The REAL Revolution
22 year old mayoral candidate Anil Adhikari's election web-site.
Update: February 9. Anil Adhikari has graciously agreed to share his thoughts with us here at blogdai. Our interview below:
BD: Anil, why did you decide to run for Mayor?
AA: actullay..i wanted to show the neplese all over the world that...best >mind..best people never leave their country...coplaining about >opportunity..they themselves create the opportunity...if young people can >fight...and die for the country..they can rule..and governance too ...as we >all know young people r dying..and old r talking here in nepal......
Do you feel frightened of Maoist/Party retalliation?
>no ..but ..i dont want to die soon..a dogs death..and u know one saying >"kera ko khamba...7 vhai jamma" thses partys r just united for few >days...like in tihar..after tihar they will start to fight for the >distribution of power..>
What does "democracy" mean to you?
>democracy mean you r as giood as me ...it is just an experiment...where >num,bers of votes r given more importnace..than its weight...sometime >democracy means all the fools r in same side.....>
BD: Do you feel the King is on the right track with these elections, despite the low turn-out?
>the king...ahhahahhah......i just dont understand..why party and people r >despising him..he is the most weakest man in nepal ..if people become >strong in the leadership od some charismatic leader..like o;over crombell >like napoleoon...like churchil...he can do nothing....i will try to be like >those leaders...we need strong leaders..and strong followers to make ou >rnepal a strong ..nation..
------------------Blogdai wonders about all those people who claimed Nepal's first attempt at municipal elections in 7 years were a waste of time. It seems, and estimates vary, that there was a paltry 8-20% turnout for these polls.
A poor turnout in a Western country, with widespread campaigning contributing to voter knowledge; a free society that insures fairness (relative) at the polls and open and contentious debate from all sides; is usually measured in the 40 percentile range. We call this a "pathetic" turnout and use terms like "voter apathy" and say that people were not doing their "democratic duty." Blogdai wonders what the election turnout would be in a Western country that was under the same pressures as Nepal where:
-Polling places were attacked and destroyed the day before elections, as in Dhankuta
-Voters were threatened with violence if they voted, as the were in Bhaktapur.
- Mayoral candidates' homes were bombed by Maoists and candidates were shot, as they were
multiple places throughout Nepal.
-Candidates withdrew their names from consideration due to intimidation from the deposed
political parties and the Maoists.
-Nepal itself hadn't conducted a free, fully participatory election in over 7 years and had no
logistical expertise in conducting such a widespread poll.
All things considering, an 8% turnout is a courageous victory for those who are seeking a new beginning and legitimate popular representation. The fact that anyone turned out for these elections at all is a victory. People who went to the polls were, literally, casting their votes under fire. Is a chance for a real democracy worth this risk? Would we have done the same?
For the EU or any outside nation to call these elections a "backward step," is an uneducated and woefully uninformed slap in the face to those 8% of Nepali's who were tired of the status quo--royal or political--and just wanted to exercise some free and individual choice for a change. No, this is a "first step." The fact that it was or was not a success is immaterial. Nepalis are on the proper road now; the road to an actual representative democracy with the full participation of its citizens.
So the next time you talk about revolutions, consider those in Nepal who either ran or participated in the elections. People who are desperate for change and were willing to sacrifice their personal comfort and jeopardize their lives for what they perceived as the common good: a foreign concept in Nepali politics up to this point
Therein lies the revolution.
(Visit Anil Adhikari if you are able at his website: aniladhikari.com.np It's hard to get on because he is innundated with traffic and frequently exceeds his bandwidth-BD)