Summit Talks in Snail’s Pace in Nepal

Baluwatar area, the official residence of Prime Minister of Nepal, was virtually captured by Maoists. In the bizarre twists of events, it seems that Maoists not the SPA is in the helm of Kathmandu.

By Deepak Adhikari

Photo by Sailendra Kharel
Talks can’t break! No Monarchy! reads the placard on the girl’s chest.

Seeing is believing, they say. This turned out to be reminder for me when I visited the crowded summit talk venue of Baluwatar. As photojournalist Shailendra and I drove towards PM residence, an aggressive Maoist cadre blocked our way. We told him that we were journalists. Another one came and said that journalists should understand that the milieu is crowded and should not venture past. We nevertheless moved ahead.

Milling and cooing through the hordes of people in October afternoon, the hoarse sounds of sloganeering that demanded republic Nepal, declaration of date for constituent assembly election etc pierced through my ears. I was amazed at this unsolicited pressure coming from Maoists themselves, the party involved in dialogue to reach a peaceful resolution.


Maoist cadres make a human chain for the security of the talk venue.

It was as clear as mid day’s sun that most of the people gathered there were the comrades themselves, albeit in the guise of different organizations. That the whole nation is keenly awaiting an agreement to hold the election of CA is crystal clear. But, the comrades are hell bent on taking laws in their hands, directing people while the state’s security mechanism was just a reluctant observer–why do you bother when someone else does your job?

Not only women in unprecedented numbers, but also the school children were there to warn readers. They even didn’t know why they were there. So, Maoists are adept at using the innocents, be it in war or in compaign like this. Few militia-looking girls were reading slogans from pamphlets. Similarly, Rastriya Madhesi Mukti Morcha was there with the chirpy slogans of inclusiveness and equal rights.


Bishnu Giri shouts for help outside the talk venue after he was denied an entry.

But, the poignant part was the Maoists’ victims. They staged protests just outside the gate of PM residence. A wheelchair bound man who claimed that he was injured in a foreign country was also there to claim his share of cake. From this event, it is clerar that all and sundry were there.

At around, 3:30 pm, the Maoist coterie comprising the talk team and the chairman Prachanda made it to the venue. Like earlier, journalists were not permitted inside; they were seen hovering outside the talk venue. Now this is height of lack of transparency at a time when we talk of loktantra, civil rights and guarantee of press freedom.


Civilians pass through the talk venue after Moist cadres make a human chain for the security of the talk venue.

Nepal’s politics is very unpredictable. It’s hard to speculate on the outcomes of today’s talk. Going by the things, it is unlikely that the long awaited breakthrough will ring true.

All Photo by Sailendra Kharel. Visit his blog at pjsailendra.da.ru

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

163 thoughts on “Summit Talks in Snail’s Pace in Nepal

  1. harkee ko baa-communism is not really an institution is it? Anyway we know these Maoists are not really communists (except the leaders)-most of them don’t understand the basics of communism. It’s basically people rising up against an unjust system that marginalizes, neglects them and gives them no avenue for growth/progress or merely two square meals a day.

    Anyway I raised the issue of monarchy because is that not whether the talks have stalled? That and arms management?

  2. i would say communism is an institution, no matter they (communist) claim to be.

    look at cuba, indeed they came to poper overthrowing corrupt batista regime, let castro die, his brother Raul will take over,

    in china, after the usurpation of Ming Dynasty, it’s always been an inner polit bureau member as it’s state head.

    in north korea, it was king jong I now it’s II

    same with russia

    what do you call this? if not an institution

  3. it’s realy sad, our subjugated mass found solace in moa’s teaching, i wish it was somthing else.

  4. harkee ko baa-but the examples are the wrong ones. Communism as a socio/political philosophy does not endorse what is going on in Cuba/North Korea. I do get what you are saying though. I would rather think that Monarchy is a socio/political philisophy like communism or democracy. I get your point where ‘communist’ leaders Babu Ram and Prach Anda have/or will betray the pact with their ‘people’. I think human nature being what it is makes communism too impractical a philosophy to be ever practised in it’s true sense.

  5. Harkee ko baa-well what do you expect from a society like ours? Could have been worse. Look at what happened in Rwanda.

  6. kirat,
    that is entirly true, can’t say we don’t have that possibility either in nepal, damn poverty, always make people fight, but sad part, among themselves.

  7. Hello friends,

    Will the terrorists be killed? Will the corrupt politicians brought to justice.

    I don’t know what is happening in Nepal. I want to see peace and prosperity

  8. Kiart:
    The Monarchy by it’s very nature never really rules for the people. All Monarhchies are selfish and are bound to abuse their power. People cannot expect much from a monarchy anywhere… this isn’t dwarpara yuga.

  9. I don’t know what you mean when you say communism is an institution. In the loose sense of the term, it may well be, but an institution is defined by its successes, and communism doesn’t have too many of those.

    Maybe a new form of communism might come around, one more viable, but until then I will not call it an institution. At present, its only a political theory that hasn’t translated well into the real world.

  10. kirat
    sacrifice monarchy and let the home-grown terrorits go freak? not possible. dont mislead the bloggers, summit talk is stalled because of maoists refusal to disarm themself, kings issue was long settled with janaandolan part II. if they were so sure that they were not done with monarchy they should have continued the andolan, but they did not. now they want to change the rule in the middle of game just because they are under pressure from all quarter give up the arms.

