Friday, July 10, 2009

Madhesi Movement And Peace Process: Rethink Time?

andolan1Image by paramendra via Flickr

Both the Madhesi Movement and Nepal's peace process are at a delicate juncture at this moment. There is major lawlessness in the country, especially in the Terai. A political paralysis has gripped the country. The largest Madhesi party has undergone a vertical split. The Maoists are doing all they can to disrupt government work until a new government in their leadership is formed. Basic due process has been disrespected, either through ignorance or ill will, by all and sundry. The peace process is at its lowest point since the 12 point agreement between the Maoists and then seven parties in late 2005.

The Maoists are not about to reignite a civil war. But is lawlessness not bad enough news? Is the current political paralysis not bad enough news? Nothing much is getting done. The work on building the institutions of democracy is at halt.

It is important for the largest six parties in the parliament to work hard to revive the spirit of the 12 point agreement when they put aside their major differences in the interests of the people and the nation.

Even if the Maoists will not go back to the jungle, even if the Maoists will accept mul

andolan2Image by paramendra via Flickr

ti-party democracy for good, there still is much work to be done. Basic law and order is something all parties should be able to agree upon. That is among the most fundamental of people's expectations.

An all party government might be the need of the hour. That might be the way out of the current political paralysis.

As for the Madhesi movement, I do think the split in the MJF is a tragedy and a setback. But the split is not formal yet. There could still be a rapproachment. Or the split could become formal. Whatever the case the newfound political consciousness of the Madhesi people through three major social mass movements is not about to be trampled. That no longer depends on any political party. All parties in the country have no option but to respect that newfound political consciousness. The Madhesis will get federalism, and the Madhesis will make steady progress towards equality in all walks of national life no matter how many parties split, form and unite. It is just that that process would be faster if the Madhesi parties stayed united and actually become unified, such that there is not three, four or more but one party.

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