Friday, April 26, 2013

Ideological inconsistency of Parties

Yuba Nath Lamsal
Democracy is collective self-rule. In other words, democracy is the political system that empowers people to govern and handle their own affairs. In the direct democracy which ancient Athenians practiced, every adult citizen could participate in decision making and governance. There used to be a system in the city of Athens that all people of the city were required to assemble in a public place and would take decision with approval of every one assembled there. This is called a practice of direct democracy in which each and every citizen have a say and directly participates in the decision making and governance.
With the advance of time, the society slowly grew complicated. Direct democracy became almost impossible to manage, which gave rise to indirect democracy in which people elect their representatives to make decision on their behalf. Although the concept of democracy has gained more currency in the modern day, which has become a political lingua franca of the 21st century, the form of democracy is being narrowly defined. The scope of democracy is becoming limited. People are said to the masters of their own destiny and the supreme arbiter in the political system. But their role is getting limited and their voice is lesser heard. Their role and participation in the political system and governance has been narrowed down to taking part in the periodic election. Once elections are over, the people figure nowhere and the role and say of the people in the political decision making process does not virtually exist. In this way, the modern day democracy is becoming a privilege of a handful of ruling class elites.
As politics has become a privilege of the elites, the political system has failed to address the real problem of the majority of the people who are poor and have lesser access to decision making. The modern day democracy, which is also known as liberal democracy or capitalist democracy, often protects the interests of elites and corporate businesses in the expense of overall interest of the vast majority of the people. As a result, the world is now in serious crisis, which is already visible in Europe and America. The deep recession in Europe and America accompanied by high rate of unemployment, low growth has led to the Western governments to announce austerity measures in order to cut government spending, which have added further burden to the already vulnerable people. These decisions are aimed at protecting the financial and political system they have adopted. But their decisions have already boomeranged as waves of popular protests and struggle have surfaced and have taken a concrete form against the Western political system itself. What the capitalist countries are trying is like prescribing painkiller to the patients who need surgery.
In fact, the present global financial and political order is rotten so badly that it has started crumbling like a house of cards. The present financial crisis that has engulfed the entire world is the problem with the economic and political superstructure of capitalist system, requiring us to seek an alternative model, which may be more human. Such a system alone can address the present global economic crisis that the people in the world are facing.
We have seen the emergence of anti-capitalist movement across the globe. This has been accompanied by a defensive struggle by the working class in Europe, America, Asia and Latin America against the brutal neo-liberal offensive launched by the capitalists against their rights and conditions. This has resulted in a series of strikes – some of them one-day general or public sector strikes – throughout the world.
This struggle is not merely against capitalism and imperialism, this is an urge and movement to establish an alternative political, social and economic order in the world. The alternative model is already with us that is socialism, which professes ‘from each according to one’s ability and to each according to one’s need’. Capitalists had and have unleashed an ugly propaganda in a
Goebbels’s style against socialism and socialist model. They say socialism is dead and that capitalism is the only viable system that works is not going to work in practical sense. But this is mere propaganda being unleashed with the fear that the global capitalism may be swept away by another wave of socialist movement in the world.
It has been proved that capitalism cannot solve the global crisis and human problems. Capitalism professes and thrives on unlimited profit. Since the world’s resources are limited, unlimited profit is not possible. In the absence of profit, capitalism crumbles, which is the case of the present global crisis. Capitalism is inhuman system that is insensitive to human pain and plights, thus, unable to address the problems facing the world. Thus, the viable and only alternative is socialism that ensures equality and equitable distribution.
