Nepal at Crossroads
The three prominent issues Nepal is facing at the end of 2007 are:
*Republic Vs Monarchy
Madhesi & Indigenous Movement
The demands of Madhesi & other agitating indigenous groups are:
*their own states under the central federal rule
*Fully Proportional Electoral System(FPS) for the Constituent Assembly(CA) polls.
Madhesi demand of declaring the whole Southern Stretch, the Tarai, as one single Madhes state may not be acceptable to other indigenous groups like Tharuwans sharing the same land.
Similarly, the demarcation of overlapping Limbuwan & Khambuwan states in the hills are also problematic.
However, the demands of identity & representation can not be ignored any longer,and-must be solved through dialogue, negotiations, or third party mediation(the UN).
Monarchy Vs Republic
Nepali type of monarchical institution which represents one particular religion, culture, & ethnic identity works well only in largely homogeneous societies.
A country as heterogeneous as Nepal in terms of racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, & linguistic diversity can not sustain monarchy within modern democratic parameters.
Hence, the future course of events now depends on two key issues:
*Whether the Seven Party Alliance(SPA) takes into confidence the various ethnic & regional groups to conduct the CA Polls by mid-April as promised.
*Whether the King accepts the SPA decisions regarding monarchy and abdicates the throne voluntarily if necessary.
Despite the fears of more chaos by some analysts, the demands of all armed and non-armed groups from the hills to the plains must be addressed peacefully even if that requires adoption of federalism, republic, & FPS for the CA polls.
At the personal level, everyone should learn some form meditation technique like Vipassana, and cultivate a spiritual but not dogmatic outlook in their life.
Happy New Year to All.