Showing posts from September, 2005

Indian Maoists And The Nepal Movement For Democracy

This is tall talk, but I believe India will also have to follow my lead. The Maoist insurgency is a huge reality in Nepal, and it is also a large, growing reality in India. What is my lead? My lead is to realize democracy itself will have to be redesigned, it will have to be reinvented. Democracy as it got copied from Britain five decades back is inherently inadequate. The elections and the parliaments do not seem to empower those utterly poor. The grinding poverty never seems to go away. There seems to be no way out. The gun ends up having appeal, almost like a safety valve for the down and out. Like Mahatma Gandhi said, if it is between the oppressed doing nothing and getting violent, I would rather they opted for violent protests. The utterly powerless are speaking. We need to opt to listen to them as opposed to pouring all our resources into silencing them. We need to channel their energy into peaceful ways by engaging them in a respectful dialogue that leads to a respectable, jus…

The RNA Could Be Disbanded


Pyar Jung's Jumbo Size Love For The King

Like Ram Baran Yadav said to me on the phone from Delhi many months back: "This is your typical Third World dictator."

Buy a plane, and then go where?

Phone Marathon II
Phone Marathon: Called Up Delhi

Royal 737
Jana Aastha, 28 SeptemberThe army has in principle decided to buy a Boeing 737 for the king’s visits abroad to be paid for by the Royal Nepali Army’s Welfare Fund. The need for such an aircraft was raised by C-in-C Pyar Jung Thapa because Royal Nepal Airlines’ 15-year-old 757s could not be guaranteed to be snag-free during preparations for His Majesty’s visit to New York which was scrubbed. The idea is for the army to buy the $45.5-77 million plane and lease it to Royal Nepal Airlines for its regional routes. The 737 could be of the 800 or 900 series and would be equipped for VVIP flights or to carry 177 passengers in the airliner configuratio…

The Foreign Powers Need To Come Clean On The Constituent Assembly Question

Time For The Nepali Congress To Take A Stand On The Constituent Assembly Question (March 19)

China is neutral. It will stay that way even after democracy is earned. China is not an anti-democracy, pro-monarchy power. It is at best a benevolent neighbor that wishes Nepal economic success.

India, US and the EU have been vocal on the democracy question. But those three powers have been even more lethargic than the seven party coalition in Nepal in their willingness to get down to basic arithmetic.

If the Nepali Congress had come around to the idea of a Constituent Assembly in 2000, Nepal would have been spared a lot of pain. Folks, the 1990 constitution is the problem. The Congress is still hung up on the idea of House revival, which is big evidence that party has still not ended its puppy love affair with the 1990 constitution.

This Inadequate, Improper, Insufficient 1990 Constitution (April 4)

For the foreign powers singing the democracy tune, I have this message: a country to be a democrac…

Sadbhavana Meets In Janakpur

The Maoists Must Continue With The Ceasefire

By their own admission, the Maoists did not declare the ceasefire for the Monarchists. They did it for the democrats. Sporadic clashes here and there with the RNA should fall in the "active defence" category. And they should continue to maintain the ceasefire. The movement of the seven parties that they do support needs that space. On their part, the seven parties need to speed up the dialogue. Delayed dialogue could lead to a formal breakdown of the ceasefire. The movement can not afford that. Just when massive preparations are underway.
Start at the final step: a Maoist party that is no longer armed and is functioning within a multi-party framework. Then come backwards from there. And dialogue makes so much sense. Because there is no other way.
The Maoists are better off fighting the war of words than the war of bullets at this stage. Let the world know how the RNA continues to hun them and is in no mood for peace. This is an image…

The Maoist Ceasefire: The Devil In The Details

It is hard to declare and then maintain a unilateral ceasefire when the state security forces continue to hunt you. It is an action-reaction thing. The Monarchists do not recognize the Maoists, and the Maoists return the favor. The Monarchists did not want to talk to the Maoists, and the Maoists don't want to talk to the king.

The king has no intention to either reciprocate the ceasefire or to seek international mediation to monitor the Maoist ceasefire, or to engage in mutual trust-building measures.

And so it would be unrealistic to think the Maoists would suddenly get all pure and all that.

There are continued reports of abductions and extortions. The Maoists might see that as taxation and education. But the Maoists have to realize it is no longer time for just what they think. Got to make room for what the democrats think. If the democrats think it is abductions and extortions, that is what it is, or at least there is a major disagreement.

Besides, you don't order a people int…