New demarcation lines Should Maoists get a second chance?
That morning Prachanda was to be sworn in as the Prime Minister of the globe’s newest republic.
The organizers of Miss Nepal Pageants, former Miss Nepals and all the contestants of Miss Nepal 2008 were at hand at his residence to greet the new PM and also present him with a petition for the right to hold the pageant which was heading towards being stopped through the forceful intimidation by the revolutionary women’s group, a Maoist sister outfit. He told the petitioners
that he was “positive” on the issue. Perhaps, that was his first public statement on record before taking the oath of the high office of the PM.
In the end, despite wide public and press support Miss Nepal 2008 pageant did not take place, thanks to the extreme high handedness and the terror tactics meted by the Maoist women activists. The moral of this issue: actually two things had failed. One, the 2008 pageant failed to take place and the other the gravity of PM’s “positive” meaning also had miserably failed.
It is now on record that during his 263 days in office, to each and everyone including the foreign communities here and abroad, he had said that he was positive. As things unfolded nothing positive quiet happened. Crisis of confidence and distrust grew.
At the end of the day, hoodwinking all the people all the time was not possible. Prachanda paid the price for his inaction. Today, the rest is history.
The profuse use and play by our politicians of words such as positive, janata, naya Nepal, and more lately “civilian supremacy” are mere camouflage in promoting and protecting their vested agenda rather than benefiting the people at large. These ear-pleasing and weighty political jargons are full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
Let’s take stock of these politically injected words in the present day Nepali context. The often used word “positive” by Prachanda has forced people to hurriedly re-consult the Oxford / Chambers Dictionaries in search for the true meaning of the word. Perhaps, in Prachandapath the meaning of the word positive is different.
For decades down the line, history tells us that every ruler, government and system has promised to work for the good of the janata. If this was the case our janata by now should have been enjoying the basic fruits of development. But then in reality, where are we now? Or are there two sets of janata in this country, one those who are around the power centers, the other the real janata? In the name of the janata, politicians have ruined the nation. Beware, Maoists now are talking about “people’s movement-III”. Will the people suffer once again?
The building of a ‘new Nepal’ is a political coinage and thus a farce. Has Nepal lost /won battles so that it needs to re-draw new demarcation lines, or through our carelessness lost our old Nepal leading in search for a ‘new Nepal’? Politics and political circus that
are presently being enacted here will not help find a new Nepal. Perhaps, it would have been wiser if we put all our efforts for building a better Nepal.
Now, on the issue of “civilian supremacy”. It is an expression coined by the UCPN Maoists as they began to see the government spearheaded by them
beginning to tumble apart because of the burden of non-delivery. Further, after the secret videotape broadcast, the CoAS incident, atrocities of the YCL and its sister outfits, encouragement to impunity and flouting the rule of law and the Maoist leadership’s constant declaration of capturing state power through force, the hidden meaning of civil supremacy needs closer scrutiny.
If civil supremacy means appointing the murderer of businessman Ram Hari Shrestha (his wife is still fighting gross miscarriage of justice) to a plum post in the Maoist hierarchy, then the philosophy of civil
supremacy has already dug its grave. People will resist such supremacy.
With the hasty unholy alliance of our political parties, Maoists were able to walk out of the jungle. In
doing so they did change their appearance by discarding the worn-out rebellion fatigues and donning western style suits and ties. What they failed to do was to change their behavior and attitude.
This led to their ultimate downfall. Making them the largest party, the Maoists were given the chance by the people with a mandate to govern the nation for the betterment of the people and the country. In failing to uphold the mandate, the Maoists also lost the people’s faith. In the political chess board it is highly unlikely to keep the largest party in the Constituent Assembly out in the cold for a long time. The Maoists cannot shirk their responsibilities in playing a constructive role in bringing peace to a logical conclusion and writing a new constitution.
Perhaps, the people could give them a second chance only if they are ready to change their behavior and attitude. If the Maoists are hoping and thinking on these lines they should
take careful note of Barack Obama’s cautious warning that “Power also cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please”.