556 HIKES and counting

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Aneesh Lohani


The Bandh Imbroglio

Contemporary times are filled with stories about atrocities committed by various ‘political activists’ and criminal factions gone ‘legitimate’ under political facades. With each passing day, the atrocities multiply and the government’s indifference intensifies. Leaders, who don’t feel the need to enforce law and order in the country despite pressures from the mainstream media, are not democratic leaders.

Kidnapping, torture, murder, extortion and destruction of property are crimes punishable by law. Yet, in Nepal, these crimes are tacitly pardoned when carried out ‘honestly’ in the spirit of self-acclaimed political interests and dogmas. In a democracy, institutional processes address aspirations. Politicians and bureaucrats are supposed to solve problems, or pave way for competent replacements. The indifferent and deaf politicians are responsible for the developing culture of Nepal Bandh’s and lawlessness – a process of shifting justice, institutional processes and discourses on to the streets at the hands of the mob. Thanks to the ‘legacy’ of the new entrants in the government, the mobs now fire guns, kidnap people, threaten people and destroy private and public property.

Some commit crime and blame the feudal history of the country. Others commit crime for space and independence. And, the government blames it on the transitional phase the country is in or on the regressive forces. And, still others capitalize on the government’s indiscretion. Those who are against feudalism should work towards uprooting feudalism academically, empowering institutions rather than justifying crime. Those who want space and independence should negotiate their demands and accept the fact that we are all Nepalis, or be tried in the interests of national security. And, those who blame it on the regressive forces should bring the regressive forces to book, making the transitional period peaceful rather than ‘talk and do nothing’. The responsibility of a government is to maintain law and order, punishing the guilty regardless of whether we are in a transitional phase or not.


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