Saturday, April 19, 2008
Nepal’s lesson for us: Maoists make excellent democrats,By Jawed Naqvi
NOT so long ago Nepal’s Maoists, representing one of the world’s most impoverished people, were disowned or maligned by every state surrounding their landlocked nation. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, a worried Bhutan, not to forget the overarching presence of the world’s super-cop from the other side of the globe. Even China, at least, on the face of it, though with their inscrutable ways you can never tell for sure. Name them. Each one of them was overtly or covertly jockeying for the Maoists’ rout. And what did they prefer instead? A tyrannical monarchy that masqueraded as reincarnated Vishnu, the Hindu god of sustenance, a monarchy that ruled over its poorest subjects with untold brutality.
It’s also worth remembering that in the last days of Nepal’s imploding regime, the great democracy of India had sent a former prince of Jammu and Kashmir, of all the people, to explore how the king could yet retain his job. The RSS-led religious right tried every trick in the trade to shore up King Gyanendra whose obscurantist role it idolises, and they nearly succeeded in their nefarious mission.