Capitalism has less virtue and more flaws, while socialism is equipped with more virtues and lesser evils. It is not to say that socialism is full of virtues and it has no flaws. While applying socialism both in China and Soviet Union, some mistakes had definitely been made that defamed socialism. But it does not mean that socialism as a system is a bad idea. With the crisis constantly creeping into capitalism and growing attraction to socialism, even the faithful followers of capitalism in the West and their lackeys in the rest of the world have embraced and introduced some of the basic and good aspects of socialism to defend their system and protect their interest from the growing rage of the people against capitalism. The concept of unemployment allowance, free education and free health care facilities that some of the Western capitalist countries have introduced is its example. Similarly, concept and theory of social democracy is influenced by socialism. Germany’s Willy Brandt is known as the father of Democratic Socialism consisting of the concept of blending some of the basic virtues of socialism into capitalist system. This is aimed at preventing the rising wave of socialism in the world and protecting the fundamental interest and tenets of capitalism. In essence the democratic socialism is not a pure socialism but a fa├žade to hoodwink the people. But it is better than ultra capitalism that is being at vogue in the world as the so-called synonyms of liberal democracy. When socialism had a growing appeal in the world especially in recently liberated countries in the decades of 50s, 60s and 70s, the capitalist ruler of newly independent India Jawaharlal Nehru introduced his own style of socialism. Nehru’s socialism did nothing to the poor and downtrodden people instead it gave a good pretext to consolidate his Congress party’s capitalist and opportunistic hold on power for decades. Now India has made a break even from Nehruvian opportunistic socialism and embraced ultra capitalism that has created numerous contradictions and complications in India society.
In Nepal, there is great attraction towards socialist ideals and virtues. There are communist parties in Nepal that raise the slogan of socialism in the beginning to attract people towards their political fold. But once they go to power, they give up the socialist ideals and serve the interest of the capitalists and imperialists just to cling onto power. This has been right from the beginning. Socialism is the catch political phrase in Nepal without which parties cannot gain upper hand in politics. Visualizing the growing craze of people for socialist ideas and ideals and being influenced by Nehru, JP Narayan and some other Indian leaders, BP Koirala, too, advocated democratic socialism as the core ideals of the Nepali Congress. But this was more for preaching than practicing. Even when BP was in power for a brief period of almost two years, he hardly practiced his much avowed democratic socialism. Despite advocating democratic socialism in principle, the Nepali Congress practices ultra capitalism. The policies of the Nepali Congress government after the 1990 political change are its example. Thus, there is always mismatch and discrepancy of Nepali parties in their policies and practices. This marked inconsistency of political parties is behind the political uncertainty, economic inequality and ideological vacillation in Nepal. This inconsistency and vacillation has led the parties to enter into any kind of political deals without properly assessing their impact on national interest and their ideological stance. As the country is now trying to come out of the prolonged and painful political transition, the parties now need to make their position clear on various issues that may have far-reaching impact on the country and the people. The ideological clarity of the political stakeholders would alone help clear the political mess of the country.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Nepal is capable to handle its own problems

Yuba Nath Lamsal

Some pundits tend to portray Nepal’s present scenario as the syndrome of a failed state. This breed of people includes both Nepalese citizens as well as foreigners, who claim to be Nepal expert. It is their wishful thinking because they want to reap benefit from chaotic state of the country.
We have many donor-funded NGOs and donor-driven projects. Such projects do not necessarily tend to work in Nepal’s national need and interest rather than serve donor’s own agenda and interest. The condition of Nepal is definitely not satisfactory. But it does not mean that it was better in the past. The downward spiral in the economy and political uncertainty had started right from the Panchayat. The Panchayat was a closed system which restricted freedom of expression and other rights of the people. As a result, people were not aware of the situation in the absence of free press. Now the society is open and media is robust and vibrant that keeps us informing every aspect of the country. Thus, we know the exact situation of the country. But we often fail to compare the situation with that of the past.
Prior to 1990 political change, non-governmental organizations virtually did not exist. People were not allowed to form such group and carry out social service activities. There were royalist NGOs like King Mahendra Trust For Nature headed by Gyanendra Shah (ex-king), Family Planning Association headed by royal family member and Social Service National Coordination Council directly under control of the Queen. This is the social organizations were controlled and social activities carried out strictly for the interest of the monarchy, royal family and ruling elites.
With the political change brought about in 1990, the restriction on NGO registration was lifted, which saw mushrooming of NGOs of different hues and hypes came into existence. A bad practice was allowed to let the donors directly fund the NGOs without the notice of the government. This practice is nowhere in the world exists. It is through NGOs foreigners directly pursued and implemented their agenda in Nepal, some of which may not be in Nepal’s national interest. This is where the fundamental flaw of our system. However, the government recently has taken a decision not allow the NGOs to receive fund directly from the donors but have to go through governmental channel. This is a praiseworthy initiative by the government, which needs to be strictly implemented and followed.
