How Maoist-Delhi Relations Soured

The game in the background. How India played a role in the downfall of the first ever democratically elected Maoist government in Nepal.

By Akhilesh Upadhyay

KATHMANDU- The turn of events that first led to the sacking and reinstatement of Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal exposed that relations between New Delhi and the Maoists once on the mend after their surprise election victory last April have now hit a low.

The writing on the wall was loud and clear: New Delhi and the Maoists had failed to see eye to eye on a number of key issues and had failed to manage their relations. It is a complex web of misunderstanding and mismanagement of crucial relations neither can afford to ignore, not least when the peace process stands at a fragile crossroads.

[This article first appeared on the front page of today’s Kathmandu Post. Here is the PDF version. Also, in the PDF version: Indian parties spat over Nepali crisis.]

It wasn’t always that way. In 2005, New Delhi facilitated the signing of the 12-point peace agreement between the Maoists and the Seven Party Alliance, a move that ended a three-way polarization in Nepali politics — between autocratic King Gyanendra, underground Maoists and the mainstream parties — and a protracted conflict.

For that, New Delhi had revised its two-pillar policy of supporting both the monarchy and the mainstream political parties and made a brave move towards giving the Maoists legitimacy. Active in helping the process were a number of Indian political leaders, but there were also two key bureaucrats involved — P. K. Hormese Tharakan, who headed the Indian intelligence RAW, and then-Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran. Both had been stationed in Kathmandu at some point in their careers and had a pretty sound understanding of the ground reality in Nepal. Many say the duo was instrumental in convincing a reluctant Prime Minster’s Office in New Delhi to legitimize the Maoists through the 12-point Compre-hensive Peace Agreement.

“Both Hormese and Shyam Saran are no longer involved. They had a strong sense of ownership in the peace process,” says a key interlocutor. Though Indian bureaucracy is a lot more sophisticated than the Nepali, informed sources say that the absence of these architects of the peace deal has left a void.

New Delhi, or at least a certain section therein, also felt that the Maoists had done a quick flip after they got what they wanted: the Constituent Assembly, end of monarchy, republican rule; they were even in government. “Delhi looked less important now. It felt there had been a deviation in the Maoist commitment to democracy and to work with other political parties — the bedrock of the 12-point agreement. A serious trust-deficit began to emerge between the two,” says the interlocutor. According to this theory, Delhi felt that the cost of maintaining relations with Maoists was huge and they had to be given a message: either you mend your ways or we will make you leave the government.

Another major deviation in Delhi’s perception was that Maoists were making a strategic foreign policy shift. A number of senior Maoist leaders have made frequent visits to China in the last one year or so and Beijing too has sent a number of high level delegations to Nepal, including that of seniormost military and foreign ministry officials. In a news report on Thursday, The Times of India notes that the Indian Army is “worried about the deft Chinese strategic inroads into Nepal and possible ‘Maoisation of the Himalayan country’s small but relatively professional army. The recent talk of a new peace and friendship treaty with China, according to this theory, would give Nepal-China relations a strategic footing.





20 responses to “How Maoist-Delhi Relations Soured”

  1. Jay Nepal Avatar
    Jay Nepal

    The country of BUDDHA …………………….believes in

    HIMSA Param dharma……………………………………….

    THe Country of Great Devkota………………..believes in

    Manis thulo jat le huncha ………… ………….
    (in response to racial cartoon against Prez) .

  2. reputation Avatar

    my experience with ambassies and so on is that the simple workers focus on the problem of the day. One day it is terrorism, another day swine flue.

    India is focussed on internal terrorism from Pakistan and so is Clinton. Denominating Pakistan one of the dangerous countries in the world.
    that is THEIR paranoid mind. Go explain our maobadi go explain our history we never had our own Gandhiji or his name is Shri Baburam Bhattarai.

    Fighting corruption and unequal theft.

    By good people themselves, that is what we wanted to see. And the hindus themselves disliked Gandhi for the same reason, and the nepalese and indians themselves did not understand prophet in their own country.

    Expect somebody to actually care when the nepalese themselves are carefree, they expected the maobadi to give them health and wealth in one second without having to work for it themselves.
    God will send money from the tree.

    No they are people like themselves and India is so not interested. They have lived with a lot worse than Nepal they have lived with Pakistan.

