Lessons from Birgunj episode

February 5, 2008 at 4:53 pm 3 comments

Lessons from Birgunj episode

By Chandrakishore

The unfortunate incident in Birgunj last week, where a score of innocent civilians were injured during the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) public meeting bomb blast deserves outright condemnation. It is a direct attack on democracy and its norms, and people’s freedom and liberty to assemble and express. Such an act has no place in any civilized society of this 21st century.While every right-thinking citizen in the country must condemn the incident as one of the severest attacks on humanity, the incident needs to be analyzed multi-dimensionally. First of all, the SPA, who is the architect of the gathering, has exploited the state machinery to the extent that it benefits its interests. Thousands of forces were deployed on that day under the direct supervision of two Additional Inspector Generals of Police. This in itself was in contravention to the election code of conduct.Secondly, the SPA staging such a show with the help of state machinery has sent a wrong signal to the people, who are for democracy and are willing to see the CA election take place on schedule. They have been reminded of the good old days the Royal regime, where things used to take place under similar circumstances. There is a silent but majority feeling that, despite all the tall talks, coercion will ultimately prevail. They feel that if the CA election at all takes place, force may be used in the tarai to ensure the success of CA poll.

Thirdly, after the unsavory incident at Janakpur, the Madhesi parties, United Madhesis Front, and the Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party vowed not to disturb any democratic processes such as this. Hence there were no black flags welcoming the SPA leaders, blockade or any kind of confrontations as one witnessed in Janakpur earlier. But the fact that these parties were slow in condemning such coward act sends a wrong signal that they are perhaps pawns in the hands of these radical forces operating in the tarai.

Fourthly, in spite of heavy presence of security forces, the SPA meeting in Birgunj was preceded by a number of violent incidents, which culminated into the blast in the place of function. This has created further doubts in the minds of the public about the capability of state forces to maintain law and order and to provide security. This was one single function which they were supposed to arrange security for. What would happen when election is held in the entire country on a particular day? Can the state and the people rely upon them of ensuring a free, fair, and peaceful election?

Lastly, and most disturbingly, the incident is a clear indication of the situation in the tarai slipping away from the control of the state as well as the non-violent democratic forces. The armed radical forces are slowly but steadily gaining momentum, not because their methods are appreciated by the common people, but because the state has been unable to live up to its reputation. Even in the midst of a series of bomb blasts in and around Birgunj with a view to shy away the public from attending the meeting, the people turned up in numbers, fighting inclement weather condition. This shows that the people are keenly awaiting the election, and they want peace to prevail. They don’t believe in separating the tarai from Nepal as many doubting thomas would make us believe.

Though, it was disappointing to note that the leaders who addressed the meeting did not make passionate appeals to the people to participate in the CA election other than speaking on lines of their party’s interests, the mode was clear. Should election take place, the people would participate. Similarly, it was sad that the gathering was followed by a violent incident which resulted in the sufferings of many innocent people. But there are lessons to be learnt from it. The SPA should not stop short of just holding these kinds of meetings, but take such steps that would convince people that they are indeed serious about holding the election. 



Entry filed under: Articles.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jha  |  February 7, 2008 at 6:17 am

    i think CA election is only the way so we can get our rights

  • 2. jha  |  February 7, 2008 at 6:25 am

    you r right.by burning our own national flag,we could’nt be freedom fighter,only we can be desdrohi.

  • 3. jha  |  February 7, 2008 at 6:29 am

    it is the time to change,not to fight,not to kill.

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