Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal: Breaking With Old Traditions

Posted by n3wday on September 24, 2008

This article was published in the Red Star.

Breaking old traditions

With the Maoist leading government, there are so many expectations among the people. After the abolition of monarchy and the implementation of the Federal Democratic Republic, the progressive forces and the people are eager to see the Maoist government bring about radical changes, finishing off the obsolete traditions and the outdated status quo, to create new and better practices to replace the old.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Com. Prachanda) took the oath of office in the name of the People rather than in the name of God. Furthermore, he went to the Martyrs Park to pay homage to the martyrs rather than to Shahid Gate (Martyr gate), where a statue of King Tribhuvan stands above the four statues of martyrs. At the Presidential palace of Shital Niwas, during the oath taking programme, the Prime Minister Prachanda wore a suit and tie, and a Nepali cap or ‘Bhadgaunle topi’ rather than wear the traditional ‘formal dress’.

After the first phase of extending the council of ministers, the Prime Minister gave a historical speech in the name of people. In his speech, he said that the principle task of the government will be to carry the peace process to its logical end and to write the constitution in a fixed time. By fusing the process of ‘break-through in continuation and continuation with the break-through’, the changes in the political, social, economic and cultural spheres will be carried out in a new way.

According to the speech of prime minister, the government will give priority for the protection and promotion of sovereignty, national unity, independence and territorial integrity. A national unity will be based on the ‘sovereignty, equality and prosperity’ of the Nepalese people, who are divided and subdivided into ‘different classes, castes, regions, genders and communities’. This is a break with the old tradition; previously, the unitary structure of the state suppressed the people under the banner of feudalist unity.

Therefore, multiparty democracy will be substantially different from earlier models of the government in Nepal. It will neither be a parliamentary capitalistic model nor a People’s Republican model. The new multi-party democratic model, developed in its originality, will ensure the continual supervision, participation and intervention of the masses of the people and the civil society in every sector of the state and the society. This democracy will be for the majority of the working people and not only a formal democracy for a fistful of wealthy and cunning leaders.

Regarding international relations, the government has assured the people that it will review all unequal treaties such as the Sugauli-treaty with India. After revising these treaties, new treaties will be drawn up based on the basis of five principles. After the formation of a new government, Prime Minister Prachanda’s first foreign visit has been to China. This is also a break with tradition and emphasises on the sovereignty and independence of Nepal, as all earlier Prime Ministers, on their first foreign visit, always went to India. Let us hope this is the beginning steps of a new era in Nepal.

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