Nepali Times Asian Paints
Prachanda's choice


In more than twenty years of heading a 'revolutionary' party, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has had to make difficult decisions on several occasions. But the next month may well be the ultimate test of his political judgment, priorities and leadership.

At Khula Manch this week, Dahal made it clear there could no peace or constitution as long as this government is in place.

To oust Madhav Kumar Nepal, Maoists could table a no-confidence motion and get 301 seats. This approach has been under consideration in the party, but senior leaders like Dr Baburam Bhattarai have opposed replacing one majority government with another.

He is reported to have argued that the country needs a national unity government to complete the transition, not merely a Maoist-led government with the support of a few smaller groups. Bhattarai believes that the Maoists should project this government as a total failure, wage a public campaign to discredit it further, and then assert its claim to the leadership as May 28 approaches.

For a national unity government to be formed, NC and UML have laid out strict conditions Ė an agreement on the future of former Maoist combatants, and the dismantling of the YCL. Even then, non-Maoist parties and India will not be willing to accept Dahal as the Prime Minister. Bhattarai's name has been thrown up as a compromise candidate.

Since the peace process began, the party has been driven by Dahal's leadership and Bhattarai's political line. But this would overturn that formula.

Dahal is understandably insecure. He has told aides that a 'deep conspiracy' is underway to sideline him and divide the party. Critics allege that this insecurity is essentially a result of Dahal's excessive ambition and fear that Bhattarai could develop his own power base and emerge as a better PM than he was. But Dahal supporters say that he is more concerned about the implications on party structure and the balance between its various factions.

Dahal is being asked to give up on certain key instruments of the party machinery (like the PLA and YCL); dilute his political agenda; convince the cadre about the need to transform; sideline dogmatists; and accept Baburam Bhattarai or someone from another party as the compromise prime minister of a national government.

It is a tough check-list, requiring statesmanship, sacrifice, confidence about one's own personal strengths, and faith in colleagues. Dahal's decisions and political skills will determine the future of Nepali politics.

Not impossible, publisher's note - From issue #497, 9 April 2010 - 15 April 2010
Diplomatic disaster, by Bhekh B Thapa - From issue #497, 9 April 2010 - 15 April 2010

1. ssrj

This is an opportunity for Dahal to prove that he is made of better stuff than the much ridiculously posthumously lauded Girija. Girija, Maoists and the King together ruined Nepal. Dahal has an opportunity to rectify that by thinking of Nepal first and his own personal ambitions second. The question is whether he has the intellect and morality to do the right thing. We will know soon

2. Nirmal
Prachanda is a fan of superman(most probably communist ones) and pretend to be, may be they called defeatist mentality exercising statesmanship, who knows. It is seemed that Baburam doesn't feel proud to not be able to use a computer or not knowing English(the guy has Board first record but is in archaic company) and tries hard to know them. But for Pushpa Kamal Dahal they are useless. Haamra baubajelai, purkhalai nachahiyeko kura haaamilai kina( If our ancestors-Lenin Stalin or Mao- didn't need them why should we)? my small try to read their mindset as it is being demonstrated so often.

3. KiranL
Nice shirt, comrade!

4. Concerned Citizen

Prachanda does not have political or intellectual caliber to be a successful national leader. He is good at manipulating truths and deceiving both indoctrinated semi-educated party cadres and clueless highly-educated international pundits. Maoists of modern day Nepal are not revolutionaries. They may have been guided by revolutionary feelings during the war but now they have turned into an insincere mafia looking for a loot.

I am not that optimistic about Baburam Bhattarai either but he may be the best short-term bet for Nepal. Baburam's desires for better Nepal at least seems more genuine. There are no leaders in Congress or UML who can step up to the task. I think Nepal can only prosper if following things happen in succession:

1. Baburam leading national government as a short-term solution.

2. Consensus constitution being drafted that endorses multiparty democracy, rule of law and judicial supremacy.

3. Maoists breaking up into two or three groups with a more moderate group being the biggest group after the split.

4. Nepali Congress getting a completely new generation of leaders.

4. Free elections with groups led by Prachanda and his corrupt cronies sidelined.

5. Arthur
If only the Maoists would give up key instruments of the party machinery and dilute their program etc they could become as deeply and widely respected as the UMLs.

Dreaming that Baburam Bhatterai wants to become another MKN indicates that the Kathmandu talkocracy is even more marginalized and panic stricken than I had thought.

6. Danny Birch
Dahal and the Maovadi are only interested in consolidating power and misuse "so-called" democratic elections and non-issues like the constitution and "rule of law" only to create an impression that they are responsible and caring. Their aim is to demolish the society and rebuild it according to their own twisted communist ideology. Anyone who thinks that they mean well or have any noble intentions is dreaming or blind. 

7. DON
KiranL Jee
Not only nice shirt  comrade but also suit and watch. I wonder how much it cost??...while, lots of people who fought for his/ their ideologue still struggling for gaas, baas ra kapaas.

8. Gautam Buddha
The parties messed up our country. It may be too late to ask, but do we really want a multi-party democratic system where the leaders are loyal to their parties and not to the country?

9. K. K. Sharma

Prashanta, thinks,,,,,,, like children do..... that the puppets dance on their own, without seeing the strings making them do what they do.

The case of NA and the priest of Pashupati, should by now have made Prachanda Baje  realise that  he needs to get permission form his Masters in Delhi first, to do whatever he wishes to do.

