Nationalism Tirade of the Maoist Comrade

The question why it is important to forge unity with “royalist nationalists” at this juncture is even more puzzling.

By Ameet Dhakal

Last week, Prachanda launched his nationalism tirade. God knows why. But common wisdom tells us that autocrats of all hues and colors use the nationalism card to trump democracy. The Maoists never had democratic credentials; now that their commitment to it is in serious doubt, it’s quite natural for them to take refuge in nationalism (I am resisting from quoting Samuel Johnson who famously said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels).

Prachanda has called for a new unity among “royalist nationalists”, mainstream parties and the Maoists. His remarks raise two key questions:

1. Who are these “royalist nationalists”?
2. Why is it important at this point to forge a new unity with them?

Prachanda answered none of these questions. He wouldn’t.

His deputy commander Barsha Man Pun offered an explanation to the Kathmandu Post: The new nationalists are people in the military, police and bureaucracy. Huh, does that make any sense?

Two developments have taken place in the last few months that partly explain the Maoists’ latest distraction. First, an army general who aspires to become army chief by replacing Rookmangud Katwal established contact with the Maoists and told them that he would facilitate integration of the Nepal Army and the Maoists’ combatants should he become army chief. Sources say the current army leadership quickly reached out to the Maoists and told them that the army was not averse to the integration process, and that it was an issue to be decided by the political leadership.

Second, intelligence sources say Maoist leaders have held several meetings with royalists, including some former ministers in the king’s cabinet. It’s unclear who initiated these meetings and what their agenda was.

The question why it is important to forge unity with “royalist nationalists” at this juncture is even more puzzling.

The Maoists have been obstructing the constituent assembly polls arguing that elections were not possible without first abolishing the monarchy. But now they say that the country can’t move ahead without entering into an alliance with “royalist nationalists”? How are these people, whose very identity is “royalist”, different from the king? And if they support democracy, want peace and defend nationalism, are the Maoists saying that the king alone — ONE MAN — is trying to and is capable of obstructing the polls? Have they gone crazy?

One reason why the Maoists are increasingly chanting the nationalism slogan has to do with the India factor. During his last visit, former Indian Secretary Shyam Saran told the Maoists two things: First, the peace process and elections are inseperable, and if the Maoists shy away from the elections, it would rally the international community to encourage other parties to go for polls without the Maoists.

Second, the Maoists would no more be allowed to use Indian territory, as they did in the past, should they walk out of the peace process. The Maoists seem not only angry but increasingly nervous about India. Sources say that despite Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s hesitation, it was Prachanda and UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal who took the initiave to invite former US president Jimmy Carter to help with the stalled peace process. In the Maoists’ calculation, Carter could offer some counter balance to the increasing Indian pressure on them.

Divorced from reality, the Maoists are making silly calculations about regional and international geopolitics. In his interview with Rajdhani daily on Thursday, Prachanda said, “If the United States tries to suppress us, Europe will provide us some help. If India tries to suppress us, China will oppose it; and if someone else tries to supress us, Russia will support us.” Does this make any sense?

“Nationalist royalists” who were unhappy with India for “orchestrating” the April Uprising— millions of Nepalis coming out on the streets against the king means nothing to them just as seeking a fresh mandate from the people has no meaning to the Maoists— now see the Maoists as paragons of nationalism. They have a common interest: Deny the people their sovereign right.

Prachanda even urged the “big media” to understand the compulsion of this new unity with the “royalist nationalists” and act accordingly. Only a few weeks ago, Prachanda claimed that the “big media” had sold out to expansionaists and imperialists. How come that now you are urging “puppets” of expansionists and imperialists to support the “nationalist alliance”?

Ameet Dhakal is the news editor of the Kathmandu Post where this piece appeared first. Continue reading the article here.

Related: ????????? ?????? ??????????’ (editorial in Kantipur)

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22 thoughts on “Nationalism Tirade of the Maoist Comrade”

  1. This is just a stupid move by the Maoist players in the game of chess that being played in Nepal where the normal people are the chess board and they will never win but just be played on!

