The Resurgence of Nepali Nationalism

Maoist supremo is now on the threshold of refolding and re-writing Nepal’s history

If there is anything that the present government ministers have succeeded in doing, it is creating chaos and confusion among the people. One is just amazed to look at the mess that they have managed to create in such a short span of time. By giving a red carpet welcome to the Maoists in the capital city, which according to Prachanda himself his guerrillas could have otherwise never managed to overcome by military means, the seven party alliance is dismantling every institution, legal edifice and constitutional procedure that has taken over a decade to build and that are so essential for any democratic, modern nation of the 21st century.

There has been a commission formed to probe into atrocities committed during the people’s movement in which altogether 21 people died. Meanwhile, the perpetrators of a violent insurrection in which thirteen thousand lost their lives, were welcomed and cheered into the Prime Minister’s official residence. They have declared that the lower house is sovereign and have ordered all chiefs of constitutional bodies to come and take an oath before it not realizing that the same supremacy of the parliament could be used by a future dictator to transform himself from a democratically elected Prime Minister to a modern day Hitler.

If the parliament is regarded as “sovereign” then a Prime Minister who is selected from a political party that secures the largest number of seats can easily declare himself sovereign just like Adolf Hitler. Justices of the Supreme Court publicly declared that they will not go to the House for oath-taking and shamelessly the House proclamation was “revised” to go well with the warning given by the Justices. They have formed a small committee to draft an interim constitution but haven’t given the ToR nor the appointment letters to its members. Now, the committee is being expanded to induct a few women members.

Questions are being asked by the M.Ps themselves on how can two odd coordinators of the peace talks have the authority to announce the formation of a committee to draft an interim constitution of the country. One of the members Shambhu Thapa has publicly said that by not inducting a royal palace nominee in the committee, we have already opened the possibility of one of the three sides of the conflict to remain infuriated for a long time to come. Another member is a Maoist cadre while Sindhu Nath Pyakurel is said to be very close to the Maoist leadership.

Purposefully, we have already dismantled the 1990 Constitution hailed by many as being one of the best in the South Asian region for its liberal provisions on freedom of citizens and fundamental rights, while blindly entering into another without even knowing whether we can safeguard the fundamental rights enshrined by the 1990 Constitution itself.

Without giving up arms, the Maoists are set to join the interim government and some of the ministers are happy that the Maoists are finally going to join the mainstream. But the last time a political party with arms joined the government was the Fascist Party of Benito Mussoloni in Italy. Only in Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq the ruling parties also have their own private armies. If the Maoists join the interim government without giving up arms, they will practically be controlling two armies at the same time – the Nepal Army and their own People’s Liberation Army. Thanks to SPA, we will soon get a glorious opportunity to join the community of nations under the ‘axis of evil’.

The Nepal Army was infuriated by the reckless comments by the Maoist boss and naturally it had to speak aloud on its balconey only to be told by the Minister of Agriculture that it was not the business of the Army to comment on political matters. But what authority did the Minister of Agriculture himself have to comment on the remarks of the national army which essentially comes under the ministry of defense? One of the two Deputy Prime Ministers thought that the army was compelled to give a statement as no-one from the government said anything in this regard while the other Deputy Prime Minister thinks that the army’s conduct wasn’t proper. General Secretary of the CPN (UML) sensed “nothing wrong” in it while the Home Minister was not happy. Finally, the Maoist boss himself “corrected” his words in an interview with the state-run Nepal Television.

Amidst this confusion, U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, James F. Moriarty, said that his country would not recognize a government in Nepal if it inducts Maoists without them giving up arms. Indian Marxist leader, Sitaram Yechury, on his occasional visit to Kathmandu bounced back at the American envoy saying that Moriarty was clearly crossing diplomatic norms.

But, what diplomatic norm is Mr. Yechury himself following by coming to Kathmandu repeatedly and pressurizing the government to yield more to the Maoists? If an envoy of the Indian government in the form of a leader of the CPI (M) has to land in Kathmandu every now and then, what is the use of the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu which is regarded as one of the biggest of Embassies in the world? Besides, Prime Minister Koirala has just been to Delhi and had substantive talks with his counterpart including other Indian leaders. Yechury’s recurrent visits and his overtures to coerce the Nepal government to induct the Maoists with arms into the government or even to have an interim government headed by the Maoists is in fact a gross interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

Only in Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq the ruling parties also have their own private armies…. Thanks to the Seven Party Alliance, we will soon get a glorious opportunity to join the community of nations under the ‘axis of evil’.

Interestingly, it is said that Yechury’s party was actually on the side of China during the Indo-China war of 1962. After 45 years, the two blocks of the leftist parties of India are experimenting with another variety of armed conflict that will definitely have long-lasting effects on the national security interests of their own country. Quite a few articles are being written by Indian authors that suggest that India could well annex Nepal as it did with Sikkim in the eventuality of a Maoist takeover of Nepal. They feel that “Nepalese in the broadest sense would welcome India’s invasion of Nepal as the Maoists are hated and disliked for their atrocities committed for over a decade”.

But the Maoist leadership is smart enough to recognize which way the wind is blowing and whom to betray when. Just after a few days following Prachanda’s statement inside the Prime Minister’s residence in which he criticized the Nepal Army for betraying the proud Nepali nation ever since the Sugauli Treaty of 1816; a senior leader in the LTTE Mr Balasingham, one of the oldest confidants of LTTE supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran admitted the LTTE’s role in the killing of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It is indeed an irony that the LTTE which had received training, resources, material and moral support from India under Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi ultimately accepted blame for the killing of Rajiv Gandhi.

This same destiny is in some way repeating in Nepali politics by Prachanda publicly mentioning the Treaty of Sugauli in which Nepal lost much of its territory to British India. Prachanda has thus made himself the one and the only politician in contemporary Nepal to voice his resentment against this treaty which was inked in haste after Nepali Army’s defeat with the then British Empire. Over 5 million Nepalese speaking diaspora continue to live in various parts of India but still consider themselves as being part of the Great Nepal which stretched once upon a time from Tista to Kangra.

Thanks to the facilitation by New Delhi primarily by the two Indian leftist parties to bring the Maoists into the mainstream, New Delhi has repeated its LTTE fiasco and the Maoist supremo is now on the threshold of refolding and re-writing that part of Nepal’s history which is regarded as disgraceful and shameful by every nationalist Nepali. Prachanda could well be a leader of not only the Nepalis living inside Nepal but also those Nepali brothers and sisters that have been living outside. None after King Mahendra and Madan Bhandari have been able to enthrall the Nepalis on the self-respect that we were never colonized. If he wants to rectify his image tarnished by the killings of innocent Nepalis since 1996, Prachanda can and must use the nationalism card once again and get inducted in an interim government. The days of proud Nepali nationalism are visible here.

Ms. Preeti Koirala is an insurance executive of Nepali origin, based in the USA.