Ms. Poonam Limbu
Student, Sociology (Masters level), Nepal
Miss Poonam Limbu is a permanent resident of Mechinagar Municipality-10 of Jhapa District. Now she is in Kathmandu and is pursuing Masters Degree in Social Anthropology from the Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur.
Ms. Limbu is from the indigenous community of eastern hills. She is also screening the ongoing political ups and down of Nepal very closely while continuing her studies. We appreciate her commitment to her education and interest in Nepali politics. Congratulations Ms. Limbu. Keep it up.
Sujit Mainali for The Telegraph Weekly and its online edition telegraphnepal.com approached and interviewed this young energetic lady on several facets of ongoing Nepali affairs. Below the excerpts of this exclusive interview: Chief Editor.
TQ1. How do you assess the ongoing national politics? Do you think is it heading towards the right and desired direction?
Ms. Limbu: Politics is a science, not a mere game. But sadly, the ongoing politics (I am concerned with Nepalese politics) has simply become a game, TUG-OF-WAR. This game (politics) is aimed towards getting victory by making the other party fall on the ground. Leg pulling tendency has increased in Nepal and politicians are seeking sadistic pleasure.
Indeed, ongoing national politics is not a politics at all. It is not aimed towards ensuring good governance and prosperity of the nation and its people. Nepal's politics is now experiencing absolute uncertainty.
About the question whether I think it is heading towards the right direction or not, I would say that the question is not an appropriate for a common citizen like me. The direction of politics never is right or wrong. Politics is the practice and it can be judged only after it yields result. Ongoing political course is yet not completed and hence its result has yet not come to the fore. It may take some time.
Personally speaking, what is happening now in political and social landscape of Nepal was bound to happen, so it’s happening. We have already observed and experienced how the situation had been in the past. No any political party or leader has been able to prove absolute seriousness, right attitude, firm determination and strong feeling towards the welfare of the nation. Therefore, Nepali society experienced a number of historical upheavals. The current situation is a transitional one and no one can predict as to where this situation will drive our nation. Wait and watch situation exist now. That’s all
TQ2. Political parties of Nepal talk a lot about national consensus, however, such consensus has not been forged after the signing of 12 points Delhi agreement, so claim some analysts of Nepal. Do you agree with them?
Ms. Limbu: I am happy to get encountered with the word ‘CONSENSUS’. Every political party of Nepal is creating hullaballoo of and about consensus, but this consensus has yet not come to the fore. Sometime I feel the quest of this 'consensus' is the root cause of all problems that we are facing now.
Many times, political actors claim that they have reached consensus, but such consensus seldom gets materialized and produce the desired results. Consensus has become a mere tool of the leaders to dupe hapless Nepali population. Consensus never gets implemented in full spirit even if we have it at all. Instead it is being used to console the contending parties temporarily.
As you mentioned about 12 point Delhi agreement, it's true that implementation of the agreement has become greatest problem of all since then. Selfishness of leaders in multiparty system is the major cause of this problem. Unless people are honest about what they are, where they are and what are their duties and responsibilities, no one and nothing is going to help. ‘POWER’ is such an addiction that prohibits an individual from thinking right. All political leaders are masters of their own will. I may be wrong in saying all these but, the failure of every consensus shows so. Let’s admit this fact.
One thing is very true, that ethics of anyone can’t be controlled by enforcement of any law or regulation. After the people become ethically honest towards nation and its people; everything will come back to the right track.
TQ3. Social enmity is gradually emerging among the Nepali population and it is often feared that a civil war is approaching fast. Miss. Limbu, can you please forward your personal judgment on this issue?
Ms. Limbu: I think this question indicates mainly to those issues of federalism, identity based federal state, restructuring of state and, access of marginalized groups in the state apparatus etc. I am not much negative towards the marginalized groups ventilating their grievances. The Hegelian theory of the process of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis solves the problem and hopefully all the grievances of the marginalized groups would also be addressed. I must say that the ongoing process is leading us towards stability. But Nepal still has long way to go.
