Thursday, April 20, 2006

Supporting Democracy in Nepal

This blog has long supported the idea of India being the enforcer of political modernity in our neighborhood.

This means recognizing the simple fact that India's emergence as a superpower is constrained by our (politically and literally) bombed out neighborhood. Also, that our long term interests are in alignment with those of the people in our neighboring countries -- not with their frequently autocratic rulers.

Therefore, in Nepal, we should be squarely with the people demanding democracy. The King's fortune has run out and there is little gain in including him in the next chapter of Nepal. It's time for him to retire in exile.

What we need to do is to find a way of sidelining the Maoists. This is possible if India can persuade the Nepalese Army to join the democracy bandwagon -- and the political parties to accept an India-backed Nepalese Republic in exchange for their pledge to crush the Maoists.

Hopefully, this is precisely the prescription Shyam Saran and Karan Singh have taken to Kathmandu.

6 comments:

libertarian said...

PR: the writings's clearly on the wall for the ridiculous king. Your point about sidelining the Maoists is critical, given the general Chinese shadow in our neighborhood.

Naga said...

Even though the idea that India should be even more directly involved is a good one, it also involves a firm commitment to Nepalese people not only to give them democracy but also to counter the Maoists.

It's the second part that GOI may feel uneasy about - the Maoists are lying low for the King to step down and then they will be back again to their old tricks. If we dont want this bunch hanging around, we need to commit to removing them -this would involve military action. Is the Government willing to go that way? We wish.

Vishal said...

King may be autocratic but Maoists are mass murderers and the Nepalese opposition has now taken in alliance with them.
It is a replay of 1979 Irani revolution with
Islamists:: Maoists
Left, liberals:: Nepali Opposition
Jimmy Carter:: Manmohan Singh

And we know how that turned out to be.
And is the Nepali king really more autocratic than the Indian govt who one fine day decided to outlaw 2500 courier companies
throwing at least 1 lac people out of livlihood. Is this different from Stalin throwing away lacs of untrained soldiers into war with minimal training.

Please also think about racial and caste
makeup of the Nepal. Dont bandy words like Nepali populations so casually.

Apollo said...

constitutional monarchy is the best way out. the nepali republic will find it very difficult to stand against the maoists

Nitin said...

The existence of the Royal Nepalese Army as an institution has not been threatened by current events.

If G remains in power, it is the Army that will be tasked to counter the Maoists militarily.

Under a non-G government in future, it will be the Army that will be tasked to counter the Maoists militarily.

Even if it is to counter the Maoist insurgency, why is G better than a President of Nepal?

Vishal said...

Togadia gets it right on Nepal:

He is the only Indian leader to get it right: that the real question is not king or democracy but Nepal or Maoists.

All this democracy talk helps Maoists.

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