Nepali Times
Animal Farm in 1984


Is it just me or does everyone get the feeling that after the original 40-point Demand, the 12-point Agreement, the 8-point Accord, and finally a series of Pointless Summits, the plot is beginning to thicken and take on an uncanny resemblance to Animal Farm?

Orwell slipped a cynical donkey named Benjamin into his satire of Stalinist tyranny and the wise old ass was always doubtful and irreverent about the Pig Leadership, although he was devoted to Boxer, the hardworking proletariat horse. "Donkeys live a long time, none of you has seen a dead donkey," Benjamin reminds the other animals on the farm. Ahem.

This Ass, like old Ben, never expects anything positive from any revolution because he knows that all Napoleons who come to power start to emulate Mr Jones. The donkey is the only one to see through the pigs' hypocrisy and lies. He also notes that Mr Jones is conducting nocturnal meeting at homes of cronies in Jawalakhel, Kamaladi, and other venues.


The Ass has just perused the latest edition of the Maoist daily Janadesh. If this is what the mouth organ of the ruling party is going to look like when the comrades join the interim government, then we are getting quite a preview of Animal Farm. The only three ads in the paper are from Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, and Makalu Yatayat. Is there a barter arrangement somewhere?

And just as well that the editors decided not publish the full transcript of the proceedings of the World Bank-organised conference in which PKD and BB held forth recently on the Maoists' economic policy, assuring everyone that the party is not set in its ways. At one point The Ferocious One even described himself as a "rightist communist". This is getting to be like Animal Farm and 1984 doublespeak rolled into one.

As if we didn't have enough problems of our own already, Nepali political forces are falling over each other to denounce the execution of Saddam Hussein. Winter has always been traditional effigy-burning time, but the Ass is intrigued about why our holier-than-the-pope revolutionaries had to set fire to George W Bush when there are so many local effigies we could burn to keep ourselves warm. It really does look like many of our civil socialites are in permanent andolan mode. If it isn't ambassadorships, then it is Saddam. Perhaps they belong on the streets, because probably no one in their right mind would ever elect them.


Comradissimo Prabhakar has a great idea, though, to move the cantonments to Tundikhel if there are any more delays in arms management. If the Nepal Army can take over half of Tundikhel, there is no reason the comrades can't take over the other half. After all, we will have a one-country-two-armies system of government very soon. Prabhakar probably got the idea from freed Kamaiyas who got tired of waiting for land and helped themselves to Tinkune.


Now that Julia Chang is returning to Nepal, there is a sense of d?j? vu in the Deuba camp, which is rubbing its hands in anticipation that the Lion of the West will head a unified post-Girija Congress. But the four-time PM will have a lot of explaining to do about being Kingji's drinking buddy. Although, if the newly-formed Chhetri Federation is anything to go by, then the Sher has a lot going for him.

Chhetris represent the highest percentage of Nepal's population (20 percent) and if elections are going to be based on proportional representation, they have the strongest claim to the plum post, including that of president of the republic. We do want to be inclusive, right?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)