Monday, May 10, 2010

The silent majority awakens

The Maoists’ “indefinite strike” aimed at dislodging the government hardly lasted a week. Comrades, who roared like lions while delivering their May Day speeches, appeared like wet kittens during the press conference organized to call off the strike. And, it all happened within a week. What forced the Maoists to call off their strike? It is a second major setback for them. The first being their unsuccessful attempt to bring down the government by obstructing the Constituent Assembly (CA).

People watching the press conference could easily tell that Pushpa Kamal Dahal was lying when he said the decision to call off the strike was due to the discomfort faced by the general public. While he slyly based his premise to call off the strike on discomfort of the general public, he contradicted the very stance within minutes by labeling thousands of anti-strike protesters conspiratorial puppets riled up by the government to ignite confrontation among the public. The audacity it takes to tell these lies, straight to people’s faces that have watched Dahal’s honest side in Saktikhor tape shows that he doesn’t really care about the truth.

Forget about the Saktikhor tape, it does not take much effort to find out the level of compassion that Dahal and his comrades have for common folks. The Maoists are still not letting thousands of people displaced during and after the insurgency to return home. Their property is yet to be returned. Every now and then the sister organizations of the Maoist party shuts down schools and colleges to prove their strength leaving children wondering about their future. The infamous acts of Young Communist Leaguers that have terrorized public are yet to stop.

If Dahal and his comrades were really serious about providing comfort to the people, they would have disbanded YCL long time ago, returned the seized properties, and instructed their ideologues in the guise of student leaders not to fiddle around with the educational sector. All these are sufficient to prove that Dahal’s reason to call off the strike is nothing but a lie.

Here are the real reasons why Dahal and his comrades called off the strike. The relationship between India and the Maoist party is getting worse, and India is hell-bent on not letting the revolutionaries come back to power unless they tone down their anti-India rhetoric. With India antagonized, the Maoists could not afford to lose the support of Europeans, specifically the Scandinavians. It would not reflect positively on the Scandinavians to support a party that pretty much makes the common folks life difficult.

To make the matter worse for the revolutionaries, a peace rally was organized by the Valley folks. The Maoists were caught off guard by the sheer number of participants in the peace rally. Thousands of people who participated in the rally provided a further jolt to the Maoists’ crippling strike. Diminishing returns and increasing domestic and international pressure were the real reasons why Dahal and his comrades called off the strike. Beneath the heaps of lies and deceptions, is the compulsion that transformed the roaring lions into feeble kittens.

We have to understand that the Maoists were forced to call off their indefinite strike. If they hadn’t called it off, it would have certainly invited bigger troubles for them. Had the Maoists gone berserk, the government would have been left with only one option, ie, to deploy the army. In the worst case scenario, the CA would have been dissolved. The mobilization of the army would have stalled the so-called peace process, which the Maoists have abused to every possible extent for their benefit, and which has so far produced everything but peace. With the dissolution of the CA, they would no longer have the status of the largest party, from which, comes their demand to lead the government. The Maoists took the lumps because they realized that they were treading on dangerous grounds. Swallowing pride when cornered is straight from the radical communists’ playbook.

For now, the Maoists’ push for mobocracy has been defeated. But the battle is far from over. The Maoists have withdrawn, temporarily, but have not completely ejected themselves from the game. They will reassess the failure, re-plan, and strike again in the future, for sure. Let’s not be mistaken. They are in this game to win, not to let others win. They fought the decade-long insurgency because they want to dislodge the system and establish the one that works for them. The parties finally seem to realize the Maoists’ intentions and end goals. Whether it is the survival instinct that has kicked in or the international players’ warnings, the realization seems to have come to the Maoist leaders, finally.

The brighter side of the Maoists’ failed attempt to promote mobocracy is that it has riled up the silent majority and sidelined the Maoist supporters in the guise of civil society advocates and human rights activists. The silent majority, whom the Maoists have been taking for a free ride and whose power they have been undermining, is, finally, waking up. This is also an indication that people are willing to confront the comrades if the government is really serious about tightening the noose on the Maoists. The appeasement of radicals has never brought peace anywhere in the world. It is good that the post 12-point agreement has all but vanished. We need pragmatists who understand the threat and dare to deal with it. The politics of lies and deceptions that Dahal and his fellow comrades have been using should be brought to an end once and for all. They should be stopped from coming to the power at any cost unless they reform themselves completely, and fulfill their past commitments and promises.


Sunita Tiwari said...

Dr Sab,

Its very good that 'real' Kathmanduities were present at the peace rally. But make no mistake, they were not for the peace of the country as a whole. Had they been, where were they when dozens of people were being butchered each day for a whole decade? They didn't gave a dam as their life went on quite smoothly, without any hindrance and with very little obstacles.

They were there because they couldn't go to Thamel and enjoy two glasses of 'chilled' bear and hang out. They were there because they couldn't meet their boy friend or girl friend for a whole week. They were there because KFC and Discos were missed.

They were there, moreover, because they couldn't bear uncombed women and unshaved men, with torn clothes and goldstar shoes, singing and dancing in a language they hate to copy in i-pod and laptops, in front of their 'mahals' demanding things they don't remotely care about.

And yes, they were the silent ones. But silent MAJORITY? Are you kidding me? 25,000 were there. Let us suppose only 10% were there. That makes 250,000 of them. OK you don't agree, I'll give you 2,500,000, well fed Kathmandu population. But sorry, I can't give you more.

'More' are on the opposite side you wrote for.

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