Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nepal’s independence is as much a concern of Madhesis as of Pahadis

Kalyan B. Mathema
Sociologist, Nepal

Kalyan B. Mathema, a lecturer of Social Anthropology is now vigorously screening external and internal dimensions of the ongoing Nepali political affairs through sociological lenses. His new book "Madheshi Uprising: The resurgence of Ethnicity" published by Mandala Book Point has recently hit the kiosks of Nepal's major cities. In this book, Mr. Mathema has tried to explain as to how the Madhesh culture led to the biggest ethnic uprising in Nepal some years back.
Sujit Sharma for the Telegraph Weekly and its online edition has interviewed this promising young scholar on several aspects of Nepal's politics and the associated social phenomenon.
Below the excerpts of his exclusive interview: Chief Editor

TGQ1: Nepali population is experiencing two distinct trends concurrently. They are trying to adjust themselves in today's globalized context and at the same time insisting to restructure the nation on the basis of ethnicity. As a Sociologist, how do you think Nepal can adjust itself in such contrasting trends? Your enlightening comments please.
Many social scientists like Ernest Gellner and Charles Tilly who have meticulously studied ethnicity have come to a conclusion that the importance of ethnicity increases with the increase in the influence of modernization and globalization. Arguing from a theoretical perspective called instrumentalist model, these scholars reason that the ethnic fragmentation in society occurs through modernization, economic competition and elite ambitions. The process of modernization, they argue, improves literacy rate, widens the reach of mass media and facilitates transportation which promotes inter-cultural communications and which in turn heightens ethnic awareness among different ethnic or cultural groups. The basic argument from this influential theoretical model is that the modernization process increases both self and ethnic consciousness. Looking from this perspective, the ethnic consciousness and ethnic movements in Nepal can be viewed as a natural result of the increasing impact of globalization and the modernization taking place in the country.
The impact of globalization is not limited to the rise of ethnicity and ethnic consciousness but it also touches upon national culture of nation states and challenges it confronts. In one sense, globalization homogenizes culture in the global scale but at the nation state level it leads to the rise of popular or populist culture and which thus poses a threat to the cultural elements of nationalism that thrives on the reproduction of nationalism based on monoculture. The weakening of the cultural elements of nationalism at the nation state level leads to the formation of various intra state cultures that challenges nationalism. This challenge to nationalism is both a problem and opportunity. It is a problem because it could lead to the identity and ideological based fragmentation in the country’s social fabric. On the other hand, if challenges brought about by globalization are accepted in a scientific manner by nation states then the concept of nationalism can be broadened and democratized.
The ethnic movements in Nepal have scores of demands such as federalist state structure, decentralization, positive discrimination, inclusion of excluded communities in the state apparatus, preservation of their cultures and the right to have a dignified ethnic identity. Instead of classifying their demands and explaining the pros and cons of each demand one by one, the logical way would be to understand the spirit behind these demands. Whatever be the demands of these movements - federalism or positive discrimination, the spirit behind both is the desire of these ethnic communities to have a greater role in the Nepalese state apparatus and say in Nepalese politics. The inclusion of the previously excluded community in the state apparatus and the politics will strengthen, instead weakening the Nepali state, as inclusion will help them to view the state and politics as their own and not something that is beyond their control. This sense of inclusion will build the sense of belongingness and ownership among the previously excluded communities and Nepal is sure to benefit by winning the allegiance of the previously excluded groups.
The way to address the demands of ethnic movements in Nepal is by creating a Nepalese society that is free from ethnic, religious and identity based extremism. This can take place only when we build a national culture that leads people to respect and appreciate all other cultures of Nepal and promote the responsibility for the creation of a fair society. Every citizens of Nepal should have the right to choose and enjoy any type of cultural lives that they find as suitable for themselves but they should not be allowed to interpret their cultural rights in such a way as to justify the violation of the rights of others.