Despite this situation, Nepal is definitely not a failed state. Before arriving at a conclusion of such a crucial question, we must analyze historical, cultural, social, political and economic dynamics of Nepal.  Given the geo-political and geo-strategic position with which Nepal has been able to survive and preserve its national and sovereign identity and status, it would be superficial to conclude that Nepal is on the verge of sliding into the status of a failed state.
It is necessary to first understand the core political, social and cultural values as well as historical traditions and perspective of a given country or society and analyze these factors before arriving at a certain conclusion on the success or failure of any state. Its political tradition and social and cultural dynamics are also different from any other countries in the world. Nepal is a country with a long history of independent and sovereign status. When the entire South Asia came under British colonial rule, Nepal maintained its sovereign and independent status not by coaxing but fighting fiercely and bravely with the British colonial force. Thus, it would be unwise to make simplistic analysis and conclusion on Nepal’s ability as a state.
Nepal, thus, has a long political legacy and its own tradition—unique and different from other countries in the world. Against this background, the success and failure of Nepal as a state needs to be debated and accordingly conclusion has to be drawn. Given the dismal political and economic situation Nepal is undergoing at present is not definitely a positive trend. It is true that Nepal is in its history’s worst crisis. The Himalayan Republic has been in such a dire strait since the Anglo-Nepal War in 1914-16. But, given this situation, it would not be politically correct to arrive at a conclusion that Nepal is close to the status of a failed state.
Nepal has experienced unique crisis in its history. But we have the experience of resolving these crises with our own ability and in our original way. The present crisis, too, would be handled and resolved successfully because Nepal as a state has capability and credibility to tackle its own problems.
If we analyze the state of affairs and political activities that have unfolded over the last two centuries in Nepal, we always find the Nepalese people resilient, optimistic and forward-looking.  The Nepalese people are often peace-loving and flexible but, when deemed necessary, they become tough and resistant. This nature of the people of Nepal has maintained the proud legacy of this Himalayan Republic. They have supported the rulers when they act at the interest of the country. It was the overwhelming support and active participation of the people belonging to different ethnicities, castes and creeds that made the unification of Nepal possible. For the just cause of the country, people have always extended support to the rulers. But when the rulers turned dictator and acted against the interest of the people and the country, Nepalese people have always risen against the authoritarian regimes and rulers. The 1951 revolution, the 1990 political movement and Jana Andolan II of 2005-6 are its example. Nepalese people launched two successful revolutions—one in 1951 and the other one in 2006. In 1951, the century old Rana’s oligarchic rule was overthrown by the revolutionary strength of the people. The 240 year-old feudal monarchy was abolished in 2006. The situation prior to the Jana Andolan II was also not different from the one we have experienced at present. There was a civil war between the feudal state and the revolutionary Maoist insurgents. Political pundits both at home and abroad had portrayed the picture that Nepal was soon becoming a failed state but they were proved wrong by the people of Nepal. The similar situation has arisen at present and people may rise anytime against those responsible for the present abysmal condition of the country.
Nepal as a country or state has not failed but parties and rulers have miserably failed. Also the political systems we adopted at different interval of our history have failed. Ranas failed so did their oligarchic rule. Panchayat failed which ultimately led to the Shah monarchy’s downfall and abolition. The Jana Andolan II not only dumped the monarchical system into the trash of history but also marked a departure from the traditional parliamentary system and brought in the radical agenda of the Maoists. With the formal agreement to go beyond the traditional parliamentary system, the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML lost the political ground to have their presence felt in Nepali politics. The result of the last Constituent Assembly election was its reflection. However, the radical agenda of the Maoists, too, were not allowed to be institutionalized by the coalition of traditional and status quoist forces. The present political standoff is the result of the conflict of these two traditional and radical forces.
This standoff is not likely to remain for a long time. The global experiences have shown that the old and outdated ideas and systems have always been dislodged and replaced by the new and revolutionary ideas and concepts. This is the law of nature as well as the spirit of evolutionary theory. Thus, the radical politics are more likely to replace the traditional system and accordingly revolutionary forces would be established in Nepali politics. Thus, the present situation is not the syndrome of a failed state but a political labor pain to give birth to a new, innovative and radical change.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beleaguered parties and bizarre politics

Yuba Nath Lamsal
Politics of the country seems to be still in bizarre and uncertain state. Until Dr Baburam Bhattarai was in the helms of affairs, opposition parties namely the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML raised hell to oust the Maoist-Madhesi coalition government. A new formula was brokered to replace the Bhattarai-led government, which installed the sitting chief justice on the saddle of power. Under this formula brokered by four major parties, there is no party representative in the chief justice-led non-party and non-political government; instead, it would be composed of ex-bureaucrats, which is further strange in the multi-party political system.
