Why Nepal matters


by Sunny
26th April, 2006 at 5:06 pm    

Several developments make the people’s revolution in Nepal very interesting. When was the last time anyone remembered almost an entire country in revolt to install democracy? The fall of the Berlin wall probably comes the closest.

But put aside this unheard-of development, specially amongst Asians, and let’s concentrate on how Nepal has progressed since this all started. Immediately after King Gyanendra said he would begin the process to democracy, the USA and India said they welcomed the move. Guess what they got back:

In a statement issued from jail, several leaders of Nepali civil society criticised the international community, including India and the United States, for welcoming the Nepalese monarch’s offer of restoration of democracy.

“Though surely based on the best of intentions, your reaction has needlessly delayed a peaceful transition in the country at a critical hour, when millions of Nepalis are on the streets agitating for an immediate return to democracy,” the statement signed by Kanak Mani Dixit, Padma Ratna Tuladhar, Mahesh Maskey and others noted.

Beautiful. In essence – fuck off India and the USA, you never offered support when we needed it.

America may not care less about meddling in areas too close to China but the dig at the former is instructive – why is India so paralysed on what to do?

In this comment piece, S.D. Muni says: “If India has to emerge as a constructive and decisive factor in Asian and world affairs, it has to carry its neighbours along by playing a helpful role in their political stability and economic prosperity.” But after its fingers for burnt in Sri Lanka, it seems reluctant to do so.

It may be because they don’t know what to do with the Maoist terrorists. Some say, let’s absorb them, which shows how far the people are willing to move in order to bring peace to this small nation. Some in India will not like that, but their primary concern is themselves not the Nepalese – the main reason why the latter will continue to tell India to stay away.

But Asian politicians have a right to be worried. An insurgency has forced an autocratic ruler to give power back to the people. What if others try the same in their countries? I bet President Musharraf is apprehensive. Similarly, Indian politicians are used to having power concentrated amongst a few Brahminical factions. What if the scores of seperatist movements gain more confidence?

Have the Nepalese set a model for other Asians in the region to follow?

[Hat tip: Justforfun and Shobak. Global Voices has more.]


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  1. Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Nepal: What it means for South Asia

    [...] Pickled Politics on what the current events in Nepal mean for the rest of South Asia. “An insurgency has forced an autocratic ruler to give power back to the people. What if others try the same in their countries? I bet President Musharraf is apprehensive.” [...]




  1. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 5:54 pm  

    Sunny,
    Well,… yes, no, maybe. Success breeds repetition – and that’s the key to political terrorism. That is what the Fenians and Russian Revolutions and anarchists did a century ago; terrorism was very much ‘propaganda by deed’. ETA, the IRA, and Mandela’s ANC relied on the same tactic. But still, I think you’re endowing too much significance to the Maoist success vis-à-vis India.

    Unfortunately, the cogs have been turning for a very long-time. And the Maoists will only add a bit oil to that mechanism. This is the result of the revolution in military affairs that has been taking place in the dark, forgotten corners of the world – in Bogota, Bali, Mogadishu, Kigali, Freetown, and Kabul.

    The new warriors are nothing like the traditional soldier: they have no clear structures or clear hierarchies. They are amorphous, shape-shifting bands of variously motivated individuals – nationalists, criminals, terrorists, revolutionaries, fundamentalists, idealists. In fact, in the new wars there is no longer any clear distinction between soldier and civilian, between enlisted men or women and officers, or between soldiers, rebels, terrorists, militia members, gangs, vigilantes, clans, families or even children. This is the privatisation of violence, the diffusion of war-making from the state to the citizenry. And it has actually been occurring all over the world for decades.

  2. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 6:03 pm  

    “fuck off India”

    This doesn’t suprise me. India’s meddling in others affairs has made them the most disliked nation in South Asia. You would think after the humilation of Sri Lanka they would hopefully learn their lesson, instead of this “it has to carry its neighbours” mentality,

    Incidentally, India has a massive Maoist problem of its own, which is rapidly spiralling out of control. See here:

    Article 1
    Article 2
    Article 3

    Some salient facts:

    “The Maoist insurgency dates back 40 years but is finally beginning to register on the national consciousness as a significant threat to India’s rural hinterland. The rebels have gradually expanded their influence to around 165 of the country’s 602 administrative districts in recent years forming a “red corridor” stretching from the southern tip of India all along its eastern half and up to Nepal, experts say. Links with Nepal’s powerful Maoist rebels have rung alarm bells, as has a dramatic upsurge in violence this year, mainly in the forests of the poor state of Chhattisgarh. “The government is beginning to panic now, they are beginning to realise that this problem is much larger than they had pretended,”

    “Ajit Doval, a former head of India’s Intelligence Bureau, said the Maoists are spreading their “revolution”, making large parts “non-governable”. If the situation is allowed to continue, nearly half of India will become “Naxal-affected” by 2010, he warned”

    “But in India, the threat has been approached with a softer touch — and is now bordering on a severe uprising. India’s Ministry of Home Affairs estimates that there are nearly 9,300 hard-core Maoist cadres, well-armed and trained in how to use explosives, active in 165 districts in 14 of the country’s states. To put this into perspective, that spans an area where 17% of India’s population lives”

    The Naxalites are a much bigger threat to the Indian state that Kashmir it appears, but sadly it seems the latter conflict gets far too much attention (probably because its easier to blame on Pakistan rather than take responsibilty).