    “Nepal lost temporary membership of UN” we lost because we let the communist face(KP Oli) to beg for votes. this guy did not realized yet that the world do not trust the communist anymore.

  11. i am not arguing in terms of merits of communism, i am merely doing it for etymology of ‘institution’.

    ubiquitous, a golden guide to pseudo intelligence–wikipedia reads this on
    institution:
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Institutions are structures and mechanisms of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of two or more individuals. Institutions are identified with a social purpose and permanence, transcending individual human lives and intentions, and with the making and enforcing of rules governing cooperative human behavior. The term, institution, is commonly applied to customs and behavior patterns important to a society, as well as to particular formal organizations of government and public service. As structures and mechanisms of social order among humans, institutions are one of the principal objects of study in the social sciences, including sociology, political science and economics.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    nowhere, definition of institution is tied to it’s success or failure, in that sense, yes communism is a social institution.

  12. communism is a political doctrine rather than philosophy, based on garbage called ‘Das Kapital’. it does not endorse the basic human rights, democracy and right to property. Stalin, Kim Il, Mao, Pol Pot, Ceausescu and many other tried to experiment it but all ended up in dictatorship and tens of millions of dead people.

  13. Communism is just not practical in this modern world. Esp for a country like Nepal where majority of our GDP consist of donations from democratic capitalistic countries. And monarchy is absolutely irrelevant today, except to be used as an effective tool to counter Maoists ambitions. Look into history, monarchy has never served the interests of the people but only theirs own.

    Overall, its not really about capitalism or communism and which is good and which is bad etc … its really about which system ensures survival and prosperity of a nation and its people. And in todays world, communism is losing.

  14. At this point there is little use debating the excat definition of communism. I doubt how sincerly our Moaists suscribe to such ideology. From here it looks like they are running a bunch of goons and turning Nepal into a lawless hell hole.
    I think it clear the Maoists don’t have any intention of disarming. Furthermore, it disturbs me how Prachanda doesn’t care to comment on the continuing behavior of Maoist cadres! It is high time the Moaoist keep their end of the bargain and stop this BS!

  15. why doesnt our maoist undercover mr. wagle say any thing about maoist atrocities,asshole!!!

  16. pawan-it’s an agreement to a referendum on the king really for a total arms ‘management’ of the Maoists. Is that a bad deal?

  17. Kirat,

    This is why it is important to make sure that we have a strong democracy and an independent judicial system. Everyone is so personal. This line of argument could also head in the direction of democracy being abused by the political players and leading to a failure in democracy, so it should be abolished as well. Similarly, communism has been a disastor in the whole wide world so why do we not abolish communist thinking altogether?
    Why do we always think that the institutions are so bad when it is actually the players who are? Why can’t a referendum decide whether to keep Gyanendra and Paras as the King and Crown Prince and leave the institution alone? We have many potential monarchs to choose from if Gyanendra and Paras are voted out, especially now when women are also allowed the position of Queen (in reference to King Birendra’s family line and his two grand daughters). If the monarchs know that they can be replaced by someone else in the family, this itself is a big factor to ensure they respect the institution. But the more important factors as I mentioned earlier is a strong democracy and judicial system.

  18. Kirat,

    Do you think in this lawless situation in the country, one can imagine any kind of elections?

    -Look how there are cases of theft of 30 motocycles a single day.

    -There are cases of loots of public property even at the daytime in main hub of the securities’ area even upto 40 lacs in single day.

    -There cases of threatened of killings toward businessmen in Birganj to many.

    – Dacoits even in main highways being regular phenomenas.

    – Donation and double tax with pressure.

    – Abducation of general people even political activists.

    – Open two security forces in all parts of the regions.

    People start to feel whether we have government or not in this country. And started to question why we are paying taxes who even cannot give atleast minimum securities.

  19. Kirat,
    (My comment is still in moderation so here goes again)
    This is why it is important to make sure that we have a strong democracy and an independent judicial system. Everyone is so personal. This line of argument could also head in the direction of democracy being abused by the political players and leading to a failure in democracy, so it should be abolished as well. Similarly, communism has been a disastor in the whole wide world so why do we not abolish communist thinking altogether?
    Why do we always think that the institutions are so bad when it is actually the players who are? Why can’t a referendum decide whether to keep Gyanendra and Paras as the King and Crown Prince and leave the institution alone? We have many potential monarchs to choose from if Gyanendra and Paras are voted out, especially now when women are also allowed the position of Queen (in reference to King Birendra’s family line and his two grand daughters). If the monarchs know that they can be replaced by someone else in the family, this itself is a big factor to ensure they respect the institution. But the more important factors as I mentioned earlier is a strong democracy and judicial system.

  20. Kirat,

    This is why it is important to make sure that we have a strong democracy and an independent judicial system. Everyone is so personal. This line of argument could also head in the direction of democracy being abused by the political players and leading to a failure in democracy, so it should be abolished as well. Similarly, communism has been a disastor in the whole wide world so why do we not abolish communist thinking altogether?
    Why do we always think that the institutions are so bad when it is actually the players who are? Why can’t a referendum decide whether to keep Gyanendra and Paras as the King and Crown Prince and leave the institution alone? We have many potential monarchs to choose from if Gyanendra and Paras are voted out, especially now when women are also allowed the position of Queen (in reference to King Birendra’s family line and his two grand daughters). If the monarchs know that they can be replaced by someone else in the family, this itself is a big factor to ensure they respect the institution. But the more important factors as I mentioned earlier is a strong democracy and judicial system.