10. Kamal Kishor

Very true that Dahal is the man. He has been in that position for more than half a decade. So far, even though the Maoists have done everything to bankrupt Nepal politically, socially, religiously, and economically, luck has been their side. But the current situation in Nepal needs more than luck: it needs vision, values, and demands ahering to some minimum democratic principles and this is where he has misearably failed.

He needs to understand that this junction of Nepal demands de-criminalization of politics and he has to take the lead as it is his comrades who are criminalizing the politics at all levels. Unless he takes a stand against YCL and criminals inside the party, no body should accept him as a new PM. Same applies to Baburam. If Baburam believes that a national unity government is the need of the hour then he should take the lead in reconcilation with other parties and civil society.

They had been given chances to govern and they failed misearably. Unless they stop believing that intimidation is the final tool of governance, no body should support them.

11. wtf

only in Nepal can it happen , no? why do people even recognize someone with 14000+ deaths on his head? why even write an article on such a piece of S***? leave alone him being an 'important political person'..what *revolution* has come to the country? what has changed?...oh yes, now we have shower bars, and goons asking us 'hafta'....

I don't see ANY benefit what so ever this "revolution" has brought..except maybe death, disaster, grief and taking the country back eons...another power hungry B******

12. Arthur
Interesting question in #8 "do we really want a multi-party democratic system...".

All the comments so far #1 to #10 indicate that the authors do not have the necessary mental concepts to be able to discuss political matters as equal citizens in a multi-party democracy.

Not understanding what it is, makes it impossible for you to want it, whatever you say about it.

If this mentality was universal in Nepal then of course the country would indeed be too backward and ignorant to be capable of multi-party democracy. Any democratic minded minority would have no choice but to exclude the majority from real power until they had actually learned how to think democratically.

Fortunately the depth of ignorance displayed here seems to be dominant only among the english speaking middle class. As that is only a small minority, it may not be necessary to exclude you and your "parties" from participation. Although you clearly have nothing whatever to contribute to a new Nepal at present, by allowing you to participate you will be forced to learn how to comment and argue more logically and coherently and eventually you will learn how to actually be citizens rather than sneering, whining children childishly demanding that the majority be "sidelined" because you "dont want" to just be fellow citizens.

13. wtf
what is with the 'english speaking middle class' reutoric in every post? If you were'nt one, you wouldn't be here, so shut up about that...all this very evanglistic rant about *multi-party democracy* yadda yadda, all this back and forth discussion on politics does not bring food on the table...whatever food on the table people had a few years back is taken away because of freaking *go by the book* idiots like you and equally stupids *civil society* going back and forth on the merits and demerits and never really achieving anything....u don't have to read a book on Mao and follow it to see whats happening, and make people of Nepal guenie pigs of your experiments...why don't people realize this is no *historic movement*, it's just bad political manouvers which the honchos are succeeding at and laughing, when dumb freaks like arthur back them up

14. Danny Birch
#12 seems to be someone who feels that people with different ideas about governance than his are mentally and socially deficient.# 8's question is very pertinent. Must Nepal choose between a corrupt liberal democracy and a totalitarian communist dictatorship? Has humanity to be so limited? IS it true or is it only an assumption that having a multi-party system is an inherent sign of progress? 

15. Arthur
Danny Birch, your #14 joins my #12 in taking up the pertinent issue raised in #8. Your questioning of the assumption that having a multi-party system is an inherent sign of progress is certainly an improvement on your #6 where you insisted that "Anyone who thinks ...[differently from you]... is dreaming or blind." That style of argument was a good illustration of what I referred to as not having "the necessary mental concepts to be able to discuss political matters as equal citizens in a multi-party democracy".

Now that you are more openly expressing your doubts about multi-party democracy, instead of pretending to support it by denouncing the Maoists as "misusing" democratic elections, perhaps actual discussion would be possible.

As I understand it, the Maoists launched a People's War back in 1996 in emphatic agreement with a stronger version of your own view that the corrupt "liberal democracy" and "multi-party system" was not "an inherent sign of progress".

In the course of that war (long before the ceasefire) they summed up the experience of the failures of Communism in the Soviet Union and China and concluded that a "totalitarian communist dictatorship" was not the only alternative.

They certainly do intend to demolish the old Nepal and rebuild it according to their own ideas. But their ideas include competing with other parties in free elections, and establishing a majority rather than simply suppressing people like you and other commentators here.

Evidently you oppose that demolition and rebuilding, and regard their ideas as "twisted ideology". But what is your proposed alternative to competing with the Maoists in free elections?

The fact that you, like pretty well everyone else, recognizes that the "liberal democracy" parties opposed to the Maoists are hopelessly corrupt means you cannot expect those parties to do very well against the Maoists in elections.

Surely you cannot imagine that denouncing the Maoists in english language media will change that?

My guess is that you hope to avoid Maoists winning elections by simply not holding elections. But you haven't actually said that.

If that is your position (ie military rule), how do you expect to win the resulting civil war?

If that is not your position, what is your proposed alternative system?

wtf, you ask: "why don't people realize this is no *historic movement*, it's just bad political manouvers which the honchos are succeeding at and laughing...". Perhaps people are too busy actually participating in the historic movement to pay attention to your patient explanations that nothing is happening. You may need to shout "dumb freaks" more loudly so that people will understand you better.

16. jange

17. Slarti
#12 and #15 - No amount of propaganda is going to cover for violence that people have suffered first hand. Politics obsessed lunatics have always hurt a society because to them death is a statistic and the world revolves around a few text book phrases. 

Repeating those very words time and again and precluding everyone else from an argument on the basis of their inability to communicate very well is the forte of all leftists, and you seem to display that just as effectively. 

