Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Whassup, Comrade?

Mahesh Mani Dixit

In his second statement on 11 June, Prachanda said that the royal palace incident is a very serious matter and called for the formation of an interim national government. He said it would be his honour and duty to work with the army and form an interim national government. It seems that suddenly Prachanda likes Gyanendra. King Gyanendra in his very first speech to the nation proclaimed his belief in a constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy. The high command of the army announced that they are fully dedicated to His Majesty and will follow his directions. In such a situation, Prachanda's statement is either laughable or quite stupid. What can we tell a revolutionary Marxist movement that thinks it can work hand in hand with a monarchist element like the Royal Nepal Army! Perhaps we should say that this is not the thinking of a Marxist- Leninist- Maoist party, but of a party that is south-leaning and opportunist. It seems Prachanda is looking to bring about a revolution through a joint effort of the army and Maoist guerillas.

Prachanda says with conviction that the monarchy is dead. But the monarchy in Nepal is very much alive. Constitutionally, Gyanendra is the new king. The government, the army, the constitution and the people are behind him. Why can Prachanda not accept this? The strong relations between the monarchy, multiparty democracy and the people are deeply engraved in the constitution. The constitution has placed the monarch at the centre of national unity. The monarchy can be a unifying factor in an underdeveloped society like ours, economically, politically and culturally disunited. Political parties have so far been unable to fill this void. Despite the Peace Corps, Christian missionaries, and now the Maoists trying to incite people, the monarchy is still the most important unifying factor in the country.

Another reason that Prachanda is issuing so many statements could be that he is trying to draw attention away from the close relations between the Maoists and the palace. And it may be another way of preventing the mobilisation of the army against the Maoists. Prachanda's recent statement claims that for the establishment of a people's republic and the formation of an interim all party government, the Maoists are ready to work with all nationalists, and asks all people to support them in this national endeavour. The statement implies that only people against the monarchy, the constitution and multiparty democracy are nationalists. So by that definition, the UML, the Nepali Congress, Masal, the Ekata Kendra, other leftists, the Sadbhavna party, the Praja Parishad, the palace and the army are not nationalist. Only the Maoists are. Prachanda is therefore prepared to work with the Maoists. This great thinking of a great revolutionary is remarkable.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)