Good or bad, the so-called neutral and non-political government is in place. There are opinions both for and against this new political arrangement. The four major parties—the UCPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Madhesi Front— have called this government as a product of the doctrine of necessity. However, the critics have described it as a homicide of multi-party democracy. Those who call it a doctrine of necessity, the country was in a dire constitutional and political vacuum and crisis that necessitated to arrive at this decision, although it was not their choice.
But it was not the doctrine of necessity but it was the making of the ill intention of the parties, to which the president, too, became a party. Soon after the demise of the Constituent Assembly, the government had declared election and fixed the election date. The twice declared election could not be held in the absence of necessary legal and constitutional tools. The constitutional and legal tools could not be brought about in the absence of consensus among political parties. After declaring the election, the Bhattarai-led government had prepared the ordinance to facilitate the election and sent to the President for his approval. However, President refused to issue those ordinances citing the absence of national consensus. In it also lies a big flaw. In the first place, there can never be national consensus on any issue. In the formation of the chief justice-led government, there had never been national consensus. This decision was taken with the consensus of only four parties but not by all political forces. National consensus does not mean the consensus of political parties alone. There has to be consensus of all including civil society for national consensus.
But the formation of this non-party government should have been called a doctrine of compulsion rather than the doctrine of necessity. It was a compulsion because the rival political parties were not prepared to accept any other options. The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML rejected the Maoist-led government whereas the Maoists and Madhesi parties were not prepared to accept the leadership of the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML in the government. There was, therefore, no option other than the leadership of the sitting chief justice. There were some people who had mooted the idea of ex-chief justice to lead the caretaker government for the purpose of holding the election. But there was no unanimity in the name of ex-CJ and different parties had different choices.
But the best option should have been the continuation of the Bhattarai-led government until the elections were held because it had the constitutional continuation. Other political parties could have joined the Bhattarai-led government. Had it been the case, election would have been held in November last year and Nepal’s politics would have taken a new course because the government had already declared the election and fixed its date. Unfortunately, the election could not be held for two reasons: one the President refused to issue ordinances as proposed by the government to facilitate the election and the second was the declaration of the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML not to participate in the election held under Bhattarai-led government.  There was also a mistake and weakness on the part of the president in creating atmosphere conducive for election. Firstly, he always insisted for consensus and early election. The president seemed to have been heavily influenced by opposition parties. In the name of building consensus, his efforts were seen to have been guided to oust the Maoist-Madhesi government rather than seeking genuine consensus and early election. Had president sincerely taken initiative for consensus, the election could have been held under Bhattarai-led government. This is where the role of the President has been questioned. When the President acts on recommendation of four parties, he could also have done on the recommendation of the government, which had been composed of 22 different parties, to hold the early election.
Now the non-party government is in the helms with the sole mandate of holding the election in July this year. But neither government nor the Election Commission seem to be prepared to hold the election in July. If the election was not held in July, people may certainly raise question of validity of the present government. If the election dates are not fixed at the earliest, people may also raise doubt over the intention of the government. Some people have already started expressing their skepticism about the possibility of the election and are of the view that the present government would seek to differ election under certain pretexts and prolong its life. Unless the election is held and new government is formed by the next parliament, constitutionally, there is no provision of removing the present government. The government can be removed only on two conditions— one is voluntary resignation by the chairman Khil Raj Regmi or his death, which we neither can imagine nor wish. Thus, the only way is the election, for which the entire country and the people need to cooperate.
