Lal Babu Yadav
Lecturer, Political Science Department, T.U, Nepal
Lal Babu Yadav is not at all a new name for the regular readers of this weekly.
He is currently a Lecturer at Patan Multiple campus wherein he teaches Political Science. His specialization is Nepalese contemporary politics He also teaches Rural Development to the Masters level students.
He is at the moment a doctoral degree candidate on the theme of “Decentralization of Nepal”.
Apart from teaching job, Mr. Yadav is a well known researcher as well. He has several reaserch works to his credit.
He is also the Project Coordinator for “Capacity Building of Elected and Nominated Women Representatives in Local Level of Rauthat District.
Mr. Yadav has freshly returned from the Terai belt upon completion of a research project on “
He is also acting as a resource personnel for the “
He is also the Secretary of the POLSAN-Political Science Association of Nepal. Being a Teraian himself, Mr. Yadav is currently the Vice Chairman of Rauthat Development Trust.
He is modest and amicable. Our association with this suave scholar dates back to several decades.
Last week we approached Mr. Yadav to share his views on contemporary politics as is unfolding in the country of late. Below the results-chief editor.
TGQ1: How have you been evaluating the political situation unfolding in the country? Are we heading towards the right direction or it is just the otherwise as claimed by some? Your comments please!
Lal Babu Yadav: This is a historical achievement in the Nepalese history that the CPN-Maoist signed a Comprehensive peace accord, democracy restored, prepared Interim Constitution and the Interim Government was formed with the Maoists’ participation. In all these stances what I see is that the Nepalese people have been successful to resolve their problems by themselves. This has set a unique trend in my opinion. Country’s gripped by long standing conflicts have a lot to learn from
Unfortunately the miseries the Nepalese people were facing since ages could not be solved. The political chaos intensified, the government could not function very well. I would rather say the government’s failure have intensified the current ailments that the country is confronting with at the moment. Deteriorating law and order situation is just an example. The parliamentary proceedings are being halted by the Maoists and Madhesi Parliamentarians.
One major blunder was committed while drafting the Interim Constitution has been the absence of the role of the opposition in a democratic setup. In a democratic state there must be an opposition, the second force is theoretically the opposition. However, in our case all major forces are in the government. Thus the government is handicapped as it has not been able to find right direction and the outlet to the present political problems due to the lack of opposition role.
Interestingly, some members of the Interim Government are acting as if they were themselves as opposition. Thus we are confused on which party is in the government and which one is in the opposition. Thus there is no direction at the moment.
TGQ2: The majority of the population had hoped that with the Maoists’ induction into the mainstream politics of the country, peace will be restored on a permanent basis. However, peace appears to be still at a distance. Where lay the fault? Your opinion please!
Lal Babu Yadav: The signing of the comprehensive peace agreement between the Seven Political Parties and the Maoists had raised hopes among the people that peace will be restored permanently in the country. But peace still remains elusive in the country.
During my fresh visit to the Terai, I found out that there is no peace at all. Bombs are being exploded days and nights. Extortions are continuing, violence is increasing, people are insecure, communal harmony is at stake, government officials are also feeling insecure. However, I must tell you that there is no enmity among the people living in the Terai. In Dhanusa District I had the opportunity to conduct my research in Godar and Jadukuwa VDC on the topic of “
The tragedy has been that even the political leaders have not so far been able to convince their own Madhesi leaders to go to Madhesh and subside the agitation. Similarly, some Madhesi MPs and CC members too are in search of a situation which would allow them with a golden opportunity to cash in upon from the Terai Crisis.
How funny was it that the PM himself had to cancel his own party mass-meet in Janakpur (April 21) on account of security situation there. This explains how unsafe and insecure the NC party is- whose boss is none other than the Prime Minister himself who is also the acting Head of the State.
My experience over the month long research program has been that people at the grass roots lack education as regards peace, coexistence and communal harmony with tolerance to each other. Now the fault lay with the government and with the political parties who have so far neglected the education part of the system.
TGQ3: Madhesh saw an unprecedented unrest this time. The unrest also gave an impression that the communal harmony that existed between us all the Nepalese will henceforth remain shattered and battered. After all what made the Madhesis to come to the streets and sponsor bundhs? What they have been demanding from the state? To what extent the State should listen to their grievances?
Lal Babu Yadav: During my visit to some parts of Madhesh this time, I had the opportunity to meet some Madhesi leaders of major political parties including those of the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum etc and the general people living in the Madhesh both from the hilly community and the ethnic Madhesis. Both the communities are living in perfect harmony. The Madhesis had their view that the hilly people were living there since ages. Their question was how could they tell the Pahades to leave the area? I could see that the Madhesis were not against the Hilly people.
However, I must tell you that the present Madhesi Movement is for the inclusion of their community in all the government sectors. This was a prime agenda of Janaandolan-II, however not to be so even after signing the CPA, the drafting of the Interim Constitution could not integrate the genuine demands of the Madhesis, Women, Dalits and Janajatis. In particular, the Madhesis have been suffering from an identity crisis and recognition problem. The state has always treated the Madhesis as second class citizens. For example just look into the figures indicating the Madhesi representation in Civil Service, Security Force and Military force. Like wise, the exclusion of Madhesis, Women, Janajatis and Dalits in the political parties renders them unrepresented in their nature and addressing this gap will help them become not just more representative, but also more responsible and responsive. However, when we talk of proportional representation and federal states, hill people living in Madhesh must also be ensured proportional representation in all the sectors in the federal structures.
The government to do away with the root cause of the Madhesi-Pahade conflict, why does not the government promote cross migration as well by making the hilly areas accessible for the people of Madhesh? If this does happen the communal harmony will get strengthen and further enhanced.
TGQ4: As a teacher of Political Science at the University, what you think should the people be educated prior to the CA polls or the polls itself will educate the people about the internal nitty-gritty’s of the said polls? After all what is the constituent assembly all about? Your comments please!
Lal Babu Yadav: It is not easy to conduct election to the constituent assembly in time. At first the rural people lack serious knowledge about constituent assembly. Recently published report on
To ensure free and fair CA elections, the Maoists, the JTMM and others must submit their weapons to the concerned authority so that the people could go to the polling booths without fear and intimidation.
The existing political parties have sole responsibilities to solve the burning issues and challenges before constituent assembly.
TGQ5: Talks are there that the country will see soon a sort of political polarization. Do you think of such a possibility given the fluid state of the country’s politics? Will such a polarization between and among the parties, if that does happen, be in the interest of the country?
Lal Babu Yadav: I don’t think so, in transitional period many countries had failed to tackle such type of situations. The traditional, conservative, feudal, fanatic, religious forces can play for their own interest, we cannot rule out threats to democracy and peace completely from these forces. But the government and the political parties must take it seriously to over come and not to wage a tug of war kind of situation for their petty interests in such situations. The political parties must think about nation’s and people’s interest. The country needs dynamic leadership. Unfortunately, we have no politician of such stature at the moment.