Nepali Politics: Terai Issue, View from Nepal Army, Hindu Fundamentalism

Suddenly, it appears, things are now returning to normalcy in Nepal. But everything is not rosy.

Terai Talks:

There are no long queues of vehicles near petrol stations as the supply of fuel has increased in the city. No demonstrations and strikes in south and east Terai since yesterday (Friday 9, Feb). The Wednesday midnight (7 Feb) speech of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has been widely welcomed. The talks committee formed by the government (and headed by Agriculture Minister Mahantha Thakur) has invited agitating breakaway Maoist factions (both groups of JTMM) and another suspicious group called Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF). So far so good but I see no reason to talk with these people, especially in today’s situation in which the demands raised by recent demonstrations have already been addressed. Even a child can conclude that this Updendra Yadav of MJF is not genuine. He saw how Prachanda became a national leader by launching a movement and went to hobnobbing with the likes of Prime Minister and senior leaders of major political parties. He wants to do the same, a common trait of copycats. In addition to this, Yadav is driven by sinister motives of dividing the country. He is not satisfied by the second speech of the PM but was forced to halt the agitation (for 10 days, he said) because everyone was welcoming it. It should not be surprise if he comes with one weird demand after another. A friend of mine recently joked: “after all of his demands are fulfilled, he will say, ‘now, ensure ceremonial monarchy.’” If we are to abide by the bond of nationality, people like Yadav must be discarded effectively. Now that the government has initiated talks with these factions, it is in the best interest of all to closely watch the developments and support the process.

Background 1
Background 2

The View from Army:

Another positive development comes from within Nepal Army. Army Chief General Rookmangud Katawal yesterday talked about democracy and people with officers. Unexpected and hard be believe but pleasing news at the same time. He instructed military officers to be active in making democratic institutions stronger and more reliable and for fulfilling the people’s desire for lasting peace. Political parties are representatives of Nepali people, said the General and asked officers not to do anything that would hurt faith of representative political parties. General Katawal was addressing the 13th convocation of Command and Staff College cadets at Army Headquarters. Gen Katawal instructed officers to work honestly as per the people’s desires and needs, taking into account the changed circumstances and demand of the time. “Especially in the post-conflict transitional phase, we should give enough consideration to the behavior of the national army and seriousness of expression,” Katawal said. He reminded his officers about “civilian supremacy” and said that Nepal Army works under civil control. “We should be equally committed to make our activities transparent and accountable to the people,” he said. “I also want to remind all of you that the military, as per the principle of civilian control, will be controlled and mobilized by civilian authorities.”

These words from General Katawal are especially relevant and important because they come three days after his subordinate Dilip Shumsher Rana, acting chief at Western Divisional HQ of Nepal Army, spit venom against democracy and democratic leadership. Now the question is how much honesty the words of General Katawal carry? Does he believe that his words are able to control the damage done by Dilip Rana? I think this is a good starting to make the institution of army responsible to civilian authority. It would be appreciated if General Katawal goes further to make sure that army is actually accountable to the people and is under the control of civilian authorities.


Maoist Vandalism:

Not everything is rosy though. We are heading for the election of constituent assembly and the election commission is preparing voters’ list throughout the country. I just registered my name today in such list. But unfortunately Maoists are playing villain in that process. They seized voters’ list from the government team yesterday in Dolakha’s Kavre VDC. The team had reached there distribution of citizenship certificates. Maoists seized the documents following a dispute regarding enlisting their cadres’ name on the list. According to a report, Maoists forced government team members to enlist their cadres’ names who were from other districts. A few days ago, Maoists did the same in Kathmandu. Maoists must understand that they can’t hijack the electoral process and brings results in their favor just like they used to terrorize people with their guns until recently. This is going to be a democratic election and they must understand there will be ballets, no bullets, in such process. There will be voice, no violence. I think SPA and the government should talk to Prachanda, the Maoist chairman, about these incidents and tell the comrade to put his comrades in control.