But the political parties themselves are ruining the atmosphere of election. There are calculations and miscalculations of parties on the outcome of the election and their position. All parties are not confident of their position in the election. Most feared one is the CPN-UML as its political base has already crumbled and is further deteriorating due to the strong presence of the UCPN-Maoist. Although the opposition parties are slightly optimistic of their better position in the election due to the split in the UCPN-Maoist, it in no way is likely to benefit the CPN-UML. The benefit of the split in the UCPN-Maoist is more likely to go to the Nepali Congress, which has made the Nepali Congress more hopeful of its better performance in the next election. Even then the Congress is not confident because of its dwindling political base in Madhes and ethnic majority areas. The UCPN-Maoist, too, is uncertain about its performance and position in the election mainly due to split in the party. The split has definitely weakened the UCPN-Maoist but it is not known what exactly will be its impact. Its lack of confidence can, thus, be seen in its proposition for alliance with Madhesi and ethnic parties that have been advocating identity-based federalism. Similarly, the fragmentation in the Madhesi parties has made them fearful of the election.
This is a ground reality which has made all the parties uneasy. This is the reason why they are not pushing for early election. More than that the Election Commission, too, is not very enthusiastic in  holding election at the earliest because of the protest of the some other political groups including the newly formed CPN-Maoist. These parties have openly challenged and threatened that they would not allow the election to be held under the present government headed by chief justice Khil Raj Regmi.
Now the government may seek to prolong its life by not holding the election. This mission may get backing from the President as well because the president’s fate is also linked with the election. In the present context, president is the only constitutional institution that holds all powers and this position will certainly not be there after the election and formation of the new elected government. Similar interest can be of the external powers. Some external powers that have interest and stake in Nepal may find the unstable and uncertain state more favorable to reap benefit and serve their interest. Thus, there is a convergence of interest of all in delaying election, probably for indefinite time.  This may delay the election— the symptom of which is already visible.
But such a situation would be very unfortunate for the country and the people. We must realize that the present government was formed to hold the election most probably in July and if not in November. If election was not held in July, the government will lose its political legitimacy. And if it fails to hold election even in November, the relevance and legitimacy of the present government will completely be lost requiring the parties to seek an alternative arrangement. But the parties themselves are divided on this issue and they are the ones that have been pushing election further ahead. Although certain political party may gain and some may lose at the moment, all political parties, country, people and democracy will be the loser in the long run if elections are not held at the earliest. Non-party and non-political government is not in the interest of anyone. If such a government remains in power for longer time, it would only invite further uncertainty and anarchy which may ultimately pave the way for the rise of a new type of authoritarian rule. At the same time, external elements will have more opportunity to meddle and interfere in our internal affairs in a more brazen way. Thus, all parties must remain united and collectively to exert pressure on the government and the Election Commission to hold the election possibly in July.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Uncertainty about election

Yuba Nath Lamsal
By the time this write up gets published, Nepal’s politics may have taken a new turn. Every time, something new and unexpected has taken place in our political spectrum. This has made things more complicated thereby making our politics more uncertain and unpredictable.
It had been expected that the decision of four major political forces on the formation of the chief justice-led government would bring all political parties on board and create the atmosphere for fresh election. But this decision has created more complex situation not only in politics but also in every sphere of life. The opinion in the country has been sharply divided with some parties raising the constitutionality, legitimacy, intention and ability of the present government.
In the beginning, public opinion had been sharply divided on issue concerning whether the chief justice should lead the Executive without relinquishing the position of the chief of the Judiciary. This issue was raised considering the principle of separation of power. In a democracy separation of power and political checks and balances are extremely necessary and in its absence democracy cannot be functional. Even political parties were and still are divided. Only the UCPN-Maoist had unanimous voice on this issue. Although Nepali Congress party has officially backed this decision, there is a strong voice against this decision. Even the central executive committee was unable to fully agree on this issue instead it decided to take this matter to the floor of the party’s more powerful general council meeting.
Even in the CPN-UML, there was a strong hue and cry especially by the faction opposed to chairman Jhala Nath Khanal. Senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and powerful general secretary Ishwar Pokhrel were vocal critics of this decision. Although dust seems to have settled at present, this issue has kept the CPN-UML divided. A whole lot of other disgruntled fringe parties that have decided to go to streets against the decision. Mohan Vaidya-led CPN-Maoist has backed this group.
It now seems that the fate of the present government has become uncertain in less than a month of its formation. The present government was formed to hold the election by July his year. Holding election in July has become almost impossible because of the short period for preparation. Four major political parties have given political backing and mandate to the government for holding the election at the earliest possibly in July. For this, they have agreed on the name of commissioners of the Election Commission. Still the election dates have not yet been announced.
