Do They Understand Two-thirds Majority?
Siddhi B Ranjitkar
Certainly, the current political leaders did not understand the two-thirds majority. So, they dared to break every agreement they had reached with all the political parties. They also hardly understood the current youths have been more politically matured than of the 1950s, 60s, 70s and so on. The current youths have the advantage of the most cutting edge information technology to communicate among them. They would fight against any injustice done to them even without the political leadership. They would not leave anybody in peace that would like to treat them as the subjects. So, the only means to save the current political leaders was to craft a new constitution following all the previous agreements the government had reached. These two-thirds-majority leaders erroneously thought that the people voted for them to be little monarchs.
The current political leaders with the two-thirds-majority mandate believed that the people had voted them overwhelmingly to make them the supreme. They thought that it was also the victory of the parliamentary system. So, they had been mad with their majority and they had been bullying all other political parties, and they had imposed their will of the parliamentary system on the entire Nepalese in a new preliminary draft constitution.
They played the drama of collecting feedbacks from the common folks to the preliminary draft constitution. They would come up with the feedbacks whatever they would think they could impose on the people. The feedback collection done in 2015 reminded me the referendum done in 1981. The victory of the two-thirds-majority political parties destined to be as of a short life as that of the panchayat in 1981.
Majority of voters voted for the multi-party system in 1981 referendum but the then government enforced the result they suited them the most. This time, majority of the people did not give feedback to the preliminary draft constitution, as they did not accept it. Why they should give their opinions on the document they did not accept. However, the tendency of the two-thirds-majority leaders was to make believe the world that the feedback suitable to them was received, as the then rulers did in 1981 with the results of the referendum.
The then rulers could impose their will on the people in 1950s, 60s, 70s, and even 80s because the youths were still less educated at that time, and they had less information than today. In 1950s the then rulers committed to hold elections to the constitution assembly to craft a new constitution but they did not held the elections rather put the country in the reverse gear and drove it back. The then most egoist and highly unwise and not having the political vision king Mahendra put the country in even the most regressive path, and introduced his monopolistic rule curbing the fundamental human rights to the extent possible.
In the late 70s, the Nepalese youths rose up against the regressive regime, and they would have toppled the regime even without the political leadership, had the then political leadership not choked it off accepting the referendum. The heavy hand of the dictatorial regime had been pumping in dissent on the growing rebel minds of the youths every year ultimately causing them to burst in 1979 when they were not allowed to protest against the hanging of former prime minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The then monarch quickly doused the flare of the youth rebellion declaring the referendum on the political system. However, the then influential leader of NC BP Koirala helped the then monarch to win the political game he had already lost not opposing the referendum not to mention the irregularities in the vote counting later on. The outright rejection of the despotic panchayat system was the demand of the then youths.
The faked victory over the people opposing the tyrannical panchayat in the referendum was really the defeat of the monarchy in 1980s. The monarchists thought that the manipulated victory of the panchayat over the multi-party democracy had put the multi-party system to death forever. That wrong notion made them the most corrupt rulers in the history. The corruption alone made the monarchy weaker. The youth's target was then the monarchy not the system.
In 1990 the youths wanted to depose the monarchy but the political parties wanted only the so-called democracy with the monarchy on top. The political leaders launched the people's movement for reestablishing the democracy but they did not make any success until the entire youths of the country rose up. When the youths marched on the streets disregarding the live bullets fired by the armed police on the unarmed peaceful protestors, the monarch was about to collapse but the political leaders (actually traders) traded with the monarchy and put the spirits of the youths to die down. The monarchy remained.
The victory of the youths over the monarch's discretionary rule was again taken as the victory of the NC and its partner CPN-UML in 1990. Then, the NC garnered the 110 seats in the parliament of 205 seats in the general elections held in 1991 sufficient for running the administration. The then NC leaders thought that they had the victory over the monarchy and over other political parties through the general elections, and they could impose whatever they thought was good for them on the people. That gave birth to the dissident political group that ultimately grew up to the Maoists.