Hindu Fundamentalism:

Yesterday Madhav Kumar Nepal spoke something serious while inaugurating district convention of his party CPN UML in Kathmandu. He said that Hindu extremists are trying to create havoc in Kathmandu on the occasion of Shivaratri, a Hindu festival that is celebrated in Pashupatinath this month. Many Indians also come to take part in the annual extravaganza. Hindu fundamentalists are unhappy with the new constitutional provision of secularism in Nepal. “It has been come to our notice that royalist elements are trying to gather unwanted people in the capital at the time of Shivaratri and execute another ‘Hritik Roshan incident’. The government and eight parties must be united to defeat such elements.” [A few years ago, deadly demonstrations were organized to protest alleged remarks on Nepal by Bollywood actor Hritik Roshan. Later it was known that Hritik never made any such statements.] It is an open secret that the palace will do everything to destabilize the democratic government to fulfill its vested interests. It will sabotage every occasions, religious or social, to make it appear that democracy is not helping Nepali people to have peaceful life. They will do their best to foil the plans of Nepali people to hold election of constituent assembly on time. The government, eight parties and civil society must be careful. By Wagle






29 responses to “Nepali Politics: Terai Issue, View from Nepal Army, Hindu Fundamentalism”

  1. Suraj Avatar

    The problem is there cannot be true democracy by neglecting one side of the conflict which is the monarchy, pro-royalist forces and the army. Just look at Iraq: America has even hanged Saddam Hussein but pro-Saddam forces are still killing American soldiers. The conflict has actually escalated day by day. So, in Nepal also, we must bring together all forces together, the monarchy, the parties and the Maoist together with the now JTMM of the terai. Otherwise, Nepal will keep on seeing one conflict or the other in the name of various kinds of “discrimination” against one group and the other. The Hindus are the majority. Why should they be discriminated? Fine that we have declared Nepal secular but why should the majority Hindus be left out when even the Christians, Muslims, Dalits are asserting their rights? Why should we defame the Nepal Army when the ragtag Maoist geurrilla has become an M.P.?
    This is the problem Mr. Wagle.

  2. replytoall Avatar

    The General of the army makes a statement saying that army should work towards the development of Democracy… is that not a political statement………… nepal army is not there to serve the so called democratic people of the polictal parties sitting in the parliament………… army is there to ensure the security and protection of the nepalese people…………………

    army is not there to see and save if it is democracy or extreme communism(which is what is now), tyrant or anything……….. that is a political statment…………. should not the General be taken action against……………..

    if Nepal is a communist nation tomorrow which ofcourse wont be democracy given that communist and democrats are different……………… then what is the army supposed to say……………. Nepal Army is there to save and secure communism……………

    Thukka Nepali janata, state army jo hijo ugra bam sita war ma thiyo aja tei army lai tei jatha haru ko order manney banayeko ma………………………………… and of all the maoists there are not peoples representative …………….. if you think they are then nobody would have anything much to say.

  3. Shaman Avatar

    Another perfect example of conspiracy theory … Keep the wild horses running to the realms of your imagination … Yesterday it was regressive and reactionary forces … Today is Nepal Army and Indian fundamentalists … Tomorrow it will be US and UN … How many excuses can you make for our own failures and inept handling of the situation? Will we ever learn?

  4. Kishan Avatar

    Army must not be mobilized by the civilian government alone. Particularly not by the ones who are self-proclaimed people’s representatives and who are yet to prove themselves as worthy and responsible to people. Just reflect back and see how these parliamentarians grabbed the power of the people – in all sectors- without an election. Else, either a dictator will take Nepal over or the army will establish itself as the government. Just look for examples from around the world – Pakistan, Libya, Iraq (before), Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Somalia, Cuba, and many others.

  5. Bhudai Pundit Avatar
    Bhudai Pundit

    Let’s see. Madav Nepal is an idiot from the beigning. This uneducated scum of a human being is completly irrelevant and sidelined. That’s why he keeps making stupid statements to bring attention to himself.
    What Nepal needs right now is some leadership.

  6. angelica Avatar

    Yadav as i predicted is only running around to grab the first chance to come to capital and become a “great ” leader and grab a seat to put his ass up there and gradually turn it to yet another fat ass… I guess we need to read between the lines in Rugmangad’s speech( i hear army is waiting for a chance to bring back the king)…maoists are like those dogs jasko pucchar barha barsa dhungro ma rakhe pani bango ko bangai hunchha…as for Madhav Kumar Nepal(makune) (i wonder what his acronym would have been if he was Madhav Kumar Regmi(MAKURE) ) i agree with Pundit ji about makune’s idiocy but then this idiot ass could be right this time…shiva ratri could bring new troubles for Nepal… i think a tighter security could be arranged if it’s not too much to ask for the govt….