    One suggestion: erase the nutty word COMRADES. grow up.
    People is even myself. comrades sounds ridiculous it is only a bad translation in spanish we used companeros that sound more like friendship.

  3. change (human right, prosperous nepal) Avatar
    change (human right, prosperous nepal)

    who was behind president’s move ………. pro people nepalese or india? …………….

  4. reputation Avatar

    nepalese opposition with Mamma India and suckers for the past

  5. lumbini Avatar

    Happy Buddha jayanti or vesak!
    hindus not nice to buddhists they raped so many nuns.
    maybe prohibit tikka.
    it all comes from india bad business. Institutionalized wrong religion.
    even buddhists fight even muslims fight.
    what is wrong with everybody?
    Jain is a nice religion put a mask and sweep floor same time good against swine virus.
    do not kiss or come near anybody.
    Maybe cooperate with China and india on anti virus anti terrorism to some point my swine will cross a borderline.

  6. Jay Nepal Avatar
    Jay Nepal

    If there is ONE party who dances in Delhi tune is MAOIST

    This time the tune was in favor of peace process which did not
    suit for Maos.

    Now they crying and fooling people with NATIONALIST propaganda.

  7. xyz Avatar

    Now, the political embroglio is at an interesting point:

    1. How immature or biased are some newspapers in Nepal, they have already projected Makune as the future PM of Nepal. Makune is only hune hune PM, not actual PM. Every one should know that Makune is hostage to PuKaDa. Makune became CA membership through the nomination by the Cabinet, that means, Pukada can fire him within a minute once things are sure that he is going to be confirmed PM. Has anyone thought about this legal provision?

    2. In near future, Maoists are countering defaming video tapes similar moves – rumoured to be related to no other person than the president himself. Watch out boys and girls.

    3. In an exclusive interviw with ABC Tv, Pukada said that he had not resigned to give space for others so that they can freely loot the country – this means he is not giving up easily. More fights are in the fray.

    4. Subas Nemwang has responded the President that there cannot be next government without having parliament – this is a move to thwart any attempt to collect the signature of 301 CA members to form the government by bypasing the Parliament. When Pukada says of horse trading he is basically hinting of this signature campaign.

    5. Mainstream political parites, (acutally, they are side stream political parties now), are only onl palying reactive politics – they do not have any strategy and this clearly evidenced by how their pants were pulled out by Pukuda’s unexpected resignation.

  8. Jay Nepal Avatar
    Jay Nepal

    The fact is all Politicians and Political party are follower of India.

    They cry only when things don’t happen their way.

    Common Nepalese is born hating India only because of
    politician’s double tongue. Politician give hate speech but they
    always bend to their master in New delhi. India is not going
    to send army if you don’t obey them. So why politicians bow to India.

    But Indian influence has nothing to do with the corruption and
    underdevelopment prevalence in Nepal. These are all the misdeeds of our politicians.

    The following are examples of Indian influence:
    1. Rana-Congress govt formation in 2007.
    2. India remained silent in 2017 coup
    3. Restoration of democracy in 2046
    4. 12 point agreement
    5. Abolishion of Monarchy
    6. Favouring non-removal of Katwal.

    Think how many of the above is good or bad for Nepal

    Jay Nepal

  9. Rupak Avatar

    maybe i know very less to comment in these matters.. but we should stop blaming india for evey thing that happens in our country. if we had strong and capable politicians, we would have been able to manage things pretty well. the relationship is simple, donot disturb india’s interest (which stems from chinese involvement) and do not let them cross the limit (using china as an defence).. it has to be delicatley handled.. unlike maoist who went head on against india.. we are too small to bother much of india, so there is no point going head on against them..
    there is no wrong inn admitting indian interest (coz in reality if india wants something from nepal, we are too helpless to deny it.) the better option will be to make most of hay when the sun shines.
    neither complete capitualtion to indian interest helps (like most of other political parties)..we will have to make most benefit out of that.. and if they try to over step..we have to be bold to warn them with china as our defence…

    i wish we had some netas who had some brain able to think on national interest..and i really wish we had netas who would bank more on their ppl more than any political powers nd be honest to them on return. but we had prachanda, playing fool with his own countrymen..upendra yadav playing fool with himself tryin to make most of it when he was there..
    I bet i, myself would have done far far far better than these bastards…. sorry for the blasphemy but i could find any softer words…

