Don’t betray Satyagrahi

Published On: January 22, 2019 01:00 AM NPT By: Shankar Tiwari

If Dr KC’s demands are met and agreements with him materialized, it will be the socialist dreams of communists coming true

Dr Govinda KC is on 16th Satyagraha. He is the only figure who has constantly reminded the political actors of their responsibility toward the people. But every time he risks his life for the sake of poor and downtrodden a question is raised: Can an ‘unconstitutional’ authority challenge the supremacy of the parliament?

In the last one decade, Dr KC has protested against all governments. He has become famous among people with the issues he has raised and the strategy he has used to make people understand him. Satyagraha is the peaceful weapon made famous by Mahatma Gandhi. Dr KC’s Satyagraha is focused on medical sector. 

Dr KC’s struggle to reform medical sector is older than new constitution. The new constitution validated Dr KC’s issue by aiming to establish a socialist state, where the government needs to take command and care of medical sector. Every time politicians have tried to forget this commitment, Dr KC has risen to the occasion.  Therefore it would not be a mistake to say that Dr KC has been doing what politicians under this constitution are obliged to do. 

Strangely, politicians from all parties have failed miserably on right to health. None of the governments addressed Dr KC’s demands, though they have promised to several times, in agreements. This has left Dr KC, as well his supporters, betrayed. 

The constitution has made people sovereign. Sovereign people made the sovereign constitution. The parliament elected by sovereign people is also sovereign. Can the lawmakers flout constitutional ethos? Words inscribed in the constitution should guide and dictate the function of the parliament whatever law they make or amend. 

All founding fathers of this constitution—except former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala—are alive. What stops them from implementing socialist spirit of the constitution in the field of medical education and public health? How can the few rich control the parliament and ignore the voice of majority of downtrodden people? 

We are now in the crucial phase of implementing the constitution. The life and happiness of the public must matter more while enacting the laws. Any government—whether led by Congress or communists—does not have a license to breach the constitution.

Promises to keep 

Few months before the last elections, communist leaders were claiming that they will show to the world a new model of socialism. It is a shame that the comrades have to be reminded of this promise by a simple medical practitioner. If Dr KC’s demands are met, it will be the socialist dreams of communists coming true.

Dr KC’s Satyagraha has inspired youths across the country. Saturday and public holiday parades in Maitighar and other places around the country supporting Dr KC should be viewed in this light. People know what the constitution promises in terms of health and education and how the political leaders are trying to violate those provisions. The political parties need to be grateful to Dr KC’s movement for bringing this opportunity to reconnect the constitution with the masses.

When elected leaders forget their constitutional duty, people cannot wait for five long years for next vote. The only way is to rally behind the Satyagrahi in peaceful way. But our lawmakers accuse Satyagrahi of becoming a threat against the parliamentary supremacy. And they are making mockery of their own status.

Similar situation had arisen before Indian parliament when Anna Hazare staged Satyagraha in 2013. The issue was about Lokpal Bill.  Surprisingly, CPI stood with Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janta Party in that case. The public intellectuals were of the view that Satyagraha is just the eye-opener and timely reminder to the political machinery that they have forgotten their path.  Anna never demanded to pass Lokpal Bill from the Ramlila Maidan. Indian government agreed in terms with Hazare and later on made the bill accordingly.

Dr KC has not demanded to pass the medical education bill from Tundikhel.  Dr KC has reminded time and again to pass the bill according to the ethos of the constitution.  When the parliamentarians act against the values of constitution, the force outside the parliament has to step in. 

 Satyagrahis never threaten the parliament.  They just warn the lawmakers against deviating from socialist goals. Satyagrahis respect the sanctity of parliament, the primary institution to articulate the needs of the people. Thus, it is the duty of the lawmakers to respect the inviolability of the parliament. The primary institution must not fool the public.

Dr KC has suffered a lot personally risking his health and life. It’s high time for political community to show their gratitude to the activist doctor. Six months back Oli government had committed to enact medical sector reform bill as demanded by Dr KC. Let’s hope Oli government will fulfil his demands before this Satyagraha inflicts serious damage to the authority of the government and the nation as a whole.  We don’t deserve such bizarre melee of public betrayal anymore. Let this round of Satyagraha be the last in reforming health sector.

Twitter: @shankarktm1 

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