You don't own this space so you need to stop asking people to stuff it. You wish to say something? - say it and get out. Because your opinion and its expression is always the same, you don't deserve an answer.

Regarding those who oppose democracy - there is no other alternative. With todays technology, proliferation of media and easy access to information it is possible to force effectiveness in administration and refinement in policies. Change is easy and peaceful, and diversity of opinion respected and encouraged. Whoever you are, prevalence of peace ensures greater participation and even those politically passive - as most people are - can exercise their conscience and decide what rule they would like. 

I understand the frustration - the Congress, the UML and everyone else says the right things, but they lack a coherent strategy and the integrity to implement their solutions.

The Maoists on the other hand, do not have the right ideology, they change their stance depending on the audience they are addressing and masterfully utilise and have always utilised the politics of murder to get their way. At the same time, their cronies in the English media help cover up for them (those who don't are right wing, even as they were instrumental in legitimizing them in the first place!!!) because either they are all buddies from the same university or simply lack the independence and courage to speak the truth.

Nevertheless, there are elements of intelligence in all political groups. For instance, for all the profession of communism and socialism, Chinese communists are capitalists and nationalists and have been effective in getting their policies to benefit a large number of the country's citizens. 

On the flip side, they deploy a deliberate programme to exclude their own minorities and "nationalities" from the mainstream. Nearly all (all) communist governments of the world are deeply suspicious of differences in opinion and utilize tools of terror to contain the proliferation of ideas not endorsed by the politburo.

Similarly, in near perfect democracies like the US and India or in the UK, political parties are able to transform over time because they allow all opinion to proliferate unhampered. They are susceptible to making populist mistakes, but because they function within the well defined rules of democracy, they can easily change course and correct wrongs.

Maoists and their supporters don't understand ideas - they shout it out and like to hear their own voice. That is why they seek military rule (capturing state power, rule of the mob vs the rule of law, obsession with text book solutions and language, extreme fear of the rise of the other side), firmly believe in the use of propaganda against expression of opinion, and in terrorism of thought.

And, by the way Arthur - don't bother responding. I actually work to earn a living and I really don't need your pathetic little rants where you steal other peoples ideas and turn it on its head. It is you who want military rule but accuse others of having, you justify don't deserve a conversation.

18. SS
why does anyone bother to reply arthur?  he doesn't know his own shit.  to him the terrorists in the guise of maoists can't do anything wrong.  everyone plz leave arthur alone and let him rant. 

19. Danny Birch
#15 Arthur makes a lot of peculiar and unfounded statements about what he concluded about my opinions. You needn't speak for me in your own words. I can express myself, even though you may disagree.

It would seem quite naive to take at face value the occasional claims by the maovadi that they don't intend to impose a communist dictatorship. The Bolsheviks also took part in a multi-party system for a short time. Hitler was also elected. Does that mean his rule and the ensuing genocide were legitimate? The strategy of communists has always been to use whatever means is available to establish their rule until they can consolidate their power. Then, watch out! Democratic elections are fine with them as a means toward that end.      

20. Arthur
slarti, "...dont bother responding...".

What is to be done with such people? They will continue to maintain that "the Congress, the UML and everyone else says the right things", but they also know that they "lack a coherent strategy and the integrity to implement their solutions".

So they also know the people will not vote for them.

Others have a different idea of "right". But that only shows "Maoists and their supporters dont understand ideas...".

This basic attitude towards political ideas is characteristic. As the dominant attitude it got old Nepal to where it is today. In the new Nepal it will remain the attitude of a noisy, angry but increasingly irrelevant minority, while the rest go about their business as citizens of deciding what coherent implementable ideas to actually implement.

21. Arthur
Danny Birch, in #15 I said.

"My guess is that you hope to avoid Maoists winning elections by simply not holding elections. But you haven't actually said that.

If that is your position (ie military rule), how do you expect to win the resulting civil war?

If that is not your position, what is your proposed alternative system?"

If my guess was a "peculiar and unfounded statement" about your opinion then you should be able to express yourself by answering one or other of my two questions. Instead you simply repeat that Maoists can't be trusted.

Obviously you will not vote for Maoists and you urge others not to do so. Fine. But do you trust others to vote or not vote for Maoists according to their own opinions or do you hope to avoid Maoists winning elections by not holding elections?

22. jange
Kamred Arthur- "That style of argument was a good illustration of what I referred to as not having "the necessary mental concepts to be able to discuss political matters as equal citizens in a multi-party democracy"."

Kamred Arthur makes a very good point. After all, what is the point in allowing me to take part in such a discussion as this if I don't have the necessary mental concepts. No point in wasting the Kamred's time and effort is there? I mean, look at the amount of effort the Kamred has put in and louts like me, who live in Nepal and stand to gain the most from it all, don't even have the mental capacity to appreciate it, let alone respond to it at an equal level.

I propose that NT hire Kamred Arthur to assess whether the participants have the "necessary mental concepts" and only then  allow such qualified people to take part. If Kamred can volunteer for the effort so much the better. I volunteer to be the first to take the test.

Risaani maaf hos, Kamred sarkar.

Kamred sarkar- jo hukum, jo nigaha.

23. jange
Kamred Arthur- "As I understand it, the Maoists launched a People's War back in 1996 in emphatic agreement with a stronger version of your own view that the corrupt "liberal democracy" and "multi-party system" was not "an inherent sign of progress"."

You understood wrong. Try again.

24. Mepali Citizen

I totally agree with the views made by the concerned citizen above. Yes, if there is a leader I assume he is Baburam and he could, as I assume bring consensus with his genuine view and practice among political parties.

