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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Which bomb do you fear in Kathmandu?

Jiwan Kshetry

The latest bombing incident in Kathmandu comes as an unexpected woe to the government in Nepal already sitting atop the myriad of domestic problems. Even as the incident seems to be one of the sporadic attacks in Kathmandu, the timing of the incident spells bad for the over-all political direction. Exploring the ramification of the apparently small bomb and the giant 'political bomb' waiting to explode in near future in Nepal:

Nothing useful is known till now as to who was behind the reckless attack killing three people, nor is known the motive behind that. Likely this incident will also be forgotten after few days as in the past.

But this time the incident might have come as an harbinger of worse days to come soon. With utter failure of the politicians to deliver on their promises to write a constitution, the nation is lurching towards a dangerous cliff called May 27 when the extended tenure of the Constituent Assembly (CA) is set to expire.

While people are clueless about the future, the politicians are grunting at each other in many issues to be sorted out before any kind of constitution can be drafted. The simmering tensions along ethnic lines also look to worsen by the day and indeed the bombing incident could be the result of this. These are sure to flare in case the political stagnation gives way to utter chaos post-May 27.

Yet that is the downside of realities in Nepal and things are not as bad as often depicted by analysts attempting to exhort the politicians to do better. Even though the political parties look increasingly impotent at solving the outstanding problems of the moment and the CA has become the victim of endless power bargains and ego of politicians, the achievements of the body are not 'nil' as dreaded by many people.

To point few, the tangible consequence of the anti-Monarchy revolt of 2006 was that the decade long brutal insurgency came to an effective end. Many analysts inside and outside Nepal often ignore this point while viewing the recent past of Nepal. Successfully conducting the CA polls amid innumerable hurdles (some of which were larger than those present now) was another logical sequelae of the 2006 revolt.

After that point, the parties went into a destructive game, that is for sure.

In that case, what is the upside now?

As the bombing incident shows, many things are unpredictable now. Despite persisting differences, the political parties have made substantial progress in peace process that is irreversible in any case. Despite worsening, the ethnic tensions have not yet reached the dreadful extent and can be managed reasonably well if the politicians awake soon. Corruption is rampant but judiciary has recently caught some big fishes scaring the others a little bit.

And the fate of the CA? That is the million dollar question. Though the supreme court has ruled that its tenure can be prolonged no longer, I think ending CA without completing the task is something akin to choosing a known devil instead of unknown one. No constitution, no representative body like CA, that will be a perfect recipe for a mega-disaster.

If that happens on May 27, that bomb will be incomparably more disastrous than the petty bomb that exploded in Kathmandu on Monday. 


bishnurath said...

I believe that we are peace loving. what has ruined us is the insufflation of violence inside our society by the political parties. it is high time that our true nature be unleashed. the current big players of nepali politics should be kicked out of the political arena. and as we conducted CA elections successfully, we can lead the 'mega disaster' into safe landing with fruitful course. we just need new leadership: responsible, committed and clean.

but that's not what i expect. i am optimistic that the peace process will be concluded soon and the constitution will be drafted within jyestha 14th with the issue of Federalism and state restructuring being postponed as a responsibility of to be newly elected representatives house.

let's hope for the best.


jiwan said...

Bishnu, thanks for your insightful comment. Only problem is even if CA ends in May 27, the same set of arrogant leaders is sure to be at helm; one way or other. Responsible, committed and clean lot of politicians would be too good but that expectation is far from realistic. All we can do is wish but it is sad truth that those who can make a real change get spoilt while ascending the ladder to political power; see how arrogant the student leaders are already.
I am batting for prolonged CA, knowing all well the nearly-defunct state in which it is; just because I fear a bloody repetition of 10 year cycle of death and destruction in case we choose an alternative. That is the sloppiness in which things take place; yet let's not loose hope.

विजय कुमारको खुशी पढेपछि

जीवन, खुशी अहंकार

जीवनमा अफ्ठ्यारा घुम्तीहरुमा हिंडिरहँदा मैले कुनै क्षणमा पलायनलाई एउटा विकल्पको रुपमा कल्पना गरेको थिएँ, त्यसलाई यथार्थमा बदल्ने आँट गरिनँ, त्यो बेग्लै कुरा हो त्यसबेला लाग्थ्योः मेरा समग्र दुखहरुको कारण मेरो वरपरको वातावरण हो, यसबाट साहसपूर्वक बाहिरिएँ भने नयाँ दुख आउलान् तर तत्क्षणका दुरुह दुखहरु गायब भएर जानेछन् कति गलत थिएँ !

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