Nepal has been turned into a killing field. Bomb blasts in Kathmandu and mayhem in Kapilvastu indicate two things: (1) Seven Party Alliance's (SPA) government is confined to the campus of Singha Durbar (2) ethnic tension that had been brewing for a while has reached each and every household in Nepal. Agree or not-depends upon your political inclination and the heaviness of political baggage you carry but with the mayhem in Kapilvastu, an all out ethnic war has begun in Nepal.
While the Maoist and Limbuan and Khambuan groups have gradually reduced the existence of the government presence in the hills, tarai has been under the control of agenda-less war lords like Jay Krishna Goit, Narendra Paswan, the goons of Madhesi Tigers and Cobra to name a few. Eventually, the seed of ethnic division sown by the Maoists have sucked out social and ethnic harmony and pushed the nation towards a full blown ethnic conflict. It is a classic example of short sighted politics and a convoluted means adopted by the politicians to grab power in poor countries with weak institutional structures.
Those who lost the lives in Kapilvastu were no different from the rest of us that are alive and lucky to be breathing. Like us, they too had dreams for themselves, their families, and their nation that has failed them. Needless to say, the only difference between those who are alive now and whose life was cut short is that, the former lot got simply lucky. The government failed to act swiftly and left them to die at the hands of deviants with ethnic agendas. The loss was completely avertable.
Tarai is so divided and filled with ethnic hatred that Kapilvastu sort of mayhem can occur anywhere, and anytime. In a country where the home minister wakes up and visits the carnage site after nearly three dozens are dead, the chance of anyone becoming a victim of mindless acts of ethnic animosity and violence is very high. With the rise in ethnic hatred-related slaughters and organized crime, the government's presence outside the walls of ministries has been reduced to rubbles. Chances of an ordinary citizen witnessing natural death have diminished significantly. As it has been proved that the government is unable to protect life and liberty of ordinary citizens, it is one's sheer luck that will determine the longevity and whether or not s/he will witness a natural death.
While the nation is engulfed in a bloody ethnic conflict, Maoists have further complicated the prospect of peace and stability by pulling out of the government. It might have come as a surprise to ordinary citizens, but for those that have been following the Maoists' modus operandi, they knew, it would happen. It was just a matter of time. They knew it that the Maoists would not beg for votes when they can subvert the democratic process and get their demands fulfilled through sheer intimidation and threat of violence. The Maoists know it very well that, turning Nepal into a 21 century's Vietnam is not possible under the democratic set up. So, expecting the Maoists to act responsibly and democratically is nothing but naïve's optimism.
With their dwindling popularity, the Maoists will come up with another set of demands even if the current 22-point demand is fulfilled. Unless the Maoists are convinced that they can win elections, they will not let elections to take place. So, forget about them participating in democratic elections anytime soon.
The reason why the ongoing peace process will fail is because it is totally dependent upon Maoists' mercy. And, as it has become evident that, the Maoists will not mend their ways, never ending "appeasement" of the Maoists will not produce anything but more violence and bloodshed. So long as the political parties stick with the notion that, "appeasement" of the Maoists is the only way to secure peace, peace will always remain a mirage.
Like before, SPA is again on the verge of succumbing to Maoist demands. In order to please the Maoists, the political parties are trying to work out a deal that will subvert democratic process. Declaring the country republic through parliament is nothing but undermining of people's rights to carve their future and subversion of a democratic process. It is not only anti-democratic but also morally repugnant.
Out of many reasons why the country is in such a mess is that, the April revolution failed to produce new set of leaders. The same old lot that failed to deliver are once again in the forefront of national politics. If we look at the revolutions that occurred during the last century, every successful revolution gave birth to new set of leaders, who in turn navigated the nation and brought a new dawn. Had the last revolution given birth to half a dozen of the likes of Gagan Thapa, who can challenge the Maoist fiefdom and at the same time energize the democratic base, the country would definitely not be in such a mess.
The politicians should learn a lesson from Prashant Tamang, the winner of Indian Idol III. While the Nepali politicians are trying to reap political mileage by planting the seed of ethnic hatred and dividing the nation along the castes, Prashant made all of us proud becoming a "uniter." He successfully united millions of Nepalis irrespective of caste and ethnicity in South Asia and abroad. He has proved that unity in diversity is achievable.
Furthermore, by wearing a traditional Nepali cap after wining the Indian Idol -- from which our politicians and general public shy away -- he has proved that success and tradition can go hand-in-hand. He has proved that you can be traditional and still achieve big things in life.
In Nepal, we need a "uniter" like Prashant Tamang, not a "divider" like Prachanda, Goit, and Paswan that have divided the nation along the ethnicity and castes and made it worse than ever before.
However, will it end? In the long run, if history is a guide, the institutional damage that the likes of Prachanda, Goit, and Paswan are wreaking will make Nepal even more unstable and impoverished.
We need a leader who is proud to be Nepali like Prashant Tamang is, and values Nepali traditions. So long as we have leaders that, in the name of modernity and progression, prefer Kurtha Pajamas and suit over traditional Nepali dress, and do not hesitate to become a poodle of foreign powers, our dreams for peace and prosperity will remain deferred. We need leaders like Prashant, who can remain resolute when humiliated, determined and focused even when slandered, and traditional even when successful. We might need another revolution for such a leader to be born, but it is worth it.