Nepali Times Asian Paints
PRASHANT JHA
Plain Speaking
Central concerns


PRASHANT JHA


KIRAN PANDAY

The ongoing Maoist Central Committee (CC) meeting, and the extended one scheduled for next month, will decide whether Nepal will get a constitution through this CA.

The last extended CC at Kharipati in December 2008 put the Maoists on a confrontational path. The party decided to consciously sharpen the polarisation with 'India and domestic comprador, bureaucratic capitalists and feudal elements'. While remaining vague about the specifics, the party made it clear it would not get 'entrapped' in the conventional liberal democratic system.

The Katawal controversy was a direct outcome of Kharipati. In the CC after Dahal's resignation, the party patted itself on the back for taking on 'foreign and domestic enemies'. The Maoists also decided to be 'very careful to the reactionary plot of weakening and disarming the party by integration and rehabilitation before a people's constitution is written', the clearest indication they would not move on the PLA.

Over the past year, Dahal has broadly followed this line even when faced with the prospect of complete political isolation. While failing to lead a new government, he thinks he has succeeded in exposing 'India and its brokers' and making 'nationalism' a central issue; maintaining the 'people's army'; defeating the 'reactionary design' to dissolve the CA; and sowing divisions within other parties even while keeping his own intact.

The Maoists will now review the achievements and failures of the past year, the problems within the party, and the way forward. But fundamentally, the party needs to decide on three issues: does it want a constitution; how much is it willing to compromise to achieve that; and how does it see India.

The Maoists suspect the other parties do not want a new, progressive constitution. This is partially true. The NC and UML accepted the CA because the king had kicked them out in the capital, the Maoists were attacking them in the hinterland, their movement was only drawing a few dozen people in Ratna Park, and they saw an alliance with the Maoists as the only way to survive politically. But what the Maoists ignore is that the NC and UML cannot get out of the constitution-writing framework for the ground has shifted too drastically.

In fact, the Maoists have played right into the hands of those who do not want a constitution. By adopting a confrontational posture, opening multiple fronts, and linking government formation to the constitution, the Maoists have enabled a strong 'military bourgeoisie' alliance, which was strained in 2006, and antagonised even 'friendly forces'.

If the Maoists do want a constitution, they will not only have to change the Kharipati mindset but also think afresh about the PLA. It is understandable that a party that feels cornered, and sees an assertive and autonomous Nepal Army, would be reluctant to give up its own army 窶" especially if it is a party that remembers Mao's dictum that 'without the army, people have nothing'. But instead of seeing it as surrender, the party needs to see integration as an opportunity. If the Maoists make some gesture on the PLA, its opponents will find it far more difficult to keep the former rebels out. The party's core strength comes from its mass base, front organisations, and the YCL. The Nepal Army's character and structure will not change as drastically as the Maoists want, but other parties are willing to accommodate far more fighters, on more respectable terms, than they were even a year ago. The timing could be negotiated, with the process finishing just a few months before the statute is finalised.

The Maoists also have to assess whether their approach to India has helped the party and its core goals. The Indian stand has been unreasonable and shows their intolerance for strong and autonomous domestic Nepali actors. And the Maoists have done well to blow the cover off the fiction, assiduously cultivated by the Kathmandu establishment, that Nepal is an independent country.

But by scaring Delhi on its core security concerns, waging a hate campaign, trying to build 'anti India' alliances, and thinking that China or the West can neutralise India's leverage, the Maoists have been plain stupid. Dahal should recognise the level of structural and political dependence on India, and how Nepali forces cross certain lines at their own peril.

If the Maoists do not undertake a major policy review on these questions, the CA will not be able to produce a new constitution and the 2006 political framework will gradually collapse.

READ ALSO:
In a dangerous state, PUBLISHER'S NOTE
Against the flow, RABI THAPA
United we brand, ARTHA BEED
Stolen lives, RAM KUMAR BHANDARI



1. nish
sad to see prashant jha pulling his punches and demanding all the concessions from the maoists. not a word about the army's blatant violation of the CPA, india's bullying and the older parties' resistance to change. but i guess that's understandable. analysts too must think of their career after all. they can only go so far in criticizing the powers-that-be. congrats, this article will successfully restore your image in the eyes of the Mighty Forces.


