ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Difficult Times


Nepal’s political system is not new to storms – the young democracy has been buffeted by violent winds for most of the decade that it has existed. But the events unfolding over the last 10 days have a surreal quality that defies reasonable political analysis. It is not just that the trajectory of events in the palace on that fateful Friday requires explanation, but the outpouring of public grief and confusion, the remarkable lack of activity on the part of the elected government, the incoherence of the left forces and the oddly ‘ill-fitting’ responses of the new monarch and the more recent arrest of the editors of Kanthipur by the government are all pieces of the same picture. It would be as naïve to assume that the report of the committee appointed by King Gyanendra to inquire into last Friday’s tragedy which led to the decimation of the entire royal family will bring clarity as it would be to foresee an intensification of political tensions in the Himalayan kingdom.

Whatever be the actual sequence of events in the palace, the fact remains that it was a horrendous massacre, which cannot but prompt immense shock and grief. To that limited extent it is immaterial who was responsible for it. However, in the context of the future of democratic polity in Nepal it is necessary to get to the truth and apply the rule of law. For, no democracy can survive or take root by placing any section/group of people or family above the rule of law. Whatever be the current constitutional provisions and arrangements in the relationship between the elected government and the palace, the trajectory in dealing with the situation must be towards making the system of justice uniformly applicable.

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