TGQ2: In the changed context, foundation of Nepali nationalism are gradually deteriorating and new foundations are yet to be in place. In your view, what could be the new premise of Nepali nationalism?
The upsurge in the identity movement in Nepal since 2007 indicates that the version of nationalism that was adopted in 1990 was not able to accommodate the aspirations of many ethnic communities in Nepal. The nationalism that the ethnic movements have demanded or demanding is the nationalism that is based on cultural pluralism. Cultural pluralists consider all cultural groups as equal. Some political analysts see cultural pluralism as a problem because they believe that only monoculture and homogeneity will help bring strong nationalism. Regardless of such constricted interpretation of nationalism, we must accept the fact that Nepal is a culturally diverse society. We should see cultural diversity as an asset rather than a problem. We are a unique country where different ethnic communities with different glorious histories, myths, traditions, symbols and values are united by the love for Nepal. A strong, prosperous and a democratic Nepal can be achieved only after we build a strong nationalism based on the bedrock of our cultural diversity.
Zygmunt Bauman, a Polish Sociologist, rightly argues that nationalism can only be erected on the foundation of a strong state. Nationalism, according to him, is like a product produced through meticulous ‘social engineering’ in a ‘factory’ of a nation state. If we agree with Bauman (which I do) then our first job in Nepal will be to work towards creating a strong State. In other words, our first priority in order to build a strong Nepali nationalism should be on building an effective and competent state. The Nepalese state however should be democratic and not an authoritarian one, as an undemocratic system, no matter how efficient it might be, will still fail to build a strong nation state where all people have a strong common identity, interest and goal. It is often said and very truly that the state is the organization to hold a country physically intact while the nationalism is the psychological glue to unite the people of the country together. An undemocratic Nepalese state may attempt to build a nation state through an imposed version of nationalism but this does not work as nationalism is an ideology that cannot be forced upon people. An authoritarian state that does not give political power to its people will not enjoy the loyalty of majority of its citizens and as a result will not be able to produce a sustainable and healthy nationalism. Nationalism built by authoritarian and totalitarian states are usually jingoistic ones and not suitable for the civilized era.

TGQ 3: Political scientists believe that foreign interference in Nepal was institutionalized after signing of humiliating Treaty of Sugauli with East India Company in 1816. The 1950 Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty had already nullified the Treaty of Sugauli; however, foreign interference still prevails in Nepali politics. Why and how this happens Mr. Mathema? Your precious comment please.
The issue of foreign relationship and interference is always at the center of debate in all weak and smaller nation states. The relationship between different nation states especially between or among the neighboring ones is always based on social, political and economic conflict of interests and negotiation. When two sovereign nation states interact, each expresses its own national interest and the result is the synthesis shaped by their conflict of interest. The outcome of the negotiations between any two nation states usually goes in favor of the one that has higher degree of bargaining power.
It is very important for us to agree on what our national interest is, what our bargaining power is, what and how Nepal can benefit from its relationship with other countries, and what interests these foreign nation state(s) have on Nepal and what should be our national strategy in pursuit of ours having a strong foreign policy.
Nepal’s national interest regarding foreign policy is primarily:
(a) To preserve sovereignty,
(b) Protect national integrity,
(c) Safeguard political independence,
(d) Ensure internal security and social harmony,
(e) Improve the standard of living for Nepalese citizens,
(f) Safeguard democracy, civil liberty and human rights,
(g) Preserve and enhance Nepal’s positive image in the comity of nations and
(h) Maintain friendly relationship with other countries, particularly the neighboring ones.
A country’s national strategy is its ability to make various pragmatic plans by assembling all the economic, political, cultural, diplomatic and other available resources and mobilizing them in an effective manner to secure one’s own national interests. For the planning and implementation of a successful national strategy, it is essential for the civil society groups, political parties and the state to have a common understanding of where our national interest lies. Studying the current situation in Nepal, it becomes clear that the State is currently in a weak position. The major political parties and various civil society groups remain in a divided state on ideological and ethnic lines and there is a lack of national consensus on issues even related with foreign affairs and policies. In a situation like this, it is easy for foreign states to push their national interests at the cost of Nepal’s own interest through various power centers in Nepal. It is absolutely essential for Nepalese political parties to form a common world view as far as Nepal’s relations with other countries, more particularly the neighboring countries are concerned.
It is also advisable for Nepal to develop a strong team of scholars and researchers through its university systems to study and advise the government on foreign policy matters. Such team should be made up of retired diplomats and academics from different fields like economy, politics, law, security, sociology and culture. To begin with, there could be at least two teams of experts, one specializing in India and the other in China. Both India and China are big countries and their politics are intricate and complex. It is absolutely essential for us to have a good understanding of both these countries- their politics, economy, finance, commerce, society, their foreign relations and their comparative strength or weaknesses vis-à-vis Nepal in various spheres so that we can understand and deal with them well in a dignified manner.

