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We all need to pray for Divine Intervention to break the shackles

One learns from every journey. And more often than not one learns not to unlearn what had been learnt in the past.
My recent journey to Nepal in the company of my colleagues in the CPNE delegation, was my first to this country of Himalayan range, of the Mount Everest, of the battle-hardened Gorkhas, of the religious and cultural harmony, of a history of political turmoil, of frequently kindled and regularly extinguished candles of hope, of an armed struggle by Maoists to fulfill their proletarian dreams, of a traditionalist military that has for long felt honour-bound to protect a 250 year old dynastic monarchy, and of course of a recently born resolve, on the part of practically all the populist schools of thought, to rebuild a new Nepal on the debris of the old.
About this journey, I’ll be writing later. And about Nepal, its people, its strategic importance and future prospects, I am going to deliberate in my future columns. For today’s echoes of the heart, I want to draw from the observations the Nepalese Prime Minister Mr Girija Prashad Koerala made during the meeting of our delegation with him on the culminating day of our visit. When Mujibur Rehman Shami, a member of our delegation asked about the future of monarchy in Nepal, the aging and the ailing Prime Minister replied in a determined tone of voice: “Whether or not monarchy stays, my task is to ensure that Nepal will never again be derailed from its democratic path, and power will forever be passed into the hands of the people and their Parliament. Monarchy can be accommodated in the new order purely as a symbol of statehood, and not as a component of governing engine. But for monarchy to be given a chance to survive, the King and his notorious son will have to abdicate, and create room for the child-grandson of the late King (Birendra) to ascend to the throne.
At this point I addressed the Prime Minister: “Do you think, your excellency, the elections you are going to hold in November this year are going to produce results conducive to the formation of a stable government? It is a known fact that the excuse that the non-democratic and non-representative forces use for stepping in, is the absence of stability in the governing system and setup”.
The Prime Minister observed in his reply: “I am sure, democracy and the representative character of the parliament to be elected will bring real stability, and not any illusion of it that accompanies non-democratic intervention. All the forces of thought will be represented effectively in the elected parliament, and the government conceived by it.”
When our meeting with the Prime Minister was over, I couldn’t help remembering what the Maoist Information Minister of the interim coalition government had said a day earlier.
“We have politicized our active struggle in the hope that by participating constructively in the process of developing the foundations of the Nepal of the future–the people’s Nepal—we will succeed in frustrating the evil designs of the forces of the status quo. Instead of carrying out an armed struggle for ushering in a revolutionary change, we are now working for a gradual transformation from the vices of the past to the envisioned society of social justice. We know if we fail to rally around the democratic dream, the army will not hesitate to intervene on behalf of the King whose reign has failed but not fallen.”
Dear readers, you may be thinking about the lessons I’ve learnt as a member of the CPNE delegation that went to Nepal on the invitation of the body of the Nepalese periodicals. The single lesson with which I want to conclude my column for today is: “The countries which remain in the viselike grip of the vice-regal traditions left behind by the British Raj, need a prayer for Divine intervention to break the shackles.”

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