Open spaces and open society
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Kathmandu, Feb. 19 -- Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Nepal's politicians are engaged in political one-upmanship as they pack people into public spaces, particularly the streets of Kathmandu and other cities in shows of strength.
There is 'my crowd is bigger than yours' contest between factions of the Nepal Communist Party, one led by Prime Minister K P Oli and the other by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal. This is also a contest for who can display more control over the public space in terms of significance and size.
Prime Minister Oli's mass assembly venue on 5 February, a closed-off Darbar Marg, was symbolic because of the gentrified public space with a backdrop of palace-turned-museum. The message seemed to be clear: 'we hav...
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