    Kay Peeee

  21. sagarmatha,

    its worthless to argue with kirat..
    he got a thick skull..
    how much sense u try to put in his head..he will reply u back with more questions and some stupid thinking of his only

    so dont bother to ask kirat any questions…
    he can live with his own wisdom which he thinks can save the humanity from ultimate disaster

  22. Monarchy has stood the test of time and has been grace under fire. The naysayer here speak of an institution that GAVE birth to this nation as something that is on the wrong side of time. You guys are dead wrong. Maoist are on the wrong side of time and by abetting Maoist, SPA are running out of time.

    Who the hell can say that Monarchy has not kept their end of the bargaining, how can some dirtbag question the relevancy of Monarchy by falsely and with malice state that “The thing with our kings is that they have never thought it necessary to honor their end of the pact”- sorry mate, you are so wrong. You attempt to whitewash the contribution and relevancy of Monarchy is something straight out of Maoist propaganda. Now tell me where do you find relevancy or even rationality in Nepal today. I guess you overlook basic tenet of democracy, rule of law and sense of security to espouse an “ideal” solution based upon baseless theory of people’s power- that’s far, far from ground reality. Just as ‘might” is the deciding factor, day not be far where a group or groups decide to take fate of the nation in thier own hands, just like Maoist are doing. Learn to be pragmatic rather than hot air balloon with ideas that seem pure vindictive and off the mark in all aspect.

    Can you answer for the mayhem, killing, robberies, loss of sense of security and lawlessness. Your views does not save life nor your overt attempt to disparage an institution that gave you the NATIONALITY. You can keep on rattling about wrongs and rights, make yourself righteous but does not change situation a bit.

    Up to my neck with people who seem impervious to happening in Nepal and who act as if they are the one and only who knows what and why with answer for everything.

  23. Nepal: From Maoism to Fascism in the Himalayas?
    By Dr. Thomas A. Marks

    It is an October replete with irony. The most definitive treatment to date on Mao Tse-tung’s final crime against humanity, his “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,” is out to solid reviews. Peru, in confirming the life sentence of Marxism’s self-proclaimed “Fourth Sword,” Comrade Guzman, has ensured that the country will not have on its streets a “democratic politician” whose only tangible achievement was to unleash the Maoist nightmare that left 60,000 of his countrymen dead. In Thailand, amidst the buffeting of democracy, the 14 October anniversary passed with hardly a thought. It was on that date, in 1973, that the authoritarian state crumbled, beginning the process whereby democracy defeated Maoism. And in Nepal, the Maoists, sensing power just ahead, again issued a slew of statements denying that their Maoism and the catastrophe it has brought to the country has anything to do with the bloody 20th Century crimes of Marxist-Leninism.

    It is striking how much similarity there is structurally between the Thai and Nepali cases, with the profound exception that the monarchy proved a bastion of strength in Thailand, a source of weakness in Nepal. If one includes in a comparison other Maoist people’s wars, such as those in the Philippines, Sri Lanka (the JVP twice tried to carry out armed struggle), and Peru, we see the same structural patterns play themselves out but with the Maoists on the losing side. What is fundamentally different in the Nepali scenario has been the crucial role played by the clueless united front allies of the Maoists, especially groups that bill themselves as “civil society” or even as “nonaligned.” They have lent critical strength to what otherwise would be a political movement in much the position of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) prior to its participation in the peace process, when its front Sinn Fein at peak garnered less than a fifth of the electorate.

    What remains ill understood is that the Maoists are not using even the same vocabulary, much less the same game plan, as the present political system. They continue to see themselves as a people’s war on the offensive. They simply are proceeding along an avenue of approach complementary to armed actions. Violence and non-violence are but two facets of a unified struggle, very much as, in boxing, feints and movement of the body are as necessary as punches thrown.

    A Strategy of Armed Politics
    People’s war is a strategy for armed politics. The mistake is to think it is merely “war,” by which we normally mean action between armed forces. To the contrary, people’s war is like any parliamentary campaign – except violence is used to make sure the vote comes out in your favor. Significantly, sub-state rebels such as the Maoists claim they are merely doing what the state itself has been doing all along. In Nepal, they claim there never has been “non-violent politics.” Rather, they assert, echoing Lenin, that democratic politics practiced by the “old-order” – ancien regime – is but a facade for oppression, oppression that is carried out using the violence of the state through its armed component, the security forces, as well as the “structural violence” of poverty and injustice.

    Thus the Maoists see themselves as engaged in a struggle for liberation, of self-defense even. Such a struggle will proceed along different but orchestrated lines of operation. There will be many campaigns carried out in myriad ways. Use of violence, now “in support,” was but one line of operation. Within that line of operation, there were many forms of violence, from assassinations – such as that of APF head Mohan Shrestha in 2003 – to main force attacks – the large actions that seek to overrun district capitals. These forms of violence, in turn, were “bundled” into campaigns. We can speak, for instance, of the campaign of terror that the Maoists used to eliminate all who opposed them in local areas, whether individuals or police. The family of Muktinath Adjikari, for instance, the teacher hanging in the best known image after he was assassinated in early 2002, has recently surfaced to demand justice.