    I would suggest India forgets Nepal and looks inward, othewise Mahoman Singh may suffer a Rajeev Gandhi incident at some point!

    “I bet President Musharraf is apprehensive”

    I doubt it. People have been predicting the downfall of Musharraf from the moment he came to power, yet time and again all their big words amount to nothing. And it seems some people have a lot of trouble remembering the fact that Pakistan was being ruled prior to 1999 by the so-called democratic forces, who nearly fucked the country into the ground. They obviously can’t wait to get back into power and take advantage of the economic successes which Pakistan has enjoyed in the last few years, but the Musharraf danda is waiting for them :)

  3. Sunny — on 26th April, 2006 at 6:18 pm  

    the most disliked nation in South Asia

    Is there a list somewhere you’re referring to? Given that it is a huge beast surrounded by economic minnows then it is not surprising there is some resentment. But India has so far meddled in the affairs of its neighbours much less than the USA or China have of theirs.

    Let’s not make this into an India v Pak fight again please.

    Yes, the naxalites are a problem but I think there is some exaggeration here. They don’t control anything, and 9000 people scatterered over the country is much less than the 3 million or so Indian soldiers. Besides, the naxalites/maoists in India have little support other than a few patches here and there.
    The worry here is more than they’ll step up their attacks.

    but the Musharraf danda is waiting for them
    Well, that is what King Gyanendra thought too. But you can’t stop the people once they become sufficiently pissed off. I believe Musharraf is saved by the fact that the Pakistani masses dislike the religious parties more than Musharraf.

  4. Justforfun — on 26th April, 2006 at 6:26 pm  

    “…….is the privatisation of violence, the diffusion of war-making from the state to the citizenry. And it has actually been occurring all over the world for decades. ”

    :-) Sounds like a Liberal Democrat commitment to devolved power to local level or is that a now a Labour policy or a Conservative policy… Damn shape shifting modern politicians, what is the world coming to when you can’t trust a Moaist to be a Moaist !!**$£”! Their all at it .

    Seriously – its seems in this 24hrs news world its difficult to keep up with which ‘statement’ is the latest statement and wires get crossed. – However at these points in revelutions where there are two or more opposition groups , its usually the most brutal who win out in the end if the country is just left alone. Of the opposition groups I presume the Moasist are the most brutal but would be open to enlightenment on this. So my money is on them coming out on top if India etc just sit back.

    Sunny – I think Sri Lanka debacle really has set back India resolve in these sorts of issues. An analogy I often think of is that India is a bit like the EU in its structure. And what would the EU do in the case of a country on its borders facing internal collapse and a Moaist/totalitarian take over?

    Justforfun

    PS how do I get the italics to work – I place the i with its at the begining and end of quotes and that works but how to get back to normal text for the rest?

  5. MACV - SOG — on 26th April, 2006 at 6:32 pm  

    India’s meddling in others affairs has made them the most disliked nation in South Asia

    I can safetly say that India is not disliked in Sri Lanka despite its rather flaky relationship with us in the 80s.

    off the point but I just wanted to say it…we wuv u :D

  6. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 6:32 pm  

    “9000 people”

    Sunny, it’s actually 9000 ‘units’ of Maoists. Granted they may be outnumbered by the Indian army, but this is always the way of insurgency. The Iraqi insurgents are heavily outnumbered too, and you can see how much havok they wreak.

    India is still a very poor and backward nation itself. USA can afford to go meddling, India needs to take care of its own poverty and violence as a much greater priority. As we can see from these articles, nearly 25% of Indian districts are under some degree of Naxalite influence. This is a major threat to the existence of the Indian nation, and should be a much greater concern to the Indian government than Nepal or Sri Lanka.

    “I believe Musharraf is saved by the fact that the Pakistani masses dislike the religious parties more than Musharraf”

    Religous parties have never been popular in Pakistan (normally less than 5% of the vote), only in the 2003 election they did have a decent showing (still not a great deal of the population actually voted for them), and that was as much a protest vote by the conservative regions against the Afghan invasion by the US. The real factor is that the likes of Benazir and Nawaz have constantly screwed up. Whatever Musharaf’s flaws he is infinitely preferable to these crooks.

  7. xyz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:14 pm  

    And Pakistan, a really rich developed country free of strife and insurgencies and inter-sectarian violence, doesn’t meddle in neighboring countries’ affairs. Cough. Cough. The Taleban. The Afghans think differently.:)

  8. xyz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:15 pm  

    Sorry, Sunny. Couldn’t resist.

  9. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:19 pm  

    “really rich developed country free of strife and insurgencies and inter-sectarian violence, doesn’t meddle in neighboring countries’ affairs”

    I’m glad you have finally accepted Pakistan’s total superiority over India :)

  10. Sunny — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:22 pm  

    I think in this case raz invited that.

    Anyway, China has also been meddling in other country’s affairs before the modern economic boom. And it has yet to get past being a poor state. Big and powerful countries have always meddled in the affairs of the little. My annoyance is that India hasn’t done it in the case of Nepal or Sri Lanka to help the people rather than serve its own narrow interests.

  11. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:24 pm  

    Guys,
    To forestall any more Indo-Pak bickering, let me just say:
    Both countries are equally shite.