  7. angelica Avatar

    oops sorry it went twice…

  8. sagarmatha Avatar

    If SPAM consider Hindu fundalism, monarchy, Nepal Army, RPP(Rana), RPP (Rabidranath), Sadvabana (Mandal), Janasakti Party (Thapa) etc. etc. as vilian then definately they are going to act like vilian. What is our intention? Are we heading toward uniting for the peace and democracy or in the mood of taking revenge should be made clear. Its time to unite all for the peace and democracy. Excuse to one culprit and punish to another is not going to give good message in the peace and democracy. Humilation and punishment is not the full solution. Certainly Iraq is the present example of it. If NA said they are committed to peace and democracy then let them move toward it. We already got the feedback for ignoring and humilating 10,000 militia of maoist and we already paid the price. Just imagine what happened if 100,000 troops get frustrated from the government, media people, human right organisations, civil society etc. etc.? And also definately 82% of the population are hindu and they are being somewhere hurt by secularism although discussing about it in 21st century make no sense. More the criticism about hindu and hindu fundamentalism, more it brings to think twice to 82% of the hindu people. It is wise to keep silent about it, saint are not going bring big changes in the politics unless and untill majority people join them. One thing to be sure if 82% of hindu really join the hindu undamentalism the SPAM can do nothing. Unity is the best at the moment.

  9. B Avatar

    I agree with Mr. Pundit as far as idiocy of Makune is concerned. Is is giving ideas to the Hindu Fundamentalist to exploit shiva ratri for their interests? Or does he just wants to be in a position to say “I told you so” when it does happen? It is the duty of the government to foil such incidents if were to happen. Is he saying that such explotation would take place but the government is incapable of doing anything about it? God! these people do not even wait for events to take place before accusing the palace anymore. This is pre-accusation, SPAM style. If you look at the government’s hesitance of holding talks with the MJF, there should be a strong suspicion that they are intentionally avoiding the issue to aggrevate the situation.

  10. Shree Shrestha Avatar
    Shree Shrestha

    Why Madhab Kumar Upadhyaya changed his name to Madhav Kumar Nepal?

  11. Kirat Avatar

    All this country needs is leaders who can get on with the work they are supposed to do. China and India have a million more problems than we do yet they seem to be able to manage them and move forward. It’s not just Makune…it’s all the others as well. It’s just a very bad sort of culture we have where you take no responsibilty for the position you hold but just want the benefits. Sitaula, the Maoists leaders, Tripathi and Koirala are a perfect example.

  12. Patriot Avatar

    Its incredibly stupid. Citing security reasons just ban shivratri festival around pashupatinath this yr … wht else.

  13. scoop Avatar

    So basically the author is calling this Yadav a “copycat” and would rather the likes of a Brahmin calleing himself Prachanda represent the people of the madhes and not a person who comes from the madhesi people like Yadav. Enlighten us to how Prachanda trying to follow the defunct path of mao is not “copycat” behaviour? Is that an original idea in your books?

  14. scoop Avatar

    By the way, the author should know that ceremonial monarchy is still a democratic choice we can make in CA elections. Just trying to push forward republican agendas at the expense of more serious issues is the worst form of ass licking one can do of the current power centres. At this point in time the risk of the nation going into civil and ethnic war and the maoists going back to their old ways if elections don’t go their way is far far greater then having a ceremonial King go back to autocratic ways ( that is if a ceremonial King is what the electons choose). But can elections also guarantee the end of the gun and violence, and a path to development ? Can we vote out the regression from all fronts? I think you have lost your priorities. You are stuck with an agenda from the streets. Everyone talks of their rights, but no one dares mention their duties to their nation.

  15. scoop Avatar

    Hold on,

    So the General who gives a realistic run down of events is out of line but the commander in chief can talk about giving support to corrupt and past their sell by date political parties. I have no problems with elected officials calling the shots, and the army following orders. But the situation roday is neither are we represented by elected officials (just crooks and murderers) nor is anyone else following any orders. Except the NA it seems.

  16. scoop Avatar

    Is Sitaula an elected official? 29 people were martyred in the Terai, 10 more then in April 2006. Yet, this unelected prior bag man of the PM and now obvious stooge and puppet of the maoist refuses to resign despite it being the No.1 demand of the Terai forum representing almost 50% of our population. I wonder what this blog’s views are on this?

  17. scoop Avatar

    While I am at it, I again call for the arrest of Pushpa Dahal and his stooges for the Magdi murders. Is anyone getting charged anytime soon?

  18. scoop Avatar

    The madhesi people should also keep this on their agenda (i.e. charging Dahal for the murder of innocents including babies), as the event took place right in the Madhes heartland.

  19. scoop Avatar

    By the way,

    The only one’s doing anything to foil the CA elections seem to be the SPAM themselves. Breaking agreements, Making fiery speeeches against democratic institutions in India by talking of boothe capturing and taking up arms again, not taking care of the Terai demands on time and now even miniscule things like Sitaula not resigning. On the other hand I don’t see any steam coming out of the palace – Does anyone else besides this ass licker author?