2. who cares
"The Maoists will now review the achievements and failures of the past year, the problems within the party, and the way forward." this is a joke right. if they have had this kind of ability, would they be in present position. "But fundamentally, the party needs to decide on three issues: does it want a constitution; how much is it willing to compromise to achieve that; and how does it see India." i totally agree with you, but need to add few more issues like pla, should they be using blackmailing tactic, block development and budget etc. "Maoists suspect the other parties do not want a new, progressive constitution. This is partially true." What is the definition of progressive constitution? nc, uml want democratic constitution which means people decide their own fate, but maoist want their constitution which will help them to rule over nepalese. In democratic constitution, parties only run govt. they are in no position to rule over public. "In fact, the Maoists have played right into the hands of those who do not want a constitution. you were never been this correct. as for me, I do want constitution, but I wont be blackmailed in the name of constitution or CA, constitution approved through referendum would be other option. "If the Maoists do want a constitution, they will not only have to change the Kharipati mindset but also think afresh about the PLA" You have got a lot to learn about maoist. "India issue" Only drafting and following right rule of the game can protect nationalism. Everything else is fraudulent. "If the Maoists do not undertake a major policy review on these questions, the CA will not be able to produce a new constitution and the 2006 political framework will gradually collapse." finally, you got it. テつ but do you really understand it. Regarding The ongoing Maoist Central Committee (CC) meeting: even though, maoist is a huge organization but all are bumb. And no one can analyze the situation and make goal, policy, strategy, predict. So it would be foolish to expect anything good or productive. we all know that most of the members are opportunists, criminals, so they are more likely to make such a decision which will make them look radical (in their view), unfriendly------ which will help them in looting, staying above the law.. but since they do not have guts, so they wont be passing any resolution that could get them killed. when ever there is intra party conflict, prachanda/maoist always go for radical compromise position. Which is also a dai chure. *baidya is a fraud. Why? If he were really radical (in commie term), since it is not possible to bring communism through CA, he would have gone for another war or revolution. - don't you think, radical people are suppose to go for leadership position, but he is afraid of responsibility. He is just creating mess in the party. - why don't bhatterai and baidya join hands. One can be party boss and another can be pm. If there is prachande, he wants both, so sideling prachanda means both can benefit.Do not expect anything new from maosit cc meeting.テつ

3. Arthur
"The party's core strength comes from its mass base, front organisations, and the YCL. The Nepal Army's character and structure will not change as drastically as the Maoists want, but other parties are willing to accommodate far more fighters, on more respectable terms, than they were even a year ago. The timing could be negotiated, with the process finishing just a few months before the statute is finalised."

Nepal will remain stuck in transition while the other parties cling to a feudal army as their last resort against democracy. Democratizing a feudal army is certainly a "drastic" change, but it has been accomplished in developed countries and the experience of endless military coups in sub-saharan africa (and previously in latin america) shows development can only take off when that drastic change is made.

The Indonesia communist party had a huge core strength from mass base and organizations. But it meant nothing when the Indonesian army organized the massacre of half a million Indonesians as "communists" which resulted in Indonesia being held back under corrupt rulers for decades.

"Dahal should recognise the level of structural and political dependence on India, and how Nepali forces cross certain lines at their own peril."

Obviously India has certain red lines concerning direct support for revolution in India, and alliance with Pakistan or China against Indian security interests. Maoists have respected those red lines.

But while India also has a red line of "no democratization of Nepal Army" and "no maoist led government" confronting India is not optional. The level of dependence on India is real but it also has to change in order for Nepal to develop. That means the mentality of passively accepting the old reality reflected in this article has to give way to a mentality of actively changing reality.

Essentially the article is saying the Maoists must change because their opponents are opposed to them. What a brilliant formula that proved to be for the UMLs and Congress!