In 1996 the Maoists set up a launching pad in Rolpa: one of the remote areas in the far western Nepal this time for the armed movement of the people against the establishment. They promised every possible benefit to the youths for their support. One of them was the land to the landless. That was the dream of the landless youths and the poor. They became ready to give their lives in return for a piece of land. More than 13,000 youths gave their beautiful lives.
The Maoists had made the youths politically sensitive, and even made them believe that they could change the regime for the self-rule rather than controlled by the center. That political awareness among the youths became the challenge to the established political leaders. The young and energetic youths were to replace the landlords and well off people in the political leadership. The Maoists captured 72 districts of the 75 districts of Nepal, the then American ambassador John Moriarty told the then monarch publicly.
That was the time the leaders of the corrupt parliamentary political leaders realized that they could force the monarchy out of power only collaborating with the Maoists. They had already tried it for three years without success. That gave birth to the Twelve-point Understanding between the then seven-party alliance and the Maoists in New Delhi, India. The joint peaceful movement of the Maoists and the seven-party alliance weakened the monarchy to death. Within 19 days of the joint movement, the monarchy came down crashing, and bowed down to the people's demand for reinstating the dissolved parliament.
Then, the Maoists did not need to use their armed forces to capture the remaining three districts and they became the powerful political party to count on. Without the elections they made themselves almost the majority in the new parliament set up by the agreement reached between the seven-party alliance and the Maoists. Then, the Maoists won the elections to the constitution assembly held in 2008 overwhelmingly. The constituent assembly peacefully put the monarchy to sleep forever.
The Maoists simply could not manage their powerful presence in the constituent assembly that acted as the parliament, too. They could not work properly in the environment of democracy. Their mindsets were of the time of the armed revolution. They gradually gave up the gains they had made in the fields during the armed movement, and thereafter in the second elections to the constitution in 2013, and currently the Maoists almost lost everything to the two-thirds-majority parties and became ready to agree on having the corrupt parliamentary system thinking to preserve even the small gain that had left.
Why the UCPN-Maoist leaders needed to be so concerned with losing the gains made by the people particularly the youths during the armed revolt and then the peaceful movements including the Madhesh movement. The answer was knowingly or unknowingly the UCPN-Maoist was tending to be the party of the parliamentary system even though the majority of the youths were not.
One of the Maoist leaders Dr Baburam Bhattarai correctly publicly presented the analogy between the dead Satidevi mentioned in the Svosthani story and the UCPN-Maoist understandably depicting Chairman Prachanda of UCPN-Maoist as the carrier of the corpse dropping off one organ after another as Shiva did carrying the dead Satidevi on his back. However, UCPN-Maoist was not dead as Satidevi had been. Chairman Prachanda could revive its strength provided he would go along with the spirits of the majority of the youths.
The spirits of the youths were the Twelve-point Understanding, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007, the Eight-point Agreement with the United Democratic Madheshi Front and other agreements the government had reached with ethnic and political parties. Others had disregarded those agreements for their selfish gains but the Maoists needed to fight for enforcing those agreements rather than surrendering everything to the two-thirds-majority political parties.
How could Chairman Prachanda give in to the two-thirds-majority political parties when they literally trampled all those agreements and imposed their will in the preliminary draft constitution? In the never-ending political game Prachanda played with the parliamentary political parties, he had been losing one game after another and finally he was about to lose everything accepting the preliminary draft constitution, and even alienating the Madheshi and ethnic partners.
After the return from his India visit from July 14 through July 19, 2015, Prachanda again poised to be the strong political player going back to the Madheshi political partners and promising them to keep on fighting for the agenda of the alliance of the thirty political parties.
Any country had the influence of the neighboring countries. The large countries had the most influence of many other countries in return for their influences in other countries. So, Nepal had the influence of the two large neighboring countries whether Nepalese liked it or not. The poor habit of the Nepalese politicians had been to seek the opinions of the neighboring-country leaders, and then use the opinions as the big brotherly interferences in the internal politics of Nepal whenever that suited them. Those were the complaints of the Indian diplomats in the past.