25. Slarti
#20 "what is to be done with such people?" - Normally your lot stick them up poles, and if one of your own says something slightly different and they are too important an asset to be stuck up a pole, send them to labor camp - ask BRB, he knows a thing or two about that.

For good measure, you take pride in your lack of understanding the obvious - even when it is written in plain language.

Here is sudden surge of curiosity, that hopefully would not get this humble cat killed -

1. If Maoists understood ideas, then how come you always fail to understand them?

2. If Maoists do not want military rule, how come they keep an army and fund it by extortion, both from a government of cowards, and from ordinary people. Of course, you call all these people corrupt or some such thing and justify extortion.

3 If you wanted elections, what prevented you from participating in them, instead of killing people?

4. If you wanted democracy, what prompted you to commit crimes against legitimately elected governments and why did you not allow people to vote in elections freely, and without fear?

5. If you wanted peace, why did you steal children from their families to fight your war of greed?

6. If you wanted progress, why did you destroy the infrastructure that was built through the hard work of honest men and women?

7. If you respected opinion, then why did you murder Journalists and everyone you could get your hands on?

8. If you respected culture, why did you force children to go against theirs?

9. If you fought for the poor, why did you destroy their livelihood and choose to take cover amidst them?

10. If you wanted to negotiate, why did you not negotiate when the legitimate government agreed to talk on your terms?

11. If you are so confident of winning elections, why do you maintain a violent group of thugs who periodically, and almost everyday engage in acts of intimidation?

12. If you want another election to decide the fate of the Constituent Assembly, then why aren't your leaders calling for it?

There are a hundred other questions that you need to answer, since being a Maoist terrorist - fantasizing about the opportunity to kill people - you are incapable of anything but propaganda, I already what your evasive answer would be? That is why - you don't deserve a conversation.

26. Arthur
jange,  re #22,  I expect that you (unlike some others here) have both the mental capacity to argue coherently and logically and also understand the concept of discussing political matters as equals.

In your case the problem is simply that you reject the concepts that you understand well enough. You generally prefer to simply repeat your mantra of "Maoists are a mafia engaged in killing, looting and extortion", not because you are incapable of arguing at a higher level but because you believe that is the most effective way to go, given the limitations of your audience, and the lack of support for your actual agenda of military rule.

As for some "test" to allow qualified people to take part in discussion, my point in #12 was the opposite. The only way people can gain the necessary concepts is through open competition of ideas. That is why I think the Maoists are quite right to go for multi-party competition despite the abysmal level of their opponents. It would certainly not make any sense if viewed only from the point of view of the difficulty in suppressing those discredited parties or the potential value of actual contributions towards a new Nepal from them. But it makes a lot of sense when you consider how people learn, and what is needed to avoid the Communist party itself becoming corrupt.

Re #23 I think you are well aware that in launching the People's War in 1996 the Maoists openly rejected the claims of both Congress and UMLs that their corrupt liberal democracy was an inherent sign of progress. That was not a point of disagreement with the panchayatis then, and it still is not now. It is also a much more widely held view now, with few still expressing much hope for development and progress from those corrupt "liberal democratic" parties. (Their remaining support seems based mainly on them not being Maoists and not being Panchayatis, rather than any positive expectations from them).

If you actually did want to engage in discussion as an equal, you might have responded in #23 by presenting an argument to convince others that my statement you quoted was wrong.

Instead you simply said "You understood wrong. Try again."

That is an expression of your rejection of the concept of arguing as equals.

Since you are opposed to open competition of ideas and parties it makes sense for you to simply proclaim what is right and wrong in a way that cannot accidentally encourage discussion. This style of military drilling works well for producing boot-bangers in military parades. But it doesn't actually win any battles.

27. Deepak
I dream of ....
"Sujata :- in jail for corruption charges."
"Baburam :- Prime Minister of Nepal"
"Dahal :- "Party head"
"MAKUNE :- Retired politician."
"Sher Bahadur :- Still struggling to be number one in Nepali congress."
 "Nepal :- Beautiful and Happy"

28. hange

Arthur, Arthur, Arthur- it's good to see you in your element, swinging away at anyone that doesn't agree with you!  But a good point has been made:  you've decided that anyone who is able to actually respond to you in English is a part of the "elite upper class talkocracy," hence immediately rendering them powerless to respond to you.  Kudos on this stroke of genius!  But are you correct?  Or are you being elitist in assuming that some of the "common people" can't write a single lick of English?  Are you so narcissistic in your own opinion as to think that only the "influential" dare spar with you on matters of intellect while the rest of Nepal doesn't have the necessary mental concepts to discuss these matters?  Sorry, I don't mean to add to your plate- you've seemed to have taken on quite a few in this article.  More power to you for arguning for what you believe in- even if I disagree with you.  I still think the Maoists say the right things but, at heart, are thugs who are willing to steal, kill, and rape to get their hands on power.  Just my "unbiased" opinion.  :)  Hope you're well.

29. rishav
Guarantees - 1. Constitution will not be written on time. 2. Army integration will be a very long drawn out procedure until one side decides to concede on their stand point while the rest of the country suffers. 3, Nepali Congress will have a lot of in-fighting to elect a leader which will also take quite some time to achieve. 4. Security, health, wealth and life in Nepal will continue to fall as the politicians including the Maoists continue to squabble for little scraps of power.

30. jange
Kamred Arthur- The reason I keep repeating that the Maoists are a mafia group and they are murderers, looters and extortionists is because that is what experience and observation has told us. Try reading today's Nepali papers.The Maoists behaviour is more consistent with that of a mafia organisation than a political party.