    (Mwahahahaha! – I call it an ‘egalitarian theory of shitness’)

  12. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:29 pm  

    Hey, but don’t use that phrase to take the mick out the Euston Manifesto – you’ll just make me angry. :-)

  13. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

    “Hey, but don’t use that phrase to take the mick out the Euston Manifesto – you’ll just make me angry”

    No, I think a simple, ‘it’s shit’ will suffice in that case :)

    did you write the EM by any chance ;)

  14. xyz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

    “I’m glad you have finally accepted Pakistan’s total superiority over India”

    Yes, I decided to start living in la-la land as well.:)

    I’m not interested in getting into a who is superior, puerile argument. Do I think India is perfect. No. Do I think India’s democracy, even though it may seem fragile at times, is better than a communist state or a dictatorship? Yes.

    It has managed to persist for 50-odd years and I hope it persists despite all the strains and mutinies. I know there are those who are salivating at the thought that it may disintegrate, those who actively encourage this. I hope their dreams are dashed.

    India is the biggest, most powerful country in the region and naturally will come in for both the most praise and the most criticism. As Sunny said, it comes wiht the territory.

    She has certain obligations, the trick is in learning to to exercise them. She did not unilaterally invade Sri Lanka, but was invited there by the then government. Whether Rajiv Gandhi should have accepted is another matter.

    She has not invaded Nepal, but she has every right to try and encourage a democratic (flawed as it may be) government there instead a Maoist one, for her own sake and well as for the Nepalese. If she keeps quiet, she is criticized, if she gives advice (and many of those fighting against the King in Nepal urged the Indian government to say or do something) or takes action, she is criticized.

    Yes, it would be nice for her to isolate herself from some of her neighbors and focus on internal problems, but given that they aren’t exactly interested in isolating themselves from her either, this would be hard to do.

  15. xyz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:34 pm  

    “My annoyance is that India hasn’t done it in the case of Nepal or Sri Lanka to help the people rather than serve its own narrow interests.”

    India will never win, no matter what the reason for her “meddling” in the affairs of these countries. Even if it is to help the people, it will not be seen as such, and there will always be this inherent “who do they think they are because they are bigger etc.” mentality and resentment that prompted raz’s original statement. It’s a natural reaction.

  16. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:40 pm  

    Take a look what you posted:

    “really rich developed country free of strife and insurgencies and inter-sectarian violence, doesn’t meddle in neighboring countries’ affairs”

    Did I ever suggest any of those things? No, but it seems you are unwilling to take any criticism of your country without thowing a hissy fit. Well sadly, being able to deal with criticism is part of maturing as a nation, whether you like it or not.

  17. Siddhartha Sinatra — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:44 pm  

    The only thing about the Euston Manifesto is that I wish it had pre-serated edges so that it can be pulled apart into strips. That and more absorbent paper. :-)

  18. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:45 pm  

    Raz,
    You scamp! Don’t blow my cover! The Euston posse smuggled me into PP in order to covert you guys/gals to the Euston cause. Without my missionary zeal, the 800 or so signatures will seldom rise above the 1000.

    Oh yeah, and another thing…
    Apart from your leather handbags, cheap cigarettes, and hockey team, Pakistan is super-duper shite. You knowz it bruva! :-)

  19. xyz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:49 pm  

    “Did I ever suggest any of those things? No, but it seems you are unwilling to take any criticism of your country without thowing a hissy fit. Well sadly, being able to deal with criticism is part of maturing as a nation, whether you like it or not.”

    Now who is throwing a hissy-fit? Did you not see the smiley-face at the end of the post. And you gave me a smiley-face. I thought we were just engaging in some good-natured back and forth. Why did you not say the above immediately and now decide to post it after reading my longer post?

    It would have helped your post if you had also mentioned that your own country of origin is not exactly blameless in that regard, so I pointed it out to you, given your “India is the most hated country” line and your reasoning for it.

    Criticize India by all means, but learn to accept that others will also poke holes in your arguments as well, and that just because I felt the need to point out that India is in a difficult position in the region doesn’t mean that I think she shouldn’t be criticized. Can you honestly say that if I had written something like “pakistan is the most hated country in the world because of —–” you would have kept quiet and just taken the criticism? You mean to say you wouldn’t have come back with “You are one to talk. India does this and that and this and that..” I think not. And you would have been perfectly within your rights to retort.

    You seem to want to be able to say what you want, but then object to any retorts. It’s called free speech.

  20. xyz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:53 pm  

    By the way, what set you off after your initial good-natured response to what I wrote? What is Sunny’s “raz asked for it” or was it “I’ve decided to start living in la-la land :) ” (please note the smiley face :) )?

  21. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:55 pm  

    If I want to criticise Pakistan I criticise Pakistan (as many of my posts about Islamic terrorism, womens rights, political corruption have shown).

    If I want to criticise India I will do so, regardless of whether it causes Indians like you to be offended. It’s hilarious that instead of addressing my points, you simply came out with a post about Pakistan. Pretty much shows your mentality. Hopefully exposure to an open forum such as PP will educate you about the need to take on board criticism rather than simply digging your head in the sand and adopting the closed minded outlook you have at the moment. It’s very telling that the identity of the poster was more important to you than the message itself.

  22. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:56 pm  

    actually forget it xyz. i’m having girl trouble and i’m pissed off.

    SMILEY FACE :)

    friends now?

