Oppositional Politics in Nepal By Lok Raj Baral
In this important study of politics and political culture during Nepal’s Panchayat era (1960-90), Lok Raj Baral challenges the notion that overt opposition disappears in states that do not have a party system of government. The author demonstrates convincingly that conflict is a natural and inevitable part of any political system and that the ostensibly partyless Panchayat System in Nepal could not prevent opposition from taking root. It was not the basic contradictions of the system alone that gave rise to the steady growth of dissent. Political expediency and immaturity among key individuals and groups led them to choose strategies that deviated from the supposedly all-embracive ideology of the system. It was these intra-systemic differences that ultimately provided sustenance to oppositionists not reconciled to the ‘partyless’ character of the system.
Oppositional Politics in Nepal has long been recognised as a classic on Panchayat-era politics. This edition has a new chapter in which Prof Baral revisits the subject and examines how political opposition manifested during Nepal’s recent experience with pluralist democracy and the subsequent assaults from the Right and the Left.