Nepal Politics: Oh Those Garish Alien Growls


We did try to tame the Tibetans. The Chinese just kept asking us for more, without stopping to ponder their own role in aggravating the situation.

By Maila Baje

Oh those pesky foreigners. Can’t they just shut up, for a change?

It’s been hard enough to ward off snarkiness of the European Union-India joint statement on the so-called ‘non-inclusivity’ of our brand-new Constitution.

Barely had international human rights watchdogs begun growling over our treatment of one of our commissioners than the United States Department of State annual report slammed our record.

PrachandaThe noises Christians are making over the official de-calendarization of Christmas are beginning to be heard on quaint albeit persuasive international outlets. Guess everyone feels safe dumping on us now.

Yeah, yeah, it’s our fault. We promised the sky, knowing full well that our altimeter was screwed up from the start. Sure, we should have been a bit more careful taking in those dollars, euros and pounds circa 2005-2006. But who are we really kidding? It’s not as if those irksome aliens are somehow blame-free.

Of course, we promised to take out the monarchy. And did our bit by dragging the mainstream parties behind us. But we never made specific guarantees about what would follow.

Foreign money came in handy to turn Hindu Nepal secular when the iron was still hot. But who knew that India would get its most zealous Hindu nationalist government ever and set about imperiling republican Nepal?

We did try to tame the Tibetans. The Chinese just kept asking us for more, without stopping to ponder their own role in aggravating the situation.

Today those imbeciles centralizing power in Brussels, Washington DC and New Delhi have the nerve to tell us to move swifter on federalism. There’s a reason why all we’ve been able to do is give the provinces numbers. How can they push us to name provincial capitals already?

As the public face of the change in 2006, I recognized the pitfalls before me personally. The ‘people’s war’ had acquired such mythical status in the anti-monarchy struggle that the mainstream parties found it politically expedient to take a back seat in the months following the April Uprising. It felt good to be able tell our restive ex-fighters that we were driving the peace process. Those scalawags in those seven parties were just biding their time.

Civil society leaders, too, sung paeans to the purity of the Maoists’ pursuit of violence in defense of the people. When they contrasted it with the venal bloodthirstiness of royal army, it even began to sound real.

Did I, as supreme commander of the army that liberated the people, think I possessed phenomenal powers? Not a chance. In hindsight, though, I should have worked harder to pierce the picture that was settling in the public psyche.

Instead, I tried to break new ground as if we were all still in fighting mode. Not that I didn’t notch up successes. Within the first 100 days of assuming office, I met with the top leaders of China, India and the United States, the three principal drivers of our country’s destiny. Little did I recognize the misfortune I was incurring for myself – and for the country.



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