The Nepali Congress has been a party that has a very strong democratic credential established in its past 60 years, which no one can challenge, except its leaders from within. The coming week, the NC which has been divided into several small factions here in the U.S. will seek to grapple with the reality of democratic unity, thus unifying them as a single NC. The Virgina Dialogue in which I played an active role to get several political leaders and intelligentsia of NC together here in Virginia USA, was a hall mark of our common commitment to strengthen the party’s transparent image as Nepal’s foremost democratic party by working together with a common purpose both at the national and international level. The agreement took place on January 5, 2008 uniting the two sides, one led by Anand Bista and the other by Dr. Surendra Devkota who both sought to (though it was short lived unity!) to bring a common purpose in the NC’s functioning here in the US. The NC did play a concrete role particularly in New York and Washington D.C. during Jan Andolan-2 to usher in democracy and fight autocracy in Nepal, lest we forget this important chapter!
However, despite the NC holding the reigns of national power after the 17 month rule of ex-king Gyanendra, it failed to take into consideration the true wishes of the Nepali people. The people’s wonton craving for democracy at their doorsteps was not fulfilled by any political party, not even by NC which prides in all things democratic, but this time forgot about. It is no surprise that the republican trend, which was a pure Maoist agenda, cost the NC dearly during the last elections, and now the Maoists are posing as the centrist democratic party, pushing us to the right wing. It is distasteful to note that many party workers within NC are also clinging on to the new image, and quickly overlooking the history of national unity.
We are meeting in New York on November 28-29, the coming week, and hope to unite the two factions of NC again –this, signifying a new common bond. The Devkota faction has already met in Connecticut earlier and the Bista faction is now meeting in New YorkI I along with other NC and democracy loving colleagues hope to eventually convince the leaders of the two factions and all NC activists in the US who have played an important role in awakening democratic feelings in Nepal, that our party will be able to survive such a minor crisis altogether. It is equally important that all democratic forces in Nepal unite at this hour, and the NC cannot remain disunited in the US as a result and ignore the problem of building autocracy and general civil dissatisfaction with current political developments. The Leftists will otherwise take the opportunity, and divide all the democratic forces in the US, Nepal, and wherever Nepalis live abroad. This will further divide us Nepalis who want to see the long term sustainability of democracy back home in our villages and towns.
I would like to state in short, let us have a common agenda in furthering democracy in Nepal. Let it not be a tasteless pudding, and let the spoons that feed on the pudding, be equal and share the taste equally. It is democracy that only allows this to happen, i.e., allow everyone to taste the pudding ( democracy!) and make their own opinion about it. Today many NC activists particularly in the US are going around showing their individual leadership and disregarding openly all NC party rules and regulations coming from Kathmandu. We need to have complete discipline in furthering our democratic ideals, our party’s image, which foremost must be preserved for the sake of Nepali democracy. I am sure the central level observers who will be coming from Kathmandu will go back with a great impression, after the New York meeting, that all is well within NC, and that we will all continue motivating ourselves to safeguard and promote Nepali democracy at home and abroad.
We all know that the Statue of Liberty stands tall in New York, ushering in freedom throughout the world, serving as a guiding beacon to the millions who might be deprived of it, including crucial human rights issues. In Nepal, we must take an equally aggressive effort towards making our own Dharara stand tall, and the message must be –NC is a party that seriously remains committed to preserve Nepali democracy, fulfill the people’s economic aspirations, wherever they live, and take it to heart that democracy can only be enjoyed by those who truly believe it will serve them well and equally. B.P’s vision to see Nepal develop as a powerful regional economy in the sixties is today juxtaposed with the reality of an ever increasingly strong India and China, both economic power houses, and also functioning impressively in the global freedom scale. Thus, can we in Nepal sit and stare at such progress neglecting our own backward state of political and economic development? This is why I appeal -- let NC awaken in Kathmandu, let NC awaken in New York, and let us all from now on rekindle our belief in Nepali democracy, where we seek to serve the Nepali people not only with rhetoric but action as well. This, in short, was the spirit of Viriginia Dialogue of the Nepali Congress in January, 2008!