Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pillars and Politicians

Blogdai has always wondered what it would be like to re-start a democracy-knowing what we all know now. We've been debating democracy quite vigorously in this blog, with each and all having a different take on its definitions. Blogdai feels that the most basic pillars of democracy were at risk in Nepal prior to the takeover. The rule of law, citizen security, public trust, political transparency and accountability were among these pillars.

Nepal has a chance to rebuild a new and improved version of its democracy. All Nepalis were sick and tired of corruption; and the CIAA, though well meaning, was essentially toothless. Now, Gyenendra is instituting reforms aimed at real transparency. Finally there is some teeth in the monitoring and prosecuting of corrupt officials. No more Lauda Air scandals, blogdai says.

Now wait a minute. Isn't the king a despotic unilateralist murderer? Why would he institute a strong anti-corruption measure against himself? Could it be that he is laying the groundwork for a new parliament and government? So far, there is no mention of curtailing any legislative powers of Nepal's government- only corruption. Get rid of the worst and least democratic parts of the old government only. Sound like an autocrat to you?

So, if we were to consider some new definitions of "pillars" of democracy, let's add the vigorous and hopefully independent monitoring of all government transactions to insure transparency and defeat corruption. Nice huh? Blogdai would also like to see term limits as a new pillar, but that's for another time.

Meanwhile, the parties just don't get it. They are planning a street protest as soon as they can organize-possibly in a few hours. Naturally, G.P. Koirala is behind it.

Over the past year, even more, the parties refused to reach agreement, compromise or concensus with each other or the King. The only thing that they were able to do was organize street protests that made everyone in Kathmandu fed up and angry with their recalcitrance. So let's see, the country is falling apart, Maoists are gaining in strength, and all you can do is organize street protests. Laughably, these protests against the king and "regression" continued long after the King recinded the move that inspired the term.

This could have all been solved if the parties would have just stopped bickering. In times of crises, real democratic governments put aside their differences and bond against a common threat. Not this time. The Parties scratched at each other like old cats right up until the takeover.

These protesters are going to get arrested before they start this demonstration and a big human rights stink will be made. The western media, who didn't know Nepal from Naples prior to the takeover will now expertly cry out that "democracy" has been stifled once again. Never mind that these protests will be paid for, new banners and all, by the same corrupt political parties that sent Nepal to the brink of collapse just a few months ago.



At 8:34 AM, February 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog bhai, I am a three hundred year old person, hence I can call you 'bhai'.

Your views are strong. Only they do not take into account the whole of Nepal.

1. No unity and loyalty among the parties: Gyanendra is seen to be a killer of his brother and the entire family. Take about not being able to work with anyone!
2. Corruption: the palace and the army should be subject to scrutiny. All the Ranas and Shahs and all the great courtiers of the palace should leave themselves open to the anti-corruption drive. The skeletons in their cupboards will then tremble when the people come and conduct the audit. Remember France? Remember Russia? Remember Iran? Of course not, you were not born. It was bloody. The people won.
This is the last monarchy in Nepal.It's the end, brother, it's the end.

At 9:11 AM, February 18, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Good point, it seems that no one is clean in this thing. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some independent body charged with oversight on ALL groups: King, RNA and congress.

I agree with you totally, but don't you think we need to start at least somewhere? Corrupt Nepali politicians are an easy and obvious target. If we can get them under control, then blogdai will join you in trying to find a way to bring all Royals and army personnel into accountability as well.

Topainko tin say ani? Then let me call you respected Babu! -=blogdai

At 1:37 PM, February 18, 2005, Anonymous Ashok said...

King G appears to be religiously following the footsteps of his father some 46 years down the line. The rhetoric for assuming control is the same (parties = loot, plunder, greed, incompetence..). So are the choices of actors who have been brought in to crack the whip.

The managemnt style which inadvertently will be brought into play - we have lived through them for 30 years. I know the stifling of the voices did not speed up people's participation in development nor did it create a foundation for a just and equitable society. Corruption, greed and naked use of power - the very evils G abhors - was very much there except many of us did not find the courage to voice our concerns. What we experienced at all levels of leadership were individuals who thought of themselves as mini-kings. They kowtowed to those upper in the pecking order and demanded absolute fealty from those below.

The fractitious greedy lot screwed up, this i have no doubt. What I fail to understand is how G using the same set of old tools plans to fix things in 3 months what his predecessors could not do in 30.

Oh, and the maobadis still remain to be factored into the above equation.

At 8:48 AM, February 19, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Thanks for the great insights. Perhaps G will succeed because of the very thing that you mention above. Too many kings, cooks, or what have you, spoiled Nepal's democracy broth.

Perhaps we can look at it this way: Even if the worst and most corrupt of Nepali politicians: Girija Babu was left to his own devices without the other masses of greedy politicians all competing for their individual interests, he might have accomplished at least something.

One vision, any vision, for moving Nepal forward is better than dozens of visions that cancel each other out.


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