    Yet such terror occurred for a reason: to clear the space for political action, to eliminate competitors. This is why UML activists were such particular targets. They advanced a competing program which had won a majority of seats in Nepal’s 3,913 VDCs, or Village Development Committees. They had to be driven out so that the Maoist cadres would have uncontested access to the electorate. Only in this way could the Maoists mobilize a mass base using their own electoral platform, if we may call it that – they call it their “mass line.”

    Of course, such methods are anathema, even as certain portions of their (Maoist) party platform are attractive. It is for this reason that the Maoists have sponsored a multitude of front organizations, the wide variety, for instance, of ethnic and community rights organizations. On the surface, they are not Maoist, but in reality they are controlled by the Maoists. The student and labor organizations are especially prominent in this respect. The important thing about fronts is that they can present themselves as independent, even as they are being used to enhance Maoist strength. Lenin called those who unwittingly join such fronts, thinking they are acting on their own, “useful idiots.”

    Even as this goes on inside the country, the Maoists work outside. States tend to focus upon the tangible links, such as the Maoist presence in India. Much more important is their information campaign, designed to present their movement as almost benign. As states make mistakes, such as seen in instances of indiscipline when military units are deployed, these are exploited to claim the state itself is the problem, terror as but a natural component of the solution. As seen in the Nepal case, the sheer level of terror inflicted by the Maoists has been quite forgotten in the rush to attack the army, the APF (Armed Police Force), and the hapless police (who, recall, at one point in the conflict, had actually suffered a majority of all dead when considered as a proportion of the total victims).

    Power as the Goal
    For a Maoist movement, the goal is always power. This has been stated quite openly by all major Maoist figures. They must have power, because their “end-state” is to refashion society. They are not seeking reintegration. That would be to accept the structure that exists and to play by that structure’s rules. Quite vocally, they reject the legitimacy of that structure and its rules. That is why they are adamant that there must be a constitutional convention. They see themselves as in the driver’s seat. They are like any political machine in a rough neighborhood – they can “deliver” the vote. It is what occurs in many areas of India during parliamentary elections but carries the jostling to an extreme. It is “boss politics” played by “big boy rules” – the film, “The Gangs of New York,” provides useful visualization.

    In seeking “peace” and holding that they are “not for violence,” what the Maoists mean is that they would much rather the state delivered to them (the Maoists) power rather than making them (the Maoists) fight for it. They are not fools. They are not interested in dying. They are interested in building a new world. Yet they hold that violence has been the indispensable tool for creating a new correlation of forces, a new electoral map, if you will. That is why they will not give up their weapons (alternatively, they say all forces must lock up their weapons, but this does not include their local forces, their “militia”). They have run the opposing parties out of the neighborhood, and now they are demanding a vote. They do not see this as hypocrisy – they see it as doing precisely what the state has been doing in years past. But they hold that their motives are superior, because they aim to revolutionize society, to make Nepal a “true” or “authentic” democracy, because they are carrying out the will of history, “of the people.”

    Have they worked out the details of what this new democracy will look like? No, aside from vague notions of “sectoral” representation. They have stated, as Prachanda recently did, that they oppose “parliamentary republicanism,” by which they mean democracy as Nepal had but with the parliament sovereign. But they have not laid out what their “real democracy” alternative will be. That is the beauty of being the political challenger. Today’s realities are opposed with tomorrow’s promises. This is what politicians always do, even those who run “on my record.” The danger of left-wing ideologues, such as the Maoists, is that their worldview dramatically constrains their view of possibilities.

    They tend to think of fantasies, such as “self-reliance” and “independence,” as ends that can be achieved if only “will” is harnessed. It was just such fantasies, implemented through violence, that gave us the astonishing crimes of the past century – crimes, it must be noted, the Maoists deny occurred. Yet there is no doubt what went on under Lenin, Stalin, and Mao (photos of all these individuals are used as veritable deities by the Maoists), any more than there is any question as to what occurred under Hitler or Pol Pot. What they shared was a worldview startlingly similar to that held by the Maoists.

    The Maoists’ way of dealing with this is, first, to deny reality (just as the leader of Iran seeks to deny the Holocaust); second, to claim that Nepal will be different (which is easily claimed, since there is a startling lack of knowledge in Nepal of what has gone on globally in similar previous situations to that of Nepal now); and, finally, when all else fails, to claim that the critic has no right to speak. This is a favored tactic of my activist internet correspondents, who purport to find all Americans responsible for everything from US foreign policy to the decimation of the American Indian tribes. None of these three ways, it bears reiterating, addresses the issue: the Maoists really have no answers to the challenges facing Nepal. They simply claim that they will do better than the bumbling (and bloody, they claim) incompetents who have preceded them.