Let us hope Prachanda would not indulge in such an unethical political blame game, and he would steer the Nepalese youths to the correct directions for forcing the two-thirds-majority political parties to craft a new constitution following all the past agreements. Only this approach might save the country from going back to the political chaos and instability, which were not in the interest of the neighboring countries, too.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had shown his world-class political understanding and he had been playing the international political game correctly so far. Let us hope he would keep his correct political game for the benefits of all the players in the region and in the world, too. Only his domestic wrong political game gave in to the Hindu fundamentalists and imposed a ban on the cow slaughter in his home state Maharastra. It would surely keep a sizable population of the faith other than the Hindu unhappy forever. It would be a potential political time bomb that would burst causing the tremendous harm to the nation.
Northern neighbor China under the rule of the President Xi Jinping had tended to step back. President Xi in the name of curbing corruption cracked down on his opponents including the human rights activists, lawyers, and democratic minded people. This had aversely affected the economic gains China had made so far, and the opinions of the international community that China could soon be the democratic partner as it emerged to be the second largest world economy had been fading away.
Indian Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi had erroneously reached the agreement on using the trade route through the Nepalese territory called the Lepu Lekh pass for their bilateral trade. This spot had incidentally become the meeting point of China, India and Nepal. In 1962 Mao Zedong of China launched an aggressive war against the then India of prime Minster Jawaharlal Nehru. The Indian army quickly set up its outpost at Lepu Lekh stopping the infiltration of the Chinese army. At that time, the Indian Gurkha army fought bravely against the Chinese army.
The then King Mahendra did not do anything to stop the Indian army from setting up its outpost, and even after the Indo-China war of 1962 he did not do anything to remove the Indian army outpost at the Lepu Lekh pass fearing to lose his crown. That did not mean that Nepalese would let their territory grabbed by the mighty neighbor. Both China and India needed to know that Nepalese youths would continue fighting to keep the Nepalese territory intact.
The current two-thirds-majority leaders had been almost the monarchs of the 1950s, 1960s and 1980s after the manipulated victory over the multi-party system. The two-thirds-majority leaders thought that they could do whatever they would like with the mandate, as did the monarchs without even the mandate in the past. They had not understood that the voters had given them the two-thirds mandate not to crush them but to craft a new constitution expeditiously.
The voters were also the ethnic people, Madheshi people, the disadvantages people and women otherwise they would not have the two-thirds majority. Certainly, they did not vote for the two-thirds-majority parties for crushing their aspirations for empowering them through decentralizing the power to the federal provinces, making their presence in every state agency proportionally, and giving the equal rights to men and women.
However, the preliminary draft constitution had amply demonstrated that the two-thirds-majority political leaders were exactly for crushing the aspirations of those people that had voted them, and were imposing their supremacy on the common folks. Mr. KP Oli's question of why do we need a secular state had been the tipping point. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's ambiguous statement of crafting a new constitution acceptable to all while doing everything unacceptable had been the evidence of the conspiracy of taking the country backward. Presenting the preliminary draft constitution not acceptable to the ethnic and Madheshi people, and denying the equal rights to women, NC leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula as the chairman of the constitution drafting committee betrayed the Nepalese.
The political conspirators disregarded the strength of the current youths. The youths did not need the leadership of any political party or parties to revolt against the establishment, as one of the Madheshi leaders stated in his interview given to the reporter of theratopati.com online newspaper recently. They would surely rise up against the unacceptable constitution whoever might attempt on imposing it on them.
The Maoists had initially made the youths aware of their rights and duties in addition to empowering them with the political knowledge and their hidden power. Currently, hundreds of FM radios, tens of TVs, hundreds of newspapers in print and online, and the cell phones kept them updated to understand the immediate political development. They would start the political movement afresh if they needed to give in their political gains.
Then the youths would not keep the two-thirds-majority political parties alive, as they did not to the monarchy. They would sweep away Prachandas or Baburams or Gacchedars or any other politicians that stood in their way. In other words, the regressive forces had no chance to stand alive against the will of the youths no matter what strength they thought they had. They would be bound to fall, as did the monarchy.
The current youths would set their destiny not the two-thirds majority political leaders. They would not allow anybody to set the destiny for them. Ruling over the youths without their consent had been the thing of past, the two-thirds-majority political leaders needed to comprehend it.
July 25, 2015