4. alok dixit
Thanks. A very good piece. The only aspect I don't like it that you are soft on the Maoists. They don't deserve. They have mercilessly pursued their policies, gone to extreme extent to achieve their goal and even ready to bless royalists to get power. Now looks like they are ready to join hands with Kamal Thapa.

Mr Prachanda has failed. He should be sacked.




5. rishav

Moaists are now in a weakened positioned currently. Things they would not have negotiated on a year ago they are now prepared to do. Thereツare also quite serious different opinons of how the Maoists should progress by their own leaders, openly seen like never before.

Prachnda has become a joke, humilitaed again and again politically. Maoists - Fear factor level by the people, has decreased as seen by the antibadh march against the Maoist,. I don't see them ever doing that again. Internationally, especially India has no more love for the Maoists, very much alone I'm afraid, China don't have your back remember what thanks they showed to King Gyandera after SAARC meeting fiasco, can you really trust them!!? You can see how desperate they have come in trying to team up with Kamal Thapa's party.

All in all, this is a great time for the non-maoist parties to exert pressure on the maoist leaders and get what we need to dismantle their militarise YCL and get rid of their Maoist guerilla force, which ultimately lead to coclusion of the peace process.



6. Matty
Arthur talks like an expert from afar - as if the 'great mind' is giving sage advice to the Nepali 'masses' - but it's more nonsense. Neither the Nepali Army nor India want the PLA integrated in a way that gives any leverage or room for maneuvre to the Mao-oids - so ain't gonna happen - got that, dense boy? As rishav says, the Maoists are on the defensive, past their peak; the May events were a strategic disaster that exposed their limits. 7,000 ex-combatants (and declining) in the cantons can't force the issue. So your romantic wet dreams of Mao-oid revolution are fading fast. Grow up.


7. KiranL
Look at that photograph, I am struck by the leaders all sitting on chairs and the cadre are crosslegged on the floor. And look at the portraits on the wall: Stalin and Mao the two biggest mass murderers of the 20th century.


8. Satyajeet Nepali

"The NC and UML accepted the CA because... they saw an alliance with the Maoists as the only way to survive politically."

Finally, Nepali media, such as NT,テつ is beginning to acknowledge the Truth. But they still do it hesitatingly, hiding some hard truths and diluting others. Nepal will start moving forward when we gather the balls to face the real Truth:

Nepal's so-called "peace process" is nothing but a CHILDテつ of OPPORTUNISM (parties) and VIOLENCE (Maoists), delivered by the midwifery of FOREIGN INTRIGUE (India).

It is highly doubtful that anything good for the country will come out of this UNHOLY ALLIANCE.

The Nepali people have been prevented from recognizing this Truth by a highly partial and self-interested media and civil society. But even these power-brokers are now realizing that they can't keep LYING to the people. They are bringing out the Truth in little bits and pieces (see editorial too), packaged so as not to hurt themselves.テつ

But make no mistake. Nepal will only move forward when we fully acknowledge the Truth stated above. The "peace process" (12-point + CPA) is a LOUSY BASE upon which to build a country.

Best thing for Nepal and Nepalis is to scrap off this peace and start afresh with a REFERENDUM to determine the major structures of the state and take it from there!



9. Satya Nepali (2)

"The NC and UML accepted the CA because the king had kicked them out in the capital, ...and they saw an alliance with the Maoists as the only way to survive politically."

The above statement is a great example of my point that the media is only giving out the truth in little bits, hiding large chunks of it.ツ

There are a number of problems with this statement. The major one is that the parties were not permanently "kicked out" by the king (as the statement implies), and the alliance with the Maoists wasツNOT the "only" solution to survival.

The parties could very much have come back to power through PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. The same oldツfaces may not have won, but ultimately the parties would be the ones in power. Parliamentary elections would have revived the 1990 Constitution, and the king's direct rule could have been ended through this method too!

However, Nepal's media has very carefully tried to block Nepali people from realizing that this alternative method to peace ever existed. They have very cleverly and deliberately tried to ensure that talk of those PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS just never come up. In this article too, Jha carefully sidesteps this topic.

