Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gagan Thapa's Right To Free Speech

"Meanwhile, Gagan Thapa is to be presented to Special Court on 8 Dec. for his “Rajdroha” (treason) indictment for having insulted the Monarchy during a protest."


Gagan Thapa can be as republican as he wants to be. Right to free speech is a fundamental human right and he has it. He is protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Any regime or any constitution that clashes with that fundamental human right is an illegitimate one. The 1990 constitution died several years back, and has died several times since then. This regime is about to prove its illegitimacy one more time as if the numerous times before have not been enough.

Gagan Thapa is a genuine Nepali hero. He is a gift of this movement to the Nepali people.

I look forward to this movement succeeding, democracy getting established, and Gagan Thapa coming into the parliament. Gagan Thapa has been making some major contributions to the current democracy movement. That is there. But I think the bigger contributions he will make will be after democracy has already been firmly put in place.

Nepal is being run by people who should not be running Nepal, and Gagan Thapa is proof. People who have perpetrated some major crimes against humanity are in power, whereas a non-violent democracy activist is being dragged to court. A travesty of justice is about to be carried out.

But then this democracy movement is not going the route of courts. This movement is going the route of the streets.

Taking Gagan Thapa to court is a regime hastening its demise, nothing more.

Gagan Thapa is a democrat, someone who believes in non-violence. The world is not going to sit by and watch while he gets demonized by the ruling mafia.

Girija Koirala Playing Foul By Gagan Thapa

"....a new Nepal Student Union Central Committee has been formed under the presidency of Mahendra Bista who is also regarded by many as the "dharma-putra" of Sushil Koirala...."

Gagan's Talk In New York
Girijaspeak: When Republicans Are Royalists

It is as if Girija Koirala were hoping people are too busy with the movement, perhaps they will not notice.

This is a clear case of the parent party bulleying its student organization. It is perhaps in the political culture of the country that parties sometimes do that to their students wings, but why is it that only the Congress makes the news on this issue?

When I met Gagan Thapa in person, he came across as someone very dedicated to the Nepali Congress. The parent party needs to return the favor.

Foiling the Pokhara convention was a major disservice done to the democracy movement. Many were hoping the movement would take off with a successful NSU convention in Pokhara. Girija's clique foiled that.

Sidelining Gagan Thapa is exactly the wrong thing to do, not that it is possible to sideline Gagan Thapa. Neither Gyanendra nor Girija have it in their powers to sideline Gagan Thapa.

Gagan is Girija's comrade. If Girija can not see that, I doubt his democratic credentials.

A Patronizing King And 200 Brown Shirts

200 Brown Shirts

The UML organized peaceful demonstrations on December 2. Later in the day 200 rowdy types spread terror in Kathmandu with their visits to the UML party office and Girija Koirala's residence. The regime is lucky nothing untoward happened. But the hooligans were let roam scot free. As an armed group, they violated the law. Who were those people? Why did the regime not initiate action against them?

Or is it like the king trying to suggest, remember when I put you all under house arrest after 2/1? I did that for your good, for your safety.

That attitude would be utterly patronizing.

A king sticking to his roadmap is not a king seeking dialogue and reconciliation. Maybe the dramatic loss of much of his family in 2001 has hardened his heart so much, in his mind he is playing by the book, trying hard to portray himself as someone who knows the difference between his pesonal and professional lives.

He needs to move beyond the legal and the constitutional to the political. That is his best bet, if it is not already too late.

The King's Jumbo Cabinet

One more expansion and he will have overtaken Deuba's jumbo cabinet from the 1990s.

A Slow Bleeding Two Year Movement

Some democrats talk in such terms. If the idea is to have a two year movement, it would make more sense to participate in the polls. But that has two drawbacks. One, we can not legitimize this regime. Two, we can not discount the Maoists.

So I propose a more jampacked two month movement. But it is for the people on the ground to decide.

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