All quiet on the public front
Nepal’s experiencing its fresh crisis. But unlike earlier instances in recent past when there used to be outpouring of anguish, disillusionment, anger and outburst on social networking sites and on streets—Nepalis seem to have become quiet this time around.
On May 23, four days before dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, thousands of Kathmanduites from all walks of life had gathered at Darbar Marg to show a united face of Nepal and to press lawmakers to draft an inclusive constitution on time.
But when the same lawmakers and the political parties they belong to failed to draft the statute on time—leading to dissolution of the Constituent Assembly and dashing of four years of hard work—there was no deluge of emotions either on the streets or the websites.
More than two weeks have passed, but barring the faint murmurs targeting political parties, the masses have preferred remaining silent on the situation in the country.
Even supporters of political parties seem to have run out of patience. It was evident last week when a mass rally organized by 27 parties to launch a campaign to oust the Baburam Bhattarai government could muster only a few thousand people.
A central working committee member of Nepali Congress, one of the main organizers of the event, admitted that peoples’ loss of faith in politicians was the reason for the low turnout.
The political players have again got busy with their permutations and efforts at staying in power or gaining it, but Nepal’s public, who after a four year wait were expecting a miracle on May 27 with delivery of a new constitution, somehow seem to have lost interest.
Nepalis like Indians are said to be believers of fatalism, the doctrine that all events are predetermined by fate and hence can’t be altered by humans. This belief seems to hold true of how they deal with most problems related to basic amenities plaguing the country.
But a fatalist public is not something which Nepal needs now. Politicians and parties who failed the nation should be reminded that their actions are being watched and if they fail, they (politicians) should be ready to face the consequences in the next battle for ballots.
Someone had said “public apathy is more powerful than public opinion”. Perhaps Nepali masses are showcasing this power with their indifference.
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