New Delhi, March 10: For this bespectacled young politician and peace activist from the landlocked Asian country nestled in the mighty Himalayas, goals in the arena of Nepal politics seem untraditional. He is bracing up with an enthusiastic bevy of workers to project his vision of a “New Nepal” through his fledgling Family Party of Nepal. Meet 45 – year old youthful leader Eknath Dhakal who is making waves in his country and outside.
(Mr. Dhakal with Mr. Ram Madhav, BJP leader)
“Time is fleeting, and before Nepal goes to the polls, we will be able to stitch a grand alliance that will showcase all regions and its local inhabitants “, says Dhakal, adjusting his golden frame of spectacles. He is focusing on the youth and their aspirations in rising Nepal and has set his goals accordingly. In association with other parties, he is convinced he can change the political landscape.
Talking to newsabode.com, an online digital platform, Dhakal makes it clear that his Parivar Party has nothing to do with dynastic politics. “We consider entire Nepal as a family and the party has equal respect for all regions and religions without an iota of discrimination”, he adds.
According to Mr. Dhakal, a former Minister for Peace and Reconstruction in Nepal, his party came in the scene with a humble beginning in 2008 and is in coalition with the current ruling dispensation. “Now we are in dialogue with all political outfits and social groups to concretize the plan for the polls, which are still three years away”, he says.
“Our discussions necessarily veer around distilling ideas for a smart party which must bring the best practices to the country to create a shining New Nepal.”, Mr. Dhakal, a graduate in Sociology and Anthropology from Tribhuvan University, says confidently.
By virtue of being one of the front-ranking players in the world-famous Universal Peace Federation (UPF) for the last several years, Dhakal has the experience and firsthand knowledge of different countries and societies in the world. He is an avid traveler.
Recently, he traveled to Seoul, South Korea, to participate in the UPF’s World Summit -2020 where more than 5000 delegates from more than 171 countries met under one roof. They included top political and civil society leaders who had come to exchange views on world peace and harmony with the underlying motto of “Vasudev Kutumbhakam”(one global family.)
“ I am lucky to play some role in the UPF and interact with world leaders frequently to have a close idea of best governing practices with humane values and humanity at large in mind”, a beaming Dhakal says. He is currently the Chairperson of the UPF, Asia Pacific, as well as Co-chair of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) a branch of the UPF.
To back up his point, the Nepalese politician with an international outlook says that during his last week’s visit to New Delhi, he met top leaders and exchanged views on a range of issues, including best practices in governance.
He met BJP ‘S Ram Madhav and several Members of Parliament from various parties, including the ruling BJP. He met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as well and appreciated his model of governance that was voted back to power with a thumping majority. Dhakal has invited Mr. Kejriwal to Nepal to draw more inspiration from him and his work, especially in areas of education and health. “We will try to explore avenues where good ingredients can be replicated in Nepal for the larger benefit of people”.
According to him, the Nepal Family Party has two MPs in the Constituent Assembly. Dhakal is also the signatory to the country’s constitution. He served two terms as a member of the Nepalese Constituent Assembly and served twice as Cabinet Minister in the government.
Elaborating, he says his party’s convention is held every two years and in the last convention, a number of leaders, including from India, participated.
Responding to a question as to why he was planning to have a rainbow coalition, he said Nepal is one big family though it has 124 ethnic groups and 123 dialects. It is desirable, therefore, that in the coalition everyone is represented. Then only it will be an inclusive political platform. He says his party will set up organizational outfits in every nook and corner of the country in due course. Informatively, Nepal has 77 districts now. This followed the implementation of the provincial system of governance. Previously, there were 75 districts.
Dhakal says he is trying to carve out an agenda which not only promises a new alternative democratic process but also delivers in real terms if voted to power. “ we are trying to learn from old parties by listening to them patiently and matching new young vision before a final blueprint of governance rolls out from the assembly line,” he adds.
“Our thought process is encapsulated in a fashion that the family party will be a successful hybrid model in the coming years, the former minister in the Nepal government says. His party has already taken part in two elections on a small scale, but this time, it will be a bigger plunge aimed at giving transparent democratic political framework.” A smiling spokesperson of the party Santosh Kumar, who hails from Janakpur, kept nodding enthusiastically as the party’s plans for the new generation were being unveiled by Dhakal.
The party has opened dialogues with Madheshi parties, small outfits, and tribal parties to have their views for the vision document. Madheshis are the people of Indian ancestry residing in the Terai region of Nepal and comprise various cultural groups such as Hindus, Muslims and indigenous people of the Terai. Since the late 1940s, the term ‘Madhes’ has been used by politicians to differentiate between those living in the hilly region and those in the terai bordering India.
On India-Nepal ties, Mr., Dhakal said no country on the earth could match the relationship the two countries shared. “We have an unparalleled relationship of “Roti and Beti” as an old saying goes.”
He said they were leaving no stone unturned to further this tie-up and “we are trying for more people to people interactions at all levels, including private sector entrepreneurs. He was of the firm view that this relationship was unique and was unparalleled in the annals of history.