So the stubborn king finally cracked OR has he? The latter is the question every Nepali should be asking at this moment in our country's ever-changing political horizon - especially by those who have taken to the streets during the last 16 days or so against the king's autocratic regime. Have you really got what you deserve?
The answer has to be a big NO. Of course you haven't got what you deserve. Have you got "loktantra" as you have been demanding over the course of these demonstrations? Have you even got a constituent assembly? Have you - the people - actually got power as the king was saying he was going to give you? NO, NO, NO. People, you have got nothing so far. The royal proclamation tonight was nothing more than a ploy to divide SPA (and SPA-Maoist alliance). The king's action of asking SPA to nominate a PM to form an all-party government under Article 35 of 1990 constitution, is more synonymous to throwing some pieces of bones to his pet dogs than a genuine gesture towards solving the present crisis. Whether the dogs fight over those pieces of bones is another matter altogether. What is clear, however, is that Gyanendra still wants a piece of bone himself. This much is clear from the Article 35 of 1990 constitution he has cited. Although we can by now safely say that the 1990 constitution has become defunct (otherwise we shouldn't be demanding a constituent assembly to draw up another constitution OR revise the present one), let us remind what that Article 35 states. The first point in this article should suffice on why this proclamation is just a ploy and not a genuine gesture towards reconciliation. So here it goes:
Article 35 (1) The executive power of the Kingdom of Nepal shall, pursuant to this Constitution and other laws, be vested in His Majesty and the Council of Ministers.
So people, is this what you have been demanding for the past 16 days - even not caring for your life? Is this proclamation by Gyanendra after all these days worth the sacrifice of so many people who have taken up bullets and batons? Just remember one of your comrades - Basu Ghimire - who was brutally killed yesterday and then hastily cremated today even without his parents' presence. Is this proclamation even worth Basu's life? The answer again has to be a big NO. How can Gyanendra so easily declare that he has given the power back to the people, as if us - the people - were just his subjects, his slaves with whose lives he can play whenever he wants? Your lives, our lives are worth lot more that this deceptive proclamation, and remember you don't get power by spreading hands in front of the autocrats like Gyanendra, you have to snatch it from them by force. The situation as it stands - after tonight's proclamation - is that people haven't got "loktantra" as they were demanding, there is no talk of a constituent assembly, and more importantly Gyanendra wants to hold on to those "executive powers" as per the Article 35 of 1990 constitution. If that is not enough, where is the mention of Maoist in Gyanendra's proclamation? He is acting as if they do not exist. How ironic it is that the main reason he gave when he took power from the people was to solve the Maoist issue. So has it been solved already that they do not even feature in his speech anymore? There is no response we can have to this proclamation than that of DISGUST, UTTER DISGUST. SPA leaders can mull over whether to go after the pieces of bones that Gyanendra has thrown their way, however, for us - the people of Nepal - the fight against his autocratic regime should go on until we get what we deserve. And WE DESERVE NO LESS THAN COMPLETE DEMOCRACY - LOKTANTRA. NO Constitutional Monarchy, NOT even Ceremonial Monarchy BUT LOKTANTRA. Only then the people of Nepal will have the power to carve their future in a fair, democratic society.