Monday, July 25, 2005

Loktantra Launched

The magazine is out: Loktantra.

  1. The first article throws light on the fast emerging Maoist-Democrat alliance. Such a development has energized the democratic base. The idea being the Maoists wage the movement in the countryside, and the seven parties do so in the Terai and in the urban areas.
  2. This first issue has been dedicated to BP Koirala and rightly so.
  3. The editorial acknowledges the democratic coalition is rather a rainbow coalition: we do have our political differences. But we all agree on the basic program of democracy, and that is all it takes.
  4. Our Next Steps by Pradip Giri.... The streets will warm up, slow but sure .... 12 years of half-hearted democracy had many weaknesses, but all of them point towards the need for more democracy, rather ..... The king will surely be defeated .... What after democracy? That is the bigger question. Its answer will decide how fast the movement will grow ..... The Maoists have major behavioral and ideological deficiencies, but they have brought to the forefront some of the burning issues in Nepal today .... The new state will have to be inclusive of the DaMaJaMa .... Those four groups will have to come forth on their own and be heard ...... Civil liberties, rule of law, and periodic multi-party elections: those have been the ideological strength of the seven parties ..... The Maoists and the Democrats can create a new platform by bringing their respective strengths together ..... BP Koirala used to call himself a Marxist ..... The people want to know if the emerging Maoist-Democrat alliance will bring peace: that is their primary concern. ..... The people have been let down by the political leaders, and so they stand neutral in the fight between the king and the parties, both of whom talk democracy and civil rights .... The people can do again what they did in 1990, but the parties have to earn their trust first.
  5. The Role Of The New Political Coalition by CD Joshi. A movement not lead well can push back the cause of democracy by decades .... Every revolution is accompanied by a couterrevolution: sometimes revolutions get overturned .... In Nepa's case, it has happened many times, over and over again...... A revolution gets institutionalized through fudamental social and economic progress: coming to power is not the end of the road ..... Why did we lose the fight to the forces of regression during the 1990s? ...... After the 1991 elections, no efforts were made to bring the army under the parliament: that was a major blunder ..... We democrats still do not have clarity of vision, and that is why the movement has not taken off.
  6. Monarchy And Democracy Can Not Go Together by Shailesh Acharya. The king sees himself as the master ..... Nepal is different from Britain and Japan .... In those countries monarchies are like cultural relics, totally devoid of political power ...... Gyanendra earned himself a bad name back when Mahendra was king ....... That image only worsened when Birendra became king .... Gyanendra is a cruel, egoistic, greedy feudal..... The people released the king from the Ranas, but that same king betrayed the people .... There were some political leaders who indulged in corruption in the 1990s, but it is for the people to punish them, not for Gyanendra who himself is corrupt...... Gyanendra, Paras or Hridayendra can not be trusted ..... The monarchy can not remain even in a ceremonial fashion ..... The king gave himself a pay raise of over 60 crores .... He is not a Krishna but a Kansha
  7. Jagat Gauchan And "Ceremonial" Monarchy by Dinesh Prasain. How much clearer can the king get? He has made it absolutely clear that he wishes to be a dictator and nothing less..... He was the leader of the Bhumigata Giroha before he became king: we all know that ..... But it is not Gyanedra's personal character flaw, it is inherent in the institution of the monarchy to be against democracy ..... "Ceremonial Monarchy" is a new term that has entered the Nepali political discourse ..... It only confuses people ...... Three arguments have been put forth .... One, the king is too strong, and thus the idea of a republic is too ambitious ...... Second, an end to monarchy can mean anarchy .... Three, the major foreign powers do not wish to see an end to the monarchy ..... None of the three hold water ...... Movements and revolutions have to be stoked like fires, because they flare up with certain unforeseen events ..... The democrats should not make the mistake of going for a "ceremonial monarchy" .. that would be a mistake ..... The Maoists need to organize a convention and officially become a party that stands for multi-party democracy ..... All seven parties should also organize conventions and officially come for Constituent Assembly and a Democratic Republic, with one voice ...... The parties will also have to commit to internal democracy and party reform .... If not, this wonderful historical opportunity could still be lost.
