Should Nepal go back to a Monarchic System?

I made my first visit to Nepal about a month ago. With a rich culture and the Himalaya’s as a backdrop I thought it is such a romantic place to be. In fact, I happen to hear that it is one of the world’s poorest countries as well. Leaving the UN decided poor conditions aside; as someone who believes in democracy I agree that Nepal is another poor country in South Asia that is suffering due to lack of citizens, or a civil society for that matter.

 

The present politicians in Nepal have failed to agree on a constitution to date since the decade-old Maoist insurgency ended in 2006. Prime Minister is motivated to call fresh elections. Nepal’s Supreme Court has rejected a proposal by the interim assembly to extend its term by three months so it can draft a new constitution. Three political parties have resigned from Nepal’s Maoist-led government as fears grow that the country is descending into constitutional chaos. The country is in a real anarchic situation.
Nepal is a new democracy. Democratic politics was introduced to the country only in 1991 after popular protests. Maoist rebels waged a decade-long campaign against the monarchy and were successful in appointing a democratic government with Maoist-dominating it. During the past 6 years the interim government has failed to build consensus on the principal law of the land: the constitution. There could be so many reasons and justifications for the ruling and opposition parties for this move.

 

There seems to be no collective vision for Nepal in the post-war era. Vision for the country as I see it is ‘compartmentalized’ based on ethnicity, political party, socio economic status and position in relation to political power etc. While there seems to be no consensus among the politicians in relation to the key drivers of the state should be, the government continues on its unimpeded ‘top to down’ approach. As a result I see constant disagreements amongst actors involved in Constitution Making as to options should be followed during its post war phase. Although there have been discussions during the past few years amongst policy makers, they do not seem to be bringing any intervention or impact in practice or any solid outcome. Hence, there are no ‘concrete steps’ taking place to drive the state towards a collective vision to benefit everyone in Nepal: to build consensus on power-sharing arrangements in the country.

 

This anarchic situation is one of the best examples for the failure of democracy in another state with mere voters with no citizens. If or when elections take place there is definitely going to be a danger of violence. The political campaign events will of course be the new battleground for increasingly divisive communal issues. Do these conditions assist Nepal to complete its transition to peace and democracy?
In this context, the time has come to rethink whether democracy is really for countries like us; Nepal or Sri Lanka. We wish to have an all mighty king above all of us like an old Sri Lankan poem says “Oh dear ants, even you have a king, but not us”. Having democratic structures in place will not bring democracy and peace to our countries. If the legitimacy of the republic scenting the opportunity for a revival and leaves the country in complete anarchy, monarchic system probably is the best that suit the people.

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