The politics of status quo

Jana Andolan II has benefited the SPA constituents by elevating them to power. The Maoists have left the jungle and are recognised as a legal force of national prominence. They have been given a clean chit for human rights violations. Many foreign forces and agencies made their presence felt by engaging in Nepal’s internal politics. But the downtrodden Nepalis who fought for Loktantra and suffered torture are left empty- handed. Only a few heading the various parties have enjoyed the fruits of the April revolution, causing discontent among public.

Six months have elapsed since the end of the movement but recent activities of both the SPA and the Maoists indicate that they are content with prolonging the status quo. They, otherwise, fear losing their importance and seem to be fooling people by voicing their differences on issues such as arms management, interim constitution, interim government, and CA polls. They are engaged in time-buying tactics like emphasising the importance of one issue over the other.

The holding of one summit meeting after another to lengthen the status quo is not amusing the Nepalis. They have set aside the people’s aspirations for their narrow political interests. Millions who swarmed the streets are now feeling betrayed by their leaders. The movement has only served as a springboard for the leaders to come back to power. They are enjoying themselves at the cost of the people. Common Nepalis have had to put up with all kinds of problems. The security situation has worsened with no guarantee of life and property. Unlawful killings, kidnappings and terror activities are still the norm. The socio-economic life has also been degraded to a considerable extent.

The displaced people have not been able to return to their homes and unemployment is on the rise. Corruption is at an all-time high and good governance is virtually non-existent. Inside the parties, cunning fellows are having their say. There is no recognition of qualified people outside the party rank and file as most appointments are made politically.

Public institutions like Tribhuvan University have been operating without a head for nearly five months. So is the case with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where posts of ambassador have not been filled because of the parties’ narrow interests. It seems like the government does not want competent persons who are not associated with certain political parties or leaders to occupy those posts. Most government offices remain inactive. In short, it’s the environment of complete chaos. Whoever has the power reigns supreme. The leaders talk about the rule of law, but they have been unable to enforce it. And the government has hardly any development plans. Those in power only seem interested in directing foreign aid in such a way as to serve them personally too. Nepal’s economy could have collapsed long ago had it not been for remittances. Most industries and factories are on the verge of closure due to frequent clashes between the owners and workers.

The Maoist and SPA leaders appear to be prolonging the status quo. They put vital decisions for tomorrow, which never comes. Nepalis are losing patience and want the leaders to fulfil the Jana Andolan’s mandate. The leaders should know that they can fool some people for some of the time, but they cannot fool all people all the time.