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Loktantric Governance

What better example of Nepali governance than the continued resort to rule by edicts even when the legislature sits to make laws? This is despite the more than two-thirds majority so widely being flaunted. The excuse this time is the paucity of time and the need to fast track these laws by short circuiting legislative process. As the constitution and the performance of the constituent assembly is precedent, our country need not resort to the pretense of the legislative process, party leaders need merely sit in Baluwatar, label the laws and have them rubber stamped by the legislature. If the constitution could be drafted and enacted in this manner in our new democracy why cannot mere laws? Law making in new Nepal must also be imbued with this trade since edicts and fast track needs continue. To add to this governance puzzle is the fact that the crisis period lengthens in the absence of laws defining center-state relations which has yet to enter cabinet discussions in order to be tabled for discussion in the legislature prior to be made laws. Fast tracked needs hasten when one federal state has already gone about legislating its own police force. Confounding, isn’t it? But, hastening things, no doubt. And, to think that so much thought, time and money has been squandered over federalizing our security machinery.
Inevitably thus, we come to that basic function of state, law and order. With the gold racket claiming media attention, it serves merely to mask the muck in this highly traditional function of state, the promotion and maintenance of law and order. That this is to be treated as one among the burgeoning corruption problems and not that of governance is another acceptance that new Nepal must allow. A modern state would have seen it as a threat to government. Just as the rule by edict, however, such basic threats to the state are to sidelined. It is no wonder that international visitors must be accommodated along with their own security contingent. The idea is to pass the buck on the visitor. Eggheads must also bemoan the lack of international commitments on international visits. What we are welcoming, perhaps, are more enthusement of capital (preferably from the NGO sector) to educate this country on how to maintain law and order and create a suitable machinery for which more laws (edicts?) are necessary. That this is at a time of intense international focus on law and order deliberately ignored by Nepali national politics explains he very nature of politics in new Nepal. And, we are asked to bear with this as part of the change. Humbug!

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