Nepali Politics shifts from Delhi to Beijing
Kathmandu: Believe it or not, however, the crude fact is that Nepal’s politics appears to be slipping out of the firm grips of New Delhi establishment.
Intelligent brains having nationalistic tilt conclude that India has all along since early 1950s kept Nepali politics in its fold through the excessive use of “carrot and stick” policy. Carrot means that India seduced the Nepali leaders in its favor providing shelter and financial and political support as and when they demanded it to cut the wings of the ruling monarch.
Stick came into action as and when the ruling elites in Kathmandu tried to come out of the grips of the Indian establishment. This policy was applied even, to recall, on late King Birendra in the late eighties and more freshly to King Gyanendra who out rightly rejected the Indian dominance in Nepal’s politics.
King Gyanendra is the fresh victim of Indian highhandedness.
However, some political men appear to have come to their senses of late. More so the Maoists appear desperate in coming out of the clutches of the Indian establishment perhaps concluding that enough had become enough. An act of wisdom, one must admit.
To come to the point.
The Maoists, to recall, had “excessively used” New Delhi’s overt and covert gestures only for legitimizing their entrance into the scheme of Nepal’s government structure. At least this much is visible even to a half-blind politico. Now that they are already in the government-which has not only legitimized their party but has also opened the doors for “establishing” friendly relations with the outside world that is beyond India as well. The first shock to the Indian South Block mandarins.
Gone are the days of Sitaram Yechury, S.D.Muni and even Shyam Saran-the self styled India’s experts on Nepal-who have now little-as much as is being made visible-to shape and chart the future course of Nepali politics. This applies to Ambassador K.V.Rajan as well. He is the one sober Indian intellectual who though wants Nepal to remain under the grips of his country but with care. Analysts say that Mr. Rajan too was here in Kathmandu recently. Why he would have come to Kathmandu is any body’s guess.
In a way, the Maoists paraphernalia under Comrade Prachanda and Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai exhibited their “political acumen” in sending subtle message across the border that since the “Indian utility” has come to an end and thus the Indian establishment must not and should not “expect much political favors” from the Maoists.
The days for Prof. Wang Hoi-the Chinese scholar considered to be a Nepal expert and Mr. Li Shaoxian, the Vice Chairman of China’s Institute for International Relations. The latter was recently in town almost coinciding with S.D.Muni and Shyan Saran’s undeclared trip to Nepal. The second electric shock to India by all means.
This changed political set of symptoms is very dangerous for India and its establishment which had hoped that the Maoists in the government structure would be helpful and supportive in quelling their own Naxal movement, is not forthcoming.
Look how the Indian allege that the Nepali Maoists might have together with the Indian Naxals could have attacked the Indian security forces recently.
Quoting Indian media sources the Indian security forces claim that the “Naxalite groups in India were being supported by their counterparts from Nepal, for waging assault against the state led forces”.
Indian media reports claim that in a recent Naxalite strike near Errabore in Dantewada district, UP, the involvement of the Nepal Maoists have been confirmed.
This does, if proven correct as per the claims being made by the Indian media to wrap the Nepali Maoists, tell that the Nepali ex-rebels were still in close contacts with their Indian counterparts. The third political pinch to the South Block establishment.
This is certainly a new headache for India which had concluded that the Nepali Maoists would when in power in Nepal tell their Indian counterparts to join the mainstream country’s politics.
If on the one hand it is so, then the Nepali Maoists are seen to be in a mood to “expand and enhance” their friendly ties with the European Community and more revealingly with the Chinese establishment of late.
The trip of Dr. Bhattarai to Oslo and that of Prachanda’s to Geneva does tell that the Maoists now conclude that there are countries beyond India as well.
High placed sources in Kathmandu have told this weekly that well within a month or so, some fifteen plus top-tanking military Commanders and Commissars have visited China in what they call “to study” the Chinese model of “development”. The undeclared visits to China are not counted here.
What is noteworthy in contrast here is that not even a single Maoist top-hat has in the mean time visited India under any pretext or the other. This constitutes the fourth Jhataka for the Indian State.
To the extent that the son of Comrade Prachanda-Prakash Dahal-recently landed in Kathmandu upon completion of his ten day long trip to China. The junior Dahal was all praise for China and the leaders he met there during his ten day trip.
This sudden change in hearts of the Nepali Maoists towards India is intriguing indeed.
S.D. Muni perhaps came to Nepal recently to “appeal” the Nepali Maoists not to forget the “Indian assistance” in their bad and old days in hibernation. The suggestion went unheeded, perhaps.
Later comes notorious Shyam Saran, former Indian ambassador to Nepal, to sound Girija Prasad Koirala that such alarming trend seen in Nepali politics would not be tolerated by India which brought the entire EPA in government through many overt and covert practices.
The fact is that India would not want any third country influence in this country even by default. Contrary to India’s thinking and structured policy, the Maoists appear more inclined towards the Chinese establishment now. The fake Indian glue that attached the EPA appears to have already lost its chemical effect. After all fake is fake.
The declaration of the freshly appointed Chinese Ambassador that his country would wish to establish “formal relations” even with the Maoists must have come as a bombshell for the entire establishment. Hardly had the Chinese envoy made such revelation, the Nepali Maoists in good numbers has already visited China under one pretext or the other. This must be taken as the final shock to the Indians.
The climax is yet to come.
The Indian Ambassador Shiv Shanker Mukherjee went to see the Maoists militias in Shaktikhor cantonment situated in Chitwan district. Hardly had two weeks elapsed of Ambassador Mukherjee’s visit to that cantonment, a contingent of visiting Chinese delegation from the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, CICIR, led by the team leader Mr. Li Shaoxian, too visited the same cantonment.
This Chinese visit to the same cantonment is more than significant and important as well, speaking on political terms.
Some even claim that the Maoists are “drifting” away from India which is certainly a bad omen for Indian establishment.
Others say that the Maoists appear simply to revive the now defunct “equidistant” theory in the conduct of Nepal’s relations with India and China.
If so then it would mean that the Maoists would wish to expand and enhance the party’s relations with China come what may. For them, the Indian utility appears to have come to an end.
Be that as it may, the news that PM Koirala is shortly leaving for China will definitely be not taken in good taste by the Indian authorities. Add to this the Chinese wish to export Petro-products to Nepal must jolt the entire Indian establishment at a single stretch.
The next bombshell. Comrade Prachanda is visiting China around October this year and sources close to the Maoists say that Prachanda will be granted “audience” by Hu Jintao-the President of Republic of China.
Now that the Monarchy is not with India. Maoists appear reluctant to continue their friendship with India. Then who is closer to the Indian establishment? Certainly the SPA(Seven Party Alliance). But for how long is the question that has been boggling the minds of the Nepali intellectuals?
The King is on record to have said the other day that he would “rather bow to the EPA(Eight Party Alliance), but not to India”. King’s message is loud and clear. The Maoists subtle hint too is some what similar to that of the now sidelined King.Politics appears to have shifted already from Delhi to Beijing.