Nepali Times Asian Paints
FDR of Nepal


It is a toss up, who will gather bigger crowds in Kathmandu: Ramdev or Prashant.

The yoga guru's trip seems to have been jinxed from the very first day: first by Nepali incompetence and then by the gods of rain. Home Minister Sitaula was so spooked when he finally made it to Kapilbastu that he decided to cancel the show without telling the prime minister. The Maoists had told Sitaula Ramdev may say one can't attain nirvana if one is secular. The guru's disciples swung into action using source and force to get the Tundikhel mass breathing exercises reinstated.

Compromise was reached, so Sitaula, Shekhar and Poudel all trooped off to expel polluted air from their lungs with explosive pumps from their diaphragms. But the guy who needed it the most, The Fearsome One, didn't go. Pity. Hope he was watching it all on live tv.

But Mahara did make it. Flanked by Arjun Narsingh KC of NC and NP Saud of NC-D, Mahara introduced Saud to Ramdev as being from the "democratic congress" and KC from the "undemocratic congress". So the comrades have a sense of humour after all, and this is what makes Mahara the Ass' favourite Maoist.


Our first ever secular Indra Jatra went off without a hitch, except that the chariot's axle broke, the diplomats were stuck at Gaddi Baithak for two hours, the PM (playing king) couldn't throw coins at the Kumari because he kept disappearing from the balcony to rest, and police had to baton charge royalists showing black flags and mistakenly took dancers from the Bhairab Nach group into custody. Ironically, when Kingji attended the function last year it was the Maoists with the black flags. Throughout all this, the little Kumari herself looked rather bemused. With such bad omens will she bother to bless the country for another year?


Is it just the Ass that finds it a bit strange that if the Maoist ministers have resigned from government, shouldn't their four ambassadorial appointees also resign? On moral grounds, as it were? After all, their appointments were approved by the cabinet only a week before the comrades walked out of government. But with these plenipotentiaries all packed up and ready to go, who is going to tell them they can't? What's to prevent Comrade Pampha and the others staging a sit in and burning tyres outside the party HQ at Buddhanagar?

The Maoist ambassadorial candidates are not just compromise candidates for the seven parties, but also represent a compromise within the party's hardline dissidents who have now pushed Awesome and Laldhoj into a minority. While the leadership is passing the buck to the Finance Minister, saying it hasn't got money for the cantonments, the Cloudy One reportedly accused Awesome of giving each guerrilla in the camps only Rs 500 of the Rs 3,000 a month it got from the government. Ouch.


Elder Statesman KP Bhattarai never ceases to amaze, he may have committed the last political hara-kiri of his life by standing by the crown, but don't dismiss the old man yet. Does he know something we don't, especially after meeting COAS Katuwal before submitting his resignation? He did play a significant behind-the-scenes role in getting Deuba and Girija to shake hands. Was the alluringly slimmed-down Arzu prodding hubby boy with her umbrella not to take up the Maoist offer to make him PM if he refused to unite with the NC? Anyway, Girija's declaration of the FDR of Nepal was too much for Bhattaraibaje, so he quit in disgust.


The YCL asks the CDO for police protection when it travels to the eastern tarai these days.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)