Lakpa G. Sherpa
Nepal has virtually come to a grinding halt. Traffic has thinned across the country. Private vehicles are off the streets. The plains region is burning, but people are running out of cooking gas. Restaurants and tea shops are shutting down due to cooking gas shortage. Passengers are stranded. They are not sure if they can reach home and spend the upcoming Dashain festival with families.
At the root of the crisis is the Madhes uprising. The Madhesi people have been staging sit-in programs at all border points demanding implementation of the agreements reached with the state in the past. Adding to the crisis, India has also imposed an unofficial blockade. As the supply of essential commodities dries up, people are suffocating across the country.
Those who lit lamps to welcome the new constitution are now struggling to light their stoves. Those who rejected the new constitution with a black out are also affected by fuel crisis. Some families have lost their bread winners and dear ones. The political force that waged a decade long battle against the state has also lost its luster. Its main architect, Baburam Bhattarai, has quit the party and has embarked on a new journey to form a new political force.
At a time when the country is plunging into a full-blown crisis, top leaders of ruling parties are busy in striking a power-sharing deal. They are quarreling over who would be the next Prime Minister and the next President.
At a time when the country is plunging into a full-blown crisis, top leaders of ruling parties are busy in striking a power-sharing deal. They are quarreling over who would be the next Prime Minister and the next President. It would not be wrong to conclude that these power hungry politicians are guilty of deaths and destruction in the Tarai. The fire of dissent is spreading to the hills and the mountains, too. But the political leadership has tried to ignore what is happening right below its nose. They have not done much to resolve the problem. Instead of solving the domestic issues, they are trying to antagonize a neighboring country.
Nepalis were hopeful that the new constitution would usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. But it seems that the constitution has put the country back on the path to the stone-age. But the government looks helpless and pathetic. Political leaders and government authorities are posting irresponsible comments on social networking sites instead of trying to solve the issue diplomatically. People are appalled by the absence of the government.
Hurling abusive words against the neighbor or stooping to it is not the right way, the answer to the crisis is to rewrite the constitution to make all social and caste groups equally powerful.
The blockade is in fact not onnly against the country but also against the constitution that perpetuates discrimination against the marginalized communities. It is also against the status qouist political leadership. The best way to get the blockade lifted is to listen to grievances of Madhesis and Janajatis. If the political syndicate of three leaders ends, the blockade will be certainly lifted.
Hurling abusive words against the neighbor or stooping to it is not the right way, the answer to the crisis is to rewrite the constitution to make all social and caste groups equally powerful. A discriminatory constitution does not need to be welcomed.