Saturday, June 27, 2009

No Hope for Nepalese Economy Until People Unite

It is just over one year that Nepal totally abolished monarchy and became a democratic republic. The expectations were huge one year ago but for most people, hardly anything has changed. The political condition has not improved and the same goes for the economy of the country. There is hardly any hope among the people. However, the people have to realize a very important thing: they have to be united for the national interest or else nothing will change or improve.

The country has not got yet any kind of political stability. In fact, the Maoist government could not survive more than one year and now, there is a new government in power. This is a coalition consisting of more than 20 parties. It is needless to say that when 20 parties are in a coalition then political stability is the last thing you can expect. The Maoists are in opposition and we have already seen that they have taken a strategy to remind everyone about their strength and popular support through carrying out a lot of protests in different parts of the country. There is no doubt that a significant portion of the population is behind them.

The ruling government is a mixture of parties of all backgrounds. The current Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal comes from Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist). Naturally, this party should have been with the Maoists but they are now with other parties. In 2008 Constituent Assembly election, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) was in the third position. They have some dedicated supporters.

Nepali Congress has been the largest political party in the country for the last 5-6 decades. In election 2008, they suffered an unexpected setback and were in second position behind the Maoists. Nepali Congress has strong organization base in all over the country.

Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum, Nepal was in 4th position in the election and they are a regional party. They are strong in the Terai region.

Then, there is the former King Gyanendra and his supporters. You should not rule them out because they have close ties with the Nepalese army. Not only that, for many generations, Gyanendra’s family was closely related to the major religious activities and that is why, they have some sympathetic supporters among the religious groups. For the last one year, Gyanendra was more or less silent about political affairs. It seems that he is planning to make a comeback in the political scenario. It will not be difficult for him because the parties who threw him out of power are themselves bitterly divided.

The economy is suffering because of political instability and global economic recession. However, I do not see any hope for the economy because of deep political division among the parties. As I stated earlier in this entry, the political parties and even the King has some loyal and dedicated supporters among ordinary people. This matter is hurting the economy more than politics. The major challenges for the Nepalese economy are:

Extreme Poverty



Shortage of Electricity and Fuel

Impoverished rural areas with no infrastructure

It is true that these problems cannot be solved overnight. For this, a strong government is needed at the center. At least, a stable government is a must to fight against any of these problems. If the ministers are busy in fighting for their own survival then naturally, they will not have any time to fight against such big problems.

I don’t think that the political leaders would become noble and suddenly they would decide that there would be no fighting. It does not happen at least in third world countries. So, the ordinary people have to realize this simple matter that if any improvement has to happen for the economy then the first precondition is that the people have to become united.

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