Monday, July 6, 2015

Re: A Sub-Optimal Draft

With all due respect to Mr. Dixit, his claim in A Sub-Optimal Draft that the Maoist rebels took up arms against an ‘elected democratic state’ is historically inaccurate.

Lest we forget, King Birendra was head of state then with considerable executive powers. Moreover, they were barred from participation (within a constitutional monarchy) in a national election in 1996. Shutting them out of the so-called democratic process brought the call to arms to a boiling point (along with continual harassment by an establishment with unmerited status and power and an epoch of bureaucratic malfeasance that has Nepal in an endless bandh). Simply, it was not exactly the pretty picture of an ‘elected democratic state’ (and since when has a functional version of that ever been seen?)

Additionally, every major party in Nepal has used violence at some point, the Maoist rebels are not an oddball exception. 
In fact, ‘armed revolt’ in the draft's Preamble might just as easily refer to practices of other major parties including revolt against the party-less Panchayat System (does an armed hijacking of a plane masterminded by G.P. Koirala ring any bells?), skirmishes with the British East India Company, rebellion against the authoritarian Rana Dynasty, and riotous, mass protests against the royal crown -- Jana Andolan I & II. Dixit's claim that it refers only to the Maoists does a disservice to all whom fought for freedom and democracy.

In truth, as a result of the seven party alliance toward the end of the revolution, the monarchy was abolished and a democratic republic was born. Had it not been for the revolution it is likely that the debate on a constitution would not have come this far, regardless of how messy it is now.

The popular narrative lays disproportionate blame on the Maoists, and media darlings persistently feed this false narrative. Societal ills have been fermenting for centuries, and are not likely to be disentangled by the 'sub-optimal' mindset that brewed them. 

#MediaDarlings #Maoists #KathmanduPost #FreeNepal 

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