Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Democracy First, Maoists Later

Coming on the heels of the Nepalese king's decision to restore Parliament, Samrat Upadhyay gives a nice concise overview of Nepal's history and describes the age old tyranny which arises when some conception of so-called divine power is aligned with temporal power, embodied in a king.
Gyanendra's draconian rule has finally destroyed the carefully cultivated illusion that a king is necessary to hold the country together. The scale of the current democratic uprising — much larger than the first movement in 1990 — has made it abundantly clear that the king is part of Nepal's problem, not its solution. Nepalis are in effect saying: democracy first, Maoists later.

In this political crisis that has now grabbed global attention, an important lesson has emerged: there's no alternative to freedom — no matter how big the threat, no matter who claims to be our friend and protector.
Congratulations Nepal and everyone who took to the streets to demand their birthright. It warms my heart to know there will always be groups of individuals to fight against depotism wherever it may arise, now and in perpetuity.