Nepali people should not be fooled. Nepal had an alternative route to peace in 2005-06 i.e. through parliamentary elections. That was the route that should have been taken. Instead the route of this UNHOLY ALLIANCE and its BASTARD PEACE was taken. We are sufferring its consequences now.



10. Nirmal

Most probably, the Maoists will not change their earlier strategy:THREE SA(Sadan, Sadak and sambbad), one of the two wars they have waged since now. Lengthy meetings with varied extra-proposals are nothing new to the Maoists. Iテッツソツスd say it is a part of silent war which has gravely reduced the target to build a democratic state because the Maoists wants to create a state of conditions as strong enough to their favour to テッツソツスprevent the seizure of powerテッツソツス. Prashant there is no justifiable ideological differences between Baidhya, Bhattarai and Dahal, If thatテッツソツスs the case what this drama is all about? It is all about war, the silent war they pretend to have raised after peace pacts, as it approaches next deadline, the date set by the Maoists(one of them). Afterward, there is no constitution and no CA If the situation remains the same, which means the final stage of their war. The strategy is wrong. The war is never a good one Prashant, no matter silenced or noisy, but this war(sadan, sadak and sambbad)is even worse.


The War raised by the Maoists is still viewed differently by the Maoists barons. For some like Baidhya, it is still a war, and others, including Dahal and Bhattarai company, the issue is to mix the restructuring of the State, what makes the debate now and at the same time satisfy partyテッツソツスs sentimental needs through talks of revolts and violent orientation of subjugated mass. And this double mission does not facilitate the task. The reality is that this is a silent-insurgency operation, a very special war, very special. The Maoists has gone from a traditional to a silent-insurgency battle. But this type of insurgency is an asymmetric struggle as it only helps to unite the opposite side, the Maoists runs the risk of elimination, and this THREE SA either helps to reduce the threat but the contrary. And nothing indicates that the story will be different.

Bhattarai landed the open political territory of Nepal on the back of an elephant called GPK, Baidhya wanted to dominate it with gunfire, but Prachanda invaded by a helicopter, metaphorically said. All failed. And the international intervention(especially by INDIA) in Nepal is also a disaster. Companions of this divided nation have a principle of repulsion and disunity too strong to be defeated.

A democratic state is at disadvantage, if it respects the functioning of bullets and ballots at the same time. And if not rejected, then dynamite the ethical basis that claims to have as her foundations. But, in one case as in another, time works in favor of the Realpolitcking, that is: needs of the time.

What explains the hostility of Biplav to sacrifice their lives to rebuild the country? Baidhya was partially right when he said that the Maoists made a blunder by mixing their war and parliamentary system. The revolt this time is undoubtedly orchestrated by Baidhya and his likes. But why only hundreds of Maoist officials were left to orchestrate? Fearing a day later.

The call for a decisive revolt is a further evidence that the Maoists are not willing to abandon their proxy-war strategy and perhaps know that striking a deal at this hour is to withdraw from the WAR sooner or later, the very opposite of their current ideological stance. The impossibility of changing the cloth of the State overnight(after 4 or 5 years of open politics) indicates that, in the long run any form of insurgency operation seems doomed to failure. Time is of Realpoliticking and not of War.



11. Gole
No worry, constitution or no constitution Nepal is heading towards being Zimbabwe; Pushpa Kamal Dahal will be Robert Mugabe sansツ mustache.
Jala Nath will meet the fate ofツツ Joshua Nkomo
and Ram Chandra Will become the second edition of Morgan Tsangarai.
Once in power, no one will be able to dethrone Prachanda. He will be a life time President, a real dictator.
Remove his mustache and look at his face, he even looks like Robert Mugabe. The internal split in UCPN(M) is just a drama to fool the opponents; even with their differences, they have to stay together. Prachanda controls the Maoist treasury which is very rich. How do you expect a party with fortune to break into two? Only poor parties break. You cannot compare UCPN-Maoist Party with any Communist Party of the past.The foolish government also is augmenting its coffer with the tax payers money/


12. who cares
"How do you expect a party with fortune to break into two?"

that is probably true.テつ


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