Given the slow progress, the earliest possible date for the election would be November-December. Some people have even started doubting the possibility of holding election in November-December. This doubt of the people has arisen because of the lackluster performance and inaction of the government and the Election Commission. The present government was formed and commissioners in the Election Commission were chosen in haste even amending some of the provisions of the Interim Constitution that barred some of the commissioners from being appointed in the Election Commission just to pave the way for holding the election in June this year. If the election is not held in June, the validity of these decision ceases to exist.
In the first place, the Interim Constitution does not allow any commissioners to be appointed or reappointed in any other positions after they retire. But three commissioners of the Election Commission, who had recently retired from their posts, were appointed again in the Commission because the new commissioners will not be able to hold the election in the short period of three months. It is true that new commissioners will require some time to become familiar and aware of the function, procedures and other election related works. If the old faces were given the responsibility of the Commission, it would have been possible to hold the election in June. If the elections are to be held in November-December, it was not necessary to reappoint the old commissioners even going against the spirit of the Interim Constitution. The new commissioners, too, will have sufficient time to get familiar with all election related jobs and would have been successful in holding the election because we have at least seven months until November.
Secondly, the present government was formed with the sole responsibility of holding the election at the earliest, which meant it should be done in June. It had been agreed that if some unavoidable circumstances make it impossible in holding election in June, this can be accomplished by November-December. This provision does not mean that the government has got the mandate to hold the election in November-December. But the government is behaving as though it has the mandate to hold the election in any time of its choice and convenience. Moreover, the government is acting like an elected government and the ministers are busy in activities other than creating the atmosphere for election. The acts and activities of the government appear as though it does not want to hold the election neither June nor in November-December and intends to prolong its life for indefinite period. The Election Commission, too, does not appear serious in holding the election at the earliest and it is seeking pretext to postpone the election, probably under influence from some unseen forces.
If the elections were to be held in November-December, it was a mistake on the part of the political parties to hand over power to non-political people. Such a non-political government should be formed for very short period or not for more than three months. But some internal and external interests played key role in creating this kind of odd situation in Nepal’s political scenario. Internally, Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML are the principal elements behind this situation because they are prepared to accept any option, good or bad, just to oust the Bhaburam Bhattarai-led government. In fact, Bhattarai-led government had constitutional continuity and legality. Some external forces too pulled strings behind the curtains in order to oust the government. Now political initiative is slowly slipping out of the hand of the political parties. This is not at all in the interest of the parties, people and the country.
Some internal as well as external forces are trying to prolong this situation so that there would be further chaos and crisis in the country. If such a situation at all arises, it would be most unfortunate for the country. Political parties now need to realize that if the elections are not held soon, it would be counter-productive for parties, as well. In a democracy, non-party government can never be imagined. But it became possible due to current unique situation of the crisis. Parties had definitely failed in the last four years. The Constituent Assembly which was formed through a democratically election collapsed without accomplishing its principal mandate of delivering a new constitution. Parties were behind the failure of the Constituent Assembly. Parties did not allow the Assembly to function independently. Instead it became a rubber stamp of leaders of three major parties. The top leaders had chosen to hold a meeting somewhere outside the floor of the Constituent Assembly completely bypassing and ignoring the people’s supreme elected body. Had the Constituent Assembly been allowed to function independently, constitution would have been delivered within the time it was given.
The present crisis is the making of the parties’ inability and their partisan politics. The country is now paying the price of it. Despite failure of the parties, there is no alternative to political parties. Good or bad, the parties are the key players in politics. Any attempt to seek alternative to political parties would be not only disaster but also impossible. The people have to choose out of the existing parties. In other words, we have to choose worse among the worst ones.
Given the lackluster performance of the present government and uncertainty of election in June, some have even started saying that Bhattarai-led government was better than the present one simply because the previous government had at least constitutional legitimacy.  Whatever the logics and counter logics, we have to cope with the present situation and make sure that election is held by November. The present government has already lost its validity because of its inability to hold election in June. If any delay in announcing the election would mean that it is not willing to hold election even in November-December. In such an eventuality, the parties need to seek an alternative arrangement.