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Silver Lining

As government finally forms itself and readies for the much promised elections to the second phase after the much promised amendments to weditoo participants in the Tarai, realization of fundamental truths are gradually seeping into fundamental discourses on account of the first phase. The newly elected local level representatives are gradually realizing that the Singh Durbar promised them at the local levels remain starkly bereft of the basic legislations required for them to function. The function as has been promised is that of local governments and not simply of party propped representatives of the people. Our all-knowing mainstream media in their partisan zeal remain discussing the phenomenal votes of new entrants who, regardless of no show in wins, could garner the votes they did as options to the mainstream in so short a time span of ad hoc electioneering. In the process, they can no longer hide the fact that the electorate have election experience and the local levels, despite their changed geography, were denied their basic rights of local government by the very mentors of the current polls who had to resort to the vote solely for the singular purpose of ‘activating’ their still-born constitution. Of course, despite three postponements, the second phase is certainly not a certainty yet only vindicating the virtual lack of trust in a change that has been thrust upon a people still a monopoly of a cabal who hold organizational sway. But the sovereign people are increasingly aware that this cabal transcends the sovereign legislature since the legislature sits only upon agreement of that cabal despite the fact that tabled agenda for legislation can be ignored amidst the infighting among themselves by simply shelving parliament until disagreements are smoothened for the moment. It will not be surprising that those already elected and sworn in amidst the haste to implement the constitution will be in the forefront in wrenching themselves from central monopoly of legislated rights over and above the theoretically delegated and much talked of rights, If nothing, the locals will compel them to do so.
This apex – bottom dichotomy was epitomized by the local elections defying center dictated alignments. Since it is only under the dispensation of the current monopoly, polls having taken place at the local levels so late, the leadership appears to have forgotten that local elections always took place with locally engineered alignments and central dictates were virtually made redundant this round. Individual centered leadership still prevails in the distribution of election tickets no doubt. But many local level polls even defied this diktat by voting against candidates emerging only on central blessings. Of course, it is not surprising that almost all among the monopoly now concur that they were the weakest in the first phase local constituencies and that they are strong in the second phase geography. But the subtle changes that have taken place at the grass roots raise hopes that the people are emerging out of the pockets of leaders and asserting themselves. Perhaps more momentous will be the change regarding resort to the rule of law that the monopoly now embarrassingly amplifies. The Chitwan incident is but mere example. The incident with the judiciary, quarrels leading to legislative shutdown, the intransigency regarding the rights of the legislators all are virtual exposes compelling a population to question where we went wrong. The truths are unraveling. The timing could be critical.

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