Work now, fight later

The outrageous demand of the CPN (Maoist) to dissolve the House of Representatives as a prelude to holding talks has been shot down by the Minister for Land Reforms and Management Prabhu Narayan Chaudhari. The demand presents the CPN (Maoist) in a poor light. In a similar reaction, the CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, too, has downplayed the possibility of House dissolution until an alternative is found. While voices are heard for the House dissolution, there is another section that is insisting on its continuation until the next parliamentary elections are completed. In this context, Deputy Prime Minister K P Oli’s assurance to the Maoists of the government’s commitment to exercise maximum flexibility to create a conducive environment for opening a dialogue cannot but be taken positively. The onus now rests on the radical comrades to honestly reciprocate the official gesture by immediately putting an end to all their subversive activities such as extortion and intimidation. Instead of being bogged down by suspicion, the Maoists should rest assured that the House Declaration 2006 — hammered out by the seven-party alliance — is in keeping with the people’s aspirations and in no way intends to bypass the Maoists.

Obviously, there can be no room for subverting the democratic process to serve personal ends or the political agenda of an individual or a group of individuals. The government, therefore, needs to protect the achievements of the struggle and promote the cause of hard-won democracy. Maoists’ inflammatory statements and atrocious demands should not obstruct the process of bringing them into the political mainstream, all the more so at this critical juncture when the modalities and procedures for holding the elections to a constituent assembly have to be carefully crafted. If conceded, the Maoist demand would lead to a political vacuum, offering an invite to the ‘reactionary’ forces to walk in and create mischief. This kind of a scenario must by all means be avoided. The duty of safeguarding the attainments of the Jana Andolan not only rests with the government but also with all those who fought valiantly to usher in the historic changes. The present people-friendly environment gives no cause for suspicion to any party, no matter how powerful or small it may be. The need of the hour is to reach a consensus based on ground realities sans ideological posturing. Only through deliberations and consolidation of the democratic gains can the nation forge ahead towards a better tomorrow. Relentless bickerings and futile arguments over non-issues will only serve to erode the public support. Any let up in honouring the people’s wishes is inconceivable, especially at a time when the polity still has a long way to go. No point underplaying the glorious movement that restored democracy. Establishing a new Nepal is, and has to be, the priority of all irrespective of their affiliation and ideology.