  23. Siddhartha Sinatra — on 26th April, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

    The situation in Nepal isn’t a flash in the pan. Its been gestating for at least a decade. Push has finally come to shove for the Nepalese who are not a revolutionary people by nature. If they could have their way I bet most of them could have the much loved King Birendra back. Democracy is the de facto choice because the Maoists have no future to offer and Giyanendra’s half-assed offers simply failed.

    Still the revolution is a great inspiration to pro-democracy forces in Bangladesh – I hope. Perhaps they can use this to fire up their efforts to jettison both the duffers Khaleda ia and Hasina Wajed. One can but dream.

  24. Siddhartha Sinatra — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:01 pm  

    BTW, for a great angle on the news and views on southasian affairs in general and Nepal in particular, I’d recommend Himal

  25. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:01 pm  

    “Still the revolution is a great inspiration to pro-democracy forces in Bangladesh – I hope. Perhaps they can use this to fire up their efforts to jettison both the duffers Khaleda ia and Hasina Wajed. One can but dream”

    Hey at least you don’t have Benazir and Nawaz to cope with :)

  26. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:02 pm  

    Raz and Xyz,
    The only way to resolve your differences is to find common ground, common cause, common commoness. That is why – my comrades – I propose that you join together in holy matrimony and put pen to paper:
    http://eustonmanifesto.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_facileforms&Itemid=32

    Only then will you be able to take the piss out of Bollywood without any recriminations.
    Amir

  27. Justforfun — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:09 pm  

    Just to get back to the topic of Nepal – a link to what the armchair generals think . An interesting read for people like me who are really too ignorant of Nepali politics -, but I thought I knew the difference between a Naxalite and a Moaist – — but god damn it – they have now gone a ns igned an accord! and its news to me the Chinese support the King and are agianst the Moaists – my god , the world is upside down.

    Anyway one is a struggle to take over a country and one is to see social justice in the badlands of Orissa and Andra which is not quite the same thing.

    http://www.himalayanaffairs.org/interviewdetails.asp?id=51

    PS – although the Naxalite insurgence is awful for those caught up in it – it is basically a struggle for economic progress in a very very poor part of India and if economic and social progress is made, the Naxalite problem will dissappear. To get a scale of it – to date I don’t believe the Indian Army has actually been deployed against Naxalites and it is still handled at a police/para- militry level. :-) Bit rough if you are a guerilla insurgency and the Army can’t be bothered to come out of its barracks :-)

    Justforfun

    PS any help on how to put text in italics?

  28. xyz — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:09 pm  

    “If I want to criticise India I will do so, regardless of whether it causes Indians like you to be offended. It’s hilarious that instead of addressing my points, you simply came out with a post about Pakistan. Pretty much shows your mentality. Hopefully exposure to an open forum such as PP will educate you about the need to take on board criticism rather than simply digging your head in the sand and adopting the closed minded outlook you have at the moment. It’s very telling that the identity of the poster was more important to you than the message itself.”

    Right back at ya. Sunny said let this not descend into a India vs. Pakistan thing, so I kept my first post short and sarcastic. As I said you can’t say India is the most hated country in the region because it meddles and then ignore a certain country’s similar predeliction to meddle – actually you can say it. But I can also respond to it. So I merely pointed it out to you.

    Apparently you too cannot take criticism then. It has nothing to do with your identity, if Sunny had said it I would have said the same thing. Now you seem to be indicting yourself with linking yourself to a certain position on India. And you haven’t answered my question. If I’d posted and said “Pakistan is the most hated because of it proven links to global terror” would you have come back by addressing the points or would your initial reaction have been “India this and that” Be honest. We’re all human.

    I did come back in my longer post and address what you said and why I think India is hated at times. It seems something in the longer post is what upset you, not what I wrote initially because initially you didn’t react the way you just have. So your point about why I didn’t just immediately address your points seems dubious, given your subsequent reaction to me doing just that.

    As for your lecture on open forum PP etc and my close-mindedness — never mind, I won’t respond to that. Friends. :) Feel free to offend Indians, but also feel free to be offended right back. :) Later friend :)

  29. Siddhartha Sinatra — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:20 pm  

    Wow, there IS room for a group blog by one Pakistani and one Indian writer. Both send posts criticising each other’s countries on topics as diverse as leather jackets, the number of Lexus 4x4s per capita in either country and Mullah-Brahminical grievances of the general kind.

    Sign the Euston Manifesto? I’d rather eat my lungi.

  30. Sunny — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:21 pm  

    Lol, enough of the smiley faces now :) :) :) :)

    Justforfun – here is an example for italics. text put in like this:
    <i>text between here is italic</i> this is not italic. It is the same for all HTML tags.

  31. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:23 pm  

    Justforfun,
    Why does it surprise you that China is backing the King? Have you ever read ‘Animal Farm’ or George Orwell’s polemics against Soviet Russia – and, by extension, the left-wing intelligentsia in England – during the Spanish-Civil War? What about the Russo-German Pact or America’s proxies in the 1970s and 80s? China’s foreign policy is pure realpolitik – the Kissinger/Scowcroft/Brzezinski school-of-thought.

  32. Justforfun — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:35 pm  

    Just testing – Very good – thanks Sunny

    Justforfun

  33. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:39 pm  
  34. Sunny — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:44 pm  

    whoop whoop! Sexy Pakistani women zindabad!

