DEMOCRATIC PRACTICES

  • Voice Of The People

Nov 11, 2016-

President Bidhya Bhandari and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal congratulated the US President-elect on Wednesday (‘Prez, PM extend congratulatory messages to US President elect’, November 10, TKP Online). US-Nepal ties have traditionally been friendly. Late American President Ronald Reagan termed Nepal a direct neighbour on the other side of the globe. This strong relationship is further expected to grow under President-elect Trump when he takes office in January 2017. Although it was a hard fought campaign, Trump showed he had read the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans and proved many experienced media pundits and pollsters wrong. President Obama also congratulated Trump and assured a smooth transition of power.

Nepali politicians too can learn to coalesce around an elected democratic head of government. Like the US, Nepal has the potential to strengthen and ensure people’s overall aspirations for peace, prosperity, security and human rights. Nepali leaders can learn valuable lessons from America’s adherence to democratic practices founded on sound constitutional 

provisions as seen in their recent elections and smooth leadership 

transitions.

Surya B Prasai, Washington DC

 

SPREADING WINGS

Nepal should not drag its feet in accepting the invitation from thepresident of India to become ‘part of India’s growth story’ (‘Mukherjee invites Nepal to be ‘part of India’s growth story’, Nov 4, Page 1). With India riding high on the back of miraculous economic growth, it would be a real pity if Nepal, which has been suffering from stunted growth for several years now, fails to capitalise on the lifeline magnanimously offered by the president of our southern neighbour and well-wisher.

Nepal should also seriously study the benefits it can reap from open skies (‘Nepal hesitant about open Skies overture’, November 4, Money I). It should play a proactive role in this area, as unlimited flights will bring in unlimited tourists. Meanwhile, our domestic carriers should start flying to the three new destinations offered by India. And instead of wondering ‘why Himalaya Airlines has not been cleared for a long time’, the Nepali team must take up the matter during talks and insist on clearing the airlines as it ‘has fulfilled all the documentation procedures.’ The Indian team might raise the issue of Chinese involvement in the airlines, which is of no concern to them as the airlines is registered in Nepal. If there are capable and tough negotiators in our talks team, Himalaya should be flying to New Delhi and Kolkata in the near future.

Manohar Shrestha, via email

 

INDIAN ROLE

While PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal is accused of “lampasarbad” (rough translation: servility through prostration) in front of India, it is nice to see his deputy in the Maoist Centre, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, holding a different view when it comes to India’s advocacy of the Madhesi issue (‘The more India aligns itself with Madhesi issue, the harder it makes its resolution’, November 7, Interview).

However, Shrestha too has failed to recognise the fact that India is aligning not with the Madhesi population in general but with a handful of first generation immigrants, self-declared Bharatbadis and defeated Madhesi politicians. They together had managed to win in 11 places out of the 116 constituencies in the last general election but demand delineation of the whole of multiethnic Tarai, a proposition that makes absolutely no economic, social, political or even environmental sense. After all, given the fact that the water table in the Tarai has now depleted to at least 250 ft deep due to excessive ground water extraction in India, the Tarai’s development has to be integrated with regions up north even for water for drinking, irrigation and general development. While this senseless demand has no support among the Madhesi people in general in the Tarai, it is India’s support that is providing life to it. President Mukherjee, after having seen it firsthand, should help stop it.

Bihari Krishna Shrestha, via email

Published: 11-11-2016 08:39

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