Dec 23, 2009

India Loosing Grounds in Nepal

N. P. Upadhyaya /  The Telegraph Nepal

Kathmandu: The stage is set for a fierce confrontation should the two sides continue to remain unbending over their preferred and declared posture.

The Maoists very efficiently and, let’s admit the fact, effectively exhibited their numerical strength in the Kathmandu streets during their three day closure which was definitely associated with the muscle prowess as well.

The government remained all along a mere onlooker during this Maoist sponsored Bundh even when the Kathmandu and the entire country denizens have had to endure the troubles and difficulties that was caused by the fresh closure.

In many more ways than one, the Nepal Maoists bagged success in sending signals here and there that they were still very alive and kicking though out from the power structure at the moment.

In fact the Maoists prevailed over the Nepal government and in the process even challenged the validity and the legal authority of the Constituent Assembly by undertaking a job that remained the sole duty and preserve of the CA body.

The declaration of some fourteen different autonomous States in a unilateral manner by the Maoists does in many more ways than one cap the legal authority of the CA body which is as good as defunct now speaking on legal terms. The raison d’être of the CA body has come to an end.

With the success of the fresh Nepal closure, the Maoists leaders and the cadres alike have reasons to be elated for the party of the ex-rebels accomplished tasks that are usually done by the radical communists prior to the Capture of the State.

Virtually, the Maoists have captured the State though some hitches still remain as regards the demarcation of the newly formed States which time permitting they will “impose” upon the silent and frightened population whenever they feel it do so.

The so called liberals and the pseudo-democrats could not even come to the streets in protest of the Maoists fresh move if they really disliked the declaration of the autonomous bodies by the Maoists. The shying away of the democrats must have encouraged the Maoists who in all likelihood do some more puzzling declarations in the days ahead. They may even declare government from the streets.

Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, one of the Maoists’ vice chairmen is on record to have already stated that the Maoists plan to declare a “people’s constitution” right from the streets. When the Maoists say it, they mean it and have the guts to do what they announce.

The democrats are in a deep slumber. They will have to pay heavy price some time later for their inefficiency in protesting the Maoist’s unilateral moves.

Now let’s concentrate on analyzing the current politics.
What has been more than clear is that none of the parties having their representation in the CA body wish to draft the new constitution.

Maoists do not want the constitution drafted by the CA because they want it to be declared by themselves right from the streets which suited the people. Their goal is the formation of what they call “People’s Republic”. The Maoists are inching towards their goal though the speed is bit slower.

The Nepali Congress, almost a non-political entity now, too has apparently concluded that with the remaining 157 days left for the constitution draft, it could not be drafted on the stipulated date and time and thus prefers to encourage the President to take over the charge of the nation under one pretext or the other.

The NC idea is to impose Presidential rule in the country and through the effective use of the Nepal Army crush the former rebels.

The former rebels are not that fools not to have understood this NC ploy.
To recall, recently a NC delegation went to see the President and “advised” him to take over the charge of the nation. The President is learnt to have listened to his former party friends but did not provide words.

Similarly, the UML too by now has clearly understood that given the Maoists terrifying activities in progress, the draft of the new constitution was next to impossible and thus remains in a fix. The UML is a party that is neither democratic nor a communist one. It is divided which could be seen clearly if one carefully listened to various speeches being made by different leaders at one stretch.

But then yet, majority of the UML leaders would want the constitution drafted on time by the CA body.
Bam Dev Gautam, one of the nearest and dearest allies of the Maoists candidly claims in his lectures that sans the participation of the Maoists, neither the constitution be drafted nor the peace process could see a logical end.

However, Mr. Gautam is on record to have warned his own party leaders that if there is the delay even by a single minute in the draft of the new constitution, the entire constitutional premises existing at the moment will crumble like house of cards and the now sidelined King will automatically bounce back to power.

He sees the threat of the King staging a comeback. But with whose assistance? The Nepal Army or the Indian establishment? Gautam hints the NA will come to the scene in elevating the ranks of the now sidelined King. But will the people appreciate this NA move?

