By Our Reporter
Dr Govinda KC, who launched his 15th fast onto death, has established a new record as the hunger strike continued for 26 days. Dr. Govinda KC launched his 15th edition of fast-unto-death demanding withdrawal of the Medical Education Bill tabled by the government, replacing a number of provisions included in the Ordinance issued by the SherBahadurDeuba-led government.
The government didn’t take any concrete step to address his demands although CPN leader and former Speaker was reportedly assigned to resolve the problem through dialogue. However, on 24 July, KC’s team and the government team held official talks and both the sides were seen positive.
The hunger strike of Dr. KC has provided a platform to exchange words between the ruling and opposition parties. Controversial views were floated from the leaders of the ruling parties and owners of the proposed medical colleges. Law Minister SherBahadurTamang had to quit his ministerial position due to his controversial remarks on Nepali women doctors who has studied/are studying in Bangladesh.
Minister Tamang faced the problem when he believed the words of DurgaPrasai, the owner of B and C Hospital who was dragged to controversy after a picture showing him feeding Marsi rice to Prime Minister K P Oli and CPN chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal went viral in social sites.
While Prime Minister Oli looks intolerant to Dr. KC as he sees Dr. KC challenging his plan to give permission to Manamohan Medical College and B & C Hospital as well as the supremacy of the parliamentary system. Moreover, he has become angry when Nepali Congress, Naya Shakti Party Nepal and BibeksheelSajha Party backed Dr. KC’s movement.
Nepali Congress has been exerting pressure on the government to address the demands put forth by Dr. KC while activists of the BibeksheelSajha have come to the street supporting Dr. KC.
PM Oli and CPN leaders have smelt rats in the involvement of the opposition parties in Dr. KC’s movement, which has resulted in the lingering of the hunger strike.
However, the PM and other CPN leaders are not in position to say that demands raised by Dr KC are wrong. Even the CPN activists seem supporting KC although a negligible number of CPN activists have been criticizing KC but they have weak arguments.
Moreover, active participation of the former Chief Justices KalyanShrestha and SushilaKarki, DrBaburamBhattrai, film actors, human rights activists and others in Dr KC’s movement has weakened the arguments of the government and the CPN, although, those faces, who have come to back KC’s strike, are alleged to be pro-West and pro-South and the government has suspected foreign hands behind their support to KC’s fast onto death.
The Nepali Congress leaders, while marking the 36th B P Memorial Day on Sunday criticised the government, on the other hand, the CPN leaders criticised the NC while marking the 40th death anniversary of Pushpalal.
Meanwhile, general public, civil society and celebrities have stood in favour of Dr. KC which has pushed the government in a defensive corner. Editors of dailies have also expressed their solidarity with his hunger strike. Internationalistion of the issue, especially use of force by the government in the Karnali Academy of Health Sciences in Jumla to lift KC to Kathmandu, has further irked the government. KC was brought to Kathmandu from Jumla where he has been staging the strike by using force last Thursday.
Above all, Dr. KC’s demands has challenged the plans of the two chairmen of the CPN to grant permission to run medical colleges in the above said hospitals owned by RajendraPande and DurgaPrasai.
With the passing of the day, the situation has become more complicated. KC is not ready to end his strike and government is not ready to address his demands. Many independent people think the government intends to kill Dr. KC as the CPN leaders are taking Dr, KC as the biggest enemies while the CPN leaders have accused NC of preventing KC from holding talks with the government. However, the CPN leaders seem to have failed to envisage the consequences if KC dies while staging the hunger strike.
The government that has failed to deliver in five months in office have become further unpopular due to the wrong handling of Dr KC’s strike. More intriguing it is when the communist government having a goal of establishing socialism applies its full strength behind the businessmen who want to open medical colleges to make fast bucks. These mismatching activities and egoistic attitude of PM Oil are likely to invite unwanted situation in the powerful government led by him.