By PR Pradhan
1 Poush is a very important date in the history of Nepali politics. Some people recall the date as a black day, however, those citizens who have experienced Nepali politics since 1990 political change, never forget to compare the Panchayat era as the golden era for Nepal as to the supposedly democratic system we are following now.
On 1 Poush, 2017 BS, King Mahendra took-over the executive power and ruled the country for about ten years – until his death in 2028 BS. King Mahendra banned political parties and introduced the partyless political system which existed until 1989. During his rule, late King Mahendra not only recognized Nepal as a sovereign and independent country but also initiated development moves in all sectors. Therefore, King Mahendra has always been remembered for his patriotic stance both in principle and in practice.
Although Nepal was a nation, there was serious absence of organs needed to function a nation. King Mahendra gave Nepali identity to the citizens in the international arena and tried to transform Nepal from a traditional agriculture country to an industrial nation. More importantly, whether Nepal could remain as an independent and sovereign nation in the global map if King Mahendra had not assumed the executive power, considering the political scenario during that time, one can assume. Therefore, whether we accept the fact or not, due to the visionary leadership of King Mahendra, Nepal exists as it is.
There was no infrastructure and the government had no fund to invest in infrastructural development. Even though, he started construction of the East-West Highway, which was later named as the Mahendra Highway and has become the backbone of the nation today. Indian currency was in circulation in the country. King Mahendra established the Nepal Rastra Bank and circulated Nepali currency all over the country by replacing the Indian currency. It is impossible to explain in detail about King Mahendra’s contribution in this small column, however, King Mahendra had initiated a revolutionary move of fixing the land limit for the land owners. He encouraged people to open schools and colleges in districts. He gave priority in opening of the health centers/hospitals outside the capital. With the support of the experts, King Mahendra developed a political map of the country by introducing 75 districts and 14 zones. Presently, the political parties in power have tried to destroy this mechanism, yet, experts believe, the previous political map was more scientific and practical.
The same scenario: The political scenario today is the same like before the 2017 BS move. There is the government of two-thirds majority but not functioning at all. Foreign powers are active in each and every political parties. It seems, foreigners are fighting in our soil to serve their interests. In absence of monarchy, foreigners have become powerful in the country and obviously the result of such presence of the foreigners will be harmful.
To hide their own weaknesses, the political leaders are showing the danger of restoration of the “regressive elements”. The other day, our powerful prime minister KP Sharma Oli said that the government has made remarkable achievements but the regressive elements which are conspiring against the present day democracy, are creating propaganda to fail the present political system. He further warned the regressive elements for not dreaming for restoration of the institution of monarchy.
If the system had worked better than the previous system under the monarchy, of course, Oli should not have been afraid of the present situation. At a time when people are dying without a tablet of Citamol, the government has allotted 160 million rupees to purchase luxury vehicles for a ceremonial president. Furthermore, for the use of VVIPs, the government has bought luxury helicopter by spending 150 billion rupees. Perhaps, these are the achievements of the government. When social media outlets are fully lambasting against the government, those in the government have only seen conspiracy against the government by those regressive elements!