The press release issued by the United States Embassy in Kathmandu on November 4 expressing alarm over the possible alliance between Maoists and Nepal’s political parties has put the agitating seven parties on the back foot. Depending on their political affiliation, people have different takes on this issue. If nothing else, the press release has definitely served the purpose of stalling the politicians who are in a mad rush to grab power.
Their desperateness shows that they miss their heyday more than the need for a well functioning democracy and freedom in Nepal. How can be someone be so naive as to believe that an alliance with Maoists will help us establish a modern democratic society?
For Maoists, power comes from barrel of a gun. Unlike people with faith in multi-party democracy, for maoist guerrillas, terror is the key to power. They have an attachment to antique dogma which is an embarrassment even to the present day Chinese government. Thus, any kind of alliance with Maoist insurgents is not only anti-democratic, but also morally repugnant.
Current remarks by cadres of mainstream political parties on an alliance with maoist insurgents exhibits their desperateness for power rather than the establishment of meaningful and stable democracy and democratic institutions in Nepal. They seem to have lost track of what they stand for. The U.S. press release may be a boomerang for those that are in desperate haste to power, but for the rest of the population that believe in multi-party democracy, it is the best possible intervention.
Let’s assume a hypothetical scenario whereby an alliance between Maoists and political parties achieves its goal of republican set up in Nepal. What after the victory? Will the Maoists lay down their arms and embrace multi-party democracy? Will they allow political parties that believe in multi-party democracy to resort to peaceful means to power? There is no basis to trust these insurgents. They have time and again withdrawn from their commitment and have committed crimes against humanity. The Madi scar is still fresh and the soil is soaked with innocent blood that has not dried yet. If this proposed alliance is allowed to take off, it will put the entire Nepalese population in grave danger.
We could be in a worse situation than we are today. It could open a door for Maoist rule and turn the nation into the world’s next killing fields. A Nepal under the control of Maoist rebels will be worse than what Nepalese people are confronting now.
Let us not forget what is happening in other parts of the country that already is in the insurgents’ grasp. Abduction and recruitment of child soldiers, establishment of labor camps, and ideological indoctrination of children in schools, assassination of journalists, teachers, and administration of justice through an unqualified tribunal have forced people to flee for their lives.
The Maoist insurgents’ brutal ways of functioning has created a huge mass of internally displaced people, who are forced to live a substandard life which they don’t deserve at all. So the million dollar question we now confront is, do we want to spend the rest of our lives in constant fear and uncertainty? Do we want to raise our children under the shadow of a regime for whom forceful abduction and recruitment of child soldiers is the best possible way to fight for political change? We deserve a better life for ourselves and generations to come.
As Maoists are against the monarchy, some of our politicians might have thought that their enemy’s enemy is their friend. Political parties should not forget that maoists are supporting political parties not because they believe in multi-party democracy or they are genuinely interested in peaceful coexistence. They are supporting political parties because they can have an easier victory over political parties than the king and his army in the later stage of their so called revolution.
For now, with the romantic cozy affair with political parties, they want to propagate the advocacy of democracy versus monarchy because it is really important for them to win big cities where agitating political parties have a strong hold.
They want to defeat the stronger enemy which is the king and his army with the help of a weaker enemy first and then make a decisive attack on the weaker enemy. Their main aim is to settle for nothing less than a radical socialist republic. If political parties really want to establish a meaningful democracy in Nepal, they should reach out to their constituents and reinvigorate their bases rather than joining hands with terrorists. The hands of these insurgents still bear the strong smell of blood of Dikendra Thapa and the innocent victims of the Madi massacre.
Instead of joining hands with Maoist insurgents, the political parties should reform and apologize to the Nepalese people for their past misdeeds and convince them to join the movement for democracy. This could slowly but surely win the hearts and minds of the Nepalese people and energize them to participate in a movement for democracy in Nepal. It may take few yeas to achieve this, but a couple of years is not a long period in the history of a nation.
The road to a meaningful and stable democracy is not an easy one and everyone should work relentlessly rather than opting for a short cut. Democracy established through a peoples’ movement will be far more stable and meaningful than one established with the help of radical Maoists’ support.
Hari Bansha Dulal is a Nepali Doctoral candidate, Environmental Science and Public Policy George Mason University, Virginia, USA.
By Hari Bansha Dulal