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Leaf Fallen

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be congratulated. His third foray into Nepal has rendered naked Nepali democracy and constitutionalism. His wisely invested upon whirlwind entry through Janakpur demonstrated the Indian advantage in Nepali Federalism by allowing him separate largesse in State Number Two which can now officially proclaim its discrimination under the new Nepali constitution. Modi could deliver for an Indian company the Arun river with the new Nepali parliament evidently unaware of its constitutional obligation to endorse such a move. It is Modi that must be thanked by the Nepali business community for the government’s stark demonstration that national capital can be shunned and national investment laws and regulations shredded for convenience. When it comes to Nepal, as Modi has demonstrated, the ‘roti-beti’ relations have graduated to something more special over and above the Nepali citizenry, and not just the Nepali media. Modi must be thanked indeed for exposing the much acclaimed Oli nationalism. In the process, he has also exposed with his large security retinue and Nepali security arrangements here what weight he gives to the Nepali security sector. Nepali security and Nepali waters and Nepali markets were mooted in the special relations says of the Fifties.
For Nepal’s young generation mobilized over decades for the restoration of democracy, these Modi feats are welcome. Modi has helped dawn in them a new awareness of actually what and whom democracy has served. The mirror that Modi has lifted for the Nepali population to look into reflects merely the deceit of its leaders and has engineered a mist of shame and duplicity. All that early activism was supposed to have served the Nepali state and its population. Popular elections were meant to assert an independent people’s sovereignty. The rule of law, democracy were to have rendered all Nepalis equal. And the elected parliament was to have been supreme. Modi must be thanked for reminding the Nepali population that some are more equal than others, even the sovereign parliament in Nepal. Moreover, the Indian Prime Minister’s third official trip to Nepal underlined the utility of a religious trip to his domestic electioneering, something, perhaps, that his old opponents in South Block will chafe at but also will claim a credit for because it was, after all, their long term investments that worked.
It is for the general awareness of the Nepali population that Mr. Modi must be thanked. The Communists and Congress in Nepal have now been exposed to the full. It is only now that public speculation regarding the political behavior of our leadership can be tempered by the simple dismissal that their actions are not their own, so much so that any speculation is redundant. When parliament cannot assert is constitutional powers over government, when alignments and oppositions defy all democratic mores, when leaders and followers can be bought and sold so blatantly, ideologies and principles need only be a façade, an exercise in image building and wrecking to fool the people. Prime Minister K.P.Oli has served his purpose well just as the Maoists or Girija Koirala and Deuba. Modi’s trip has served to underline this. Our new kings, the people now realize, are more naked than naked. The search must now begin for respectability.

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