Nepali Times
State Of The State
When the women begin to weep


According to the Rocca Doctrine the Maoist insurgency isn't just Nepal's problem anymore. Himalayan ultras are now a serious threat to South Asia's regional security. There are now hints that the Indian establishment is also beginning to get over its not-in-my-backyard syndrome to share this view. Ambassador Shyam Sharan turned allegations about Maoists' India connection on its head last week by publicly alleging that Naxalite ultras from Bihar may be getting their training from Nepali comrades.

So, at least we all seem to agree this crisis has a cross-border dimension. Post- 9/11 and pre-Iraq, the region is now under the US security umbrella whether it likes it or not. And if Rocca declares "when you act like a terrorist, you are in fact a terrorist", she is merely underlining the new rules of this global Great Game.

Despite the bravado of Comrade Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai in their cyber-statement this week, it is clear the Maoist leadership has also started to feel the impact of the Rocca Doctrine. The supporting pillars of their armed revolution may not be tottering yet, but they are showing serious structural damage.

Intellectuals have been the first to give up on the Maoists. All of a sudden, the issue of addressing the "root causes" of the insurgency has receded into the background. The new theme in the seminar circuit is "conflict resolution". In any conflict resolution process, extremists are sidelined.

Then there are the royalists. The extreme right initially found common cause with the extreme left because they both needed to squeeze the centre. But it was only a question of time before the royalists got repelled by the Maoists' hardcore republicanism. Also, the global right sees the need to stick together in the global war against terror.

A section of Nepal's urban middle-class once harboured the hopes of a benign revolution led by one of their own. But no one ever thought that urban planner Baburam, agro-scientist Pushpa Kamal and engineer Ram Bahadur would steer them towards the abyss. The middle class took one peep down, and didn't want to have anything to do with it. Maoist noises about their willingness to hold talks with the vestiges of the ancien regime is perhaps aimed more at the middle class than at the government itself.

Romantics of the fashionable left also decided the revolution is a lost cause when they figured it was unlikely that the red flag was going to flap on Sagarmatha any time soon. When a revolution goes sour, international reds seldom linger around-they move on and find another cause somewhere else in the world. Commitment is a luxury when you are sitting on the sidelines, as it must be for the likes of the pro-Maoist Pinay-American, Li Onesto.

And last but not least, the seven year itch is sure to afflict the Maoist middle-order once it becomes plain that the dictatorship of the proletariat is a mirage. Prachanda Path is more of a creed than an ideology, but can it keep the loyalty of half-educated youths who have already spent the better part of their prime in the wilderness? Had the answer been yes, the Maoists would not be looking for a safe landing. Impatience of their own cadre is a bigger threat to the leadership, especially when the safe havens aren't all that safe any more.

More than logic and reason it is often the raw emotion of an alienated population that causes a violent revolution. That fire of revolution seems to have been put out in Nepal because the explosion of violence sucked out all the oxygen. After the death of thousands of innocent victims, there is a silent torrent of tears flowing down our rivers.
There is a proverb in Maithili: when women begin to weep, no force on earth can stop a cataclysm. The architects of this revolution seem to have finally realised that.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)