I try to be a good Maoist and do my best to "seek truth from facts".

And as for my contention that you are wrong- Well, some things are so obviously wrong that there is simply no point in explaining. If you pointed to a donkey and insisted that it was a cow, I would not bother to explain why you were wrong except maybe to point out that you are wrong. Even though you might protest that it has 4 feet and so it must be a cow.

31. Arthur
hange, unfortunately you are right that I enjoying "swinging away" at opponents too much, and posted #12 to provoke these arguments. But actually I prefer to argue with the views I disagree with, even when others insist on attacking the person rather than the opinion.

My desire to provoke an argument in #12 resulted from irritation that so many of #1 to #10 did not discuss or respond to the article at all, but were simply childish abuse against Maoists. (Likewise #11 which I had not seen when I wrote #12).

The only ones that referred to the topic of the article at all, were #1, which said nothing, #2 which claimed that unlike Baburam Bhatterai, Prachanda does not speak english or use computers (I have listend to a speech by Prachanda in adequate english),  #4 which absurdly hoped for Baburam to lead a government conducting elections in which Prachanda was "sidelined". and #5 (mine). Although #10 did mention Baburam it was only a token reference so as not to be as openly ignoring the article as the others, while still actually ignoring it. Since then, the only passing references to the article have been in #16 (the usual from jange), #24 agreeing with the absurd #4, and #27 (no complaint).

In the light of #1 to #11 I don't think the subsequent lack of discussion of the article was my fault.

As to my reference to the talkocracy in #5, I do believe there is something panic stricken about essentially marginalized and politically irrelevant people chattering about their hopes of Baburam, a senior revolutionary leader of the Maoist party, becoming another UML style politician. This concept of a "talkocracy" or "talkerati" is not a weapon to render anyone powerless to reply but a well known observation also referred to by Prashant Jha in other articles. If there had been some response to my #5, or some interesting response to the article itself, I would have responded to that instead of posting #12.

But there wasn't, hence #12.

You ask "are you being elitist in assuming that some of the "common people" can't write a single lick of English?"

My assumption (based on easily available statistics) is that the majority of Nepalis cannot write in Nepali and have no access to the internet. Only a very small minority can write in english. I do not think many of that small minority are in any sense "influential" and cannot imagine that anyone influential would have time to participate in discussions here.

As a foreigner I at least know enough about Nepal to be aware of those obvious facts. Your "unbiased" opinion of the Maoists would be of greater relevance if you were not so completely surrounded by people like yourself that you at least understood that the overwhelming majority of people in Nepal are not at all like yourself.

slarti, although your #17 shows no more interest in actual discussion than before, I will encourage your "sudden surge of curiosity" by responding to the only one of your questions that I am also curious about in the hope that others might also want to shed light on it.

"12. If you want another election to decide the fate of the Constituent Assembly, then why aren't your leaders calling for it?"

Obviously as a foreigner who happens to support the Maoists I cannot speak for the Maoists. (You can blame me for supporting the Maoists, but don't bother blaming the Maoists for anything I say - it's obviously pointless).

My guess is that the preferred option is to reach a consensus agreement on the issues still in dispute so that both the constitution and the peace agreement can be finalized with a short extension. While there is still hope of such agreement  there is no point in calling for anything else.

Both sides appear to be preparing for a confrontation in the event of there being no such agreement. But such a confrontation could result in civil war, and neither side seems to actually want that (though some of the commentators here seem to wish the civil war had continued, they do not have any influence).

So my guess is that if they are unable to reach agreement they will have to elect another Constituent Assembly on the same basis as the present one instead of under a new Constitution which would presumably include a much smaller and cheaper legislature.

I think only the smaller parties are actually calling for that already. The waste of money in electing another large Constituent Assembly would at least retain representation of very small parties, while there would be less room for them in a smaller legislature under a new Constitution.

Of the bigger parties, those in the current coalition have good reason to fear the results of any elections and are reluctant to agree on a constitution because that would be immediately followed by elections. The MJF and the Maoists have less to fear from elections, but no reason to distract attention from actually reaching agreement by calling for them before the time for agreement has completely run out.

That's my guess, what do others think?

Deepak, interesting dream in #27! How about Hsila Yami for PM as Baburam Bhatterai is needed in the Finance Ministry?

jange, actually what I am looking at seems more like a frog, in a well.

rishav. in #29 your 1 to 3 seem uncontroversial. But I think security, health, wealth and life in Nepal will improve despite the continuing delay in downsizing Nepal's bloated army once the squabbling politicians of the minority parties are forced to accept that the threat of the Army cannot win them any more than minority status in a Maoist led government.

32. Slarti
"Your "unbiased" opinion of the Maoists would be of greater relevance if you were not so completely surrounded by people like yourself that you at least understood that the overwhelming majority of people in Nepal are not at all like yourself."


33. rishav
Another Guarantee - As time goes on, the PM position will start to become more alluring for all potential candidates. Friction currently present between Prachada and Baburam will become more apparent even creating individual alliances with other parties and as time goes on even the formation of diverging poles in the Maoist party itself.

Interesting to read your responses to this claim, those who fear this outcome but no deep down inside of it's strong possibility will reply to refute it quickly, aggressively and in haste.

34. wtf

@Arthur, you wrote:

"but were simply childish abuse against Maoists.. (Likewise #11 ..."

Maybe I should put my arguments in a fashion more appropriate to the readers of this forum, here goes:

I disagree. The article discusses two things mainly: 1)Dahal's decision and political skills, and what the author feels he *should* do to make himself a true altruistic and 2) Bhattarai as a potential PM...

