This is the first time India has so openly admitted the need to suppress the Maoists. If the agreement between the prime ministers of India and Nepal on resolving the Maoist issue is accurate, then the rebels will finally have to admit that their rationale for revolution is no longer valid.
The Maoists used to roam freely in India. At one time They used to meet Nepali political leaders pretty openly in India. Now, Comrade Kiran is in jail in Silguri, a dozen comrades are behind bars in Patna, CP Gajurel is in detention in Madras with the Indian government showing no interest in releasing him and the Indians are tightening the border-all these developments must be worrying for the Maoists. They have only themselves to blame for destroying their international support base and they will have to pay a heavy price to rebuild that support.
In Nepal, they have made enemies of all the political parties, but they had parties with which they had strategic alliances. But they have been alienating themselves even from these allies. If the Nepali Congress stalwarts are right, then the Maoists are now intent on finding a safe landing through Girija Prasad Koirala.
Koirala is the fountainhead of the Maoist revolution in Nepal. After all, it was he who squandered the country's democratic gains and gave the Maoists the chance to grow between 1992-1994. How can someone who was responsible for the Maoist problem be entrusted with finding a solution to it? More so, at a time when they have nothing to give him?
One of the political characteristics of the Maoist party is opportunism. True, this is not necessarily bad in politics. It is difficult to fault the politically bankrupt Maoists to use others as they have before. But the question is: are the Maoists using Koirala or is he using them? If the Maoist intellectuals analyse the situation honestly, it is clear that the Maoists are being used. They used King Birendra against Girija Koirala, and actually began the process of regression. In order to use India, they refused to criticise it for a long time, but later when they had no use for it so they began abusing India.
Now, the Maoists are saying they will not negotiate with the "servants" of the king. In fact, they'd rather talk to Koirala! Pure opportunism. By using Koirala against Deuba, the Maoists are shooting themselves in the foot. There is no basis to negotiate with Koriala now, and negotiating with the king would be suicidal for them.
This is the best time the Maoists have ever had to start negotiations. Such an opportunity will not return. The present government is willing to consider all three demands: constituent assembly, roundtable conference and interim government. The maximum flexibility comes from agreeing to discuss constituent assembly.
The journey of politics is never endless. It has to have a destination, a goal. The Maoists must honestly ask themselves: what is their goal? Is it their 'new democracy'? Then they might as well accept that it is impossible. If it is genuine democracy, then that is achievable by peaceful means. There is no point fighting about it.
The government is dragging its feet on peace. It can't use Maoist stonewalling as an excuse. The ministers must realise that unless they take the peace process forward, they will cease to exist because this government's sole mandate is peace. If this government falls, the king is not about to talk to the Maoists either.