    The Maoists have used the monarchy as their foil, as a surrogate for what they claim is its role in the old-order. If the “feudal monarchy” is swept away, they endlessly repeat, all will be right with Nepal. In this, they certainly have been assisted by the tragic circumstances which placed the incumbent, Gyanendra, on the throne. Similarly, they have been assisted by his mistakes in maneuvering through the maze of Nepali politics. However, having forced the monarch to a position most claim he should occupy, that of a ceremonial monarch in a parliamentary democracy, the Maoists are still left with the fundamental issue: what to do about Nepal? They see structural issues that can be addressed by “will.” Most of us see a population that has exceeded the carrying capacity of the land.

    Though marginal in an objective sense, Nepal and its troubles have implications for the region and beyond. The decimation of a democracy, the turning over of a people to the same tired solutions that have led to tragedy after tragedy, is of concern enough. Just as serious are the regional implications of allowing an armed, radical movement to force its way to power through terror.

    Role of India
    India is the ultimate arbiter in Nepali affairs for reasons of geostrategic interest and Nepal’s geo-fiscal realities. From Nepal’s standpoint, this has not always worked out well. From India’s standpoint, it has worked out reasonably enough. Nepal has steered clear of engaging in behavior that threatens India’s interests, and Nepalis have proved a valuable component of the Indian labor pool (especially militarily, where Nepalis apparently comprise one-eighth of the manpower of India’s infantry battalions). India’s interest in the current situation is in having a stable neighbor, especially one that does not contribute to India’s own growing Maoist problem. To achieve this goal, New Delhi desires in Nepal a functioning democracy committed to addressing the needs of its people. How to balance the elements of this general prescription just related has long been the challenge of Indian regional foreign policy and, apart from Nepal, has led to some real flies-in-the-ointment at times. Sri Lanka leaps to mind.

    Irony again surfaces, because it is India (not the Maoists) that has seen its policy of the past decade go awry. Hence it finds itself in bed with Maoist insurgents and in search of a “soft landing.” New Delhi’s strategy is to get one by facilitating in Nepal creation of a “West Bengal” or a “Kerala” – states where the tamed Indian left challenges and even rules, where it continues with its nasty verbiage and bizarre worldview, but where it must respond to the realities of power and hence stays within the lanes on the national political highway. What New Delhi has overlooked is that such realities occur in India only because of the capacity of the national state to force compliance. Subtract the Indian military, paramilitary, and police forces from the equation, and India would be anarchy. Not surprisingly, that is the very term being used by many to describe the situation in Nepal.

    As has been discussed previously by any number of sources, it is difficult to tell precisely where “our Indian friends,” as Prachanda has taken to calling them, fit in. A number of elements figured into New Delhi’s calculations. First, as the hegemonic power in an unstable subcontinent, India wants restoration of order. This is necessary for precisely the reasons stability is desired in Sri Lanka. Disorder produces refugees, unleashes intra-Indian passions, transfers elements of the conflict to Indian soil, and sucks New Delhi into foreign policy nastiness. Second, having opted for order, India has played a hand well known to its smaller neighbors: intervention. The only question has been how to intervene.

    Here, there are several schools of thought. My past work in Sri Lanka has led to my being less than charitable as to Indian official motives. In the Sri Lankan case, New Delhi was into everything from supporting terrorism to running covert ops in a friendly, neighboring democracy. Only when the Frankenstein it helped to create, LTTE, turned on its former benefactor did logic and morality reassert themselves in New Delhi’s policy. In this case, in Nepal, it is perhaps too early to speak in such terms. What we know at the moment is that is that the weak position of the coalition government in New Delhi, combined with its normal “Great Game” psychology and the eagerness of certain Indian personalities, especially on the left, to expand their own role and spheres of involvement, led to a policy shift that supported SPAM (the Seven Party Alliance and the Maoists). It seems equally clear that India, as it did previously in Sri Lanka, went into the present endeavor quite misinformed by its alleged experts, not to mention its intelligence organs, and that it is quite ignorant as to the actual nature of the Maoists – no matter the efforts of those same personalities just mentioned to claim how wise, thoughtful, and caring Prachanda and other members of the Maoist leadership are.

    In once again misreading the situation in a neighboring state, India was virtually pushed by the nationalism of the king. Whatever else he is, the monarch is a Nepali who does not think it is for India to dictate Nepali realities. Ironically, this is a position also held by the Maoists. They have simply realized, of late, that it is a position best relegated to the shadows. Better to rail against the old bugaboos of Indian politics, especially in unison with those who think the Cold War is still going on, “America and world imperialism.”

    As the US Ambassador has made quite clear – and the cases of Hamas and Hezbollah illustrate well – there are consequences connected with actions that seek to talk peaceful politics but engage in behavior labeled terrorist by virtually the entire world. It is noteworthy that in their quest to carve out an identity as “independent” actors, the Maoists claim to see exemplars in very unsavory types – Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, North Korea. One can understand why these odious regimes are “picked” – on the surface, they stand for a divorce from the present world-order, which Maoist dogma holds responsible, in league with the Nepali local representatives of world-capitalism (that is, anyone who owns anything and makes a decent living), for the lack of development that is present-day Nepali reality. In reality, Cuba and North Korea have long been economic basket-cases noted for their political repression, while Venezuela and Iran are political basket-cases determined to remain such by exploiting a single resource, oil, something Nepal certainly does not have. Cases such as Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia also offer a certain fascination for the Maoists, since these states claim to be “socialist.” Each, though, has particulars not relevant to Nepal. Indeed, the most apt comparison for Nepal would seem to be to the Albania of the Cold War, when its lack of resources and close affinity with Maoist ideology reduced it to a complete backwater.

