A Sad Article By Laba Karki
Undercurrents Of A Counter-Revolution
This article below by Laba Karki is rather sad. Karki I guess is one of those who spend time in the west only to learn to look down upon the country they came from. They learn to think of their own people as lesser people. White guys in America can handle democracy, Nepalis can't. That is the premise of their supposition.
This article comes not long after a widely circulated petition that argues against a constituent assembly, which reads like the manifesto of some kind of a counter revolution. The question I ask of many Nepalis in America is how can you be in America and so miss the point of democracy!
Democracies have elections, but elections are not democracy, human rights are democracy. The seven party alliance in Nepal understands that. That is whey they boycotted the king's municipal polls. Remember?
Karki seems to think as long as you can drop names like Zakaria and Newsweek and Plato, the gullible Nepalis will just throng behind you. Anything western is cool. Time magazine said it, don't look at me.
I will be one of the first to admit a country like Nepal can learn a lot from a country like America. But democracy is not an American export. Freedom rings in every heart, every soul. It comes from inside. On the other hand there are things Nepal could teach America. On democracy.
I believe the April Revolution has given Nepal an opportunity to shoot for a cutting edge democracy such that the April Revolution can stand in the same league as the October Revolution in Russia, the French Revolution, the American Revolution, and the Indian Struggle For Independence. But whether or not we will qualify will depend on if or not we can give an original twist to the concept of democracy in our next constitution. I think we should shoot for a democracy where parties do not get to raise funds, instead they get state funds in direct proportion to the number of votes they earn, and they keep all their book keeping online.
It has not happened yet, and the seven party alliance might still end up squandering the opportunity, but Nepal might as well end up teaching America democracy.
Laba Karki obviously has not read the 12 point agreement. The eight parties have made a very clear commitment to human rights, rule of law, and all the fundamentals that make a democracy. The constituent assembly might or might not make the country a republic, it might or might not give the country federalism, but there is no doubt human rights and rule of law will be protected.
It is staus quoists who fear the constituent assembly. Dalits might end up in the parliament: that is one scary thought. Some Madhesi might become President. Women might get full fledged property rights. The status quoists fear such possibilities. No amount of education seems to cure them of that fear. Some of those status quoists are Thapas, Ranas, Shahas, Mandales, some are Congressi, some are communist. Many are Pahadi. They fear social justice, they fear true equality. The promise of equality makes them lose their center of gravity. They find themselves gasping for air.
Heck, I have seen that happen in New York. Pahadis who have to deny my political work, and describe me as "a journalist." Pahadis who are dripping with anti-Madhesi prejudice. That is the only thing that binds them together. No wonder they hold on to it so strong, and look so foolish in the American context. Political power is about numbers, and the only way Pahadis are going to earn voting rights in America is by claiming their Desi identity, and when you do that, Pahadis are only mabye one out of 100 people in the room, likely less. On the other hand, some of them seriously might not be understanding how Hamro Nepal is the "world's first digital democracy organization," and I invented it, I am its founding president. Howard Dean organized an entire presidential campaign around a blog. But the Pahadis mean disrespect.
A constituent assembly is the only meeting point. That is the political reality in Nepal. How can you not see it? How can you deny it? What's wrong with you?
There is still the danger that the DaMaJaMa might not wake up in time to make the most of the constituent assembly. But a constituent assembly is the only way to channel the genuine DaMaJaMa grievances in a peaceful manner. Madhesis do not earn their rights at the expense of the Pahadis. DaMaJaMa attaining equality is a way to expand the pie for everybody. Segregation in America was bad for both blacks and whites. It was a social disease that affected all society.
The Pahadis in America are like the Madhesis in Nepal: they face utter powerlessness. You combine that with their strong anti-Madhesi prejudice and they just look so stupid. They need to overcome their anti-Madhesi prejudice or they stay powerless in America. That is what it boils down to.
In Laba Karki's case, what a waste of intellect.
War is not a possibility because the king gave up power. War was happening while he was in power. Where were you? How did you miss the action?
Democracy is not mob rule. A democratic constitution is designed to protect the individual from the state. No super majority could take away your right to free speech, for example. But those who say democracy is mob rule mean to suggest kingship is better because it is not the mob but one special person who is in charge. If we are arguing monarchy versus democracy, I thought we were already past that.
I take personal offense at Karki's disrespectful mention of the Indian democracy. Maybe he is one of those Pahadis for whom disliking India is what defines them as Nepali in their minds. It is called false nationalism. A healthy identity is a positive identity. These Pahadis lack it.
"He argued that “democracy” could not work as a reasonable, just political system, possibly in the context of Nepal where the people are backward and the party leaders ill-educated and corrupt."
Read: the Nepalis are a lesser people. If it were Moriarty and not Karki saying this, I would accuse that white male of racism. But funny I have never heard Moriarty suggest the Nepali people are not good enough for democracy. Maybe Karki knows a thing or two about America Moriarty does not. And what does Moriarty know about Nepal!
Kamal Thapa is nowhere to be seen. But now we have Laba Karki repeat the mantra that it is the Maoists who were behind the April Revolution.
"Reports indicate that the mass was driven not just by the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) but more so by the threats of extremist elements. And, with the Maoists’ call for constituent assembly, and its subsequent ratification by the restored Parliament, we are now faced with the stark prospect of a much more ominous dilemma-will the free elections transform Nepal into a Maoist republic with an illiberal, barbaric, and totalitarian constitution?"
The people came out in the streets because they so feared the Maoists. Wow. I am not even going to respond to that line of thinking. That is oh so Mandale.
"Clearly, the real winners of the SPA movement appear to be the Maoists who are now at the helm of Nepali politics ready to radically alter the constitution of Nepal (1990)."
Karki seems to suffer from the illusion that the idea is to amend the 1990 constitution. That the constituent assembly is not. The idea is to scrap it and begin afresh.
"The textual meaning of the1990 constitution of Nepal incorporates the principles of a “liberal democracy” and it reflects the spirit of our nation, people, and glorious history. And, the articles provide for the separation of powers: the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branch of government with appropriate checks and balances."
This Inadequate, Improper, Insufficient 1990 Constitution (April 4, 2005)
It must be a Bahun thing to like the 1990 constitution, because it so thoroughly marginalizes all the others.
"The Western world should be aware that the King has historically, traditionally and religiously been a symbol of unity and peace for the vast silent majority of various multi-ethnic and multi-lingual groups of people in Nepal."
That is why I have argued we should export the king to India. India is a larger, more diverse country. (King Of India)
".....and the rise of Maoist totalitarianism that may ultimately lead Nepal to becoming a satellite state of our southern neighbour."
There you go. Fear Maoists, fear India. That is oh so Mandale.