We are on the brink, yet again, it appears. Public outrage is rising against the old and the new crops of Homo Deus that have successfully corrupted to the core the new political system that replaced, barely a decade ago, the old, dysfunctional one following a wave of political movements and a bloody, decade-long insurgency.The massive political change—marked by the toppling of remnants of a monarchy severely weakened after the Royal Massacre of June 1, 2001, and declaration of the unitary democratic state into a federal democratic republic—became possible after a marriage of convenience between the ‘revolutionary force’ and the political parties that had a key role in making the multiparty polity unpopular by using ‘democracy’ to protect their petty political interests.
Apparently, such a change would not have been possible without generous support of the international community to Maoist leadership and mainstream political parties, which had become an albatross around the neck of the ‘democratic polity’, after engaging in one scam after the other. Chief among them were the Lauda Air Scam, China Southwest Air Scam, Dhamija Scam, LC Scandal, and the Sudan APC Scam. At the height of corruption, there were rumors that candidates eyeing the job of government school teacher or police officer had to pay certain sums to higher-ups.
Going by those scams, irregularities and blatant breach of public trust, it appeared the leaders were in a hurry to compensate for years spent in jail for democracy and human rights. Now, it is an open secret that the dear neighbor was providing safe haven to Maoist leadership and siding with mainstream parties in putting an end to the old polity with the monarchy, which was showing certain proclivity towards the northern neighbor.
Consigning the old polity to the dustbin of history was in the interest of both the West and the dear neighbor. By systematically dismantling traditional institutions and belief systems, the west, especially some European countries, could conduct all sorts of social experiments here.
For the dear neighbor, ensuing chaos during the switch from the old polity to the new one could turn out to be a boon as it would give it yet another opportunity to fish in the troubled waters of Nepal. Indeed, the recent gifting of more of our lifelines, including the Arun and Upper Karnali, without a two-third majority in the parliament for the dubious deals (thanks to a watered down constitution), is a clear proof of this.
The territorial aggression of our land, formalized by cartographic aggression, and the government’s inability to raise a strong voice against it, will do little to increase public trust in this system. The inability of the Nepali state to maintain territorial integrity, one of the foremost duties of a state, means that the state is fledgling, yet again.
At the time of a deepening crisis in the life of this country, public trust towards the state is on the wane, what with irregularities in the purchase of a wide-body aircraft, a high-level scam involving the transaction of government land in Baluwatar (Lalita Niwas scam), plus a controversial lease of the property of the royals.
As if this were not enough, maligning of the new political system continues with the political leadership making, very recently, a controversial appointment in a highly visible constitutional position, with rare support from the much-maligned main opposition. Various interest groups have already started crying foul against this appointment, taking it as a blow to transitional justice.
At this point, yours truly thinks it will be relevant to note that Nepal has for years been revolving around two seasons: The winter of discontent and the summer of unrest. People are not hitting the streets, but their discontent towards the state, and especially the functioning of the government, is growing. Anyway, the freezing winter is not an appropriate season for protests. Rather, this is the season when anger and frustration against the prevailing system keeps building. With gradual rise in temperatures, public outrage is likely to reach a boiling point and push the masses on to the streets, giving birth to another season of political unrest.
There will be no dearth of support for this protest from domestic and foreign forces with diverse vested interests. A much-maligned and discredited political leadership would do well to make sincere effort to garner public trust towards the political system if it