The question about social enmity and terrible bloodshed or say a civil war may be of concern to everyone and to get worried over and its apparent reflex action. But aware and learned people must accept it as an inevitable fact. Conflict always does not bring problem. It will benefit the nation if it brings positive changes. The present situation looks as if the country is in the state of ethnic confrontation. It will lead to a better tomorrow. Let's hope so.
But if the issues of federalism, identity based federal state, equality etc. are taken simply as a trick of the political parties like Maoist to mislead common people or to garner maximum support from people to fulfill their vested interests, that will be another blunder and it may invite a political catastrophe. The social structure and system of governance was never perfect so it gave rise to the issue of ethnicity and nationality. Movements happen every now and then. Suppression and omission of problem cannot and should not be a solution. It will lead to disaster eventually. It is high time that our leaders be honest, farsighted and strong enough to solve and address these issues in the right way and perspective. This is the phase where we can judge the capacity of the Statesmen. It’s their duty to show how easily they can manage the safe landing of the ongoing socio-political upheavals.
TQ4. It is been rumored in Kathmandu that the Chinese aren’t favoring ethnic based restructuring of the state in Nepal. What might be its cause? Can you guess?
Ms. Limbu: I better remind all that we, being the small nation between two giants like China and India are sure to face of pressure(s) from them in political, economic, and internal sphere. We need diplomatic acumen and firm courage to keep our neighbors at a desirable distance and not to let them interfere in our internal affairs. But the tragic thing is that we are weak internally and every Tom Dick & Harry dares to intervene in our domestic affairs.
Regarding Chinese irritation towards ethnic based restructuring in Nepal, reason can be India’s covert support in this matter. They might have judged this issue against the backdrop of their Tibetan sensitivities. The Chinese might have felt that ethnic based restructuring of the state in Nepal may trigger ethnic acrimony in their soft underbelly Tibet. But what should be the basis of the restructuring of the state is our internal matter and we, the Nepalese, are the ultimate body to decide on this issue. We are sovereign in this regard. But while doing so, we must gain the confidence of both the neighbors. We should assure them through both words and deeds that the situation in Nepal can never be hostile against our neighbors. This is a diplomatic matter and our diplomats and leaders must sort out this problem. Having harmonious relations with our neighbors are vital for Nepal to be prosperous. So let's not be negative towards them.
TQ5. A Chinese delegation led by senior member of communist party of China Mr. Ai Ping recently visited Kathmandu. The delegation strangely refused to meet the Prime Minister and President. What might have been the reason?
Ms. Limbu: I may not be the known person to talk or express authentic views on such a politico-diplomatic question. What everyone knows is that Nepal is forced to face pressures from China and India because we are dependent nation counted as poor, weak and underdeveloped.
As far as the Chinese delegation’s refusal to meet the Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav is concerned, this may have clandestine purpose and some serious meaning underneath. Chinese annoyance with the incumbent Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai is not a new affair. Even in Brazil, Chinese Primer Mr. Wen refused to meet Dr. Bhattarai where the latter managed to have private talks with his Indian counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Dr. Bhattarai is presumed to be excessively closer to India. He is even accused as the Indian agent by a quarter of his own party. This may be the cause of the resentment of the Chinese towards him.
Chinese Ambassador Mr. Yang Houlan said that the delegation led by Mr. Ai Ping had managed their trip in Nepal to strengthen the relations between political parties of Nepal and the Communist Party of China. Some even suspect that after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the post of President and Prime Minister has became void and hence the Chinese escaped meeting with the caretaker authorities of Nepal. But these logics are for public consumption only, this is what I believe. The refusal of the Chinese delegation to meet with Nepal's President and PM is the manifestation of their resentment towards Nepali authority. China seems to have concluded that the Nepalese authorities are not serious towards protecting the legitimate security concerns of China from the Nepali soil.
Concluding, I must say Nepal needs to be politically strong. In country like ours where multiparty system exists and consensus has only been the way to move ahead everyone must be honest towards the nation. Politics of ego and selfishness won’t work at all. We people are habituated with the turbulent situation. Therefore, the nation is in a state of peace and is running smoothly even after the tragic nightmare of Jestha 14. But everything has its own limit. If the patience of Nepalese people is underestimated and crossed, it may create disastrous situation here.
Exclusive for telegraphnepal.com