Freedom Forum organized a dialogue on “Challenges and way out for Democracy in Nepal” in Kathmandu on 15 September marking the International Democracy Day.

The program was aimed at seeking views on the challenges to whet debate on Democracy in Nepal.

Greeting all the participants, Freedom Forum’s Executive Chief Taranath Dahal said this day-International Democracy Day- should be celebrated as an important occasion in Nepal.

“Fundamental aspect of democracy needs to be addressed time and again,” he said adding that democracy has no tangible form as it can only be achieved by continuous reforms and practice.

As the keynote speakers Mr Shreekrishna Anirudra Gautam and political scientist Dr. Chandra Dev Bhatta presented their viewpoints on Challenges of Democracy and way out to strengthen the practice of democracy in Nepal.

Mr Gautam conveyed his views on democracy where he stated is no concrete structure of democracy but it must be realized in practice.  He focused on the formal institutional structure of democracy where election can be one of the most significant aspects. Other imperative aspects are people’s representation, distribution of resources in the society, justice delivery system, among others.
“Formal democracy depends on the action and motive of actors. Democracy is regulated by the actors. If the character of the actors is positive and service oriented then democracy can be renowned in a greater extent but if the character of the actors is negative then it gives rise to outrage and corruption in the society,” he underscored.

According to him, democracy can only be strengthened when all actors are obedient towards their duty and work for the growth of every aspect of the country’s resources.

Discussing the philosophical aspect of the democracy, another keynote speaker Dr Bhatta shared his remarks on gradual development of democracy in the world scenario. “Nepal needs to observe its own way of regulation for the practice of substantive democracy. Mere election is not sufficient to ensure substantive democracy in Nepal. However, election helps guarantee periodic stability.”

The political scientist suggested that Nepal could emphasize economy to boost democracy. Any of the movements waged across the globe since 1955 has been waged in the name of democracy.

On the occasion, Central Committee Member of Bibeksheel Sajha Party, Prakash Chandra Pariyar, expressed his view that there was the need of mass based political party in Nepal to change the situation of political downfall, which would ultimately strengthen the democracy.

On the other hand, showing concern for future, advocate and Freedom Forum’s Executive Member Ms Rammaya Lamichanne said we- Nepalis- can ponder how democracy has been practiced in our country. The political players are themselves accountable for the political developments-be it good or bad-in relation to democracy.

Senior investigative journalist Mr Hasta Gurung said he was very thankful to the keynote speakers for elucidating on various aspects of democratic principles and practices in relation to Nepal’s development.

Nepali Congress activist Mr Lokesh Dhakal said Nepal’s democracy must improve to deliver the people. Traditional form and talks of democracy can not suit the modern aspiration, he said, worrying about eroding democratic values in Nepal.

Concluding the program, Freedom Forum Chairperson Hari Binod Adhikari also appreciated the lectures and pointed out the change in the behavior of democratic actors to bring change in the country.

The program was attended by 37 participants representing various sectors as media, academic, politics, law, among others.