  35. Justforfun — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:48 pm  

    Amir – I know your right – I suppose I should not have been suprised – China is as you say the past master at realpolitik. I suppose I had assumed they would want to create an unstable Nepal , as in my ignorance I assumed it would suite their purpose as any instability on the southern side of the Himalayan watershed is usually what they want.

    Out of interest , what is the Chinese governement’s position on the Burmese junta?

    Justforfun

  36. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:51 pm  

    Siddhartha Sinatra,

    “Sign the Euston Manifesto? I’d rather eat my lungi”

    Now this is a bit below the belt. I’m up for a laugh, but do you honestly think that the Chomsky-Zinn-Palast anti-imperialist Left is up to scratch? No, they’re not. (There’s a parable in the New Testament about a man with a log in his eye who insists on criticising others for having splinters in theirs: ‘judge thyself before judging others’ is the message.) And Naomi Klein’s preposterous anti-global rants. I can think of one Indian guy who disagrees with her:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jb38/

    Oh yes, and what about the unholy SWP/MAB alliance in Britain or the ideological fraternity between anti-war protestors in America and Peronist fascists like Pat Buchanan and David Duke?

    I’d choose Francis Wheen any day of week.
    Amir,

  37. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:54 pm  

    Siddhartha Sinatra,

    “Sign the Euston Manifesto? I’d rather eat my lungi.”

    Now this is a bit below the belt. I’m up for a laugh, but do you honestly think that the Chomsky-Zinn-Palast anti-imperialist Left is up to scratch? No, they’re not. (There’s a parable in the New Testament about a man with a log in his eye who insists and persists on criticising others for having splinters in theirs: ‘judge thyself before judging others’ is the message.) And Naomi Klein’s preposterous anti-global rants. I can think of one Indian guy who disagrees with her:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jb38/

    Oh yes, and what about the unholy SWP/MAB alliance in Britain or the ideological fraternity between anti-war protestors in America and Peronist fascists like Pat Buchanan and David Duke?

    I’ll stick with Francis Wheen any day of week.

  38. Justforfun — on 26th April, 2006 at 9:58 pm  

    guess it’s that time again:

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sunday/Images/210_fashion_1.jpg
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sunday/Images/210_fashion_2.jpg
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sunday/Images/210_fashion_3.jpg
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sunday/Images/210_fashion_4.jpg
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sunday/Images/210_fashion_5.jpg
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sunday/Images/210_fashion_6.jpg

    Don’t say I’m not good to my Indian buddies

    You really are bastards :-) – its clear from these pictures that that the women of Pakistan have not been getting their fair share of American Food Aid !!

    Justforfun

  39. Rohin — on 26th April, 2006 at 10:21 pm  

    Now Raz. Tell us more about these girl troubles.

  40. raz — on 26th April, 2006 at 10:40 pm  

    :(

    *sobs*

  41. Amir — on 26th April, 2006 at 10:54 pm  

    Dude, there a song on NWA’s Greatest Hits Album, called ‘A Bitch iz a Bitch’.

    I recommend it for your catharsis

  42. Justforfun — on 26th April, 2006 at 10:58 pm  

    Seriously Raz – when sowing your oats do as you please , but when you decide to settle down with the girl of your dreams, just remember that the nose is the only part of the body that does not stop growing, so prospective partners with a very large nose when young ….. well you know what I mean I’m sure :-)

    Justforfun

  43. mirax — on 27th April, 2006 at 3:22 am  

    >>Out of interest , what is the Chinese governement’s position on the Burmese junta?

    China is the junta’s number one supporter.

  44. Sunny — on 27th April, 2006 at 3:30 am  

    mirax! where you been hiding? :|

  45. mirax — on 27th April, 2006 at 4:06 am  

    The so-called people’s revolution in Nepal is a misnomer. What happens in Pokkara and Kathmandhu has a massive disconnect with what goes on in the countryside.

    Some salient points:

    1. The monarchy has always screwed the people who as Sid mentioned are pretty much long-suffering and conservative by nature. But Sid got it wrong on King Birendra, who was actually forced to give up his absolute powers in 1991 following yet another of these people-power revos, called the jan andolan (people’s movement). Gyanandra has been heartily disliked right from the beginning.
    Tensions between pro-democracy forces and the monarchy(and the old hereditary, prime ministership held by the Rana lineage) has been a feature of Nepali politics since the 1940′s.

    2. Multiparty- democracy in Nepal since 1991 has been characterised by incompetency, infighting and massive corruption. Raz’s comments about Bhutto and Sharif – with goondas like this, who needs democracy?- are quite relevant to Nepal too. The party leadership are heavily traditional urban, caste elites. You think brahminical cliques rule India? Check out Nepal! The recent unrest which brought out tens of thousands onto the streets was called by the parties but the support was by no means universal and plenty of suspicions and frustrations remain about the political parties- still dominated by the same players. But this is a case of a people at the end of their tether and anyone is better than that slob, Gyanendra.
    The opposition parties have agreed to bring the marxists into the political fold. Bear in mind that the marxists are universally reviled and feared in the urban areas and have had no foothold in these areas thus far. the marxists have also made no real commitment to the democratic political process. Hence this is pretty much a case of riding a dangerous tiger.

    3. The maoists have effective control of the countryside but this is not necessarily a case of them being universally loved. The countryside has just been neglected beyond belief and the poeple put up with whoever holds the guns. If the marxists -like those in India- like in Bengal or Kerala- play by democratic rules, then there is a happy ending in sight. But so far, the sheer numbers of those killed by the insurgency makes me less optimistic about their tractability and motives.

