These days I am almost optimistic about Nepal’s political future. True, because I believe in what the world should call ‘the Nepali magic’: when it looks like we are going to worse, something good happens and we move towards better.
Wasn’t it true during the 1990 Revolution? Everybody believed the then King Birendra bowed down too early, but it was exactly at the time when the Jana Andolan (the Popular Movement) was looking to go bloody.
It was also true for the Maoist Conflict. It took almost 14,000 lives but then after 10 years of the beginning, the so-called People’s War came to an end exactly at the time when Nepali started getting frustrated with daily news of violence.
So with monarchy! With soft-heart Birendra, monarchy was almost okay but after the Royal Massacre that killed all the royals except a few, Gynendra did not appeal much of the people. Yet he decided to become powerful playing on people’s frustrations over political parties. And, with army censoring media; leaders house-arrested, it looked like a glum future – at least half-a-dozen years.
But when other things looked like not working, the people rose. The Jana Andolan II or April Uprising was built on two things: the hope of peace (since Maoist tied with other political parties and signed a deal) and democracy!
It too was successful without much blood!
Right now, darkness looks like descending. May 28, 2010 is the deadline for the Constituent Assembly (CA) to promulgate the new constitution or to die. The Interim Constitution is silent about CA’s extension and at least legal experts believe CA can not be extended in a constitutional way (off course, the CA can do it politically).
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is either urging the parties to complete constitution writing in time or has grown ambitious about ruling. His advisors, and he himself, is saying he would be the only man in power standing if the CA fails.
If that happens, we will have a constitutional deadlock and may be an autocratic ruler who also happens to be the supreme commander of the Nepal Army (and has a soft corner from among the army men for saving their chief from falling ‘constitutional acting’ against the Maoist government decision).
As an optimistic citizen with faith on the Nepali magic (which I believe is the result of Nepali’s peace-loving / patriotic nature), I believe the CA will meet the deadline.
I am also saying this because almost all the groundwork – the draft documentation of the constitution’s major parts that takes time – has already been completed (kudos to the CA members in the thematic committees).
The delay is due to difference in some aspect that needs the consensus / agreement among major political parties (read: top leaders) which they can garnish within a few days (and they would meet day and night, here and there, on person and on phone) to agree.
Let’s be optimistic! (However, let’s continue being concerned about it.)
[The title of the post is a line of a song that I love: Someday by Nazanin Afshin Jam who is an Iran-born Canadian Miss World runners-up and social worker. The chorus is: Someday, we will find a way, someday, someday, someday, the darkness fades away, someday. If you want to hear/watch the song, here it is; lyrics here.]