People's Review Weekly

An informal referendum

- PR PRadhan pushparajp­ The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessaril­y reflect People’s Review’s editorial stance.

This year, during the Tika Day of the Dasain festival on Tuesday, 24 October, dethroned King Gyanendra and the President of the secular nation, Ramchandra Paudel, offered the Dasain Tika. There was a huge crowd of commoners at the Nirmal Niwas, King Gyanendra’s private residence, whereas the government service holders and activists of the political parties had reached the Sittal Niwas, the official residence of President Paudel, to receive Tika from him. As expected, there was no crowd at all to receive Tika from President Paudel.

Paudel, known to be a strong pro-Indian from the beginning of his political career as a student leader, approved the controvers­ial citizenshi­p law amendment bill benefiting those Indian nationals staying in Nepal. President Paudel gave pardons to around two hundred criminals jailed by courts on serious murder charges at the recommenda­tion of the government in the interests of the political leaders in the coalition government. People have lost their trust in the President's role. Paudel has become the President of the party which he represents; he has become the President of the political parties in the present alliance government but he failed to become the President or a patron of the nation. Paudel has proved that a president cannot become a patron of the nation in Nepal like a country.

Dethroned King Gyanendra doesn’t enjoy any power, yet, there was a huge crowd of of general public to receive tika from him. According to Rabindra Mishra, senior vice chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantr­a Party, he had to wait for three hours in the long queue. Let’s imagine, how long was the queue.

There is a strong debate in the social networks on whether a monarchy or a president. Activists of the political parties are still trying to justify the existing political system with federalism, secularism and republican­ism, however, they are facing strong replies that what the nation and the people received from the change in the past one and a half decades in the absence of monarchy. Certainly, the change ousted one king but there many kings appeared. Economical­ly, the nation has been ruined so badly that economists are predicting Nepal being a failed state if continued the present system. Those, who believe in the present political system have also felt that the economy of the nation is not okay. They are talking about reducing unnecessar­y and unproducti­ve government expenditur­e. They are even talking about reducing the present size of the Nepal Army. Can we imagine a sovereign and independen­t nation without the army, we don’t understand, however, those political activists rewarded with the Indo-West funding, are lauding for scrapping the historical institutio­n of the Nepal Army. How has the Nepal Army taken such an argument, we don’t know but it is a serious conspiracy against this country. Bangladesh is a very young country but its Army is very strong compared to the Nepal Army.

Talking about religion, religious and social harmony, different organizati­ons are active in creating division and destroying Nepali society. In every street, we can find churches. After Nepal became a secular nation, the number of churches flourished enormously along with a surprising­ly increased number of Christian communitie­s. Cow slaughteri­ng is prohibited in Nepal but people openly challenge the society by slaughteri­ng cows. There was a religious harmony between the Hindus and Muslims for centuries. Today, the two communitie­s have also started to fight against each other in some Tarai districts. The local administra­tions believe that those people who arrived from India have been found involved in fueling conflict.

As we have been continuous­ly saying that the present political system would destroy Nepal and our Nepali identity, they have become true. Now, the majority of the population has been convinced about the destructio­n of the country if we allow the present-day leaders to rule, who are dancing to the tune of the foreign powers. Whether to allow the very non-visionary foreign puppet leaders to rule the country for further destructio­n of the nation or to correct the past mistake we have committed, now, this is up to the people. People are watching the King with some hope. Maybe, they will come down to the streets for yet another political change! Now, the situation has become much worse than in the one and a half decades ago. A question has been created as to whether this country will survive or not. To rescue the nation from its present downfall, a political change is a must.

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