On the Highway to People’s Republic

By Krishna Giri

I do not know much about Tanka P Acharya, who broke the traditional trend by visiting China, and hence can not speculate on the facts of media coverage then. However, when Maoist supremo followed Acharya’s footsteps, many Nepali and Indian tabloid have covered the news as ‘first time’ adding historic, challenging, brave etc. Keeping the tradition of ‘Baleko Ago Tapne’, media and civic societies never bother to compare the trip in its core terms. The purpose of Achary’s trip to China was to show the integrity and sovereignty of an independent nation, when India was trying to swallow the region after freeing from multiple generation of colonisation. Where as, Prachanda’s trip to China was to visit the Mao’s home, a shrine for communists, and to appreciate the success of a totalitarian regime. In Hindu traditions, when people start to do some ‘Subhakarya’, they visit some temple and Prachanda did exactly the same by visiting the Mao’s home to initiate his mission to establish Nepal as People’s Republic. His mission has started from China but it will not be completed without getting blessings from India. And he is back after having mysterious blessings from India. We do not know the contents in that package of blessings but he had illustrated to the world a lucid picture of a Nepali executive head while hugging Indian PM. His posture, gesture, facial expression, and body language were by no means a representation of a PM and if I have to compare that event with some one, I would compare that with a 5 year old hugging an uncle who offers him/her heaps of lollies. Nevertheless, I do respect him as a leader but not his ideology.

Prachanda knows better than any one else about India and her roles in the recent years that give rise to Maoists in Nepal. Their safe hideaways during insurgency; 12 pact agreement arrangements; Jana Andolan II; overthrow of the Monarchy; CA election; and CA alliance for PM. These all have happened only because of India. I do not recall any leader from SPAM who opposed the above roles of India. Maoists have publicly acknowledged that credit to their success goes to wrong moves by the King and 12 pact agreement with SPA. Nepali politics is being rocked by shifting of Indian favouritism from traditional NC to Maoists. These unprecedented moves by India have created havoc among democratic forces in Nepal, particularly NC. Knowing the fact that they have failed to deliver any concrete objectives to people for almost two decades and almost 70% Nepalese people have voted for one or other communists’ party in recent popular poll, the only hope for NC to lingering around POWER was India. Detour Delhi ‘RUN’ by Girija during SAARC summit was not successful to electrify Delhi Palace. Shattered by CA poll results, unsuccessful presidential motive, and upsetting Delhi run, Koirala had shown tremendous fitness in his late eighties to knock every possible political doors to revive the Presidential ‘unholy alliance’, as referred by Maoists. Koirala had two objectives:

1. To show his power and influence in Nepali politics and
2. To send a clear message to Delhi Palace – ‘ We are not finished yet’

India has political, social, economic, and security interests in Nepal. Especially with the recent economic boom, one of the most challenging issues for India is to meet the energy demand. India always have had ‘eagle eye’ on Nepal’s hydropower resources but failed to cooperate with Nepali regimes in the past. Royal regime was dominated by ‘anti Indian’ and ‘nationalism’ sentiments whereas post 2046 regimes were too unstable, controversial and corrupted. India needed a stable regime in Nepal who listens to India. India has realised that what they achieved in 50years with NC can be achieved in 5 years with the Maoists. Maoist’s success in grass level through insurgency and their demonstrated loyalty to India in last few years were compelling enough for India to recognize them as ‘new power’ of ‘new Nepal’. India needs hydro power, a security buffer zone, a social inclusive zone, and a power play agenda in vis-à-vis with China. And Indian can achieve all those objectives through a stable government in Nepal. Maoist’s want to stay in power for at least few decades, declare Nepal a People’s Republic through democratic process, generate 10,000MW of power in 10 years, massive infrastructure and social developments, strengthen youth force and establish labour camps (employment). And Maoists can achieve all these objectives with positive gestures from India.

Recent open remarks made by Prachanda in Delhi to declare Nepal a People’s Republic within 2 years through CA assembly have raised lots of eyebrows among political pundits in South Asia. Maoist’s constant remarks on People’s Republic and India’s unbroken calmness and softness in these notes have left the Nepali democratic forces in very difficult and dangerous juncture. NC, the largest democratic force in the country, is vastly engaged in intra party feud and they have lost grounds in the grass root levels. YCL and PLA control the 90% of rural Nepal and that left the democratic forces to work and plan only in urban areas. Maoists want to finish their unfinished business by not letting democratic forces to go back to rural areas and trap them in urban areas, and suppress them democratically. The way Maoists are heading and the support they are getting from India, Nepal is well and truly on the highway to become world’s newest People’s Republic. To satisfy the democratic process, it may happen through CA Assembly, it may happen through a referendum, or it may happen though next parliament. It all depends on the process that India and US see as more democratic. End of the day, what matters is ‘how others see our democracy’ rather than ‘how we see our democracy’. India finds acceptable democracy in Bhutan, US finds in Saudi Arabia, and China finds in Vietnam. The recent activities by one of the high profile Maoist minister in Siraha and extra judicial killing of a youth NC leader in Kathmandu, have demonstrated the style of governance we going to have in new Nepal. The emergence of militant style youth forces from leftist parties have indicated for transformed approach of ‘Mao’s cultural revolution’. If ‘morning shows the day’, I leave that to you to envisage on the ‘Maoists day’ ahead.

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