• Thursday 22nd August 2019

The Lull

  • Published on: May 8, 2019



  • The impudence, of course, is very much there. A home ministry circulation instructs districts to go ahead with the distribution of citizenship certificates under a law still under discussion for implementation in parliament, a supreme court ruling allows it and then asks it not to do so without much bellyaches. No mainstream comments, so much nonchalance. The damage continues. An individual detained under the prime minister’s direct orders for demonstrating with a black flag must be released under a habeas corpus release in Kathmandu and things are taken as normal. A government program announced for the fiscal session in parliament is given routine treatment as run of the mill and objection centers on whether the president should use the term ‘my government’ in presenting the program at parliament on behalf of government. The opposition will oppose, the government will support. Everything seems routine. When former prime minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai merges his party with that of former deputy prime minister Upendra Yadav, the treatment is so routine as to take this with the regular series of joining and dis-joining of parties with even the best criticism casting aspersion at which of our foreign masters have engineered this new alignment with what purpose. Even this is routine, we are now to make out as routine some foreign source behind political machinations at home. Likewise, when President Bidya Bhandari returns with heavy commitments from China in course of her state visit there, government, expectedly, takes this as Chinese endorsement of the present system while opponents procrastinate that much deskwork remains before the Chinese commitments can be brought to fruition. The overall lackadaisical approach suits the cover-up well. The general unsaid consensus is that the pretension of normalcy is killing.
    Take, for example, the insinuation by a knowledgeable blogger that B. P. Koirala was ‘coupe’ by king Mahendra just some nine months after the formers much hyped trip to China. So much for endorsement. An emergent Tarai leader casually points out in a television discussion that the government’s citizenship initiative was not at the behest of Tarai politicians as has been the case ever since the referendum. One should have been provoked to query over which constituencies successive governments associated with the fresh laws regarding citizenship were trying to assuage. Indeed, when politics has in recent months gradually been positioning pieces in the Tarai, the latest Tarai looking adjustment between the Madhesi Janadhikar Forium and Naya Shakti, rather than being analysed from the Indian and U.S. angle should have been seen from the point of view of the two leaders. Bhattarai with his single seat in parliament has now a party whose leader is a deputy prime minister in government and representation from the Tarai. Indeed, the move is better seen as a forerunner to a threatened movement by all Tarai parties to take to the street given government’s continued indifference to their long standing demands. It is Yadav’s party in government that is accused of prevarication.
    Mainstream politics, mainstream media and mainstream parties with their propagandists appear thoroughly indifferent. There is a lull no doubt. Undoubtedly though, it is before a storm.

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