The appeal is to all Nationalists Nepalese regardless of political ideology, ethnicity or other affiliations. If you love Nepal then you must do your part to save Nepal. Any political institutions or events need to be evaluated in terms of two parameters nationalism and democracy. Our support or opposition must hinge on it. We may even have partial common agenda with others as per the same criteria.
In that context, we must unite and confront Maoists aggression today against the very foundation of our nation and the norms of the peaceful democracy. If you cannot stand up now then hold your peace and be ready to face the consequences of the communist dictatorship. The present government is too weak and leaderless to take the responsibility and act accordingly.
Maoists have stated and acted repeatedly that they are against democracy and peace, and for imposing their dictatorship by intimidation and terror. Their daily actions are self-evident, needs no elaboration. They have even stooped low in inviting unprecedented ethnic strife. The leaderless present government is paralyzed with fear. It cannot even speak against Maoists aggressions, let alone take appropriate actions. The nation is going through such a stress, yet these leaders are for personal aggrandizements. There is not much time left for writing a well thought out constitution. The game plan of extreme left is to put polity in duress that the resulting constitution is a compromise to communist dictatorship. Let us remember the interim parliament where un-elected Maoists were included as members. It is the direct aggression against the very principle of democracy. And yet other political parties were forced to acquiesce.
Thus it is imperative that nationalists should unite and come with a strong political program. If the aggression of the political extreme left is not responded, then that will be the reality. The political center and right are too weak and fragmented to put forth any coherent program. It is up to nationalists to publicly state the correct direction for the nation.
We must highlight the Common Nationalist Agenda:
1. Peaceful democratic political process.
2. Multiparty parliamentary democracy.
3. Inadmissibility of the politics of violence and intimidation.
4. Recognition of our heritage, roots and values as an integral part of our nationhood.
5. Unacceptability of any political compromise leading to national disintegration.
6. The recognition of ‘Human rights’ to be an integral part of the polity.
7. Recognition of Nepal as a multi-cultural and multi-lingual nation.
8. It is the prerogative of the sovereign people of Nepal to decide on the salient characteristics of the nation, especially on Hindu Rastra and Constitutional monarchy. In this context we must insist upon peaceful public deliberations and referendums.
9. Hindu Rastra is not about theocracy, but the acknowledgment of our heritage, roots and values. Hinduism is not a religion but a collection of many Dharmas including Buddha Dharma. Dharma is about seeking truth ‘Satya’ and spiritual practices ‘Yoga.’ Religions are about social control, a set of doctrines to believe and a set of behaviors to follow. Thus, the secularism is necessary to control religions but irrelevant to Dharma. We must recognize that a nation is not merely a bunch of people put together, but equal citizens with pride in shared values and history.
10. Constitutional Monarchy is not about feudalism or the divine right, but acknowledgment of the cultural and unifying role of the Crown. The crown is important for supporting weak democratic institution, consensus building, check against centrifugal forces and potential dictatorship of extreme left or right.
11. Recognition of 1990 Constitution as the only constitution written and ratified so far by people in peace. It is the republican constitution as the sovereignty is with the people. It also has ample provisions for amendments if needed. All the political parties, including Maoists, abided by and have participated in the elections under it. The members of parliament, who wrote, elected under and sworn to protect it, have moral responsibility not to transgress it.
12. Recognition that the ethnically based federal system will disintegrate our nation along ethnic lines. The empowerment of marginalized subgroups must be addressed through decentralization, education, employment opportunities, political participation, and the recognition of Nepal as a multi-cultural state.
13. The Nepal Army is the non-political professional army loyal to the nation-state. We must keep our Nepal Army non-political and in the service of the people of Nepal.
14. The economic system must cater to responsible economic growth, better environment for investments and job creation; and be conscious to the environmental and social issues. The economic progress must be defined by both creation of and equity in wealth. It must also have the components of poverty alleviation and bringing in marginalized groups within.
15. We must oppose the irresponsible economic policies and expenditures towards cheap popularity, which will only lead to high inflation and economic chaos.
16. The unconstitutional parallel pseudo-government bodies must be opposed.
17. And last but not least, recognizing that corruption in general and political corruption in particular is the primary reason for the failure of democracy, we must oppose it vehemently.
John M. Kelleher
Dr. Tilak Shrestha
United Nationalist Nepalse (UNN)