More or less in a similar manner, the Maoist ideologue Dr. Bhattarai, December 21, 2009, beamingly warned that after May 28, 2010-the deadline for the new constitution to get drafted-the entire constitutional organs of the State will go to the dogs to the extent that even the institution of the Nepal Presidency will cease to exist.
He was in some manner sending signals to his detractors who have been presumably conspiring to bring in the President to the country’s politics if the constitution could not be drafted on time.

“If the CA body ceases to exist then automatically the office of the Nepal President too will have the same fate”, is what Dr. Bhattarai told his cadres in Baneshwar, December 21, 2009.

Not even five months are left for the draft of the constitution and the situation is that the three major parties that sidelined the Royal Institution, early 2006, are in a mood to stage a fight-to-finish drama.

Across the border, the Indian establishment is feeling the brunt.
The political instability in Nepal will definitely have its profound impact on the Indian security situation. More so the state declaration by the Maoists has already encouraged some Indian States to go in for a similar demand. The process of such a demand in India is gaining momentum.

Indian regime now feels that she was ditched by the ones whom she “carefully nurtured” in NOIDA, Delhi for more than eight years.

Needless to say, India is the prime loser in today’s Nepalese politics as it stands.
India’s lopsided policy towards Nepal is what has become now a real burden for the Indian regime itself.
The Nepal Maoists-more or less the Indian brainchild- have begun spitting venom against India and more so they have gone to the pockets of India’s “number one enemy”-China, Nepal’s “quiet” Northern neighbor.
This is by default, analysts presume.

The Chinese penetration, by the way, has become so high in Nepal in the recent days and months that every week, if not each day, one high level Chinese delegation is in town and pouring in money like anything in Nepal and assuring this country of several project-construction with their total and unconditional assistance.
China and India are competing with each other on how to keep Nepal in their fold.

The speed with which the two neighboring giants have shown their keen interest in Nepal is unprecedented. Never thought even in dreams. The reality is that China is here now for all time to come much to the chagrin of the “traditional neighbor” in the South.

The two way competition has just begun. If Nepal could balance these two competing neighbors then well within a decade or so the country’s facelift is sure. However, that demands diplomatic acumen which is absent in Nepali leaders.

India in the meantime committed a political blunder of Himalayan dimension. Dr. Man Mohan Singh is on record to have assured Nepal PM stating that “When ever you have any problem in dealing with the Maoists in your country, talk to me instantly over telephone and I will try to fix them”.

This do in many more ways than one adds strength to the Maoists’ regular assertion that Madhav Nepal’s government is the brainchild of the Indian establishment”.

Dr. Singh, had he been an astute diplomat, must not have ventilated his caring feelings towards Mr. Nepal in Copenhagen in such a flimsy and irritating manner.

Look how fool is our own Prime Minister. He beamingly declared that “I have been assured by the Indian PM that he will look after my issues and problems in Kathmandu”.

Mr. Nepal and Dr. Singh now stand exposed to the hilt.
That Mr. Nepal is an India man has come to the fore and under this very premise, the Maoists are sure to create more havoc and panic in this country in the days ahead should their demands are not met with.
Nepali politics this way has slipped from the hands of the Indian regime. Bear with it poor India!

Yet some cards are under the Indian sleeves whose effective and timely use could allow India to regain its lost ground in Nepal.

The sidelined King is now in Delhi who, as reports have it, already met with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, December 21, 2009, afternoon.

The former King is likely to meet Dr. Singh any time from now, Nepali media reports claim.
For reasons unknown, the news of the meet has been ignored in Nepal and in India as well.

But the question is now whether the former King could be of any support to the beleaguered Indian establishment given the Himalayan Chinese penetration that is already in Nepal? Can India count on him still? Is there any way out that the Indian regime can utilize the political acumen of the now sidelined King? Who knows!

Analysts opine that the impending Indian moves will have to be watched carefully.

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