What most people had feared in their wildest dreams is now coming closer home. A total Maoist seizure of Nepal seemed unimaginable but as they now adopt into action Chairman Mao’s doctrine of “seizing the cities from the villages”, it seems that the mainstream political parties gave them the space, the golden opportunity and indeed their flag to carry out an operation that other countries would have dealt with overwhelming might and military power to prevent the country falling into the hands of those that believe in “eliminating the class-enemy” and one-party communist dictatorship.
Till now, the tactics has worked with remarkable accuracy. City dwellers of Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Dhangadi, Birgunj and Chitwan are amazed to see new faces in their towns pelting stones, braving rubber bullets, burning tyres, placing bolders at street centers and shouting provocative slogans. These “new faces” have all arrived from the adjacent villages and most of them are well-trained Maoist guerrillas.
There are at least 3 cases of firing from on behalf of the protestors towards the policemen. On April 16 th they stoned the Pulchowk branch of the Himalayan Bank Limited. Why do protestors demanding the restoration of democracy need to vandalize the post office premises, smash cars, try to enter the private residences of police officers, and smash the windows of a bank where thousands of depositors have kept their money and valuables?
The statement signed by Prachanda and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai also proves that this agitation is essentially a Maoist program merely “supported by the agitating parties.” In a BBC radio interview, spokesman of the CPN (Maoist) also clarified that this movement is a Maoist program contrary to the parties’ claim that the Maoists had not infiltrated into the agitation.
While the confusion goes on, the protests have been anything else but peaceful. Dozens of policemen have been hurt, five deaths, private households are terrified with the prospect of rioters entering home and vandalizing their private property, but the so-called democracy movement goes on simply to satisfy the Maoist yearning for total power. The parties have fallen into the Maoist trap as they have given not only their flags but also their slogan and in that rigmarole, the terrorist who was about to climb atop a telephone tower in Pokhara to set it ablaze has been named as a “martyr”. If people that destroy government buildings, telecom towers and vandalize private houses are termed as “martyrs,” why not call all the Maoist rebels who have been killed in the last 10 years of the insurgency also as “martyrs”?
Everyone knows that the crowd that has gathered for the so-called restoration of democracy aren’t the cadres of the seven party alliance nor are they common people desiring competitive multi-party system in which periodic elections are held and those that rule have to be elected once in every five years.
They are villagers terrified by the Maoists and “ordered” to go on a seize as dictated by their commanders. Before it used to be “orders” to attack a police post, an army base or a district headquarter; now it simply to chant slogans, burn tyres and wave flags. This time it is much easier for the crowd long abreast with living under the shadow of the gun of the Maoists. If this crowd is allowed to run amok in Kathmandu or in any major town of Nepal, it will be a repeat of the fall of Vietnam where thousands of petty bourgeois capitalists were eliminated in the name of “class enemy”.
The King in his democracy day message called for reconciliation and a dialogue with the political parties and even went ahead of offering them “responsibility” to hold general elections within the year 2063 B.S. The party leaders, as they are in a suicidal mission, discarded the call by the monarch.
Here, all Nepalese must realize who is the real roadblock for a true reconciliation, peace and stability. After all, who are the political leaders? They were elected seven years ago and that parliament was dissolved by none other than the elected Prime Minister himself. Don’t they have to renew their membership of the parliament? Can democracy be restored without elections? What is wrong in at least accepting the call for a dialogue with the head of state when the party leaders themselves see before their eyes the looming Maoist threat at their doorstep? Why don’t they form an all-party government and in the first cabinet meeting recommend the reinstatement of the House? The King has no authority to re-instate a dissolved house. Why don’t they hold a dialogue with the monarch, form an all-party government and then seek ways from the Supreme Court on whether the old house can be resurrected?
In this context, it is worthwhile to gaze the tremendous amount of conspiracy against the Nepali state by one section of the international community. In the guise of helping democracy, human rights and press freedom what they and their sponsored INGOs have done is fragmented the Nepali society in which everyone distrusts the other side.
A country that never surrendered to the British Empire has now been punctured within by some elements of our own society. What is essentially a Maoist seizure of the urban areas of Nepal has been falsely termed as a popular uprising against the monarchy. Nationalist Nepalese must understand that Nepal’s geo-strategic location in between India and China is one of the most vital and critical in the world and thus is the amount of conspiracy to turn it to another Lebanon or Afghanistan or Sikkim.
That is why the world-wide war against terrorism led by the United States stops in Nepal and the threat of Naxalites in Indian states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand has no impact even if the Maoists takeover Nepal. India wants the Maoists of Nepal to be brought into the mainstream of politics but its own Prime Minister threatens not to “have a dialogue” with them until they lay down their arms. This clear double-standard has now been clearly exposed. Some Indian newspapers are already talking of a military intervention in Nepal not realizing the same fate that they may meet as that of the IPKF in Sri Lanka.
All sensible Nepalese must rise to the occasion and understand that democracy is not more important than the nation itself. They also ought to understand the gravity of threat against the very survival of the nation. Or else, “democracy” may never be there nor an independent Nepal.