Senior Nepali Congress leader and ex-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has expressed his view that it would be irrational to assist Maoists to draft a new constitution in Nepal. Does Sher Bahadur Deuba still possess a regressive mindset loyal to monarchy? Why does it feel necessary to stand for those who do not want a new constitution?
Previously notorious for brutal suppression of people’s peaceful demonstrations in which dozens died during the 1990s, Deuba even worked as the pre-coup prime minister under King Gyanendra, who staunchly believed the 10-year Maoist insurgency across Nepal was a purely terrorist mission carried out by a few criminals.
Because of his special loyalty to monarchy, Deuba even dissolved the House of Representatives in 2001. However, he could not perceive what the insurgency was in its essence. He failed in perception and behavior.
After Deuba failed in suppressing people across the country, King Gyanendra humiliatingly sacked him scolding him.
After the historical April uprising that abolished feudal monarchy from people’s minds and hearts, Deuba became more helpless. To gain some power, he united with his archrival Girija Koirala from whom he had separated in 2001.
The people’s uprising in which even Maoist guerrillas and supporters peacefully participated, this was considered the fusion of the armed insurgency and the peaceful urban movement.
After 19-day curfews daily defied by millions of people, who chanted slogans of republic, King retreated from his direct rule at the advice of USA, European Union and India on April 24, 2006.
Maoist insurgents continued their ceasefire. When they signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with seven major political parties, the principal stakeholders in the peace process, they formally entered the mainstream peace process.
This was a great achievement for the Nepalis, who had been suffering from the bloody civil war in the country.
As the bedrock of the peaceful management of the Maoist insurgency, the Nepalis adopted the approach of the constituent assembly to formally decide on the future of monarchy. As far as people are concerned, they had already abolished monarchy from the streets. However, they needed to adopt a formal procedure for declaring the end of monarchy and replacing it with a new republican constitution for the country’s restructuring.
But this approach was not practically tolerable for individual leaders like Sher Bahadur Deuba. For the sake of appearing democratic and progressive, he pronounced the constituent assembly, but he was against it in practice. Therefore, he was still advocating for army mobilization against mobilization against Maoists, who had already entered the mainstream peace process.
Why did Deuba demand for the mobilization of the national army against the ex-rebel political party whose guerrillas and arms are still in the UN-monitored cantonments? This question deserves a serious investigation.
Maoists have now realized that their armed insurgency has made people aware of required changes. They have also realized that their war activities have generated newer problems that have troubled them now even while they have been exercising peaceful politics. They admit that war was not good and that they want to avoid it.
Because of Maoists’ willpower for changes in the ill-governed and criminalized country, people elected Maoists as the largest political force in April 2008. They sought an alternative in Maoists.
It is said that arms smugglers and brokers are active everywhere in the world. As it is their profession, it would not be irrelevant to believe that they seek to build up a war environment for promoting their arms business.
Are such arms smugglers and brokers active in Nepal too? Well, their presence can be felt but cannot be seen because they do not introduce themselves exactly.
As Sher Bahadur Deuba, at least has become a leader affiliated to a democratic party Nepali Congress, he cannot be expected to instigate such felt but unseen arms smugglers and brokers. This is what the Nepalis can expect before the new constitution is drafted to sustain peace and distribute equitable justice.
first published in Groundreport