    Maoists made a move thats all. this is not the end of the game, it is like ta mero hatti khaye bhane ma tero ghoda khanchhu.

    The King was in “check” until the last move but now it seems like the “Royalists” brought in the Ghodaa to block the king and now the PM is in check (read: Girija)

    The Maoists are merely the ooots. Pretty soon they will be eaten by the Hatti (terai waasis)

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  2. When so much outside interference occurs, National interests must be put into the forefront. Maybe it’s required for at least 2 decades, maybe more, who knows?

    Using the nationalist theme isn’t a novel idea. The Chinese have done it. The British, Dutch, Belgians, Danes, Swedish, Norwegian have done it. The Indians and the Americans have done it.

    There’s no harm in using it. There’s only the objection of using it for all the wrong reasons.

    With Nepal as the central theme, we have to develop a system that works for us.

    Instead of all these ‘good-intending’ forces making arbitrary suggestions, they should sit down together, possibly with people who don’t have super-egos (e.g. King, Prachanda, Girija, Bamdev, Oli, Bhattarai, Badal.. the list goes on) and and find a common roadmap to lead Nepal in the correct direction.

    The tag of a communist, or a democrat, or a royalist, or a tyrant, or even a journalist cannot be applied as being the sole determining factor for someone to pursue national interests. Anyone can be a nationalist. And certainly, there are a lot of Nepalis who’d love to do something for Nepal.

    Unfortunately, right now, Nationalism is being used as a ploy to garner followers. It’s not going to happen. You have to be sincere and honest. It’s another of those whimsical decisions, a foray to be first in the rat-race that’s bogging us all down. I know we Nepalis are very unstable and jump ships quite easily and often, but even this is too much to digest.

    It’s self centeredness and selfishness that’s ruining everything- and nobody’s exempt from it. The Maoists, The Democrats, The Royalists, The Military, The Bureaucrats, The Student Unions…etc..etc.. are all caught in their own interests. Get out of it!

    Mr. Prachanda is daydreaming when he boasts of Nepal being salvaged by these forces. The only force that can salvage Nepal are the Nepalis.

    Running a country is like running a good business- it needs management, administration, Human Resources, stability, vision, objectives, goals, ambitions. I don’t see any of those on your list.

    Nationalism could be your objective. But mind you, time is running short, and better make some progress. People are getting desperate. Give them an outlet, or you’ll be trampled in the stampede yourself.

    And those of you who are snickering that I’m berating the Maoists, guess again. I am berating all the forces in Nepal. All of us are responsible for the mess. And all of us should make amends.

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  3. coño, maybe maoist have a point here.
    its quite clear that india is behind everything from the sucess of the maoist insurgency by providing shelter and arms to the insurgents, to the famous janaandolan 2. every thing is being decided in new delhi. and if anything is not going according to their plan they use what ever tactics they have got to get it their way. even the mighty comrade pachake seems to have got his tails between his legs. of course insia just hates the king as its quite clear. im sure gyane also has realized by now that india has been 2timing him. if there is no king then it will be far more easier for india to exploit nepal as we all know how corrupt is our system. im not saying that the royals are angels but it will cost indians more in amounts to bribe a royal then to bribe an public servant.

    but its not the point. the thing is if nepal wants to remain sovereign and free the best thing will be for the maoist and the royalist come together to fight the expansionaists and imperialists. we all need to be first nepali and then everything else.

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  4. When I first read this article I automatically assumed that it must have been the handiwork of some member of the Wagle clan. But I was a little taken aback that the author is a writer for the Kathmandu Post – a respected news paper.

    For the first time I see some positive sgins from the Maoist leadership. They seem to be moving or at least talking about moving in the right direction. There is a great article in the Nepali Times:

    http://www.nepalitimes.com/issue/377/Headline/14236

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  5. A vindication again, Maoists are without any political agendas and principles. They are somuch lost in the political mess now that cannot even figure it out the wayout.