  20. scoop Avatar

    Hrithik Roshan incident? Oh yes, was it not UML cadres themselves under this Makune who were responsible?

  21. sagarmatha Avatar

    It seems like SPAM themselves are planning to change the schedule of CA election due to bad image in terai movement. Girija, Sitaula, Madhav Kumar and even maoist never going to win Rautahat.

  22. mahila  sahu Avatar
    mahila sahu

    SCOOP, I completely support you. How can this SPAM justify punishing the so called villian of Jan Andolan II if they do not punish this Maoist stooge Situala and Puspa Kamal Dahal for killing more people than Jan Andolan II in Madhes ? Qustion to all bloggers ? or is it alright to kill people in Loktantra and get away with. Why all so called Human right agency ( more like doller kamao agency) and biased patrakars ( pit patrakars) does not speak or write anything about it– I will tell you why becasue most of them or Maoist and fascist in patrakar and human right garb. but Nepali Janata has recognized them for and will eventually will have to punish them ( by creating yet another commission).

  23. raj Avatar

    You may go for not only ceremonial king but also for autocratic king like Mahendra in CA election but it will not change the fate of your beloved monarch or his heir. You are harping on this very tune for a too long losing ground every other day. There is no lack of ultra-reactionaries in this world but they can forward innovative thought for their cause each time. Why can’t you do that instead of spitting at SPA all the time?

  24. shekhar mayavi Avatar
    shekhar mayavi

    In the article, there seems to be an air of approval for how Prachanda came into power, and Yadav’s stature is dismissed as a ‘copycat’. What kind of logic is that? Then the article says that the Maoists manipulated the voters list and the govt should talk to prachanda about it, that the maoists should understand that the election is not about bullets but balot. Do you think that the maoists don’t know that and that they will do what the political parties ask them?

    The CA might take care of the autocratic king and his heir, but Nepal is not safe until Prachanda is active or to be more accurate-alive.

  25. smt Avatar

    O Helo! Makune, this idiot and his goons were responsible for inciting the violence during Hritik Roshan incident. and today he is afraid that there will be another incident like this one on Shivratri day.
    If it was to benefit him , he would have kept his gab shut.
    Who is going to kick the butt of exasperating idiots like Madhav Kumar Nepal?

  26. hloqmx vbdrkizn Avatar

    rsphb hywcg lihwktf gyxifunw qxsmw alursdbw lrkiznfx

  27. GANESH KAMATH Avatar

    It is sad that a billion hindus are not having a hindu country of their own. hence it is necessary that nepal for the interest of the hindus must declare itself as a hindu republic. let prachanda and his fanatics teach communism to the militants in kashmir who are massacaring the hindus. Changing nepals hindu status is a disgrace to 24 million nepalis a other billion hindus all over the world. THE BILLION HIDUS OF ALL CASTES will be grateful to the brave people of nepal if it declares itself a hindu country.

  28. Roshan kumar jha, Gaur,ksl Avatar

    Terai violence
    There is much lawlessness in the Terai. Violent political groups, Maoists, and criminal gangs from Utter Pradesh and Bihar, as well as local criminal gangs have filled the vacuum created by an absent state. The state has not been delivering its basic law and order responsibilities. All the political parties should develop a clear road map about the violence in Terai.And the Maoist party should also turned on a consensus on a national unity government otherwise country suffers a lot from foreign interference and ultimately the ungoing task of drafting new constitution will be hampered. So the new government including all the major political parties should be made. So there no alternative but to move ahead with consensus for national goodwill. We must and should think; if nation survives we are there if it is not there where we are going to find ourselves?. so The present Government should try to reach an understanding with the armed groups present in terai.
    Roshan kumar jha
    Kathmandu school of Law, Bhaktapur

  29. Roshan kumar jha, Gaur,ksl Avatar

    There is much lawlessness in the Terai. Violent political groups, Maoists, and criminal gangs from Utter Pradesh and Bihar, as well as local criminal gangs have filled the vacuum created by an absent state. The state has not been delivering its basic law and order responsibilities. All the political parties should develop a clear road map about the violence in Terai.And the Maoist party should also turned on a consensus on a national unity government otherwise country suffers a lot from foreign interference and ultimately the ungoing task of drafting new constitution will be hampered. So the new government including all the major political parties should be made. So there no alternative but to move ahead with consensus for national goodwill. We must and should think; if nation survives we are there if it is not there where we are going to find ourselves?. so The present Government should try to reach an understanding with the armed groups present in terai.
    Roshan kumar jha
    Kathmandu school of Law, Bhaktapur

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