Gyanendra, the ‘ousted’, rejected and ejected (any other words out there?) king, has sported the mustache, huh? Don’t dare to dismiss this as yet another Gyanendra bashing cheap joke but that was the talk of the town today after newspapers in Kathmandu came up with front page image of the monarch in question. Gyanendra with moustache? No serious answer was received though. Honestly, people in my circle hate to even pronounce the name Gyanendra, such is the intensity of hatred towards the monarchy that is on the verge of disappearing from Nepal. Or, so we like to think about! Anyway, moustache for Birendra, Gyanendra’s brother and the king till the palace massacre in 2001, seemed unmovable part of the facial structure. Birendra’s son Dipendra also used sport junga (and occasionally beard or daari). I don’t claim this is the first time I have seen Gyanendra with moustache but I think I don’t remember seeing him with mustache before. Paras occasionally sports junga but haven’t seen him with daari so far. Anyway, I don’t remember if seeing a dariwal Paras. Am I already giving 197 words to junga of Gyanendra, who according to news reports, have been removed from the bank notes?
On the serious note, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today hosted a tea party for leaders of Seven Party Alliance and Maoist party in his residence in Baluwataar. Was that just a chiya party? No way, Koirala actually wanted to thrash Prachanda, the chairman of the Maoist party, for the latter’s irresponsible and deplorable behavior in Lahan, Siraha recently. Yes, telephone conversations between Koirala and Prachanda are taking place almost regularly but the chiya meeting was needed because something serious is happening in Siraha and other parts of Terai and that needs to be addressed collectively by the SPA and Maoist leadership. This is the chance to make something difference. There is no way you can ignore it and move ahead as if you are unaffected. That is exactly why these words came from Koirala, otherwise a hardliner, in today’s meeting:
“All of us have our right to speak and express our views as this is a nation which has unity in diversity. Therefore all our problems should be resolved through dialogue. So, I request the people of Madhes to resolve their problems through talks. If we tried to walk away from dialogue, the reactionary forces could rise and the nation could be in danger. The ‘regressive forces’ could take advantage of any protests for the time being.”
Koirala is right in his words and intentions. They are raising some valid issues but Goit, Jwala and Madhesi Peoples’ Rights Forum and a few other known/unknown groups are increasingly turning into the weapons of reactionary forces (who are sporting jungas and may be daaris) and Indian religious fundamentalists. I know what Maoists did in Lahan (fired upon a crowd) was deplorable but I think Prachanda must be taken seriously when he says “Hindu extremists are behind Terai unrest.” He said:
“A few days ago some Hindu followers had a gathering at Gorakhpur in India (bordering Nepal). Some elements, who were involved in terrorizing Madhes, also participated in the gathering, which has already been publicized in the media. These incidents (recent unrest) happened after that. Therefore some Hindu extremists, not through religious belief but acting as extremists and royalist forces, who are against the Constituent Assembly elections, are involved in the incidents.”
Unfortunately Prachanda didn’t feel responding to the question, at least publicly, why on Earth his —- cadres were roaming around armed in Lahan and killed the boy. -Wagle
For the record: Monitoring of Maoist arms management at Shaktikhor, Chitwan was halted abruptly on Tuesday (23 Jan) as a string of arguments arose between the UN team and Maoist cadres, Kantipur reports. Sources said the UN team refused to register those Maoist cadres who seemed to be of the ages of 12 to 15 – but the team was pressurized to register them as 18-year-olds – which gave rise to an argument, with the UN team ultimately deciding to stop the registration process. Maoist deputy commander Barsha Man Pun ‘Ananta’ confirmed the news and informed that from Wednesday (24 Jan) the registration process will resume.