Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Comments on The Economists's 10 Dec 2009 article on Nepal

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15065747&source=hptextfeature

The full text of the article in The Economist (UK) is available at the above link.

It appears that the "Maoist Mole" at The Economist is at it again. I disagree with the statements:
(a) that the "Spread of violence in Nepal is not just the Maoists' fault"; and
(b) "India faces a choice between a democratic Nepal where the Maoists have a big role and a militarised Nepal where, ultimately, the army calls the shots. For all its pride in its own democratic traditions, India might plump for the soldiers. If it wants stability and peace on its borders, that would be the wrong choice"

(a) The culture of violence is the Maoists' unique gift to Nepal. They still grind the country to a halt (bandhs) at the drop of a hat. They have displaced at least 60,000 families during their insurgency. Journalists have been killed and maimed with incredible impunity. Appropriated property has not been returned. They are in the process of unilaterally, i.e. without authority from the Constituent Assembly, 'proclaiming' 13 'autonomous states'. Again unilaterally, they are letting loose 4,000 disqualified combatants from the cantonments, over 50% of whom are minors, without planning for their reintegration into society. There are over 100 armed political groups now in Nepal, copying the Maoists. The Economist is unawares of ground reality here when it makes this irresponsible statement.

(b) The phrase "democratic Nepal where the Maoists have a big role" is a contradiction in itself. There will be NO democratic Nepal if the Maoists have their way. The Economist may fool itself in its ivory tower; we Nepalis do not have that luxury. Though the Maoist leadership displays a spectrum of Marxist-Leninist thinking ranging from the doctrinaire to the opportunistic, we cannot overlook the fact that they have come to power by the bullet, with only a thinly disguised veneer of the ballot. Multi-party democracy is not in their scheme of things. They have admitted as much.

While I do not believe that the army has the skills or is meant to govern, it can better provide stability and peace than the Maoists. The latter's dismal record on peace and stability is there for all to see since the time they emerged as the largest party in the CA.

It is also revealing how The Economist has given the choice to India. It seems it is not Nepal's choice whether we strive for democracy or concede Army rule. Anyone in Nepal who knows where their bread is buttered will agree that, given the current situation, the choice indeed is India's. What a pity!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The `Economist leader is an indication of our international standing and how our political leaders have tied themselves into a knot.
I partially agree with what they say but disagree fully with the stark choices of siding with the Maoist or the army.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, insurgency/revolt was introduced in the 20th century as retaliation to the plundering colonialists.

Secondly, name a place where the Brits have succeeded in solving an insurgency. The Brits wrote their glorified history as they gradually withdrew from SE Asia after recognizing the inevitable defeat. They failed to contain the 3% Chinese Yellow insurgents when the biggest challenge in insurgency is to identify the enemy. Till today the insurgent leader is in South Thailand and occasionally he reminds us of his existence. Yet that Empirial Colonial power failed to solve the insurgency.

Thirdly, the Brits did play a significant role to fuel the Maoist insurgency including instigating the issues of ethnicity and inclusiveness beyond the capacity of the State and providing financial assistance to the Maoist insurgents as "work for Food" program.

Therefore it is most inappropriate for the Economist's version to be granted any due credibility. Stop throwing stones at others glass houses too.

Anonymous said...

It is not the economist writing this piece. They have outsourced it to a Brit residing in Nepal - who frequently writes reports on Nepal. So his inclination and analysis has become the Economist's fodder. The Economist needs to hire a more neutral analyst.

Subodh said...

Where is Churchill? Is Britain going to the dogs?

HORATIO said...

Anon 6:46, that is interesting info indeed. I'm surprised that a magazine with the reputation of The Economist would "outsource" so haphazardly. You wouldn't happen to know who this resident Brit is?

Nepal Polity said...

Nice and insightful comments and deep analysis on Nepal's ground reality.

Akash Bhairab said...

I re read the Economist leader and the article inside on Nepal. And if I may suggest I really think you should send your appropriate response (as a letter to the Economist)excerpted from your blog: It is very well written and sounds so logical!! I quote from your blog:

The phrase "democratic Nepal where the Maoists have a big role" is a contradiction in itself. There will be NO democratic Nepal if the Maoists have their way. The Economist may fool itself in its ivory tower; we Nepalis do not have that luxury. Though the Maoist leadership displays a spectrum of Marxist-Leninist thinking ranging from the doctrinaire to the opportunistic, we cannot overlook the fact that they have come to power by the bullet, with only a thinly disguised veneer of the ballot. Multi-party democracy is not in their scheme of things. They have admitted as much.

While I do not believe that the army has the skills or is meant to govern, it can better provide stability and peace than the Maoists. The latter's dismal record on peace and stability is there for all to see since the time they emerged as the largest party in the CA.

It is also revealing how The Economist has given the choice to India. It seems it is not Nepal's choice whether we strive for democracy or concede Army rule. Anyone in Nepal who knows where their bread is buttered will agree that, given the current situation, the choice indeed is India's. What a pity!

Anonymous said...

The Maoists have time and again maintained that they are the new state of Nepal and they are fighting the old state of Nepal (represented then by the king and the old body politic). Nowhere have they said they are a political party like NC, UML, et all. The quicker our politicos and the international community recognize this fact the better.