    What now looms for India in Nepal is what Israel has faced with Hamas and Hezbollah. Whether events play themselves out as we are witnessing in the Middle East depends quite upon what the Maoists are actually up to. Hamas and Hezbollah, for example, thought they could be both respectable and disrespectable, that they could be both in government and carry our terrorist actions. Their fellow citizens have paid a terrible price for such folly. Hamas is particularly tragic, because the Palestinians thought they could elect a group that both wanted to defy world norms and be supported by its money. The similarity to the Nepali case is compelling. Hamas and Hezbollah, one could argue, have behaved as the Nepali Maoists seem determined to behave, to participate in “the system” only to use it for their own ends. Those “ends,” obviously, have now made life even worse for the Palestinian and Lebanese populations.

    PIRA in Northern Ireland, to the contrary, has reintegrated, worked to move beyond what it was and to build a better Ulster. Ulster today is an improvement upon the Ulster that existed when the civil rights movement erupted in the late 1960s over ill-treatment of the Catholic minority. In the Nepal case, it was disappointing and tragic that the SPA and the Palace could not have a meeting of minds. Parliamentary democracy should have been the ultimate bulwark against the Maoist challenge, but the very nature of Nepali parliamentary democracy, with its corruption and ineptitude, led to its marginalization. The increasingly bitter split between SPA and the king became all but inevitable in such circumstances, but personalities also played a central role, as they do in all that occurs in Nepal. It was the nastiness between Congress personalities, for instance, that incapacitated government at the moment when focus and response were most needed to insurgent challenge. India has sought to alter this reality long after the fact, by coming down squarely on the side of “democracy.” Yet, as happened in Sri Lanka, New Delhi’s political class seems to have seriously miscalculated.

    Though certain Indian commentators hold there are no connections between the Indian and Nepali Maoists, this has never been the case. Indeed, the two sides previously discussed openly their linkages, and individuals from the two movements were apprehended or killed in operations “on the wrong side of the border.” Only with a move to exploit the nonviolent line of operation did the Nepali Maoists stop claiming to be integrally linked not only with South Asian Maoism, through CCOMPOSA, but also with global Maoist forces through RIM. Of course, these were never “command” relationships, only liaison and, in the case of the Indian groups, some presence. It is naﶥ to claim the radical wing of a radical Maoist movement will simply salute and call it a day, even if the leadership decides reigning in the combatants is the best tactical course of action. Further, it is inevitable that any Maoist government would encourage the usual flocking of left-wing groupies that we see – and have seen – in every other case of a radical government. Indeed, there already are here in Nepal the usual international activists engaging in “revolutionary activities” and supplying information to the Nepali left-wing press and even to the Maoists themselves.

    The Future
    On the one hand, there is hope for the Nepalese future. What is happening now politically should have been the response to the Maoists, with the security forces providing the shield. Though a plan was in fact drawn up in the pre-April 2006 period, it was mechanical, devoid of substance, precisely because the mobilization that occurred in April was not used by Nepali democracy as its weapon. That is the irony of Nepali parliamentary democracy – it proved incapable of using mobilization of democratic capacity to defend itself. It did not do what the Thai, the Filipinos, the Peruvians, and the Sri Lankans did to defeat their Maoists. They brought reform to imperfect systems and made them better. They are still imperfect, but so are all systems. And they are not man-eating systems as desired by the left-wing, of which the Maoists are the premier representatives.

    It should be obvious that the claim that there is “no military solution” to insurgency is simply a canard. One heard it endlessly in Nepal, most often from “the foreigners who would be gods,” as one acquaintance was apt to put it. Armed capacity enables the campaign of reform, because armed capacity is what enables the challenge to the old-order. In circumstances such as Nepal, no army can be committed simply to defend the status quo. It must be committed to defend transformation. That transformation, though, must look rather more like what can be seen in India and a lot less like that witnessed in Mao’s China.

    If Nepal wishes to move forward, it has all the pieces right before it on the table. This has been said before. What separates the sides is the Maoist notion that revolutionary transformation will now be delivered by surrender when force of arms could not take it. “The people have spoken,” goes their claim. In reality, the people have spoken, but they have not at all supported what the Maoists have in mind, precisely because the Maoists have worked so hard not to let their vision and plans get out into the open. What Nepal needs now, more than ever, is equitable representation and good governance. What the Maoists keep demanding is retribution and marginalization of all who do not see a solution in their terms. There seems to be the idea that one can simply one day announce a decision has been reached, which will include a declaration that, in effect, a significant slice of the Nepalese old-order should present itself at the chopping block. To say that will not “just happen” is not to be a pessimist or even a realist, only to reiterate a point I have made previously: hope in not a method.

