Rebooting in Kathmandu :- Editorial 30 July


Eight years after they split ways, the Nepali Congress is poised to join acoalition (गठबंधन) government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre). The arrangement between the two parties is for Nepali Congress chief Sher Bahadur Deuba to succeed Mr. Prachanda as Prime Minister after nine months, and to retain power until the elections scheduled for 2018. In hindsight (दुर्दश) , the lack of a power-sharing understanding between the centrist NC and the left-radical (उग्र) Maoists over the last eight years stymied (बाधा) consensus ( आम सहमति) over key constitutional issues, and thereby a logical conclusion to the peace process that began in 2006. Distrust between the two parties, primarily due to one-upmanship and ideological differences, meant the inter-party bonhomie (खुशमिजाजी) that brought about the end of the civil war in 2006, and the transition to a republic in 2008, were short-lived. The cost of this battle for power between the NC and the Maoists has been high. The renewed alliance between the two should smoothen the way forward on a number of crucial issues.

The alliance between Mr. Prachanda and Mr. Deuba, both key actors during the 2000s, could help the Truth and Reconciliation Commission complete its scrutiny (समीक्षा) of war crimes and bring about a resolution. This process was not helped by the outgoing K.P. Oli government’s penchant (लगन) for politicisation. The NC and the CPN(M-C) have also shown a greater inclination to address the other knotty issue — the federalist aspirations of Madhesi, Janajati and Tharu groups. The Maoists had, after all, supported their demands for a comprehensive federal restructuring of Nepal, and the late NC leader, G.P. Koirala, championed state restructuring, included as an aim in the interim Constitution before elections to the Constituent Assembly. As Prime Minister, Mr. Oli had, however, refused tocountenance (चेहरा) any change in thestatus quo (यथास्थिति) on the federal question, igniting protests in the Terai. Besides, his government’s recourse tojingoism (अंधराष्ट्रीयता) and the ‘China card’ to ward off criticism frayed (अस्त व्यस्त)relations with India. Mr. Prachanda and Mr. Deuba have stressed the need to rebuild ties with India. On its part, New Delhi should absorb the lessons from the past decade. It is clear that the Indian establishment sought the isolation of Mr. Prachanda and his party in 2010, paving the way for the rise of status quoist forces and persistent instability. A hands-off approach by India that allows the chief political actors in Nepal to sort out domestic issues while delivering promised help in post-earthquake reconstruction and economic aid would restore a healthy equilibrium to this vital bilateral relationship.


   1. Coalition (noun) –  allied group, association

★ Synonyms: affiliation, alliance, amalgam
★Antonyms: disassociation
2. Hindsight (noun) – retrospect
★Synonyms: 20/20 vision, Monday morning quarterbacking, experience
3.Radical (adjective) –fundamental, basic
★Synonyms: basal, bottom, cardinal
★Antonyms: extrinsic, nonessential, superficial
4. Stymied (verb) – frustrate, hinder
★Synonyms: balk, block, choke off, confound
★Antonyms: aid, assist, encourage, help
5. Consensus (noun) – general agreement
★Synonyms: accord, concord, concurrence
★Antonyms: disagreement
6. Bonhomie (noun) –amiability
★Synonyms: agreeability, agreeableness
7. Scrutiny ( noun) –close examination
★Synonyms: analysis, audit, close-up, eagle eye
8. Penchant ( noun ) –fondness, inclination
★Synonyms: affection, affinity, attachment, bias
★Antonyms: dislike, hate, hatred, indifference
9. Countenance (noun ) –appearance, usually of the face
★Synonyms: aspect, biscuit, cast, demeanor
10. Status quo (noun) –current situation
★Synonyms: circumstances, existing condition
11.Jingoism (noun) –extreme devotion to a belief or nation
★Synonyms: bellicism, ethnocentricity
★Antonyms: unbias
12.Frayed (verb) –shred, come apart
★Synonyms: become ragged, become threadbare, chafe, erode



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