Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Dear Nepali Perspectives,
I had written what is below in response to an article that came out on Republica. I may have written something that the editors at Republica did not want to table for consideration in public discourse. My view at the time of writing was not the usual “give them another chance” line that most pundits have been towing.
Now that the CA has failed, I would again like to propose this idea because it is the most obvious deficit facing Nepal since after 1990. Please publish what is below on your blog. My opinion is in response to the International Crisis Group’s article in Republica titled “Moment of Truth” - http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=35437
Looking Past the Moment of Truth
An interesting read. I applaud the writer for investing herself both professionally and personally, in Nepal’s well-being.
Put aside the pedantic tone, the academic prose, the restatement of all that is obvious, and the key message of this piece appears as follows: “it’s not the Nepali people who are obliged to give the politicians “one last chance” but rather the current lot of politicians who are morally/ethically/rationally obliged to make way for a new generation of leaders through a newly elected CA”. In this commentator's humble opinion (and possibly, a less “refined” version of version of Ms. Neelakantan’s writing), it’s time to jettison the current CA and re-elect a new one.
The exceptionally complex nature of Nepal’s constitution-writing process is not up for debate – it is evident. Doesn’t mean the process should be abandoned but there is something fundamentally amiss regarding the manner in which the process has played out. After 7 years and several CA extensions, it’s time to recognize Nepal’s situation for what it has become – a case study in collective, unmitigated, political failure.
Fresh elections to a new CA with all existing diversity (inclusion) parameters and an age-based eligibility ceiling (i.e., no members above the mandatory government retirement age) should be tabled as an alternative to yet another extension of what has proven to be a dysfunctional body.
It is understood that significant resources have been expended by the donor community (and concerned actors) in forwarding Nepal’s constitution-writing process. From donor perspectives, these resources represent a sunk cost; from the perspective of those who opted to blindly reinvest their faith in the collective wisdom of a demonstrably failed lot of so-called “leaders”, the current situation represents embarrassment. As uncomfortable as these realities may be, it is probably best for all stakeholders to take a nuanced view of the process-level root causes of Nepal’s constitution-writing intransigence, address these deficiencies, and re-allocate resources (material and non-material), to a workable solution as opposed to beating a dead horse.
In the ultimate analysis, everything that is happening in Nepal is about establishing a functional democracy, over time. Democracy certainly requires informed debate, consensus-based decision-making, inclusion, etc. Above all else, sustainable democracy also requires fresh ideas, new faces, and periodically renewed mandates (elected persons) to run the show. At its core, democracy is a representative form of government based on intermittent universal suffrage and an exercise of this nature is sorely overdue.
|Subscribe to NepaliPerspectives|
|Visit this group|