Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nepal: Maoists Face The Surreality Of Newness

The Unified Marxist-Leninists (UML), despite their recent bonhomie with the Maoists, have set up their own brigade of brigands to counter the Young Communist League. With enough revolutionary shine, the UML might gain far more than the men and women it lost to the Maoists in the early years of the People's War.

In other words: now various different communist factions are going to be wrestling for control of Nepal.

From the way Prime Minister Koirala tricked the nation into believing his intent to resign was an actual resignation, it is clear the wily octogenarian is far from a spent force.

With the monarchy gone, the feudalism tag has centered on the upper castes dominating the major parties. As the largest one, the Maoists are particularly vulnerable.

So the upper classes are still in control of everything? What a surprise! Here we thought that abolishing monarchy would instantly make everyone equal!

Geopolitically, things are in a state of flux. India's home minister keeps assuring his country that Nepal's Maoists share nothing beyond ideological ties with the Naxalites. But sections of the Indian media have the opposite view and have been reaffirming it with energetically in recent weeks.

One Calcutta newspaper suggested how Gyanendra Shah's birth chart remains royally propitious.

Makes me wish I believed in astrology.

With the transition to the premiership becoming so thorny, Prachanda must be scared stiff of what might await him in power. If the Maoist rank and file still expect an October Revolution, they probably realize it may be mounted against them.

Aspiring revolutionaries of the world, please bear that in mind as the Nepalese Maoists did not: once you start a revolution, history tells us that you yourself are very likely to end up in the tumbrils.

This columnist maintains a blog about Nepal that is certainly worth reading.

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