Skip to main content

A Fresh Start

Pratyush Nath Upreti

In an informal event a few years ago, I happened to meet Bhutan’s members of parliament, who spoke highly of Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prachanda. They argued that Prachanda was a visionary leader who was highly trusted by the international community to bring about political stability in Nepal. I was surprised by their views. Nonetheless, this conversation took place a long time ago when Prachanda had just become Nepal’s prime minister for the first time, and his journey from the people’s war to mainstream politics had made the international community hopeful that he and his party would usher in stability into the country. But now, I do not think that the international community maintains that faith. Moreover, his first tenure as prime minister did not turn out to be productive.

Oli’s legacy

No doubt the Oli government failed to address the demands of the Madhesis. Further, Oli’s untimely and unwanted political comments against the Madhesis created a trust deficit between the Madhesi leaders and the Oli government. Still, Oli did succeed in using the ‘blockade’ card against India to rouse patriotic and nationalistic sentiments. His bold decision to cancel the President’s visit to India and his successful visit to China did make him popular among the people. And his constant emphasis on development did raise people’s hope, no matter how preposterous his plans sounded. With his departure, the major challenge for Prachanda will be to advance development projects and balance Nepal’s relationship with both its neighbours. Moreover, as Prac-handa initiated the no-confidence motion in a bid to form a new government, the onus now lies on him to bring all the parties on board and implement the constitution.

If Prachanda wants to be successful in his second inning as prime minister, he needs to learn from his mistakes and tackle head on the challenges facing the country. His first challenge is to conclude the peace process through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Prachanda will face immense pressure from his party to settle the war-era cases by making sure none of the party members get arrested. This is where things can get tricky. The second challenge is to address the demands of the Madhesis and Janajatis through constitutional amendments. Prima facie, the issue is complicated, but Prachanda’s ability to bargain and accommodate the demands of the disgruntled parties in a balanced way will be the key to his success.

Raising the bar

It is often argued that politicians are performers and Nepali politicians are highly capable of award winning performances. Among many Nepali politicians, Prachanda has his own sheen and set of acting skills that have impressed many. In recent years, several political episodes have given a wrong impression of Prachanda within the political circle and among the general public. Perhaps Prachanda should learn from his past and realise that his comments on a public forum—comparing himself with a historian or issuing the threat of another revolution—do not benefit him. People have already digested his popular propaganda since the first Constituent Assembly election, when he tried to present himself as the country’s first president. So blame games and threats to quit the government must be his lowest priority, as they will only tarnish his image. Well, it is high time that the Maoist party and its chairman questioned themselves and reflected on what they have achieved in last eight years. The party has disintegrated into several groups; his long-time confidant Baburam Bhattarai has left him and formed a new party.

After considering all the episodes in Prachanda’s political life, his recent appointment as the prime minister is probably his last opportunity to redefine his leadership and take the country towards economic prosperity by taking into confident diverse groups. I am not a big fan of Prachanda or of his political ideology, but I still believe that he has the charisma to take the country ahead. Time will tell whether ‘Prachandapath’ will lead Nepal to prosperity.

Upreti is an advocate

Link to the Article: A fresh start, The Kathmandu Post, 8/8/2016


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Intellectual Property Rights in Nepal

Pratyush Nath Upreti

Speaking at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Dec 10, 2013, South African President Jacob Zuma said, “There is no one like Madiba. He was one of a kind.” Indeed the South African president’s statement about the world’s greatest liberator who contributed so much to strengthening the values of human rights is very significant. Mandela is an inspiration for all mankind. Unfortunately, a controversy has arisen over the ownership and unauthorised use of the name Mandela since his death.

Nelson Mandela’s image, name and quotations have been registered under the proprietorship of the Nelson Mandela Foundation as per South African trademark laws. They are registered under several classes including jewellery, clothing, books and other products. Furthermore, other proprietors of the Mandela brand include the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Infringement and unauthorised use of t…

Philip Morris v Uruguay: A Breathing Space for Domestic IP Regulation

Just received a copy of my recent publication.

Citation: Pratyush Nath Upreti, Philip Morris v Uruguay: A Breathing Space for Domestic IP Regulation, European Intellectual Property Review (2018)40(4), 277­
At The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) of European Union, Alicante, Spain, 2015


Pratyush Nath Upreti

In a welfare state, citizens have access to electricity, water, roads, education and health. Since citizens pay for these amenities through taxes, they expect services from the state in times of need. Increasingly, with the ubiquity of the internet, access to the web is also being considered a right. Although this scenario does not exist in the Nepali context, considering the potential of the internet to bring changes to societies and economies, the question of internet access as a basic right could bear merit. As per a World Bank report, there were 499,000 internet users in Nepal in 2008. These numbers have certainly increased. According to the Nepal Telecom authority, internet penetration had reached 28.92 percent in Nepal as of November 2013.

However, along with the spread of the internet, a new avenue for crime has also evolved. A worldwide nuisance already, cybercrimes in Nepal are rising as the Internet becomes more commonplace. The Nepal Police’s Crime Inv…