Building Political Culture


Democracy thrives in a society that fosters the culture of tolerance, harmony and broader understanding among the political parties, civil society, media and other stakeholders. Despite the ideological differences, the parties need to develop consensus in realising the vision of constitution, which in itself is a document of compromise. The national charter reflects the social contract in political and legal terms. The parties, government, legislature, court and other state institutions are bound to embrace the constitutional norms, values and spirit, thereby promoting a political culture. In the critical junctures of political upheavals, economic crisis, natural disasters and pandemic, the social and political actors come closer to steer the nation towards the normal course. However, democracy also demands minimum cooperation and understanding to meet the economic, social and cultural necessities of the citizens even in the period of peace. The nation suffers division, hostility and conflict in the absence of mutual support and common understanding. 

Nepal's political history is a witness to the fact that the parties with divergent theoretical orientations have joined hands to establish democracy, civil rights and equality. Various democratic movements have substantiated their commitment to democracy and human rights. Authoritarian political system has been replaced with democratic form of governance. The installation of federal republican order marks the comprehensive restructuring of Nepali society weighed down by economic and social disparity spanning centuries. The monumental task of consolidating the inclusive democratic polity largely rests on the shoulders of parties. However, the gap between the promise and performance has given rise to disenchantment among the public. Holding the periodic elections and forming the government are just the means of fulfilling the people's expectations. Failure to deliver on the electoral pledge bears consequences for the parties and their leaders.    

The political parties are increasingly aware of the people's growing concerns about the need to ensure the prompt delivery of goods and services, and the activities of some anti-systemic forces bent on weakening the achievements of the past movements. The leaders of major political parties have underlined the need for demonstrating unity to deal with the elements trying to create anarchy in the society. They shared their views at a tea reception hosted by the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) Saturday on the occasion of Bijaya Dashami, Tihar, Nepal Sambat and Chhath. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda said on the occasion that he was taking initiative for consensus between political parties since he got the responsibility. He also made it clear that efforts were underway to unite the political parties in response to questions about them.

Likewise, NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba said that the parties should focus on good performance to regain popularity, and there was no trust deficit over political parties and state institutions. As PM Prachanda said, the festival-related receptions contribute to promoting unity among the parties and lead the nation towards political stability. The political parties have been organising receptions on the occasion of major festivals, which have been instrumental in fostering goodwill and friendship among the leaders. This has enhanced a political culture necessary to make democracy and its institutions functional, dynamic and responsive towards the people. This also helps promote good governance, rule of law and justice. However, the leaders should practice ethical politics and translate the poll manifestoes to raise the living standards of the common people and achieve prosperity for all.

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