    For reconciliation, all elements of society need to be engaged. At the moment, the Maoists and some misguided elements of SPA are proceeding in much the same fashion as did the government of Sri Lanka when it marginalized its Tamil population. Half of all Nepalis, in recent polls, said they would be content with a ceremonial monarchy. The security forces number more than 160,000 individuals in intact units. Yet there has been little effort to involve the forces represented by those statistics. For Nepal to move forward, to use a constitutional assembly as a basis for more equitable new arrangements, is a laudable goal. To think a socialist reshuffling of Nepal’s demographic and physical pieces will produce a panacea is a pipe dream. To the contrary, in advancing their “triumph of the will” solution, the Maoists seem quite unawares that they have fixed upon, as course of action, the very title of Hitler’s most powerful fascist propaganda film.

  24. Sagarmatha-well the bad security situation in Nepal is down to the weakness of the SPA govt. Blaming the Maoists for it will solve little, a lot of them are crooks and as long as they are allowed to get away with it will continue their extortion and looting. The SPA must actually do something about it. The govt. is there to enforce the law but if it doesn’t then what? This is the reason why we need to get over this interim period and actually have a proper elected govt. If elections can be held in Afghanistan and Iraq what’s the big deal? You could be describing any city in India or Brazil by that post of yours by the way. We should at least have a can do attitude in this blog instead of alway shouting that the sky is falling.

    Pontiff-don’t be an idiot and blame me for the situation in Nepal. I am neither a Maoist nor a SPA sympathiser. However I believe in democratic values and am greatly saddened by what is happening in Nepal. I am afraid your king when he had the chance only made things worse. You say that Maoists are on the ‘wrong side of time’ and I agree. But why can’t you agree that monarchy is even worse when it comes to being on the ‘wrong side of time, ? Or do you believe that gyane is still the incarnation of God? It’s people like you who can only shout outdated slogans and offer no logic/rational that give a bad name to so called royalists. Just like the Maoists/SPA, you guys are your own worst enemy.

  25. Sagarmatha-well the bad security situation in Nepal is down to the weakness of the SPA govt. Blaming the Maoists for it will solve little, a lot of them are crooks and as long as they are allowed to get away with it will continue their extortion and looting. The SPA must actually do something about it. The govt. is there to enforce the law but if it doesn’t then what? This is the reason why we need to get over this interim period and actually have a proper elected govt. If elections can be held in Afghanistan and Iraq what’s the big deal? You could be describing any city in India or Brazil by that post of yours by the way. We should at least have a can do attitude in this blog instead of alway shouting that the sky is falling.

    Pontiff-don’t be an idiot and blame me for the situation in Nepal. I am neither a Maoist nor a SPA sympathiser. However I believe in democratic values and am greatly saddened by what is happening in Nepal. I am afraid your king when he had the chance only made things worse. You say that Maoists are on the ‘wrong side of time’ and I agree. But why can’t you agree that monarchy is even worse when it comes to being on the ‘wrong side of time, ? Or do you believe that gyane is still the incarnation of God? It’s people like you who can only shout outdated slogans and offer no logic/rational that give a bad name to so called royalists. Just like the Maoists/SPA, you guys are your own worst enemy.

  26. Pontiff – your thing for monarchy seems to be based more on emotions than pragmatism. Look what KG did in few yrs of his rule and lets not discuss wht Paras is capable of after that.

    Sure PN Shah gave us Nepal – but his intention was more for power, least people’s welfare. Nepal was just a byproduct of his ambition – lets not hail him for something that has happened as a result of natural discourse. If he and all Shahs were really statesmen why would we have centuries of state sponsored oppression, why the caste system, religious marginalization, division within society etc etc. We need to move on and have a truly inclusive society and believe me monarchy will never work towards that.

    We need to find a true system with effective checks and balances. Lets not give it up so easily and go back to status quo. Such opportunity for change rarely comes in the history of nations and we need to take full advantage of it. Sure, there are risks involved but going back to the old system is refusing to keep up with changing times.

  27. Is Indian Geda so big that even Ian Martin went to India to talk about Nepal issue ? Is it not the interference on the internal affairs of th country by UN ? Un should be neutral ?

    I could not understand why he went to India. He should be expelled from Nepal if OLI has balls.

  28. Hey Wagle – I am starting to get disappointed by your blog these days. You seem to be silent on growing Maoist atrocities. And where is the civil society, are they sleeping. They should be playing a more active role. Lets have articles to address these.

  29. Day by day, this blog has been deganarating to a gossip forum. This has been redesigning itself as an unintellectual, superficial and venom spilling blogsite. I advise Dinesh to close this one and start a new or kick out the stupid self made champions among commentators.

  30. Indeed, ‘monarchy has stood the test of time and has been grace under fire’ as you put it, now it’s time to be ‘saahi kebab’.

    Yours is nothing, but a self aggrandizing artful incrimination at all the ‘dirt bags’, who question the relevancy of monarchy, with an education purchased at yet another Victorian laden sentiments of kangaroo land.

    Fine, to ask a relevancy of monarchy might have been a grand scheme of Maoist, just because the nut cases Maoists are asking it, doesn’t make the question invalid.

    The question stands where it WAS, without dancing around patriotism, i await your answers from papal, on the relevancy of monarchy to nepali people IN SOCIO-ECONOMICAL grounds.