I don't see the intellect in Dahal to be associated with any words described in the article, statesmanship and sacrifice being the big ones. I *might* see only a level of leadership in Bhattrai, nothing exceptionally higher than other current leaders...but that gets eclipsed with the ideaologies and the intentions he carries.

But both points go down the drain when you see the route they have taken to achieve their political means. When I weight that against any arguments given above, my answer is No, these guys don't deserve a chance, leave aside a 2nd, 3rd, 4th,5th ones people keep giving them.

and THATS WHY my comments in post # 11.

How many more times will you bite the bait to excuses of 'deep consipiracy being hatched...' , how many more times do we need to intellectually discuss "Rame didnt do this, now the question is will shyame be able to do it?...lets wait and watch"

However much you keep waiting and watching and discussing, you'll know at some point that the most relevant points everyone will finally agree to are noted in #11. And I don't say that because I wrote them.

35. Nirmal
 Yes, there is a threat of Army intervention in case the Maoists propagate street terrorism(which in their word urban revolt), there is what the crux of the matter lies. Cons and neocons are waiting eagerly to finish the brutal war again declared by the Maoists and the Maoists are as always up in arms. If not do you think the ones who have started the bloodiest insurgency of Nepal's history(killing people) would have so easily given up their aim to capture the state through guns and appear in ballot box? Yes, I know everything was tactical and the Maoists barons don't get tired telling us that it was the compulsion of the time but still their technical regulatory guidelines, quasi in totality are motivated by militarised activities and make them be the priviledged ones for the potential management of entire politics through violence, It is the most absurd idiosyncracy of any Democracy that one dares to use both ballots and bullets at the same time. The Maoists are not competing the politics as an equal, in equal conditions . Arthur just take stock of the news from last days, YCL is roaming like a lion with the blood already in its mouth(and If it is untrue why don't they put the facts in front of public opinion or refutes them?). And in any case we are not going to tolerate all this shit of muscles and guns in politics with an excuse to avoid right-wing uprise. This should be stopped If not even a single mistake can f*** the whole process, the Maoists are obliged to strike a deal and in absence of its possibility, it poses a serious threat to their own existence. the ball is in the Maoists' court.

36. कुमार
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37. vikram pant

monarchy ruled for 240 years and the result was poverty, starvation and death for millions of nepalese. the congress and other proteges of monarchy ruled for 15-16 years with no change in the condition of nepalese.

the congress sold out mahakali, saved the killers of com. Bhandari, created the bhutanese refugee problem and the corruption, widened the gap between the haves and havenots.

as a saying goes it is easier to wake a person who is asleep but not to that who is pretending to be sleeping.

all who blame maoist for all the problems are either blind or unaware of the nepal's history.

however the best thing is these people are less than 1% of the population of nepal.

38. Arthur
wtf, thank you for putting your views more appropriately in #37 than in #11 (and #34). I am sure you are right that those who think as you do will continue to do so. But when you say "everyone" will agree, I think you must mean "everyone" who had hopes the Maoists would be "tamed" and join the old mainstream. My impression is that the old mainstream has become much smaller and weaker while the Maoists have continued to become larger and stronger, becoming the new mainstream. Naturally not  "everyone" will become part of the new mainstream and naturally those left behind will become increasingly angry the more it becomes obvious they have lost.

rishav, your hopes seem to be based on an assumption that the Maoists are similar to other parties, although you also know that they aren't. Everyone can see that the MJF has split, and that each of the UMLs and the Congress are deeply divided. Since your only hope would be for the Maoists to also split, you have to pretend to yourself that they are like the other parties even though you can see that they are not.

Nirmal, only last week (or was it two weeks ago, how time flies!) you joined in a discussion here where people were gloating about criminal gangs murdering Maoists in the Terai. I am not at all surprised to see subsequent reports of the YCL promptly smashing people who attack them instead of waiting to be murdered.

A deal was already struck. Federalism and democratization of the Nepal Army was part of that deal. The ball has been in the court of those who thought they could go back on that deal for some time. They have had the ball for nearly a year now and have grown weaker and more divided as it becomes more and more obvious that there is nothing they can do with it.

slarti, I am puzzled by your response in #32. Congratulations on confusing me ;-)

39. Surya Acharya
"Dahal's decisions will determine the future of Nepali politics"
....I think future of Maoists Party as well.

The most important decision for maoists is about the political paths they would adopt. There are clearly two lines within their party. The hardliners, going by Lanin's book, see good prospects of communist utopia. The other group led by Baburam is better informed and prefer for more flexible path- excepting basic elements of democratic setups. Both of these model can deliver state's power to Maoist- but only the later can do in a sustained way.
Current makeup of maoists is just good for "revolution" or destruction of existing state, but they are grossly in deficit when it comes to building and delivering. Now they appear to have judged the presence of rightists elements as barrier for socio-economic transformation. Ironically, such rightist irritations may work in maoists' favor as an excuse to tame the unruly cadres. Otherwise, even if maoists could get rid of all opposing forces politically or otherwise, the big barrier for building new Nepal would be their own cadre, such as the contract-loving YCL or casino-serving union leaders.

So, the challenge for establishing maoists' regime is not so much from NC/UML (their popularity already hitting rock bottom) as it is from their own party. The time is offering maoists a good opportunity to play a long-inning provided that they make good strategic moves, which involve surprising all by unilateral declaration of accepting all conditions put forward by NC/UML including maximum flexibility in drafting new constitution (kind of "shock-and-awe" political operation). Then even Kathmandu's "chattering class" would be maoists fan.

