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Democracy in Nepal: The Long Game

Rajeev Kunwar

November 2, 2021

8 MIN READ

Democracy in Nepal: The Long Game

Democracy is a conceptual idea that is in an experiment in a country wherein the science of polity has oriental text and texture.

Nepal since time immemorial was a kingdom not a republic and had rule-based governance on a consensus of elders or the doyen of the state of affairs.

Democracy is a relatively new design and its introduction in contemplation since 1900 A.D. Some do the conjecture of contemporary Nepal revert to its original stature to 2500 years. The enlightenment tradition is unfolding from the Dark Ages of territorial scatteredness.

The project of unification in 1768 A. D. is getting a challenge from the reasons and reasoning based on a micro-history of geographical settlements or hamlets of ethno-nationalist sentiments.

Democratic experiment is the product of time and circumstances to get justice – poetic and principle to the silent cry of domination.

Freedom has finally arrived and its advent is tumultuous, critical and polemical. Liberty is sown and the idea of justice is traversing on the journey of life, world and political circle. The long game has dawned on the political history of Nepal.

With all its pitfalls and promises, a trajectory of liberal democracy is finding the daunting challenge to carve political-economic stability and consolidate in the Himalayan enclave of Nepal.

Demographic pressure is to no small degree and craving for capital is not only in kind. Old issues are piling up and new problems are cropping on the surface.

Primarily, civic culture is in its infant stage in comparison to subject and participant political culture that Nepal is slowly shifting or transitioning from.

In the changing times and circumstances, political, national and civil society is opening its ken to political exercises and its upshot in economic and social well-being.

This is inevitable when a country looks like medieval structures entering into the globalized era of the 21st century.

Things are dissimilar given the political news and economic discomfiture and disadvantaged human condition lest deliberative democracy in practice.

People and citizens are benefited from the democratic template albeit grudges, complaints and qualms of political tools and technology commensurate in the existing human development or social settings.

Leader-centric democracy is to switch to a citizen-centric and citizen-oriented political system that acknowledges the altar of public reasoning based on common sense and uncommon thinking.

It is a feeling of a cycle of ups and downs in public affairs, politicking and policy vectors are creating national angst when public interests do not match with public policy execution and delivery of modern amenities.

The stuff of politics is ahead it seems in juxtaposition to autocratic traits of political systemic heritage. But much remains to be fulfilled to realize principles in practice.

The current constitution of Nepal 2015 A. D. is the latest political document and is politically progressive as of now. Its comprehensiveness is accorded when in letters and spirit it serves in the long run.

Some social scientists opine that in the long haul everyone is dead. But such complacency compromises the future and health of a political system that has to endure in our lifetime and of posterity.

Setbacks and temptations of power politics abet pessimism and gloom. I believe democratic design accommodates pluralism, diversity and solidarity to achieve liberty, justice and truth.

In a nutshell, rationality and irrationality creep in every nook and cranny of political and administrative affairs. A true leader not only judges circumstances but also addresses exigency and contingency in the rationale approach and durable measures.

In this pursuit, stakeholders serve overarching principles that govern Nepal and Nepalese wherein sovereignty is vested in the people. Discourse multiplies and polemics divide and unite. This is the aesthetics of democracy no one can negate nor deny.

An alternative to democracy is to democratize democracy. The silenced history of Nepal has heard today in the quotidian affairs and the systemic disarray is the legacy of the old state.

It is not culpable for the present situation. We have arrived at these political problems in a precarious balance of forces that underlie their existential importance. One can be audacious to hope that democracy is a long game in Nepal that has commenced.

This may sound patriarchal but voices and grievances are louder than ever before. The diverse categories of identity that are excluded including gender-sensitive classes are vocal and vociferous.

Every individual enjoys the liberty to express disbelief and the creed they espouse. While economic prosperity rhetoric is becoming currency, freedom is enticing to many.

Authoritarian or totalitarian bulldozing of mindscape in our landscape will not find political appetite. Because liberal nationalism and liberal realism show the pathways to a society that understands and explains its aspirations benign and benevolent in an interdependent age.

Furthermore, in modernizing and globalizing trends and transformations, the pristine nature of the panoramic landscape is becoming encroached and getting worse by not only national but also international externalities. Political will can only handle or manage extremism to balance both the state of nature – human and physical resources keeping utmost care to development and displacement.

Demographic pressure is to no small degree and craving for capital is not only in kind. Old issues are piling up and new problems are cropping on the surface.

Despite politicking concomitant with these odds and evens in public affairs, liberal democracy certainly bolsters civic and democratic culture.

In a nutshell, rationality and irrationality creep in every nook and cranny of political and administrative affairs. A true leader not only judges circumstances but also addresses exigency and contingency in the rationale approach and durable measures.

Ultimately, prudence with foresight can secure the liberty and human security if emotions and reasons are balanced given human nature – negative and positive.

The above-mentioned issues touched upon generating the energy and synergy of liberal democracy. We are in its pursuit irrespective of extremism that also finds its expression when such politics is an invalid recipe embedded in the Constitution.

Authoritarian or totalitarian bulldozing of mindscape in our landscape will not find political appetite. Because liberal nationalism and liberal realism show the pathways to a society that understands and explains its aspirations benign and benevolent in an interdependent age.

Democracy is a game sane people and politicians play that is going to be cutthroat and severe when the new generation takes the mantle of leadership and is groomed in the verses of politics that includes all and exclude none. Adieu to political obscurantism and orthodoxy, welcome to the enlightening spirit and enterprising endeavor!

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