When actress Rekha Thapa ditches Prachanda and chooses to dance with Kamal Thapa’s RPP because she is a “pucca Hindu naari”, you know that Nepali politics has undergone a tectonic shift. Quite a few such seismic tremors have been recorded in the last few weeks. A significant faction of the Nepali Kangress showed up at a packed Nepal Academy Hall to argue for doing away with secularism and restoring Nepal’s Hindu identity. Speaking at that gathering was also Christian Pastor KB Rokaya, formerly the principal Maoist nominee to the Human Rights Commission, arguing for a Hindu Nepal. Former Baburam Comrade and current Maoist deputy prime minister Top Bahadur Raymajhi openly charges the Maoist “peoples’ war” duo Prachanda/Baburam of being Mughlani agents. Another Kangress MP Chandra Bhandari – one of a growing tribe of young leaders defying their party whip to join the Butwal protests against bifurcating the Tarai from the rest of Nepal – says the same thing about his leaders and thinks a peaceful transition was possible only because of King Gyanendra’s love of his country!
The Nepali public has grown so cynical of the shallowness and frivolities of the current Loktantrickster ruling class that hardly an eyebrow was raised when Baburam Bhattarai, the Doctor of Flip-Flops said that it was wrong to have signed the November 12-point Delhi deal in Delhi. Yes, it was the same Baburam who was the principal architect of that deal, he having been whisked away from his internment by his own comrades-in-arms in Rolpa during the waning days of the Maoist insurgency by the Mughlani spooks to work out that deal. The public was not buying his mea culpa because by now the charade is fully exposed: it was not doing the deal in Delhi that was wrong but the deal itself which handed over the political keys of kingdom to the Mughlani Sahu! And no, your Mughlani handlers would not have allowed you to do that deal in Rolpa because they could not afford to let either you and your comrades or the highly egoistic Girija Koirala to stray away from their script.
And today, ten years hence, that narrative of a “peoples’ uprising” or of “Nepal’s transition to peace” is so threadbare it cannot hide the nakedness of the fact that they were but proxy wars and regime change waged by the Mughlani establishment against a small neighbor. It does not convince even the frustrated Maoist ex-combatants, so much so that the deal makers have to speak with a thousand tongues, each contradicting the other. The script was not supposed to go awry so disastrously. Removing a supposedly pro-Chinese King Gyanendra (the Republican Mughlanis forgot to ask: how a king can be pro anything outside of his kingdom?) was supposed to usher in a very pro-Mughlani regime and peace for all times to come. Instead, what we have today is anti-Mughlani sentiments viral and entrenched for generations to come as never before in Nepal’s recent history.
Caught paralyzed like a deer facing a car’s headlights is the self-styled “international community”, mostly northern EU and American diplomats who gathered a week ago in their monthly International Development Partners’ Group meeting at the UNDP hall to take stock of the current political situation. They did not see eye-to-eye with each other, nor were they able to come out with their usual high pedestal sermon to the Loktantricksters of the need for a consensus on the Mughlani script, this time on the pointless constitution amendment to bifurcate the multi-ethnic Tarai away from the rest of Nepal. It has no logic other than to fit the Mughlani script carried by a quarrelling bunch of Madhesi leader who lost the last elections because their own constituents did not trust them. Or maybe it is because they were paralysed by the blunt and down-to-earth tweets of the newly elected President Trump as well as the rise of the Right in Europe that runs completely counter to the regime change crusades practices across the globe by the Left of the West since the fall of the Soviet Union! In Nepal that misplaced missionary zeal expressed itself in their outsourcing their foreign policy to the Mughlanis and now the anti-Mughlani sentiments here are also smudging them as well. We will just have to wait and see how the global spaghetti sticks to the wall in the days ahead.
The only ones not as tainted by siding up to Mughlani adventurism in Nepal since the start of this century and which accelerated since 2005 are the Japanese and the Chinese. The latter recently invited King Gyanendra for a week-long official visit to China and the former chose to have Princess Himani as a special guest at their embassy function to celebrate the Emperor’s 83rd birthday. Both of them, and the Russians as well, “international” though they undoubtedly are, had never been part of the self-styled “international community” described above and had never been warm to the idea of regime change pushed since 2005 but were unable to stop the Mughlani juggernaut. Japanese Prime Minister Abe, unlike UK’s Prime Minister David Cameroon, has additionally earned the goodwill of Nepalis by not subscribing to Modi’s pushing for including Nepal in their joint statement.
The self-styled “international community” might also ask: where are the so-called civil society stalwarts of 2005/2006 currently and why is it that they are silent and unable to take any lead in expressing the public frustration as seen in Butwal and other places? Is it because they were but mere pawns in the larger Mughlani adventurism that has now backfired and that their public credibility is no longer a bankable asset? Why is it that the corporate media, whether print or electronic, has very little public credibility; and why is it that the impossible-to-censor social media is where people find more credible news? Is it because they are seen as part and parcel of the same failed leadership that cannot deliver but refuses to go away?
They might like to find the answer in two places: the genuine Nepali peace and ceasefire with the Maoists in January 2003 by the King’s government, a ceasefire that was ultimately sabotaged by the Mughlanis and replaced by the 12-point Delhi deal under their tutelage. The other is King Gyanendra’s November 2005 speech at the Dhaka SAARC Summit and the subsequent holding of municipal elections in Nepal in February 2006. If they look honestly, they might find out why they are currently like deer paralyzed by the headlights of a car speeding to disaster. They might also learn the real meaning behind a new word that has entered the country’s political lexicon – lampasaarbad (translation: abject kow-towing) which has now gone viral.
I once asked the Finnish chargé d'affaires Pauli Mustonen (who incidentally perished tragically in the WWF helicopter crash in Ghunsa of Kangchenjunga Conservation Area in September 2006) why the Europeans were going after a false narrative that would cause Nepal and its relations with the EU immense harm down the road. His cynical reply was that means did not matter as long as the end was what it was. Sadly, it does; and hopefully the “international community” is belatedly coming to realize that.