40. Nirmal
Yes, they all have struck a deal call the very MacGuffin, yes Arthur? Better you teach them how a deal is done.

41. Arthur
Suraya Acharaya, you note that NC/UML popularity is already hitting rock bottom. Then you say that if Maoists surprised everybody by accepting all conditions put forward by NC/UML even Kathmandu's "chattering classes" would be maoists fan.

Why are such unpopular parties putting forward "conditions"?

Why should a popular party join them in their path to rock bottom by accepting such conditions?

What's missing is any explanation of what possible use that would be to the majority of people in Nepal and why anybody outside Kathmandu's "chattering classes" should care whether they are fans or not?

42. Prem Nepali
Both Dahal and Bhattarai are just two aspects  of the same coin. How can we believe that hypocrite like Baburan can lead our country on the road of prosperity. He and his party forced thousands of teenagerers to abandon thier home and school in the name of revoulution, but he kept his own daughter in the heven and continuously provided with quality education. What does this reflect? While his daughter was in safe heven and getting modern quality education under the aegis of Indian government here contemporay teenagers were either fighting for his dad's party and sacrificing their precious life in the name of so-calle revolution or being killed mercilessly. The same hypocrecy holds true with Dahal too.

43. Slarti
"as a saying goes it is easier to wake a person who is asleep but not to that who is pretending to be sleeping."

You are right, QED.

44. Surya Acharya
Arthur:  "Why are such unpopular parties putting forward "conditions"?"
NC/UML are not only unpopular but strategically foolish as well. That is why they are volunteering in offering valuable strategic advice to maoists. NC/UML conditions are not to turn maoists into UML but make maoists real people's party. And without meeting these conditions, maoists can not commands public support beyond their cadres. 

Key point here again, maoists in the current shape/thinking may/may not capture state, but CANNOT build so called new Nepal. So, these conditions are indeed in maoists' strategic interest.

45. vikram pant

i mean how you people can just say anything without thinking. how can baburam and prachanda hypocrates. what was there they said and didnot fulfill. many years back they promised to uproot monarchy they did. they promised land reform they indeed captured and distributed lands to landless people. because you people can write you cannot write bullshit. what you people want? i am not a maoist or anything but a nationalist who want to see nepal independant and developed. and i believe UML/Congress have betrayed people long time back but never the maoist. they stood by there words. give me one example when they did anything that was anti-nepal or corrupt. and why are you all people concerned about 'poor cadres' who could not study where as baburam's daughter got education? were all the nepalis before people's war getting education? and was everyone who joined people's war uneducated? you people who were able to get education always betrayed our nation and licked india's boots. and now you preach that cadres were fooled. show me one cadre who think he was wrong by joing PLA.  

46. Arthur
Surya Acharaya, which conditions?

There is no disagreement about fundamentals of multi-party competitive politics, free elections, free press etc etc.

NC/UMLs have never really accepted federalism. Last time Maoists compromised in accepting delay of federalism to speed up agreement with NC/UML for Constituent Assembly and Republic, result was Madheshi movement with major setback for Maoists in Terai, from which they are still recovering. Maoists would not gain but lose public support if they weakened on federalism (except of course among Kathmandu's chattering classes).

NC/UMLs want to preserve unreformed and bloated Nepal Army by not integrating PLA forces who fought for democracy, so as¬ to keep a "threat from the right" and pose as the "middle" despite having lost all popular support. Maoists have already accepted a 5-7 year transition rather than packing the feudal officer corps off to reeducation camps. No democracy is secure with an Army that is not completely subordinated to civilian supremacy so Maoists cannot compromise on that, no matter how cowardly the chattering classes are about it.

NC/UMLs want to preserve India as arbiter of Nepali affairs as a substitute for popular support. No democracy is possible when the government is dependent on a foreign power so Maoists cannot compromise on national sovereignity.

Land reform is essential for agricultural development, so Maoists cannot compromise on that.

NC/UML depend on corrupt Bihari style elections with voters intimidated by landlord gangs. So Maoists cannot weaken YCL and expect free elections.

Corruption is central to failure of economic development and a corrupt judiciary and police is central to corruption. This is the lifeblood of NC/UML but Maoists cannot compromise on ending judicial corruption by subordinating judiciary to legislature as in any democratic country.

So what compromises demanded by NCt/UML could the Maoists actually make that would increase their public support among the vast majority who are not part of Kathmandu's chattering classes, and would not turn them into another UML?

Why not just let the NC/UML put their demands to the people, and see whether it makes them less unpopular? That would be surprising since to get elected the NC/UML claimed to fully support the people's movement for a new Nepal. Openly standing for the old Nepal will only win them the same support as the panchayatis. (Or just as likely increase support for the Panchayatis at the expense of NC/UML but not at expense of Maoists).

The absurdity of these unpopular parties on their last legs putting forth "conditions" is highlighted by the panic stricken hopes the chatterers place in Baburam Bhatterai. Bhatterai's excellent command of tactics helped get them into the their isolated state of rock bottom popularity. He will not help them get out of it.

(Incidentally I think the article misunderstands the Maoists tactical issue about whether to use the majority they already have have for a no confidence motion. The argument against simply moving no confidence immediately is not that they need to compromise with the NC/UML to lead a national government but that they don't need to be in government to continue increasing their support until there is no alternative. They certainly do think more strategicially than their opponents and took the initiative, by resigning, to place and keep their opponents exactly where they want them to be).

