The resumption of the festival season in the country is unlikely to give respite to mainstream politics this year. Government has already scheduled elections to currently vacant elected positions at the federal and local levels for after the festivities this winter. Perhaps more telling is the fact that the legislature is astir again seeking remedies to the judicial decision on NCELL where the public outcry is reaching uncomfortable levels. In any case, the idea perhaps is that the establishment builds resistance to the fast gathering streets where crowds or accumulating under one or the other pretext and it is bqasic politics to seek public diversion. Along with the diversion, there seems a compelling necessity on part of government to respond to allegations to which the streets are gaining ears amidst the seeming government helplessness. Indeed, the festival season is time when government actions take place with the populace preoccupied with festivities find little time to react. Perhaps thus, this is time for government to act.
One action, outside the proposed attention on the judiciary is in the pending builds. The land-ownership build is one temptation. Having reacted the ‘Guthi’ bill after vigorous popular outrage, the temptation to combine it with the land-ownership build to ram it through parliament seems under consideration because it is feasible when those in the ‘Guthis’ are utilizing it for their festivities. Indeed, it is easy to recall how the Indra Jatra exposed government reluctance to fund the traditional celebrations and it is from Indra Jatra that the festivities begin. Now that Prime Minister K.P. Oli is back, the business of government is expected to resume and that it should do so with the business of welcoming the Chinese foreign minister who dropped by from Pakistan is enough indication that government prepares itself to begin clearing its already cluttered desk. Yes, as far as signal currently abound, the visit prepares the country for hosting the Chinese Chairman which is perhaps why no mention in course of his foreign minister’s opening trip here was made of the BRI to which Nepal is a signatory.
Perhaps the visit here was reason why king Gyanendra’s return from New Delhi was not allowed the online media bash his goings and comings are now familiarly accompanied with. But, that he went to Bangkok and came back from New Delhi is in itself a potent reminder of a political climate expecting change. Seasoned watchers, though, forego the possibility of change in course of the festivals. But this does not deny itself the possibility that the build up to change will accelerate during the festival season when the population habitually indulges itself with revelry. The un-comfort of lack of clarity is likely to permeate all over the festival season and the heightened expectations is more than likely to show itself on the streets after ‘Chhat’ which is no longer a tarai festival alone. Until then, we must wait and watch how the tarai parties will follow up their burning of the constitution.