ARJUN NARASINGHA KC
While the existing Constituent Assembly (CA) was in jeopardy on May 27 midnight, the UCPN-M and its allies were busy hatching a plot with the sole interest of thrusting totalitarianism onto the country. Their move was not discussed among the CA members, other political parties and the speaker. Nor was consensus sought within the UCPN-M itself. The members of the CA who represented the sovereign people were deprived of the information that the CA was to exist no more.
Election can never be unacceptable and undesirable for the parties that believe in a democratic polity. However, in the name of election, the country is being elevated to the helm of conflict and anarchy.
As a result of Maoist lop-sided belief on a single-caste-based federalism backed up by its ulterior motives of creating communal conflicts under the direction of its chairman, the ethnic nationalities called for a three day general strike which was mostly led by the YCL activists. This was evidence that the Maoist interest was not to promulgate the new constitution but to create conflicts in the society so they could work for their long-planned strategy of capturing the state power. The involvement of the Maoists in the NEFIN’s bandh was proved by NEFIN’s Chairman Rajkumar Lekhi’s allegation that the violent activities during the bandh were the “atrocities created by the government vigilantes”.
The fraudulent interests of the Maoists of single caste-based state might
appear decorative at first, but eventually it will turn out to be disastrous—and the indigenous groups must possess such clairvoyance. In fact, caste-based identity is the foundation of the
feudalists which was
inherited from the Middle Ages.
The strong foundation of the Nepali nationality has been formed with communal harmony and social integrity. I was in Biratnagar recently to participate in a party program—there was a slogan painted on the wall: ‘Ham bideshi nahin, Madhesi hain, tum se jyada swadeshi hain’(We are not aliens, We are Madhesi, and more than you we are imbued with nationalism). The spirit of nationalism is being logically and rationally raised in Tarai-Madhes at present.
Nepali Congress believes that nationalism should transcend political orientation, class and caste—nationalism must amalgamate the three.
In the late 1980s, Subhas Ghising, the leader of the the Gorkhaland movement, said in Mirik: “The word Gorkha is the award granted by the Kshetris of Nepal which we have also got as our share.” What he meant to say was that the Kshetris of Nepal awarded the Nepali ethnic nationalities and Nepali lingual Indians with the honorary identity of ‘Gorkha.’
During the entire life of the CA, the Maoists of Nepal also tried their level best to divert the attention from the responsibility of drafting the constitution to making sure that their hidden agenda (so-called Peoples’ Republic) materialized. The Maoists have been inconsistent about their federal model. At first, they agreed for 6-8 states, then for 14 states and ultimately for 10 or 15 states. Nobody should be unmindful of the fact that the stance of the Maoists in favor of single caste-based federal states has provoked people to take to the streets to express their anger at each other.
Now, there are five important responsibilities with Nepali Congress- 1. We should expose to the people the totalitarian attitudes and conspiracies of the Maoists to capture the regime; 2. In order to maintain social harmony that has been disturbed by the Maoists in favor of
caste-based federalism, the NC should disseminate its message among the Nepalis with historical evidence of our commitment towards keeping the communal
harmony intact; 3. We should ensure to the people that the NC is amidst them, abiding by the law of the land and looking for social peace and harmony; 4. We have to develop total
intra-party unity and try to co-work with all the
democrats; and 5. We also need to prepare ourselves for yet another democratic movement realizing our
historical responsibility that NC has yet to launch
another democratic movement in Nepal.
In a nutshell, it is because of the Maoists that the sovereign people of Nepal are deprived of the historic opportunity to have a constitution written by their representatives. I do not see the country’s situation to be within our control in the days ahead. Before such a situation emerges, someone, maybe the President of the country, should initiate action not to allow the situation to go from bad to worse.
The memorandum submitted to the President by the 15 parties, including NC and UML some days back, represents the feeling and spirit of the Nepalese people irrespective of the caste, class, religion and community they belong to. The most desirable constitutional outlet at present is to go for creating a conducive environment as sought by the memorandum. Forming a national government through a round-table conference amongst the national forces alone can pave the way for the future course of action, which eventually could serve the interest of all the stakeholders, including the people in general.
KC is Member, Central Committee, Nepali Congress