47. Surya Acharya
Arthur: "NC/UML depend on corrupt Bihari style elections with voters intimidated by landlord gangs. So Maoists cannot weaken YCL and expect free elections"

So, you want Maoists to win election on the strength of YCL. Because of thinking like yours, Maoists are now in a difficult trap of their own making. 

Yes, like you said Maoists think more strategically- but this was the case in the past, when they did have good control over the information and tactical moves. But now situation is much different, and their tactical moves have already backfired, and their smartness is now serving their Utopian curiosity- which remind me of a Panchatantra Fable "Monkey and Wedge"

48. Arthur
Surya Achara, Maoists won free elections and will win bigger majorities in future free elections for the reasons mentioned by Vikram Pant - they do what they say.

The other parties are like the monkey who sat on the log and pulled out the wedge.

By pushing the Maoists from government and relying on India and the Army those now openly anti-democratic parties have their tail stuck in the wedge and will have to face the voters with their real program of doing nothing but just living from corruption instead of their pretence at being more "moderate" and "democratic" progressives who also support a new Nepal but are always blocked by Monarchists on their right and "extremists" on their left.

The strength of the YCL is not what makes the Maoists popular and the other parties unpopular. But fear of the YCL, (and the PLA) is what prevents the other parties from not holding free elections at all, which is what they would so obviously prefer. (They even want to get rid of international monitors like UNMIN).

As a foreigner I am studying Nepal to learn from the Maoists strategy and tactics. Unfortunately they are able to publish very little in english but it seems obvious from hostile english language sources like this one, that the Maoists have far more access to and control of information than during the people's war. Even the english speaking chattering classes seem to chatter mainly about Maoists. But they chatter to themselves in english, while FM radio is especially important in an illiterate society.

As for their tactical moves having backfired, I would be especially interested in an example. Did insisting on civilian supremacy and resigning backfire? Is it just a coincidence that popularity of NC/UML (and most of the Madheshi parties) headed for "rock bottom" when this "backfired"?

One point of agreement though. I also think it will be much harder to govern and build than to defeat such inept opponents and that problems within the party after victory will be more dangerous than their current opponents.

But their leaders have no utopian illusions and will face those challenges together with a people as well as a party that has learned a lot from experience.

There is nothing "utopian" about pulling Nepal out of its present cesspit. There is something really absurd about "educated" people pretending the status quo can be maintained despite the overwhelming evidence of the rest of the world having moved on from feudal backwardness.

49. Surya Acharya
#48 "As a foreigner I am studying Nepal to learn...."

Oh I see you are foreigner and learning! Now I am not surprised at your naiveté.

If you are really eager to learn, listen others who are offering insights, and stop your polemics. It seems you are hiring some YCL in-charge as your tutor, and you are too good in parroting your tutor's version.  

I do not solicit any response of yours.

50. jange
If Maoists do not win the election then, by definition, the election is not a fair election.

Th Maoists cannot win any election without the coercive strength of the YCL.


Yes, I do appreciate Kamred logic.

51. Arthur
So sad, poor Surya Achararya, trapped with his tail caught in a crack in a log, offering advice to the carpenter on how to put the wedge back in the log and free his tail. But only a naive foreigner responding to his pleas.

I wonder if anyone else can provide an example of how Maoist tactics have "backfired" or why they should accept conditions imposed by parties with "rock bottom" popularity?

Perhaps somebody who actually reads the other comments before posting?

52. Arthur
jange, as you know the old parties could only win elections by "booth capturing" etc by goons as used in Bihari elections. Their protection of the criminal gangs in the Terai is because they need them for such purposes.

The coercive power of the YCL prevents that kind of "traditional" election in which the landlord gangs always win. So naturally the "traditional" parties are afraid of a free election.

If they were worried about YCL itself engaging in booth capture etc they would be asking for more monitors from UNMIN instead of trying to get rid of UNMIN.

For your side to win you need to prohibit Maoist candidates, which is what you keep advocating with your mantra that they are not a party but a mafia.

To achieve that, you need military rule, but you cannot say so because everyone knows it did not work last time and could not do any better in another civil war.

53. ngs

Give it up your medieval name sake you live in a world of denial and myth.  You seem to find the Holy Grail even in the most despicable atrocities perpetrated by your adopted Maoist brethren in crime.  How else does one explain the rationale of your stance.  It baffles me as to how you can blindly anoint them with the sanctity of pure motives.  Me thinks you are a Bahun in the guise of a Kuirey - furtively interested in a future that smacks of sucking up and brown nosing and playing that ancient game of Chaakhari.  You learnt to do that from your feudal masters.    You've probably already settled for your portfolio in a future cabinet of your dream:  Maoist Minister of Miscommunications and Mythmaking. 

54. Nepali
This comment has been removed by the moderator.

55. CyberLekali
Dr. DK aka Arthur was a Nepali citizen recently obtained American citizenship, thus calls himself a foreigner.

56. CyberLekali

Surya Acharya. I can understand your frustrations. Arthur is does not see anything wrong on Maoist side, not at all. He endorses everything they do. He has a great skill to put the excuses to defend Maoist excesses. I am very surprised to find you, a moderate Maoist supporter, (based on your second sentence: Prachanda's decision will decide the Maoist future. It shows your faith on Maoist and Prachanda.) is so badly vindicted and trashed by such meticulus manipulator. Arthur should be busted. DK aka Arthur aka MD is the hayena hiding under Sheeps skin. He recently got American citizenship by hook and crook as a refugee (calling himself victim of Maoists) and gave up his Nepali citizenship.  He is not the first and last Maoist supporters who get US citizenship using Refugee status. He will certainly attack everyone who is not in his side. CyberLekali

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)