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Democracy must take firm root in Nepal

The way the Maoist Prime Minister, Mr Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, (editorial, “Crisis in Nepal”, May 5) heading the nebulous democratic coalition government in Kathmandu has resigned is unprecedented. The concept of true democracy was introduced to Nepalese people after a long bloody struggle spearheaded by the guerrilla outfit called the People's Liberation Army, lasting almost a decade.

Mr Prachanda’s Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) emerged as the single largest party in the elections. The bedrock on which the coalition was formed was the consensus among the member parties that the Maoist guerrilla fighters would be integrated within the regular Nepal Army. Ironically, this proved to be Mr Prachanda’s nemesis.

The long and deep suspicions between the Army and the civilian government made the Army Chief, General Rookmangud Katawal, disobey orders of the PM precipitating his dismissal by Mr Prachanda.

Mr Prachanda is a committed revolutionary and Nepal can ill afford his ouster. Any coalition government cobbled together sans him is doomed to fail and will put the existence of Nepal and his people in peril. Let us hope democracy takes firm root in Nepal.


Mulayam’s demand

After making his contempt for computers and English public, the Samajwadi Party chief, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, is again in the news. His assertion that he will support whosoever dismisses the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh is ludicrous. You have commented rightly in your editorial “A shocking give and take” (May 9) that lack of morality is writ large on this statement. Actually, his demand marks a new low.

It is shameful that the standard of Indian politics has fallen so low that there is no need to even make a pretence about moral values. His demand smacks of self-interest. The trend could be suicidal for India’s democracy.

How can any party at the Centre dismiss a democratically elected government? If such undemocratic demands are made and met, it will sound the death knell of democracy.

SUMAN KUKAL, Chandigarh.

Stop felling trees

Sadly, in a country where trees are worshipped, people resort to cutting trees for short-term gains. Trees and plants are crucial to our environment. Trees prevent soil erosion and save us from flash floods. Besides, trees are a haven of a large variety of birds. We should realise that excessive felling of trees has disturbed the ecological balance and led to global warming.


Low polling

The editorial “Low polling in Delhi, Bihar” (May 9) was apt. Low polling percentage has cast a shadow on the quality of Indian democracy. Bihar and UP, with more than one fifth of the Lok Sabha seats, have recorded a very low voter turnout.

These trends clearly indicate that India’s educated classes do not care to vote. Besides, many gullible voters are led by false promises and lure of money and liquor. Thus democratic norms suffer immeasurably.


Plethora of issues need attention

It is very unfortunate that in the world’s largest democracy campaigning has lost its meaning. It seems that the Indian political system has hit its nadir. Real issues like development, security, education, employment, etc, have taken a back seat. Instead mudslinging, vindictiveness, personal attacks and vendetta have taken centrestage.

The writing on the wall is clear. We are going to have a coalition government. At this point of time, we need a stable and strong government. I appeal to all the MPs to support the future government on issues of national interest. India cannot afford to spend millions on re-election.

We have bled for decades due to terrorism and the common man feels insecure. The social fabric is on the brink of collapse due to caste and vote- bank politics. Millions are deprived of two-square meals a day. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing. Corruption has brought a bad name to the country. There is unemployment and economic slowdown. Women need to be empowered.

When there are a plethora of issues needing our urgent attention, one fails to comprehend why the MPs sitting in the comfort of their air-conditioned offices and houses fail to gauge the pain of the people? We earnestly hope the 15th Lok Sabha will be able to complete its full term and give a new direction to the nation.




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