  8. "The people never lose, ultimately it is the king who loses." Girija Koirala. Congress Treasurer Mahantha Thakur ..... Only the parties can solve the Maoist problem ..... There have been no in-person talks with the Maoists, but there are other ways to talk that technology makes possible ...... I have old friends in all the parties in India.....
  9. Let The People Become Sovereign. Inder Kumar Gujaral. We are with the people of Nepal. If the king keeps up with his intransigence, the results could end up ugly. I don't want to say any more than that.
  10. The monarchy could end very violently. SD Muni. The young generation in Nepal is for a constituent assembly and a democratic republic. If the political party leaders do not come along, the youth will either get lost and confused, or they will revolt..... There are close to 1 crore Nepalis in India..... If the king is not willing to sit with the Maoists and the democrats, the later two should get together ...... It is for the king to take the initiative for a tripartite dialogue, but I don't see any signs he might..... Right now he is working to pull individual political leaders into his camp ..... The king does not want to become politically irrelevant .... The king is surrounded by people who don't want to see a solution through dialogue .... The parties are still hoping the king might opt to either revive the parliament or form an all party government..... There is no alternative to a Maoist-Democrat alliance.....
  11. It is for the Nepali people to decide Nepal's future. DP Tripathy. We are working to organize another major all-party conference of all Indian parties, which will be much bigger than the one on February 24..... India does not have a twin pillar policy .... I am for democracy, as to what form of democracy, that the Nepali people have to decide.... If the Maoists were to join the democrats, the movement will speed up
  12. India should apologize. Anand Kumar. Our government can not openly speak all the time. And so we have to come forth .. South Asian Forum For People's Initiative ..... The apology should be in the shape of a full democracy in Nepal ..... The "twin pillar" thing is a rotten thing to say .... We will talk against our own government if we have to ...... We bid farewell to our kings, queens and nababs a long time ago in India .... There is no room for monarchy in this century
  13. If the king is to shoot for the Singha Durbar, he stands to lose also the Narayanhiti. Gopal Man Shrestha. A few democrats might have been bad, but that does not discredit democracy..... The people have tasted democracy; there is no going back ..... Now the fight is for full democracy where the Dalit-Mahila-Janajati-Madhesi have full rights and where there is federalism so the Madhesis can rule over themselves ..... The Dalit-Mahila need more than equality, they need extra opportunities .....
  14. Nepal's possibilities. Matrika Poudel. It is for the young generation to save the parties from suicide.... The parties are ready for both dialogue and struggle ..... The Maoists have killed a lot of political workers over the last decade ..... The Maoists in the jungles, and the deomcrats in the cities ..... If the king were to initiate dialogue, progress could be made ..... The parties need to undergo purification before they can expect mass participation ....... RPP, Badri Mandal, and Rajeshwar Devkota and the 42 parties in their coalition would participate in the king's municipal elections ..... Both the NC and the UML have supporters and opponents of the king as well those who want to uproot the king ..... Narahari Acharya, Baldev Majgaiya, Chandra Bhandari, Gagan Thapa, Ramhari Khatiwada, and Guru Ghimire, and the like minded need to clean up the Nepali Congress of unsavory elements..... Similarly in NC (D): NP Saud, Ramesh Lekhak, Kishor Singh Rathour, Kiran Poudel ...... The KP Oli elements want dialogue and reconciliation with the king, and there is another line that wants an end to the monarchy: Shankar Pokharel, Pradip Gyawali, Gokarna Bishta, Khimlal Bhattarai, Rajendra Rai, Pradip Nepal ...... There is a constituent assembly line alos inside the RPP ......
  15. For full democracy, the monarchy has to be sidelined. Gautam Dahal. Gyanendra has been blaming the parties for all his faults .....
  16. Loktantra is taking shape. Rajendra Khanal.
  17. Pratinidhi Sabha: Venue For Dialogue. The seven parties.
  18. Maoists press statement inviting the parties for talks.

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