Nepalese Debate Nepal’s Future

This copy of an appeal to the Nepalese people by former Nepal Student Union General Secretary Gagan Thapa was linked from some of the comments on Radio Free Nepal.

While the appeal itself already appears on RFN, the discussion that Gagan’s comments sparked on the linked site is of even more interest. If you’re interested in understanding how the people of Nepal feel about their situation- their frustration with their king, with the democratic efforts of the past 14 years, and their assessment of the gains and losses of that decade and a half- the comments that follow Gagan’s appeal are fascinating. There’s clearly no consensus among the Nepalese people, but the debate that emerges in the comments is well-reasoned and informative. It’s clear that some Nepalese welcome the return of monarchy as a last-ditch effort to reverse the corruption and inefficiency that marked Nepal’s democratic period. Fourteen or fifteen years is a long period to live with a government hampered by corruption, party politics, and graft. But, as one commenter points out, that fourteen year period is a brief interlude in Nepal’s history of hundreds of years of domination by monarchs good and bad, most of whom gave little thought to the rights and equality of their people.

Tough discussions like this are exactly why the Nepalese people need their democratic freedoms returned. Here we have proud, passionate, and articulate Nepalese citizens who have lost the ability to take part in determining the direction of their own country. As Gagan himself points out in a reply, the simple fact that such a discussion can no longer take place in Nepal’s media is a clear sign that Nepal has lost something significant to this monarchist coup.

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