Nepal: The Road Ahead?

Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum
6 May, 2010

Once again a crisis is looming over Nepal. After a decade long People’s War and 19 days’ historical People’s Movement, the people of Nepal uprooted the 250 years old monarchy and Nepal was proclaimed a republic. Further the Constituent Assembly election paved the way for the drafting of a new constitution. These achievements were the result of Peace Accord signed between the Maoists and the then government of Nepal in 2006. The CA election was held in April 2008 and it was agreed that by 28th May 2010 a new constitution would be written for the country with an expectation that it would be the first pro-people constitution of Nepal Republic.

But as the Maoist led government was formed in August 2008, those centers of power became active who hitherto enjoyed all sorts of privileges in the old system and were afraid that the new constitution would bring them down to the category of ‘common men’. Though the monarchy had ended constitutionally, but the feudal elements were still active in many political parties and groups. Later, the then Army Chief Rukmangad Katwal, shamelessly violating the Peace Accord and the instructions of democratically elected government, started fresh recruitment for the Nepal Army which compelled the then PM of Nepal Prachanda to sack him. President Ram Baran Yadav’s unconstitutional act of reinstating Katwal in his post gave rise to circumstances which forced the Prachanda’s government to step down.

It can be easily understood that this was the beginning of political crisis in Nepal began which worsened with the passing days. It was from here that the Indian intervention became palpable. The Indian ambassador to Nepal continuously added fuel to the fire through his remarks. Although a new government was formed under the leadership of Madhav Kumar Nepal, the people of Nepal, however, could not accept it as their government. They always felt the government was a puppet dancing at India’s music. On closely examining the developments of last few mo nths one can easily make out that the reactionary forces were unhappy with Nepal’s advancement on a progressive path. And they also did not want it to succeed come what may. Suddenly it was observed that pro-monarchy feudal elements started voicing in favor of making Nepal a Hindu nation again. And at the same time the ex-king Gyanendra started hinting about the possibility of revival of the monarchy in Nepal. Some ministers of Madhav Nepal government too, openly expressed their views which were against the progressive aspirations of the people.

Now the work of drafting a new constitution had become irrelevant for the existing government. With the 28th May in the offing, the people became restless. The biggest party of the constituent assembly UCPN(M) was isolated. It was only this party which aspired the true feeling of people of Nepal for a new and progressive constitution. The slogans of CA election and the making of a new constitution were raised only by this party. The other two big parties, the NC and the CPN (UML), were against new constitution and believed that the old constitution can be amended to address the new aspirations of the people. But under the people’s pressure they too had to unwillingly agree on Maoists’ slogans. Even after Prachanda’s continuous assurances, Indian government remained suspicious of the Maoist led government. When the Maoists realized that under existing circumstances it had become impossible to draft the new constitution they demanded the formation of a government of national consensus and initiated the program of People’s movement in support of these demands. The people of Nepal wholeheartedly embraced the Maoists’ call for a national consensus government. Assessing the people’s aspirations for a national consensus government, Madhav Nepal agreed to resign provided the Maoists put forward the name other than Prachanda’s for the post of PM. Unfortunately India too appeared to make similar suggestions which later became an issue of debate. People wondered as to who would choose the PM of Nepal, the party leading the government or ‘some’ foreign players. Before leaving for Thimphu to attend the SAARC summit, Madhav Nepal hinted that he could resign but on his return he refused. Some newspapers of Nepal and India reported that he did so on Manmohan Singh’s advice. These reports were confirmed when the Vice-President of the ruling party CPN (UML) Bamdev Gautam, in an interview to BBC, said that after returning from Thimphu Madhav Nepal told in the politburo’s meeting that India’s PM Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed full confidence in his government and was asked to stay put.

This is a very critical situation. The people of Nepal are being deprived of their right to choose their own government. This is an unwanted interference by the neighboring country. The people of Nepal have chosen a peaceful path to fight against this humiliating situation. Since May 1, tens of thousands of people are on the roads of Kathmandu and massive demonstrations are also going on in all the major cities and towns of Nepal. The people are demanding resignation of Madhav Nepal so that the national consensus government is formed and the new constitution is drafted on time. People are afraid that the reactionary forces inside and outside the country do not want this to happen and after 28th May, President’s rule might be enforced. In this way the pro-monarchy people may again get a chance to take over.

‘Indo-Nepal Solidarity Forum’ wholeheartedly supports the struggling people of Nepal against these conspiracies. We are always against every direct and indirect intervention in Nepal. And we honor the aspirations of the people of Nepal. We believe our progress as a nation is closely linked with the peace and prosperity of our neighboring countries. We appeal the government of India to respect the aspirations of the Nepalese people so that the peace process reaches its logical end and people may get a constitution of their choice.

Contact : Anand Swaroop Verma 9810720714/ Pavan Patel 9971862598

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