    People’s ‘revolutions’ that are not accompanied by real socio-economic and political changes are doomed to repeat themselves ad infinitum. Witness the Philippines.

    Nepal is going to be screwed for a long time to come.

  46. mirax — on 27th April, 2006 at 4:09 am  

    Eh Sunny, do you never sleep?

    Been busy with travel and was rather sick of pickled politicking for some time.

    Sorry, but the italics have gone haywire on my post. I did follow the instructions!

  47. Sunny — on 27th April, 2006 at 4:54 am  

    Sleeping is for pansies.

    Fair enough, well good to hear from you anyway, and your rather sober analysis has definitely put a dampner on my optimism. Blast.

    Sorted the italics.

  48. Sid — on 27th April, 2006 at 9:55 am  

    Hello mirax. Nice to see you back.

    Here’s a report on Kanak Mani Dixit’s arrest in Kathmandu.

  49. Rohin — on 27th April, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

    That’s the power you wield Raz. But cut him some slack – he probably just meant he needs to revise. Aren’t his exams soon? I need to do the exact same thing. So I’m leaving PP forever!

    See you this afternoon.

  50. raz — on 27th April, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    “That’s the power you wield Raz”

    Indeed. Have you ever seen that film Candyman? Where by saying his name three times it ‘summons’ the monster? It seems me posting on threads has a similar impact here :)

  51. Vikrant — on 28th April, 2006 at 6:19 am  

    okie well i sort of read the post #5 and then sort of posted wiothout reading rest of the posts…. well razzy… don wrry about girls they come ‘n go afterall you can always fall back on arranged marriage…

  52. shiva — on 28th April, 2006 at 7:16 pm  

    Similarly, Indian politicians are used to having power concentrated amongst a few Brahminical factions.

    Sunny you are being ignorant. India’s first Union Cabinet without a single Brahman was Deve Gowda’s in 1996. Of course there are a few Brahman CMs today in India – Buddhadeb Bhattacharya in WB, ND Tiwari in Uttaranchal, and Jayalalita in TN. You know what parties they represent. Or were you experiencing a paranoid fantasy?

    Raz,

    India most hated in the Indian Subcontinent? That’s funny. 20 million Bangladeshi guest workers in India, any numbers of people from Nepal who live and work in India, and now Pakistani sportspeople and artistes moving into India and of course Sri Lankans who quite like Indians; don’t have any problem at all with India. Rich tributes were paid to the liberator of Bangladesh Gen.J.S. Arora by one and following his demise recently by every political party in Bangladesh. Dr.Pervez Hoodbhoy is inviting Indian professors to teach in Pakistan and Pakistani students want to come to study and work in India. What then is a little griping here and there?

  53. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 2:09 am  

    What is clear is that the Indo-pak quarrelling almost inevitably overshadows the other S Asian issues. Look at this thread for instance. Nepal is simply background to all that dick waving.

  54. shiva — on 29th April, 2006 at 1:09 pm  

    Mirax,

    What is clear is that the Indo-pak quarrelling almost inevitably overshadows the other S Asian issues.

    Can’t be helped if the post begins with gems like these,

    Beautiful. In essence – **** off India and the USA, you never offered support when we needed it.

    Similarly, Indian politicians are used to having power concentrated…

    If you want to discuss Nepal this isn’t the right place. Check out Sunanda K. Dutta-Ray or Swapan Dasgupta for that. And any discussion of “South Asia” will necessarily include India. Because historically India was what is politely termed South Asia today.

  55. Siddhartha P Orridge — on 29th April, 2006 at 1:12 pm  

    shiva
    Some links would be nice.

  56. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 3:14 pm  

    Shiva,

    you say : Can’t be helped if the post begins with gems like these,

    Nonsense. You can ignore it especially when you notice that the rest of the analysis is rather thin anyway. Our Sunny goes for the broad strokes -that’s his style and it does get the discussion going most times.

    I am not saying that India is to be cut out of the discussion, but this raz-vikrant indo -pak wrangling is so fucking tedious! Why does anyone else need to jump in on top of that?

    I know Sunanda Datta Ray – he is a pompous ass and I have no intention of reading him. Will check out dasgupta though.

  57. raz — on 29th April, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

    “but this raz-vikrant indo -pak wrangling is so fucking tedious!”

    don’t be cross mirax. i love indians really :) don’t you like all the pictures of hot girls i post?

  58. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 4:27 pm  

    don’t you like all the pictures of hot girls i post?

    eh, I’m wired for men,raz. :-)

    Besides, I think your taste in women very two-dimensional. All exhausted looking skinny models limply wrapped around assorted pillars. I can see why, say, Sania Mirza is hot but not your girls.

  59. raz — on 29th April, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

    “eh, I’m wired for men,raz”

    i’m sure you have some sapphic tendencies locked away underneath ;)

  60. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

    the “we are all part gay” theory? It’s bunkum but still haha.

    Just watched the Life Aquatic where Henessesy tells Zissou: “We were both lousy husbands. But I had a good excuse- I am part gay.”
    Doesn’t sound that funny but the delivery was wonderful. Whole movie was hugely funny. See, I ‘m not cross anymore. :-)

  61. raz — on 29th April, 2006 at 5:57 pm  

    “the “we are all part gay” theory?”

    well more like raz’s “women all secretly want lesbian sex” theory. or more likely raz being a pervert as usual :)

    “See, I ‘m not cross anymore”

    Cool :) Any chance of a picture of you wrapped around a pillar?

