It’s been five months since the Maoists started obstructing parliament sessions in the name of establishing “civilian supremacy.” After five months, the Maoists seem to have finally realized that obstructing the House sessions is not good enough to create an environment for them to get back to power.
It seems the master manipulators too have started getting it wrong when it comes to judging the way the experienced players of yesteryears react to coercion. Why is coercion not working the way it used to before? It is not working because the ring master – India – is quite aware of the Maoists’ intentions. Plus, obstructing the parliament does not bother the politicians. More than 50 percent of the current parliamentarians might never have, in their wildest dreams, expected to be where they are today. To them, as long as the pay and perks are paid on time, obstructions can continue. As far as those that are in the government are concerned, obstructions does not hinder their chances of enriching themselves and doing whatever little they can in the lawless land. Obstructions also does not affect senior leaders of the UML and NC because they have made enough to live lavish lifestyles in Kathmandu and their children have successfully made their way to greener pastures, beyond YCL’s clutches.
Realizing the fact that they were not able to dent a hole to force major political parties to cave in to their demands, the Maoist standing committee meeting held on Oct 23 has come up with an ultimatum and a deadline. According to the comrades, if the ongoing negotiation fails to restore “civilian supremacy” and rectify the president’s “unconstitutional” move by Nov 1, a strong protest movement is eminent. While the “civilian supremacists” keep their fight for the supremacy of civilians alive, the livelihoods of those whose rights they say they are fighting for are actually getting affected. According to the Industry Association, more than 200 industries have shut down their operation in Sunsari-Morang industrial corridor alone. The proletariats’ dream of prosperity might have to wait till the aspiring dictators establish a foothold in Nepali politics and be actually able to administer the dictatorship of the proletariat. Till then, all obstructions and destructions that affect livelihood opportunities of the proletariats are genuine sacrifices required for building a prosperous future.
Even if the ongoing dialogue ends the current political impasse, the Maoists will once again find some other issues to obstruct the political process. This is not the first time that the Maoists are obstructing the political process, is it? People have lost track of the agreements that have been signed with the Maoists in the past. What have all those agreements signed in the past produced for ordinary citizens? Yes, it has produced tons of benefits for the Maoists but what about the common men longing for peace and stability?
The ongoing obstructions are a part of the greater design – not to let others succeed. And, this will not be the last time that the Maoists will be engaging in obstructionist activities. They have done in the past and they will do in the future. Their actions are guided by their end goal – a firm grip on power. The Maoists are in this game to win it, not to compromise or let others emerge victorious. Why is it so difficult to understand that? To people with common sense, it is obvious that the Maoists in the name of “peace process” want a complete dominance over Nepal politics. For the agenda-driven “civil society” and the likes, appeasement of the Maoists is the only way to the promised “peace land.” Before deciding on continuing with the advice of these fellow travelers, we should ask ourselves: Are we prepared to concede every time we are obstructed or threatened? Will our compliance bring an end to the Maoists’ obstructions and brutalities? Quite the contrary—if we look back, it becomes evident that the Maoists’ demands have escalated, not ceased.
Through obstructions, the Maoists want to sap the political parties’ morale and instill fear and uncertainty. They seek to undermine the political parties’ confidence and values, to sow division and intolerance both within and between parties. Needless to say, the Maoists have learnt and profited from the political parties’ weaknesses and fear.The political parties should be ready to play a hardball with the Maoists, and yes, it does not have to be confrontational. First and foremost, it is important to understand the game that the Maoists play. They have mastered the art of using one force against another. So the cohesion is a must if political survival is something that the democratic forces in Nepal are interested in.
The number game that India helped achieve this time around is not an eternal formula. If the major political parties continue to pursue the path of “appeasement,” there will soon be a day whereby people of Nepal will compromise for false sense of security promised by the Maoists rather than waiting for the delivery of democracy and peace by eternal “appeasers.” The best way of dealing with the Maoists is to keep them engaged, frustrated and accountable for the crimes they commit. Caving in to their demands only emboldens them. The more you bow to their demands, the more you invite them to commit further obstructions.