Dinesh Wagle

Nepal Votes. And I Also Voted. Again.

Dinesh Wagle
DW: Just before the vote.

As you can see from the excerpt of an old entry below I was super excited about voting and about the election process back in 2008. It was because I believed, as I do now- sort of, those were the ‘historic’ elections for the CA. If same thing happens in exactly about five years, it can’t be as historic as it was the first time, I think. Okay, I am excited today as Nepal votes for a second Constituent Assembly. But I was super excited back in 2008 when the country voted for the first Constituent Assembly.

Read a paragraph from my 2008 Election Day entry:

It was a thrilling experience to vote after so many years. I came to this computer a few minutes ago after casting my vote in the historic elections of Constituent Assembly this morning. I had reached at the polling station in Gandhi Adarsha High School, a minute of walk from my home in Gothataar village of Kathmandu constituency 2, at 6:20 AM. That was 40 minutes ahead of the opening of the voting time at 7 AM. There were already about 50 people in the line! One guy came behind me with his identification card saying: I was eagerly waiting for the morning. My hand is itching. I want to vote! I will be voting after 16 years.

After standing in the queue for 40 minutes I went inside the polling station. There the lines got divided into three sections (six in total for males and females). As a result of this division I found myself standing in the third position! Cool!

Seems like the decline in excitement level was a slow process. It happened over the time- slowly. As things remained the same more or less around my life- as a citizen, politically speaking. For example, In 2011 while registering with the Election Commission I was a bit more excited than I was today and a less excited than I was in 2008. Here’s an entry that I wrote detailing my experience of registering myself with the Election Commission in 2011.

dinesh wagle
Coming out of the polling station.

Dinesh Wagle
After the vote: 19 Nov 2013

Got myself registered with the Election Commission of Nepal this afternoon. They needed my (Nepali) Citizenship Certificate and some additional information that are not printed in nagarikta. I was required to be present at the EC registration office in my village so that the Logitech 1.3 MP web camera attached to a Dell laptop could take my photo. This photo will be printed on the voter ID card that they will give me in near future. A digital fingerprint scanner took my right hand thumb- and index fingerprint.

I am not sure when will I get a chance to vote because the country is not sure about the date of the next election. It should have already happened by now. But the Constituent Assembly- elected to draft and promulgate the constitution that everyone is talking about- is still struggling to reach a consensus that will allow it to bring out the statue and take the peace process to the logical conclusion. I was very enthusiastic when I voted in the CA election back in 2008. The frustrating delay and deadlock hasn’t dampened my spirits.  I will repeat here what I told a representative of National Endowment for Democracy last week: Despite all the disappointment in the public Nepali political class has achieved a lot over the past couple of years. True that people want more to be done but that will take time.

At the time of writing the above entry in 2011 I seem to be fairly spirited and moderately hopeful about the electoral process and its result. It’s true that I was eager to vote. But not for another Constituent Assembly. I firmly believe that the ‘constitution-drafting’ shouldn’t be a fulltime career for some people. The task should not take ages as it seems to be taking in Nepal.

I don’t want to talk about the changed scenario and atmosphere in which these elections are taking place (as opposed to the 2008 ones). But ultimately the worthiness of these elections will be proved only if Nepali people can get substantial benefit as a result of these elections. I don’t want people to agree with Bhupi Sherchan (the poet, see his poem below) in his conclusion that “I am just a vote.”

A clear day in Kathmandu

Noticed a tweet from Ambassador Peter Bodde?

It was a great day with clear view of the mountains from Kathmandu valley. Vehicles were off the roads thanks to the restriction put in place by the election commission on the voting day. Here are some photos–

view of the himalayas from dhulikhel
view of the himalayas from dhulikhel
terraced fields and the mountains
terraced fields in bhaktapur and the mountains
photographing the himalayas
two goras– from britain– capture the mountains in their cameras.
flowers and the mountains
flowers and the mountains- as seen from a resort in dhulikhel

म एक पुत्र
एक पति
र एक पिता हुँ

एक न्वारान
एक विवाह
र एक चिता हुँ

म एक होटल
एक बोतल
र एक प्याला हुँ

म एक श्रम
एक उत्पादन
र एक ज्याला हुँ

म एक इन्टरभ्यु
एक लामो क्यु
र एक क्यान्डिडेट् हुँ

म एक खाली बिल
एक खाली विभाग
र एक खाली पेट हुँ

म एक सभा
एक श्रोता
एक वाह
र एक ताली हुँ

म नेताजीको एक गीत
एक भाषण
र एक गाली हुँ

म एक जुलूस
ए उफ्र्याइँ
एक नारा
र एक झण्डा हुँ

म एक आवश्यकता
एक माग
एक विरोध
र एक डण्डा हुँ

म केवल एक जुत्ता
एक सुरुवाल
एक कमीज
र एक कोट हुँ

बस म केवल
एक क्रान्ति
एक प्रजातन्त्र
एक चुनाउ
र एक भोट हुँ
केवल एक भोट हुँ ।