Associate Professor, T.U Nepal
The opposition (read Nepali Congress and CPN-Unified Marxists Leninists) has been given yet another blow from the Maoist side. The Maoist-led Bhattarai government is all set to legalize the ownership certified by the 'People's' government's seized lands. Thousands of land-transactions that were certified by the Maoists during the decade-long armed conflict have now been given legal status, as per government's recent decision to this effect.
Opposition parties are 'doing their duty' of 'pressurizing' the government to take back that decision. As a result, the elusive 'peace process' has been stalled. 'Constitution making' too is not making any visible headway. 'Major' parties blame each other for not doing the desired, and agreed upon, tasks. Opposition parties are disrupting the House proceedings as usual.
Various works to be carried out under 'peace process' were stalled earlier because of the Maoist's intra-party disputes. Months have gone by, but no progress as such had been achieved in the past and once again the same is being repeated. Oppositions, especially the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, are in a dilemma. They neither give up all stocks to Maoist, nor are they in a position to do anything they pursue.
Maoist has been achieving what the party desires, especially after the election of the Constituent Assembly, or after the non-political and non-ethical abolition of Monarchy from the country.
The parliamentary parties, who believe in ballot, in a loud voice, used to claim 'bringing the terrorists (read Maoists) into the mainstream political process.' Yes, Maoists came into political helm through people's ballot, bagging majority of the votes at time of the CA elections held April 10, 2008. Maoist, the largest party in the CA with more seats than Nepali Congress and CPN-UML combined, is in a position to dictate the political course since last four years. It's parliamentary parties' turn to push 'demands' to the perusal of the Maoist for its implementation. And the Maoist does not even see the need to heed to their demands. Obviously, Maoists have been using others by dragging into their own terms.
The so called 'Loktantrik forces' as they boast for themselves, NC and the UML, have been put into an awkward position, politically and morally. It is because politics is the game of power. Whatever a powerful does becomes correct. And Maoists are doing just that. Keep it up ... the 'former rebels'!
Maoists are doing as per its declared policy and strategies. One should remember that Maoist's official declared policy was to abolish Monarchy, its main enemy, from Nepal and establish 'people's republic.' In addition, it was, and still is, Maoist's declared policy to 'destroy' old Nepal's all systems, political, cultural, economic and otherwise, and to create a 'New Nepal', meaning People’s Republic on lines with what the North Korea is at the moment. Most importantly, Maoists have not given up violence. In principle, this party is still holding guns. The shadow of the guns is seen everywhere in the country, even upon NC and UML, others also not spared.
By now, it should be clear to any sane person that 'Loktantrik' parties have been living in a fantasy. And it is them who are creating an illusion that Maoists have entered into the 'mainstream political course.' The outcome of an illusion is never realistic. Thus is the situation for parliamentary parties, especially for Nepali Congress and Unified Marxists Leninists.
It is no surprise that the Maoists are working on its own chartered party’s line. This party is pushing all others to the wall and forcing them all to reach to a 'national consensus' on their terms and desires. And the Maoist's terms are to annihilate their declared 'enemies.' Since Monarchy has already been sidelined, though undemocratically, it's now the turn for a new 'enemy,' the parliamentary parties, those who believe in ballot, and denounce violence.
It seems that Nepali Congress and UML, including other newly made 'republican' parties, have still not realized the Maoist's strategy, of destroying all its enemies, real or virtual. So, it will be interesting to watch the politics of this nation in the days ahead.