Bhattarai: Democracy has failed South Asia
Posted by D and I Consulting on October 23, 2011
The following comes from the Times of India. Posting here does not imply endorsement of the views presented.
Democracy has failed South Asia: Nepal PM
NEW DELHI: Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has warned that if the political dissensions in his country prevent successful drafting of the constitution, the path to democracy may have to be revisited.
Bhattarai, leader of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), said democracy in its traditional form had failed the people of South Asia by not being participatory enough.
Nepal’s peace process, which is expected to lead to drafting of the constitution, has been subjected to incessant delay because the political parties have failed to iron out their differences. Offering all possible assistance to Nepal, PM Manmohan Singh had complimented the Maoist leader in an official banquet on Friday for having joined Nepal political mainstream.
“We are optimistic about the constitution but if we fail, there is going to be the big question that whether or not the democratic path is appropriate,” said Bhattarai in the presence of top Congress leaders and leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. He was speaking at a function organized in his honour by JD-U national president Sharad Yadav.
Bhattarai said people might have to take up arms again if the traditional form of democracy fails to address their concerns. “Democracy has to be made more participatory. If we fail to do it legally and constitutionally, people will be forced to take up arms again,” he said.
“The copied traditional democracy in South Asia serves only small sections of the society. It fails to take into account class and caste differences and also doesn’t accommodate the interests of minorities and tribals,” he added. Bhattarai’s remarks came towards the end of his four-day visit to India during which, as he said on Saturday, the two sides managed to foster the spirit of trust between them.
The visit also saw the countries signing an agreement for investment promotion. Bhattarai was slammed by the opposition parties in Kathmandu by a sell-out to India in signing the investment promotion agreement. Earlier in the day, Bhattarai described his visit to India as successful and emphasized that it had opened a new chapter in the bilateral relationship.