    *raz ducks mirax’s attempt to slap him*

  62. Rohin — on 29th April, 2006 at 6:03 pm  

    A Life Aquatic was nowhere near the Royal Tennenbaums, in fact I thought it was toss. Plus the whole Waris incident wasn’t very nice.

    Yes mirax, let’s get a pic of you wrapped around a pillar. Ionic if possible. (Agreed about exhausted looking skinny girls!)

  63. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

    I’ve heard a lot of Wes Anderson fans deride the LA, Rohin. I just think that the Royal Tennenbaums and LA are two different movies with different sensibilities. LA grows on you and I liked the highly stylised and artificial form as well as the absurdist sly humour.

    What was the Waris incident?

  64. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 6:40 pm  

    Back on topic,
    I checked out Swaran Dasgupta- he writes for the Telegraph (of Calcutta) but I didn’t find anything recent by him on Nepal. What I did find, his comment on the king seizing power last year, was deeply cynical of the maoists and politicians but shockingly naive about Gyanandra!

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050211/asp/opinion/story_4366126.asp

    This recent piece by Sheela Bhatt has a lot of detail and imo, more neutral perspective.She also recounts the Indian role – in all its fits and starts- quite well.

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/apr/25nepal3.htm

  65. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 6:42 pm  

    The title of Bhatt’s piece is : Salaam Nepal! The war however has just begun.

    Do read.

  66. Rohin — on 29th April, 2006 at 6:42 pm  

    The US poster edited out Waris Singh Ahluwalia and a black cast member. Waris played Vikram Ray.

  67. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 6:45 pm  

    Pele and Ray were edited out? But they were such an integral part of Team Zissou, red cap and speedo and all. Shame!

  68. shiva — on 29th April, 2006 at 7:09 pm  

    I know Sunanda Datta Ray – he is a pompous ass and I have no intention of reading him.

    Siddharth of Porridge,

    Here’s Datta-Ray in The Pioneer. Since the paper’s archived web pages are difficult to access I am posting the entire article. I am sure Chandan Mitra and Datta-Ray won’t mind.

    Mirax; pomposity comes with recognition. With a double handle like Datta-Ray’s, the postion of editorial consultant to The Straits Times; and privileged access to statesmen of the caliber of LKY and John Howard; Datta-Ray’s hauteur is understandable. Datta-Ray is ideology free, dismissive of cranks on the right and left and refreshingly straight. There are still some very good commentators in India. There’s Ashok Malik who reminds you some of the late Dhiren Bhagat, Jaitirth Rao, TCA Srinivasa Raghavan, and Chndrabhan Prasad. The sanctimonious and clueless ones such as Siddharth Varadarajan, Barkha Dutt can be ignored.

    Courtiers hailed as democrats

    Sunanda K Datta-Ray

    Today’s historic meeting of Nepal’s Pratinidhi Sabha presents a challenge not just to the kingdom’s three main contenders for power – King Gyanendra, the constitutional parties led by Prime Minister designate Girija Prasad Koirala, and Comrade Prachanda’s Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). It will also test India’s diplomacy in a region where everyone, no matter how much they might hate each other, is apprehensive of New Delhi’s aims.

    But not everyone is as blunt as Prachanda who makes no bones of his ideological conviction that war with India is inevitable. Though the Maoist emulators of Peru’s Shining Path revolutionaries have suspended their insurgency for the time being, their denunciation of both the King and the political parties for the “historic mistake” of this truce does little to encourage the hope that they will lay down arms and join the political mainstream. Whether this is only bluster will become clearer when the Pratinidhi Sabha takes a stand on the Maoist demand for an unconditional Constituent Assembly leading to a republic.

    To adapt Palmerston’s famous adage, India has no permanent friends in the Himalayan kingdom. It has interests and options. No Nepalese forgets the sorry mix of force and fabrication through which India absorbed the adjoining kingdom of Sikkim. The action sent nervous tremors through the Himalayas. “India has had Sikkim for breakfast and wants to lunch on Bhutan and dine on Nepal” a Kathmandu official fumed at the time. “But we will give India indigestion!”

    Today, Bhutan is India’s most staunch friend. But one of the first acts of young King Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s reign was to repeal a law whereby his dragon throne needed a three-yearly vote of confidence from the kingdom’s Tsongdu (legislature). The Bhutanese could not be certain that the Tsongdu’s simple members would not be pressured as Sikkimese legislators were to depose the Chogyal. Nepal dared to express its fears more vehemently. While mobs demonstrated outside India’s embassy in Kathmandu – which our patriotic Press ignored or dismissed as royal manipulation – the King frantically beseeched the Americans to underwrite Nepalese independence.

    True, King Gyanendra is a difficult customer. He was suspected of instigating the Maoists during the last King’s reign. Darjeeling’s Subash Ghising saw him as a patron. Many Nepalese say he reneges on commitments. Most are convinced he will try to regain absolute power. But no assessment of the monarch can be undertaken in isolation from the rest of the political cast as the Pratinidhi Sabha tries to bring the Royal Nepalese Army under political control, punish royalists and reward pro-democracy officials and politicians. Despite all this, the King’s move opens up the prospect of resolving the constitutional crisis though it alone will not quell the Maoist threat.

