later on.

The unsuccessful handling of COVID-19 marked by innumerable demise of the people in the United States had already spoilt the impression of the mightiest nation of the world. This crowd’s unruly behaviour that led to the death of five persons, including one security personnel, has pushed the image of the United States to rock bottom.

Any mishap falling on the United States not only shakes the mindset of the local populace but also of the billions around the globe on account of it being a dreamful preferred destination.

Moreover, it is also an epitome of democracy, freedom and liberty. People look to it as a saviour even in the moments of being trampled by tyrannical powers.

To many democratic movements around the world, plunged into the darkness of oppression, it provides light on the other side of the tunnel. But the crumbling of the United States into bits and pieces like a beautiful image after hitting to the ground is a pill that is hard to swallow for many.

The signs of bad omen were visible following the assumption of the seat of the President of the United States by Donald Trump.

His playing of ostrich by showing indifference to the global menace like climate change and more recently his withdrawal of support to the World Health Organisation at a time when it was needed most on the pretext of being a Chinese chummy had given indication of the worse to follow. It came in its real form from its disguised one after Trump lost to Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential election.

This is, however, not the first time that the US Congress had to undergo such traumatic moments in its history. It was in the year 1783 that an angry mob of the American soldiers converged in the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, demanding payment for their service during the American revolutionary war. This was the time when Nepal was ruled by a rather eccentric King Rana Bahadur Shah. People were so enraged that the king had to escape to India.

It was some time before the capital was moved to Washington in December1800.

It was like our erstwhile parliament housed in the Belayati Baithak in the Singha Durbar compound. The parliament later shifted to the Convention Hall after it was found to be inadequate to house the jumbo-size parliament.

As if this was not enough, on August 24, 1814, it was put into flames by the British in the war of 1812. Barring these two events, the Capitol had always maintained its sanctity from such enforced occupations.

This incident was a kind of suicide goal as it was instigated by none other than the seating President.

His condemnation of the event after it had made the necessary damage were just the shedding of crocodile’s tears for public display.

Understandably, President Trump has opted to be absent at the inauguration ceremony of the new President of the United States. It appears that some wisdom has finally dawned on Trump even if it is at the last moment. Trump has saved himself and the attendees of the ceremony from embarrassment, especially the latter, for the absence of an eye-sore, which is the disgraced President. He happens to be the fourth President after John Adams in 1801, John Quincy Adams in 1829 and Andrew Johnson in 1869 to skip the inauguration of his successor.

It is very likely that, time permitting, President Trump will be impeached if he does not resign. The Speaker of House, Nancy Pelosi, has already indicated of this possibility. The impeachment will restore the image of the United States as a country of law and order. In fact, an impeachment attempt was in the offing on an earlier occasion also, but Trump was lucky to evade it. However, it appears that justice will be done this time.

President and Vice President-elects Biden and Kamala Harris will be faced with a Herculean task of restoring the values that have been eroded by Trump during his four years at the helm of affairs. Though Trump is credited for improving the economy and generating employment, these were just a few sparks amid the doom and gloom that dominated the United States during his term.

The build-up of Black Lives Matter as a movement after the ruthless killing of George Floyd was also a result of the inept handling by Trump. A president is the guardian of the whole of the country. His bias against the blacks and hobnobbing with the whites has created polarisation and division in the United States. His instigation of the demonstrators to storm the US Capitol was beyond normal imagination.

Trump’s self-serving contention that the votes were rigged and the election was stolen from him has been found to be nowhere near the reality. Had it been the case, there would have been voices against it in a country marked by free speech. None of his administration members spoke a word about it.

Vice President Pence said that he had no power to reject the votes.

The absence of a single voice in his favour indicates the hollowness of his claim.