Democracy just confined to words

Prof. Purushottam Dahal
Read Time = 4 mins

72 years have been completed since Nepal saw the rise of a democratic state system for the first time. However, there must have been some serious discussions about the possibilities of democracy many years before our generation too. Now, the term democracy has been narrowed down and misinterpreted with pointless attacks on it. Many Nepali people lost their lives, labor, property and family for the establishment of democracy in the country. However, the democratic system has been misused by the leadership as if it was acquired by their ancestors as their own private property, this has lead to the misinterpretation of true meaning of democracy.

Democracy assures and protects the fundamental rights of people on the basis of universal principles of human rights, it makes the citizens independent and sovereign. It makes geography and citizens complementary allies in order to protect and develop each other. But has such a belief be created in these 72 years? Our generation read, in 2016, the government led by BP Koirala provided faith to the public. After him, the leadership of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai in 2047 and of Manmohan Adhikari in 2051 also tried to establish faith and trust among the citizens. However, no stability was prevailed. Autocratic power, corruption, oppression, exploitation, injustice, and indiscretion were practiced by those in power. Nepalese people shed their blood against these practices.

What was their dream and why did they shed their blood? After seven decades of democracy, it is now necessary to have an answer to the aforementioned question. The democratic system is a vast playground of politics. Anyone who is on the field must follow the rules, discipline and the code of conduct. After entering the playground, expressing disbelief towards the field, game or its rules is unacceptable. However, such a chaotic scene can be seen time and again in the field of Nepali democratic system, that disgrace the dignity of democracy. In a democratic system, principles and practices are equally valued. Some prefer practice as an important factor whereas some focuses on the principle. However, behavior and principles can never be against the value and spirit of democracy.

At present, even though all the players have entered the playground of the Federal Democratic Republic in Nepal, none of them are invested to respect the spirit of sportsmanship. The communist parties, which now have about 50 percent of vote support, are focused on authoritarianism in the name of scientific socialism. Their party and doctrine do not establish the fact that they have faith in democracy. Even now, it seems as if they are using the playground of democracy to explain and define various forms of Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism. To understand the essence of democracy, no other great philosophy or literary works must be learned. C.K Prasai, the exponent of democratic socialism, has prepared a work that details about it: ‘Today's simple politics’. If we study this work and act accordingly, Nepal will be able to experience an advanced and developed democratic system.

The traditional monarchists are also putting their efforts into re-establishing a monarchy against the republic. Under the guise of the rights and facilities provided by the Federal Democratic Republic, maoists and monarchists are trying to uproot democracy. However, being the hero of the 2007 movement, the Nepali Congress that considers democracy as the ultimate destination of politics till today, is synonymous with democracy in words and letters, but in practice, it seems that it is following a despotic, inconsiderate, arrogant, frenzied, intolerant and un-principled power. In other words, even this power is incapable for the protection of democratic system. This is a clear indication that the unfortunate days are still left for the Nepali people.  Good citizens are necessary for the development of democracy, good leadership is needed to prepare good citizens, and good mechanisms are needed to support good leadership. Today's practice is the result of lack of democracy-friendly nature, conduct, good leadership and good mechanism.

During the Rana regime some good reforms were observed, even during the independent Panchayat period, many works of national importance were done, but the public united against the regime as it was against the values ​​of democracy. Reforms or changes without establishment of a system, where people are sovereign, does not have a long life. However, in the name of change, the idea of ​​forming a new system from the remnants of all its ancient culture, and heritage cannot be permanent.  Now, in the name of democracy and change, violence is being glorified as well as democracy itself is being targeted. The current democracy must have the courage to do three things clearly. Firstly, the independent politics, secondly interdependent economy and development, community harmony and coordination.But in today's Nepal there is a competition of power without any principles. Now, opportunism is applied to gain power that destroys the values ​​of democracy.

Hardly anyone has the time to remember the bloodshed, time, money and labor spent in this 72-year-old democratic campaign. The recently formed government and the parliamentarians, trying their level best to be on power, confirms this truth. Regardless of the situation, total respect to all the martyrs and dedicated activists of the democratic movement. Let us hope that democracy may no longer be a search for anyone and the fate of the searchers be fulfilled.

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