    The tendency in India is uncritically to support Nepal’s political leaders (even Maoist terrorists!) because they are supposed to represent the great god democracy and are now the rightful heirs of the massive protest. No one mentions the basic problems of a virtually bankrupt nation. But Mr Koirala and others are expected to preside over stable governments that maintain strong and friendly links with India. In practice, there is little evidence that the corrupt and inefficient politicians who made a mess of things when given the chance to run Nepal in the 1990s have learnt from their mistakes.

    Their links with India run deep. When Harkishen Singh Surjeet presides over the Nepal Democracy Solidarity Committee, he is continuing a tradition set by the National People’s Congress before independence and continued by Jayaprakash Narayan and the Congress Socialist Party. Jawaharlal Nehru helped to overthrow the Ranas hoping that the restored Shah dynasty would allow his comrades in the Nepali Congress to form a Government.

    Reflecting this bond, most Indian papers have been regaling us with editorials disguised as reports and opinion masquerading as fact. Allegations of the police manhandling toddlers ignore the criminal callousness of pro-democracy protesters dragging little children and disabled people in wheelchairs into the melee. Charges of the King wantonly dismissing Prime Ministers overlook the fact that most of these incumbents were his nominees. They were derided as courtiers when appointed but hailed as democrats when sacked.

    Some basic questions must be asked as Nepal grapples with the chance of peace. What could King Gyanendra have done to avert the crisis? Been more tactful certainly, but he could hardly overlook the failure of the politicians to cope with the Maoist revolt which is still the principal danger. What do the populist leaders want? Power. Democracy is little more than a fig leaf for their ambitions. What course would most effectively safeguard India’s interests?

    This is the crux of the matter. The British Raj would have sent a proconsul with a detachment of troops to Kathmandu to “persuade” King Gyanendra to abdicate, placed some obscure and amenable cadet of the Shah dynasty on the throne and claimed popular acclaim for the coup. It knew that personnel decide policies that are essential for India’s security. The obligations of geography remain the same. In current terms, it means preventing anarchy, ethnic fragmentation, Chinese control or Pakistani mischief. Much will depend on how India follows up Karan Singh’s obviously effective mission which may have saved the throne but, more to the point, ensured victory for the politicians.

    The need is for a blend of diplomatic finesse with tough management at many levels. The eviction of hundreds of Indian labourers who were robbed and beaten up should have produced a strong public response from New Delhi. The Don Pacifico incident, when Britain almost went to war over the vandalisation of a British subject’s property, may have been an extreme case, but no Government can enjoy respect abroad if it lets foreigners treat its citizens roughly. This is especially so of a region’s principal power.

    Beset by enemies on all sides – and even within – India needs a regime in Kathmandu that can promise stability and friendly cooperation. Prachanda is hardly the man. The 84-year-old Koirala and the seven democratic parties are hostages to his stratagems. The only alternative to a King whose current unpopularity may owe something to India’s dismissive attitude is his even more egregious son and heir. India must try to ensure that this is the beginning of a peaceful negotiated solution, not just another switch in the current of triangular politics.

  69. mirax — on 29th April, 2006 at 8:25 pm  

    Vintage Datta-ray!
    I read many of his ponderous columns in the straits times- still wonder why they hired him as he knew NOTHING of Singapore(except for toadying up our LKY) or South- east Asia and please know that the old bugger is incapable of writing on ANY topic without bringing in the fucking British Raj(ooh what would the white massa do?? bullshit) or some arcane Indian lore about personalities. I used to feel a weird sense of dislocation of time and place after one of his columns.

    That entrenched conservatism and cynicism, that dripping disdain for the ‘great god of democracy’ (must have come in useful during his Singapore stint, raking in the filthy lucre) and that utterly narrow mindset – cynically assessing the situation in Nepal solely in terms of India’s interests, fucking too much!

    Bleating about “but no Government can enjoy respect abroad if it lets foreigners treat its citizens roughly” – where was this old fart’s voice raised in protest when Singapore jails and canes hundreds of poor indian nationals for overstaying?

    You have not impressed me by your reading material so far, Shiva.

  70. Vikrant — on 1st May, 2006 at 8:13 am  

    mirax,

    , i must say we men (especially in their late teens) have 10 times more testestoreone (sic?) than women. Talking about Indo-Pak wrangling i even wrote an article about that at PP.

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/395

    I am a freakin hypocrite aint I?

  71. Rohin — on 1st May, 2006 at 11:32 am  

    “i must say we men (especially in their late teens) have 10 times more testestoreone (sic?) than women”

    It’s about 30 times more I think.

  72. shiva — on 1st May, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

    Mirax,

    …still wonder why they hired him as he knew NOTHING of Singapore…or South- east Asia and please …I used to feel a weird sense of dislocation of time and place after one of his columns…

    Pretty obvious isn’t it? Wonder why, when they had great pool with writers like Mirax to choose from! Dislocation from reading? What are they teaching ‘progressives’ these days?

  73. mirax — on 1st May, 2006 at 5:40 pm  

    Poor Shiva. Not one word of substance to say in reply to my critique of his great jounalistic hero. Simply spits out ad hominems. Bereft of argument or independent thought.

    Looks like we have reached the end of the discussion on Nepal.

    Goodnight and good luck!

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