Letâ€™s first have a look at the atmosphere on April 24 for last two years and see how peopleâ€™s power changed that:
Chaitra 11, 2062 (or April 24, 2005): King Gyanendra was in Asian African Summit in Indonesia; his speech hinting that Nepal will soon be free from the state of emergency, whence civil liberties and press freedom will be restored. Girija Prasad Koirala out of house arrest had asked, in weak voice, for reconciliation for multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy. The bottomline of The Kathmandu Post editorial on the day read: â€¦when the King himself has been spreading the message of democracy and peace, the onus is on all Nepali citizens to help the King fulfill his dream.
Chaitra 11, 2063 (or April 24, 2006): King Gyanendra gave up after 15 months reading out the statement drafted by political parties. The Maoists attacked Chautara killing six. After 19-day protest by millions of people, unprecedented, the parliament restored suggesting not only the restoration of democracy but also the end of Maoists violence, though the Maosits attacked Chautara and killed a few same day. The Kathmandu Post editorial urging Maoists to annouce ceasefire wrote: Though the revolution is yet to be completed, it can be said that upon its completion, it is going to be the most glorious instance of a peaceful movement in the world history.
Chaitra 11, 2064 (or April 24, 2007): A year after the end of 11-year long Maoists violence, monarchy hiding in the dark, political parties showing unprecedented unity for going republic, people are yet to be satisfied. Itâ€™s not that nothing has happened, the Maoists are in the government â€“ the biggest achievement for the people who hated reading everyday about attacks and deaths. The Kathmandu Post editorial today noticing that there are still a lot of area where where improvements are required urges: We urge the government to put in more effort so that the complaints of the people ill be less by the time of the next Loktantra Day.
Today, Nepal is celebrating the Loktantra Day (or Democracy Day) as itâ€™s the anniversary of the day when King Gyanendra was brought to his knees by the will of people. After ruling 15 months, millions of people taking streets nationwide forced the King to step back. This day, we celebrate the power of the people â€“ the power that uprooted the regimes trying to stand on the foundation of weapons.
I wonder why not call it the Peopleâ€™s Day.
Sadly enough, the people who braved the curfews, latthis and guns, are not satisfied at what had happened in the gone year. One rightly said, the people brought down the King, disciplined the Maoists but failed to do so with the political parties and leaders. The political arena is back to the old, dirty game â€“ leaders accusing each others and trying to work for the sake to their parties not to the peopleâ€™s.
While writing this, I am listening to Raameshâ€™s Raktakranti Ko Jwalamukhi ma (on the volcano of bloody revolution) and remembering how did people participated in the rallies around the country, how did the security forces were forced to step back and how enthusiatic people were for the revolution.
Despite the dissatisfaction around, the celebration of this day is very important â€“ neither to celebrate the restoration of democracy nor to laugh at the ashen-faced King speaking to the nation. But to remember our deeds â€“ what we as a people can do, to regain the faith that people are the ultimate power, to remember the love and labor we had a year ago for the betterment of our country.
On 24 April, 2004, there were no talks about republican, they were for reconcilation because the political parties knew that people had lost faith in them. The leaders were jokers of the circus where a few of their own followed around but the mass mostly laughed at their performance.
A year after, they regained the faith not because they led the protest rather because they went with the wish of the people that were already in the streets. They learnt that going with peopleâ€™s wish is their only way.
But have they forgotten the lesson?
As people, letâ€™s celebrate the day! As the civil society had in their slogan for the day â€“ Civil Movement Continues! Remember. Review. Warn. Letâ€™s remember our power, the daring courage we showed for the country. Letâ€™s review what had happened in the year since after and letâ€™s warn our leaders that we are not done yet! If you are incapable, we are ready to take over!