    And yes, why not royalists?? Congress did it with Surya Bdr Thapa, UML did with Lokendra Bdr Chand so, why maoists shouldn’t opt for that?? It’s the great irony of an unfortunate country called Nepal, we came to the same place where we started. People are being fooled and betrayed again but this time you cannot oppose it becasue it is done by the great revolutionery party who has the backing of all the “people”.

    Atleast all the evils are standing on the one side and people on the other, when we throw them out, there will not be even a single evil left, not a royalists ,not SPAs ,not a maoists.!!

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  6. I find it amusing to read that Baburam admitting that the Maoists will loose in elections. He claims the Maoists shouldn’t participate in an elections in which they are bound to loose. But he says that’s unfair because the Maoists proposed progressive ideas and they should have the opportunity to implement them. That a different line of rethoric that what Prachanda said in the NT article.

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  7. Everybody seems to have missed the primary fingerprints. The Chinese delegation. True, China has been engaging with the SPA and the Maoists. But has it withdrawn its support for the monarchy?
    Beijing seems unconvinced about the Maoists’ ability to steer clear of Indian diktats. Pressure for an alliance with the palace was in the works from the moment the royal regime collapsed. In Beijing’s view, an alliance with the royalists would offer the Maoists greater international acceptability without having to establish itself as the principal external prop of such a front. Prachanda and the royalists may phrase it any way they like, that is the bargain the Chinese have struck. And there is a precedent here — Khmer Rouge and Sihanouk in Cambodia.

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  8. If MAOISTS want to get some credit from the peace process they should allow the CA election without any condition and accept the
    result even if they lose. In that case people will not only give them
    some credit but will also start to accept Maoists as a believable political force. In fact the whole idea of CA and republican was their agenda, but if they delay further it will be the agenda of all MINUS MAOISTS.
    Maoists will have only to blame themselves.

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  9. The word “Nationalist” is very important at this moment. All those, ethnic groups, who are fighting for their genuine rights also should be nationalist. Why Mr. Sitaula so worried about nationalist word. The nationalist can be NC, can be UML and maoist and can be ethnic parties and can be royalist too. All we need is unity and nationalist at this moment.

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  10. Isn’t it dirty? politics indeed is?

    When maoist first domisticated themselves from the wild, I thought it was the good example they had set to us and to the world. Deep in my feeling, I had felt that they could be the force that would unit the chain that was famously quoated by Prithivi naryan shah ‘jaat and barna ko fulbari ho’, even though we had been reading such text line earlier, it was mere an academic slogan.

    I suppose well respected writer are in better position in helping to built a better community by educating them with there good analysis and creative thinking but here I find this article rather destructive and demorilizing. Is there anything there that could support the building of better Nepal? Everybody knows that post Janandaloon II, ultimately it is the people that is in power, the parties, are just the agents that does the work?

    We at present are in a state of crash, and want to recover. It is our duty to help in the recovery process, and yes! we can critisized them to their arrongance, stupidity but I see no good relation for the forge thing with the nationalist, what I see from here is the maoist are desperately trying to accommodate all the elements that is needed to built the nation? who knows, other might follow the suit. Unite not divide. We don’t want madheshi, Limbuwan, khumbuwan, churebhamar etc to ask for seperation we want them to unite.

    Maoist’s fear in losing the election and their earlier withdrawal from the interim speaks how weak and frail they are. This hints they are not as big as they spells.

    I encourage the writer to write some thing more constructive which can help the readers.

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  11. “Who are these royalist nationalists?”

    Nepalese citizens just like maoists, congressis etc.

    It’s as silly as asking the question:
    Who are these nationalists Congressis or maoists etc?

    There is no question about it, that reconciliatory politics is a must for unity and peace in Nepal.

    One hopes that Prachanda made this statement out of genuine concern for the state of the nation and it is not just another political trick.

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  12. Vashir if running a country is like running a business do not blame clients to buy elsewhere.
    Isn’ t that what your self did.
    so let superegos manage, you are not going to be it first get back to Nepal then we vote for you ok.

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