  10. change (human right, prosperous nepal) Avatar
    change (human right, prosperous nepal)

    indian agent shah could not fulfill india’s dream …………. indian agent rana could not fulfill india’s dream …………… indian agent koirala could not fulfill india’s dream ………………… so they created maoist ……..(maoist were operating from delhi -i used to think they were operating from some border, every belief has changed after knowing they were in delhi ……………. during the war……………… india was supporting maoist ……. tagging them terrorist was just a ploy to make nepalese fool ……………………… because of the nepalese pressure………….. they can not support maoist openly ……………. so these messes are scene from outside ) …………………………….. chhetries, bahuns have proven themself incompetent , india better find next blood/gene

  11. change (human right, prosperous nepal) Avatar
    change (human right, prosperous nepal)

    prachanda has termed missile to his resignation but this idiot doesnot know he/maoist have been hit by N-bomb (the CD)

  12. Jay Nepal Avatar
    Jay Nepal

    A paragraph from an article by Wagle on ekantipur,

    But their strategy — controlling the army and capturing power — was defeated due to the wise decision of the president. They, therefore, seem hostile towards him as he thwarted their strategy. Probably considering their hidden agenda and sensitivity of the national army, the president took the much-needed decision at this very critical moment as per the principle of necessity for the sake of unity and purity of the NA and protection of the constitution. Had the president not taken the decision, they would have succeeded in controlling the army. And, once they controlled the army, they could easily capture state power to establish a people’s democracy on the strength of their own army and the divided national army.
    The decision of the president might be considered to be controversial from the constitutional perspective, but from a political perspective, it was inevitable at that very moment to avoid division of the NA and potential mutiny in the army that might invite an unfortunate accident in the history of Nepal. Had that incident occurred, not only the ongoing peace process, but the future of the federal democratic republic and the constitution drafting process would have been plunged into danger.

  13. change (human right, prosperous nepal) Avatar
    change (human right, prosperous nepal)

    do you remember, ………………….. maoist said they were digging trench to fight indian army……….. they were face to face with indian army in kala pani to chase them away ……………………………. it turn out that prachanda and company were living in delhi at that time ………….. they have fooled a lot

  14. Loft Avatar

    Nepalese leader take foreign relations with India as convieniance- When India played dirty, intrusive game of regime change, it was praise the lord. They did not care that by very action they were selling this nation down the river. So when I hear India bashing these days- all I want to repeat is “learn to put house in order rather than blame convienent neighbor who given a chance will skin chicken right of its bone.”

  15. reader Avatar

    What .. no Yechury? How can you even talk about all this without mention of that ass – who thought if somehow Nepal is ruled by his red-ladden brothers, he can show it to his followers as a success that red can after all prevail.

  16. votecow Avatar

    We need a funny president Obama makes jokes about himself, about Hillary hugging him, about grounding his children!
    Import funny

  17. baalmatlab Avatar

    You know what friends, did you ever take time to think that no matter which coalition govt. came to power in india there foreign policy never change regardless of what they say during election campaign. Economic plan started by one govt. wont be dead stopped by another govt., that is because they have a competent bureaucracy which is highly educated and skilled(Nobody whatsoever can influence the IAS,IPS and the IFS exams in any way, only merit
    0can we say that about LOKSEWA.

    We have become bloody cry babies, lets put our house in order first

  18. pb Avatar

    I don’t understand when they say “Indian pressure”. Why did Prachanda resign? Because of Indian pressure!! What does that mean? They would have shot him if he hadn’t resigned? Or they would have sent their bombers?

  19. Bhawesh Mishra Avatar
    Bhawesh Mishra

    Well the Indian government has always played and interfere in our internal matters………………………………

    .why shouldn’t they interfere?????

    A powerful entity will always try to suppress the weak one, affluent ones will dig at poor ones…..

    If we want Indian pressure and interference to be removed in one way or the other………then we have to toil hard, work in and for our country and should try to make it an economic and political giant of south asia….

    this is possible not only by posting blogs but also by stopping brain-drain, showing some political and economic will power, accepting the challenges of change…etc……..

    we Nepalese people just want to comment on blogs. But when the time comes to do something….we educated class will fly to foreign country in greed or politicians will sell out to foreign superpowers…….

    we are destined to poverty, interference and suppression…………

  20. coolguy Avatar

    AAaaa Akhilesh bhai timi lai pani lekhna aaucha…haha haha !!

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