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?
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Filed in: Current affairs,South Asia