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Editorial: Urgent call for social harmony

Editorial: Urgent call for social harmony

Major political parties are busy forming and toppling governments at both the federal and provincial levels. Even a month after the change in the coalition at the center, the process of forming new governments in the provinces remains incomplete. Provincial governments have become even more unstable than the federal government. 

At the same time, major political parties are engaged in blame-games. The country is facing numerous challenges, such as an economic recession, rampant corruption, and poor governance. Even worse is the  silence of parties over sensitive issues that demand immediate and urgent attention. Over the past few months, Hindu-Muslim clashes in the Tarai region and Christian-Hindu clashes in the hill region have been escalating. Last week, the local administration in Sunsari had to impose a curfew for a couple of days to calm tensions. This week, tensions brewed when a rally organized by Hindu organizations was disrupted by another group. These incidents are not isolated; similar clashes are erupting in different parts of the country.

This surge in inter-community conflicts marks a troubling departure from Nepal's history of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence among its diverse communities. It is evident that certain vested interests are sowing seeds of discord in Nepali society by providing financial and logistical support to fuel these tensions. Nepal's security agencies, including the Nepal Army, have ground information about the groups trying to create disturbance in Nepali society. It is time to act tough to control these activities. This should become the agenda of major political parties in Parliament. Unfortunately, parties preoccupied with power struggles have yet to take the issue seriously.

Major political parties must prioritize addressing this escalating social crisis. They must unequivocally denounce these divisive activities and urge their members to refrain from participating in such provocations. Similarly, civil society, media and other social organizations, including religious organizations, must also rally to confront this challenge. Such tensions could spiral out of control any time, unleashing a new crisis which will be more detrimental than the Maoist insurgency. The inaction from the government and political parties is surprising. As a first step, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal should call an all-party meeting to discuss this agenda.