8-14 November 2013 #680

Moderate Hardliners vs Hardline Moderates

The sky is dark with parachutists descending on Kathmandu for the election story and some of you have been asking the Ass off the record whether there will be polls next week. My answer has been a categorical “yes and no”. Others ask if there will be mayhem, my emphatic reply is “maybe”. And some of you want to know whether if it is safe to eat the momos and my answer to that is: “Only if you boil the buffalo first.” There are lots of rumours flying around and Ass’ advice is to believe all gossip until it is proven that they are only half true.


One conspiracy theory that is gaining currency is that The Cash is actually instigating The Dash to try to disrupt the elections and have them postponed because Awesome has a bad feeling about it. He has started seeing ass-trologers (not me) and wearing strange rings and lockets. But even if the boycott and sabotage by Hyphen Maoists doesn’t scuttle polls, the Bracket Maoists feel they will benefit if there is a low turnout. How they came up with that conclusion we don’t know, but the idea may be that only battle-hardened ex-gorillas will go out and vote if pressure cookers and plumbing pipes start showing up at voting booths on 11/19.


The clincher was Bijay Gachhadar who didn’t even see the irony of what he was saying when he told a rally in Sunsari this week: “The election will happen because the international community is determined to have it.” Oh yes? And not because Nepalis want it?


Some of this is not just in the realm of rumours. The National Investigation Bureau (our version of the NSA) has presented CJ KRR with an assessment in which it concludes that Unserer Fuhrer is out to sabotage elections on some pretext or other. The reason Awesome is feeling awful these days is that there is low turnout and feeble applause at his rallies no matter how many marigold garlands he is bedecked in. This is not surprising since he has been literally using gallows humour by saying he is willing to get himself hanged and in the same breath confessing that his real ambition is to install himself as executive president after the new constitution is written, or when Ram Burrun retires, whichever comes first. But what really gets PKD’s goat is when BRB is greeted with more applause than him.


The two are on their East-West Highway campaign run this week and the idea is to declare a serial bund on the country’s main transportation artery before the Dashies get a chance to inflict a 10-day nationwide shutdown next week. The Mechi-Mahakali Highway Campaign sounded great when it was conceived by party strategists in Kathmandu, but it seems to have backfried somewhat on the ground because everyone who is stuck in the monstrous traffic jams has been cursing the organisers. By promoting itself in the Tarai as the party that is solidly for autonomy for the Madhes, the Cash is seeking to compensate for the loss of votes in the midhills. However, the campaign rallies are held in highway towns where there are large concentrations of hill migrants who are not so hot on autonomy for those south of the East-West Highway.


The Homely Minister’s unconvincing answers and attempt to pass the buck in an interview on BBC Nepali this week proved that the govt has no plans at all on how to deal with strikers next week. Gimme Ray’s answer when asked what the police would do when the Dash start cremating buses: “The people will resist.” Gubberment is spooked by the threats from the Hyphen wallahs, but the breakaway faction is also in a disarray as election day approaches since it looks like the 10-day strike and the boycott call is going to be counter-productive. Terror tactics may scare some of the people some of the time, but bunds tend to fizzle out after Day Two. Baidya Ba aka Kiran Kaka has now started thinking about the existential crisis that is going to hit him post-election. He was tempted to agree to Awesome’s offer of 26 nominated seats in the new CA, but Big Plop wouldn’t hear any of it. In fact the rift between the moderate hardliners and the hardline hardliners is now reaching a breaking point. This is going to be a national crisis: what are we going to name the faction of the Dash that breaks off? Confused? Flummoxed? Don’t worry, none of us can make any head or tail of it either. But here is a short and handy guide to the various Maoist faxons:

Cash (Prachandra)

Dash (Baidya Ba)

Gash? (Big Plop)

Crash (CP)?

Rash (Pra-cash)

Brash (Baburam)

Hash (Hisila)

Gnash (Narankaji)

Lash (Lilamani)

Mash (Bina Magar)

Sash (Sita)

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