  31. pyare the royal troll,

    you seem to be born post ‘Ravij Ghandhi embargo’, when people would stand in miles long line just to buy a sack of potato.

    just, stop frolicking around in your youthful prance, which makes us very irritated, make good use of your time, read some books, very good for youthful minds, but mind you not ‘nancy drew or sidney sheldon’

  32. HARKEE:
    Do you honestly believe Nepal today would be sginificatly better off without the Monarchy?
    I have heard this from many people, but I am yet to hear a solid argument for it. I guess a decrease in palace expenditure is one thing. But what else?
    You ask for the socio-economic reason? Well one could argue cultural heritage, tourism, the fact that Nepal is still a Kingdom still gives it this mytical aura etc. stuff like that. My position has always been that a ceremonial monarchy wouldn’t hurt Nepal at this stage. But I am willing to change my mind if I hear a compelling argument which will convince me otherwise.

  33. Consider this also Harkee. According to the polls conducted in April 2006 i think it was right before the ‘revolution’ only 6% of the people said they wanted to do away with the monarchy altogeather. The polls methodology is on the Nepalitimes website.
    Now I imiagine after the revolution the number has gone up but I still don’t think there is an overwelming republican sentiment amongst the Nepali people. Why do you think that is?

  34. Bhudai-one advantage of doing away with the monarchy would be the independence of the army from the palace. Thus it would forever remove the threat of a military coup backed by the monarch or a royal coup. That surely must be worth something in terms of political stability.

  35. Pundit,

    ‘Do you honestly believe Nepal today would be sginificatly better off without the Monarchy?’

    in my hearts of hearts not at all, monarchy might be the part of the equation, but not the whole solution, and i do see the moaist propaganda, abolishment of monarchy is just to stoke the fire, which keep them running.

    king goes or remains, it’s insignificant, the main prolem–poverty wouldn’t have gone anywhere. more than politics it’s policy matter, but sad thing who comes to power makes policies. personally i don’t have faith in anyone, political parties, moaist or king, would come with any different policies which has been running hitherto, call me pessimist.

    as the beautiful write up the other guy wrote here ‘Is my king a dodo’, when the time is right, monarchy would just fade away, but is this the right time may be may be not, let it go to refrendum.

    now question remains, why do i rant so vociferously against monarchy, it’s not aganist the idea of monarchy, i don’t really care, though i wish him to see go when the time comes,
    i debate, i argue because, it realy really gets on my nerve, when people completely fail to see the sitution and remain loyal to monarch as if, monarchy is all inocent and he has nothing to do with it, it’s just the conspiracy of moaist, more than it’s logic it’s all loyalty.

    patriotism has got nothing to do with monarchy, it’s more about be able to feel the plight of the people, their pain, their dispairs and try try do something, whatever is in your caliber to make your contribution. that’s true patriotism, patriotism to your countrymen and country, not to the throne.

    until then i am going to rant like mad dog at the royalist because i can.

  36. pundit,

    i did not see your last comment, and trying to answer your question,

    ‘Now I imiagine after the revolution the number has gone up but I still don’t think there is an overwelming republican sentiment amongst the Nepali people. Why do you think that is? ‘

    believe me, no statistical model would work in neapl, hence all the polls would not say anything.

    for general mass, their belief is not what they believe, it’s all about who tells their end of the story in a better way, sadly, no political organization has been as efficient in this as maoist– to micro manage the peoples sentiment in grassroot level. who would tell their stories of better days by the same ppl who they can relate too, unlike king making a visit to the villages in ‘helicopter’ once in a while.

    and for the political parties, even though they too are from the same grassroot level, they are just their in the days of election to tell them the stories of better days, but never got arms in arms and be the part of the local mass.

    i am pretty sure, even if king gets down from his throne and goes to villages, relate with them, sit with them, listen to them, eat with them, his poll would go up.

    i am pretty sure of all those who went to put tika from king in dasain, there were many among them who got to the streets in April rev. against the king.

    so you see pundit, there is no demarcation, since we are not divided by ideology, we are divided by sentiments.

    the poll would keep shifting, and would not suggest a thing.

  37. Only in Nepal in the 21st century could we be killing ourselves for Monarchs and Maoists.

  38. Harkee, Just a question: you are not Mistichacker in disguise are you?

    Anyway I agree with most of what you are saying.

  39. pundit
    hehe…nope, i am not that ivy league prick, pompous bas****, though writes beautiful

  40. Bhudai/Harkee/Kirat –

    This article I read sometime back says that Monarchy in any form can backfire in future http://www.kantipuronline.com/columns.php?&nid=87329

    Obviously, with its seeming advantages of having a ceremonial in place, let me know what you think after you read it. Personally – I still believe the relevancy of moarchy should only be limited to as a strong negotiatinig tool with Maoists. On the other hand, I also believe the reason why its difficult for us to give up monarchy is coz we havent seen any other system which induces us to keep going back to this comfort zone.

    Anyways – I’m eager to hear your overall thoughts on this.

  41. You said – “My position has always been that a ceremonial monarchy wouldn’t hurt Nepal at this stage. But I am willing to change my mind if I hear a compelling argument which will convince me otherwise.”

    I want to hear your thoughts after reading the link, it sounds a little too one-sided but it does throw up some facts on history of monarchy.

  42. And this is directed to Bhudai Pandit, not you Bhudau Pandit – or are you the same …

  43. Sorry we are the same … small typo. Where is the link you are talking about.

  44. My post has been “Waiting moderation” for three days! Are you waiting until the thread is dead to let it be read?

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