Monday, 12 April, 2021

Eschew Demeaning Language

Narayan Upadhyay 


A commonly held belief tells us whenever communists are out of power, they aspire to come together on a single platform for regaining power by consolidating their position. Cordiality, camaraderie and respect mark this togetherness. But once they taste the success of getting influential positions, we discover most of them at each other's throat. Soon they participate in a leadership tussle that usually ends up in hurling taunts and curses at each other. This has been taking place in present day politics as the conflict and wrangling between the communist factions is being played out in open.

Common sense
No sooner had the feuding ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) factions parted their ways than they indulged in hurling curses and insults at each other, much to the chagrin of conscientious citizens. The utterances of the leaders cutting across the factional divide suggest that the bad blood among the erstwhile comrades will sure to deteriorate in days to come. The common sense prescribes that the communist leaders of such a tall stature should not have participated in throwing invectives at each other. For such tendency only exposes the darker part of their nature. After Prime Minister and NCP chair KP Sharma Oli dissolved the House of Representatives, the rival faction’s leaders accused him of deceiving them. Senior leader Jhal Nath Khanal denounced the unpleasant move as poisonous one.
Interestingly, when the faction rivalry had come to its boiling point, the Oli government provided Khanal’s institution a whopping Rs. 720 million to carry out researches on snakes to develop anti-snake serum in Sarlahi in the central Terai. But for upbraiding, mocking and deriding rivals, no one comes closer to the PM. With his vast array of Nepali idiomatic terms, wisecracks and talent for satirical use of phrases, the PM these days has taken aim at his rivals to the delight of his followers and fans. 
Lately, Oli mocked at leader Madhav Kumar Nepal for siding with Prachanda, stating that leader Nepal had preferred to perform second fiddle to Prachanda by becoming the second chair of the faction. In a recent party gathering, he ridiculed the Prachanda-Nepal duo, calling them a rotten plant stem and rusty knot-bolts. “After the rusty knot-bolts fell off, the party-wagon moved forwards smoothly,” the PM said. 
Earlier, he had called both of his rivals as a boil in the body and added that their separation was akin to the treatment of the boil. No one will lose body-weight after treating the infectious boil. With his witty wordplay, the PM made fun of the Prachanda-Nepal meetings after the House dissolution. He derided the gathering, saying that a tout at Ratnapark would attract more crowd than the meetings of his two opponents. Earlier, when the squabble in the party had reached its climax, Nepal had criticised Oli as being haughty and autocratic leader while Prachanda had labelled the PM as a corrupt one in his 19-page allegation proposal submitted to the party meeting before the dissolution of the House. 
The PM’s choice of phrases and idioms is understandable, given his indignation after the Prachanda-Nepal faction sought to lodge the no-confidence motion, which the PM nullified by dissolving the House and calling for fresh mandate, raising the hackles of the Prachanda-led group. According to Oli, he was compelled to take such a step after the rivals stopped his government from functioning to its full potential for the three long years and tried to slander and pull down the party leadership.
The present level of animosity will intensify after the Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on the writ that sought to annul the dissolution of the House. The politics of the nation will be a witness to many twists and turns. It is said that the Oli-led faction has arranged itself to rope in the Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba to get through the possible no-confidence motion, should the apex court reinstate the House. In that situation, the feud among the ruling communists will hit next level enmity. However, the PM, while addressing the gathering of his supporters, claimed that the court would not revive the dissolved House and the Election Commission would grant his side the status of bona fide NCP party. These comments are sure to raise the level of antagonism in the opponent’s camp that is presently setting its eyes on the court verdict with a glimmer of hope. 
The Prachanda-Nepal bloc has said that they are positive that the court ruling would favour them. The group has launched a month-long protest against the House dissolution. The protest programmes will be the next theatre where the rival leaders would engage themselves in criticising and throwing expletives on the Prime Minister for taking what they have labelled as the unconstitutional step of dissolving the Lower House. The PM has claimed that termination of the House falls under the prerogative of the Prime Minister enjoying the majority in the House. According to him, the right to dismiss the House is vested in the PM in a parliamentary system.
Though both sides have worked everything to vilify each other, the trading of barbs will surely complicate the matters for the NCP leaders such as Bam Dev Gautam who still see some rooms for making patches among the feuding parties. But the use of rude, denigrating languages can only negate any opportunity of making repairs.  

Glimmer of hope
Many external and domestic forces wish to see the unification in the NCP intact. These forces have found a glimmer of hope because the rival blocs have not yet confirmed a formal split in the party or the formation of separate parties. To do so, they require official consent from the Election Commission that would take some weeks to pore over the papers submitted by each faction in their undertaking to become the official NCP. Many neutral leaders and cadres must have wished that some miracle should take effect during the cooling-off period taken by the EC for making its formal announcement.
But given the present bickering level, it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to make peace among the warring factions to preserve the party unity. If the party stalwarts want to unity of the largest communist party to survive, they must first ensure that they eschew from using harsh, offensive words against their ex-peers. The preference of such language brings disrepute to all communist leaders and their political culture. 

(Upadhyay is Deputy Executive Editor of The Rising Nepal.