Seven Party-Maoist Front and Prospects for Peace, Democracy in Nepal

With the help of their Indian interlocutors and massive nudging by US diplomats, a united front comprising the misalliance of the seven political parties and the Maoists has finally been formed.

Both the Indian and American governments, which hitherto had classified the Maoists as ‘terrorists’, no longer do so. They are now worthy to be considered negotiating partners. The leading critic in the American Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy, who has absolutely no understanding of ground realities in Nepal, also welcomes the so-called return of the Maoists to the ‘mainstream.’

The once glorious Nepali Congress – with King Tribhuban the leading political force that ousted the autocratic Ranas – has now been reduced to an appendix of the now overwhelmingly communist dominated front. It is ironic that normally intelligent next generation leaders accept the evil machinations of the senile Koirala.

The Indian government is convinced that it will be able to control, not only the leaders of this ominous front, but also unfolding events – all to the benefit of its own national interest. The United States, as the strategic partners of India in South Asia, has now fallen in step with the Indian line of thinking.

Patriotic Nepalese have now to consider very carefully between what is said, and what is actually meant. Above all, we have to very carefully weigh the prospects of restoring ‘the democratic process.’ Can we, or should we accept at face value the promises of diehard Marxists-Leninists-Stalinists (who have failed all over the world and have been branded as enemies of an open society), a Pol Pot type of movement (still butchering innocent brothers and sisters) and fellow-travellers like the Kangresi (with an uninterrupted record of misgovernment and graft after the restoration of parliamentary democracy)?

The very agenda of the communist dominated front is highly suspect and must be opposed tooth and nail. First, there is the impossible demand for an interim government in which the Maoists are also to participate! It seems the front is already in agreement on this point. At a time when their sham ceasefire is not at all functioning, such a government cannot be entertained.

Is this what US ambassador Moriarty means when he states that there is “continued need for the King to reach out to the political parties to find an effective way to work toward restoring democracy.” Thanks, but no thanks!

Second, there is the specter of a constitutional assembly. This is only a bogus constitutional ploy to abolish the monarchy and introduce a republican set-up. However, the overwhelming majority of the Nepalese people are aware that the real purpose of the monarchy is ‘to provide a sense of continuity and a rock of loyalty on which a nation can be built and sustained.’ The Shah dynasty has been doing just that for nearly 250 years!

Moreover, in the present state of affairs, without the monarchy, the Nepalese state will really ‘wither away.’ The Maoists, the other communists and the Kangresi do not have a genuine stake in the continuity of our nation. On the other hand, the Nepalese monarchy has emerged as a practical, emotional and promotional force to help unite a fractured nation, impregnated with social, economic and political uncertainties.

The hate campaign of our traitorous politicians, ‘human rights’ activists and their foreign supporters must be resisted by all patriotic Nepalese for the sake of our children and our children’s children. The front’s commitment to democracy is extremely shallow. It will now attempt by means of demonstrations, bandhs and blockades to pressurize the King and the current royal regime.

However, the inherent weakness of the communist-dominated front means that this ominous formation is wholly dependent on foreign mental, psychological, and above all, financial support. The support from the people is still lukewarm; at most only party cadres are in any way enthusiastic. The King will remain steadfast – he is uncompromisingly committed to the agenda of returning to the democratic process via free and fair elections. And these very elections will be the litmus test for the political parties to be judged ‘democratic’ and patriotic and for the Maoists to be considered fit to return to mainstream politics.

The Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) remains a bulwark for people’s rights and will guarantee that the elections are impartial and uninhibited. It is uncompromised and will not allow insidious infiltration.

Therefore, US Senator Leahy and those of his ilk need not worry too much about the RNA being provoked into unnecessary action against demonstrators. His inflammatory statement that the RNA may have to make a choice between a “corrupt and repressive monarchy and the people” is mere propaganda a la Nazi Goebbels and brands him as an enemy of the Nepalese people’s legitimate aspirations.

It is not King Gyanendra who has imperial designs, but the US and India which are truly following a neo-imperialistic policy vis-a-vis Nepal. The King is resolute in directing our country toward a national conscience of hope and pride.

Shashi PBB Malla
Shashi P.B.B. Malla writes incisive political opinion about the politics and politicians of Nepal. He sometimes writes with fellow contributor, Chandra Bahadur Parbate.Educated in Darjeeling, India, with a certificate from Cambridge University, he went to College and university in Calcutta: I. Sc./St. Xavier's, B.A. (Hons.)/ Presidency, M.A. (International Relations)/Jadavpur, India. He was Assistant Editor: The Rising Nepal, Kathmandu.He is or was the Country Representative, DAV Summit Club, Munich (Germany's leading adventure tour operators in mountaineering and trekking)He is a Senior Lecturer, Conflict, Peace and Development Studies, Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu