Monday, December 23, 2013

Matters Economic

Federalism is a foregone conclusion. In a country where no ethnic group is more than 20% of the population, Nepal was always destined to have multi-identity states, it was only a question of what you were going to name them, and geographic names might be the most palatable.

And I do believe we are going to get a constitution before 2014 is out. You can accuse the Congressis of nepotism and corruption and inefficiency and ignorance and lack of imagination and a dozen other traits that democracy throws your way because mediocrity is all too pervasive in most aspects of life, but one thing that political party has stood for time and again is basic democracy, the rudiments of rule of law.

I think it is smart of the Maoists to decide not to go into power. When you do that you get to ride the anti-incumbency wave the next time around.

The Madhesi parties are in the most precarious position. When they split like amoeba over the past few years somehow they felt they were going to defy the laws of political gravity. Does not work that way. The Terai is going to end up with two states, which is what the Madhesi parties wanted. The big parties also fielded Madhesi candidates in the Madhesi majority constituencies. So if your identity and your agenda are both co-opted, you have some homework to do.

The Madhesi parties might not unite and become one, and they might not do the ideological homework that would stem from the realization that now after federalism and the constitution the parties that best focus on the economy like a laser beam will perform the best at the polls. The Madhesi parties might fare equally bad the next time around as well.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Roger Adhikari Bahun

I have never formally joined any Nepali organization in America although I have hardly been passive. I was the only full timer among Nepalis in the US to have worked for Nepal 's democracy movement back in 2005-06. I launched ANTA in NYC but never became a member, although I have attended more ANTA events than most.

But I have stayed informed. Sometimes you hear, sometimes you read. And so it has come to my notice that the first Janajati to attain a national leadership position among the Nepalis is under attack by the Bahun brigade and this guy Roger Adhikari has been leading the charge.

I once met the guy. I was sick of all the posturing going on around him by several ANTA leaders, as if ANTA was formed to apologize to and to pay respects to Pahadiyas like this Anglo name Roger. This guy reeked of prejudice. You could just smell it from a distance. And then he opened his mouth and my suspicions were confirmed. And then he said something racist in an online forum and I picked up a fight. The hell with this guy, I said to ANTA members.

He is on record making a case as to why Nepalis in America will not and should not invest in Nepal. This Pahadiya does not even love the Pahad. This guy is a lost cause.

I don't know much about Chhewang Lama 's time in office. But I like the fact that a Sherpa has managed to become president of ANA. That has never happened before.

And now this Roger guy is all over the map trying to scuttle Sherpa's chances. Chhewang Lama is in a public position and thus is open to criticism. But Roger's tone of voice tells me his motivation is racism. This Adhikari guy is prejudiced upto his neck. In short, his opposition to Chhewang is that he is a Sherpa, a Janajati. Shame on Roger.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Federal Democratic Alliance: Too Little, Too Late

Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum, Nepal
Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum, Nepal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This Federal Democratic Alliance would have swept the country if it had been formed before the election in a way that there was only one FDA candidate in each of the 240 constituencies. Madhesi leaders in 30 political parties can not do the work of party unification but they want 13 million Madhesis to unite behind their cause? That is laughable. What was the expectation? That 13 million Madhesis will stand behind 30 Madhesi political parties all of whom were competing against each other?

March 2013: How The FDRA Could Bring In Baidya, Yadav, Rai
The FDRA's Options
The State Of Nepali Politics: A Diagram

There has been an obvious wrongdoing in the election mechanism. At least three million voters were kicked off the voter list. As for the elaborate sabotage that the Maoists are accusing of, I don't know. It feels as far fetched as the Nepali Congress claim in 2008 that the YCL basically handed over the election to the Maoists then.

I can see a little bit truth to both claims. But both claims in their extremes feel far-fetched. The YCL did some bulleying in 2008. Perhaps the army stuffed some boxes. But there was a major pro-Maoist wave in 2008. They were an untested bunch, and the people thought they might be radically different from the NC and the UML. But in power they did not act too different. And so that created an anti-incumbency wave.

The Madhesi parties went to the people wanting two states in the Terai. I see two states in the Terai being created by the new assembly.

The Maoists campaigned hard against the Madhesi parties in the Terai. The Madhesi parties campaigned hard against each other in the Terai. Ashok Rai went in solo. No wonder they all got poor results. The people wondered, if the Maoists and the Madhesis feel strongly about identity based federalism, why are they so against each other?

Madhesi Parties: 12 Lakh PR Votes

Now the best option is to go for six states - Eastern Terai, Western Terai, Koshi, Bagmati, Gandaki, Karnali - where half the MPs get elected from the Terai.

The Federalism Question: Maps

The attempt should be to form an all party government. The attempt should be that the Maoists get the Speaker position.

Then these parties should do internal homework.

Isn't this amazing? All these Madhesi parties will join the Maoist alliance, but they will still not talk about becoming one party? I find that mind boggling.

If they face the local and state elections in a fractured way like they faced the November election, they will fare just as bad.

UCPN (Maoist), other dissidents form new alliance
A group of 18 dissident political parties has formed a Federal Democratic Alliance (FDA) ..... UCPN (Maoist), Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), Madhesi People´s Rights Forum Nepal (MPRF-N), Federal Socialist Party Nepal (FSP-N), Sadbhavana Party, Tarai-Madhes Sadbhavana Party, MPRF-Republican, Tharuhat Tarai Party, Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch, Rastriya Janamukti Party and Federal Sadbhavana Party ..... UCPN (Maoist) leaders have accused the Election Commission, the Nepal Army and "some other invisible forces" of perpetrating vote fraud under a plan to defeat Maoist candidates across the country. Maoist leaders said that the number of votes was manipulated while collecting the ballot boxes from the polling booths and bringing them to the vote counting centers.
Enhanced by Zemanta