Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Indian anger at Maoists

Five years ago, an American political analyst warned India about the Nepali Maoists' growing influence in the region, but India did not take it seriously. The analyst had said that their growing power would affect about 10 Indian states where the Maoist struggle has been going on for decades. The analyst further warned that in a couple of decades, the Maoist revolution would affect the whole nation and ultimately India would become a communist country.

The analysis also mentioned that China would become a superpower in less than two-and-a-half decades. China's political ambition is to spread communism and there are reasons to believe that China may not hesitate to support the Maoists once they gain more influence. In all probability, both countries-large in size and population-would then be able to spread communism around the world. "This is why it is necessary for India to support Nepal in controlling the Maoists," the American analyst added. This issue has caused serious concern for the US government, which is why Assistant Foreign Secretary Christina Rocca, responsible for South Asian affairs, had frequently travelled to Kathmandu and New Delhi to press India to take the analysis seriously. India still didn't consider the Maoists a threat-until now.

That India has changed its perspective on the Maoists is evident from its attitude towards the Maoist leaders, who no longer consider India a safe haven. The Maoist Central Committee decided to move their underground base from India to Nepal during their last meeting. This clearly indicates that they have lost all hope of using India as a refuge. This might be the main reason why the rebel leaders are pushing for peace talks with the government.

There has been confusion over the Maoist statements. First they refused to talk peace with the present government, stating, 'We will not be having talks with servants of the old regime but with their master and through international mediation.' Less than a week later, Krishna Bahadur Mahara changed this to, 'Peace talks are possible if the government removes the terrorist tag and creates a proper environment.' The question is, why did the rebels change their statement so quickly?

Obviously, the Maoists will never raise the issue of peace talks until they are under immense pressure, in which India has a big role. Mahara raised the issue of talks when Indian ministers from eight States were meeting with an agenda focused on Nepal's Maoist conflict and its effect on India. The State ministers held the meeting soon after Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba returned from his official visit to India. Since then, the Maoists have been lambasting the Indian government and it is believed that they are preparing a new military model to counter the Indian action.

As a new strategy to gain international support, the Maoists have been gradually spreading their political ideals in several European countries. Their members are already active in Germany and Belgium, making efforts to secure refugee status for their arrested senior leaders like Kiran, CP Gajurel, Matrika Yadab, Suresh Ale Magar and other central level leaders. They had been successful in sending some German lawyers to Chennai on 24 March for Gajurel's release. The rebels had even sought help from a female German lawyer to request the UNHRC in Geneva to assist in the rebel leaders' release. The rebels had also managed to gain active support through American citizen Arthur Parsi, a member of World's People's Resistance.

It is assumed that the Indian government took a stronger stance against the rebels after finding that the Maoists used India as a base to establish their links in Switzerland, German, UK, Italy and other countries in Europe to pressurise India to release their leaders.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)