Rabi Lamichhane, a journalist, leader and president of Rastriya Swatantra Party, has now earned his place in Nepali politics. Personally, I do not favor Rabi’s defamation who holds a fierce, clever and persistent attitude against perversion. However, when a person himself chooses the path of abasement, anyone else’s support carries lesser meaning. Off late many young people are trying to miraculously reach the summit of ego in politics.
Not only Rabi but in any other political party, be it Congress, UML, RPPA among other parties or independent candidate, politicians are exploiting the frustration of public. Rabi's response to media immediately after the Supreme Court’s verdict on citizenship caught my attention. His counter question was, “What question do you have for me? I am now stateless.”
The Supreme Court of Nepal did not mention Rabi as stateless. However, it is clear that he was blackmailing the state and exploiting the feelings of his supporters by his statement. Without a citizenship certificate, one cannot open a bank account, get a job, go for an appointment, be a candidate to vote, acquire a passport, register a party, or even register an organization. As citizenship certificate cannot be obtained before the age of 16 can we consider all Nepali under the age of 16 as stateless? According to Rabi's statement, all of them should be considered stateless.
The first sentence itself declares that Ravi has renounced the loyalty and the sovereignty of Nepal, to support and believe in the laws of the United States.
Rabi acquired U.S. citizenship a few years ago, after returning to Nepal he announced the renouncement of his U.S. citizenship. It would be appropriate here to mention the oath he took to acquire the citizenship.
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
Before anyone can legally be a citizen of the United States, it is mandatory to make the aforementioned pledge. The first sentence itself declares that Ravi has renounced the loyalty and the sovereignty of Nepal, to support and believe in the laws of the United States. Also it states to keep loyalty and take up arms in favor of the United States against all its enemies, to serve unarmed in the armed forces and to follow the instructions of the American law without any deception.
According to this oath, anyone who takes the U.S. citizenship has asked God for help to work in favor of the country. According to this promise: Ravi has accepted to serve America by abandoning his loyalty and patriotism towards Nepal.
But he finally decided to return to Nepal. He must have gained many experiences during his stay in America. Those experiences can be helpful for Nepal. Rabi might have decided to serve the nation and its people. But he tried to establish that no one can contribute to this country but himself. He used words like shattering the jaws of the leaders, breaking the heads and limbs, and breaking the noses of the leaders while presenting his TV show.
His provocative and aggressive presentation attracted a generation grappled with despair. No one ought to look into his past, raising the question of ethics and dignity. He carried on his work with his renounced and invalid citizenship certificate. No one bothered to check on information about his citizenship.
In US, a green card is an authorization to work and receive social security. However, they do not have the permission to join a party or to vote. Citizenship is mandatory for political rights. Being a U.S. citizen Rabi had equal political rights in America.
Many Nepali residing in America are only renewing their green card without acquiring citizenship, even though they completed their initial four years . Some people are clamoring against the green card, but it is just as comparable to a work permit in any other country. It has no political meaning. The news that NRN America issued a statement and made it clear that Ravi's case will not affect anyone, as the issues of green card, PR and citizenship are different. However, Ravi's campaign seems to confuse even those who are working abroad with PR, green cards.
Ravi did not acquire Nepali citizenship when he registered his party in the Election Commission. He only gave the information that he renounced his American citizenship.
We can assume that Rabi, who lived in America for almost two decades, know the dignity of the law. Just a few days ago, the FBI searched the office of the US President. Their law does not seem to give special exemption to the President. However, as soon as Rabi returned home, he started raising slogans for law and order but he himself was not following nation’s law.
Ravi did not acquire Nepali citizenship when he registered his party in the Election Commission. He only gave the information that he renounced his American citizenship. Even when he registered his candidacy and when he took charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs, he was using renounced citizenship certificate. The court revoked all his posts as the process for acquiring citizenship certificate was not completed.
Rabi became Nepal's home minister, who is still an accused in the US. Despite being out of Parliament, but he is reclaiming Home Ministry for 6 months, threatening to break the alliance if not provided with the ministry.
Slogan rallies against the court and the pressure to make Ravi the home minister again seems sponsored. Rabi has worked to deceive the Nepali people and government in the same way as he deceived the American people and government. If he had performed such an error in America, he would have been in jail right now, but here he is sitting on the shoulders of Nepalese people. It is to be remembered that there are nine cases against Rabi in the judiciary of Maryland. Some of them are closed after he left the country, while there are evidences that the files of three cases are still open. Especially the issue of misuse of credit cards is still open. Rabi became Nepal's home minister, who is still an accused in the US. Despite being out of Parliament, but he is reclaiming Home Ministry for 6 months, threatening to break the alliance if not provided with the ministry.
An investigation is being conducted against Rabi under the Ministry of Home Affairs on the matters of his passport, which was obtained using the invalid citizenship certificate and exercising political rights without a valid Nepali citizenship.
Rabi’s claim seems inappropriate in this context. Even if the verdict come in his favor or otherwise, his interference in the investigation may be suspected. As he is firm to get hands on the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Why was he provided with a citizenship certificate the day after the court found him guilty without any investigation about his passport raises many questions. Can the law be used and changed based on rumors? Is this the law for the little ones, the freedom for the big ones?
Even though a complaint was filed to the Election Commission regarding citizenship, why was it ignored? Why did an enthusiastic youth who preaches others to follow the law break the law himself then choose responsibility of the Home ministry? What is the responsibilty of Election commission in such circumstances? Should they not be accounted for negligence? Now vacant parliamentary seats of Chitwan stresses on questions like, will it be fulfilled through by-election or not?
After a candidacy is declared invalid, will the next closest competitor be declared winner? Will his party be invalid or not? What will be the legal status of his MP post?
Rabi himself and the relevant agencies should look further into these questions. If a youth who want to refine unhealthy politics, only focuses on power game rather than resolving the prominent issues, they will not be able to set an example for the future generations.