TGQ4: Recently sacked Defense Minister Mr. Sarat Singh Bhandari jolted the entire nation by his secessionist remarks. Being an expert of Madheshi society and culture, do you think his remark reflect the opinion and aspiration of the entire Madheshi population?
Mr. Sarat Singh Bhandari’s remarks were very unfortunate. His remarks however, do not reflect the opinions and aspirations of Madheshi population. The new democratic Nepal has offered to Madhesis a place of pride and honor. Under the changed political scenario, the Madheshi parliamentarians can, for instance, angrily debate on any issues in their own mother tongue with Pahadi brothers and sisters in the Nepalese parliament. While the Madheshi leaders will continue to fight for more political role and space, they have also clearly understood that in the current democratic Nepal they have more social and political power than they had ever before. Nepal’s sovereignty, protection of its territorial integrity and safeguarding of political independence is now as much a concern of the Madhesis as that of the Pahadis.

TGQ5: Let us end with a surgical question. There is the simultaneous rise in the ethnic consciousness, religious differences, political instability, culture of impunity, criminalization of business, breakdown of law and order, naked foreign interference and economic stagnation. Some political scientists have warned of the possible outbreak of civil war. What is the best way to deal with these likely infernos?
According to James Fearon and David Laitin, the two prominent political scientists who studied 122 civil wars that occurred between 1945 and 1999 and which claimed over 16.2 million lives, factors such as poverty, weak state, political instability and large population are more responsible for civil conflicts than factors such as ethnic or religious diversity. If we are to agree with these two scholars, then we should be more worried about Nepal’s flagging economy, widespread criminalization of business, eroding state power and the growing disparity between the rich and the poor than the rise of ethnic consciousness. If Nepal is to avoid any civil unrest or conflict in the future, it must work hard to establish a strong and efficient State which not only delivers services to the people with efficiency and fairness but also deals with the problem of law and order and bring an end to the culture of impunity. State failure in sectors such as health and education has serious consequences in the well-being of the people, particularly those who are poor and deprived and this could have serious impact on people’s faith on the efficacy of the government. All this could lead to social unrest and ethnic violence. If economic and social justice are continued to be ignored then there is no way to prevent Nepal’s eventual slide to conflict again. Maoists’ insurgency and the Madheshi Uprising are both fuelled by youth discontentment mostly in rural areas due to various reasons but especially the growing inequality in Nepalese society. It is also very much important that the high political consciousness of Nepalese people should be capitalized by the state by making constantly keeping them engaged in politics so that they can act as a pressure group to bring timely reforms in various spheres of national life.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

असान्दर्भिक पात्र : किरण र गान्धी

सुजित मैनाली

उपयोगीताको सिद्धान्तको अब्बल अभ्यास हुन्छ राजनीतिमा । इतिहासको कुनै विशेष कालखण्डमा विशिष्ठ महत्व र उचाई हासिल गरेको व्यक्ति अर्को चरणमा पुग्दा बेकामे बन्न पुग्छ । राजनीतिमा समय र परिस्थीति ज्यादै निर्मम हुन्छ जसले रगत छउन्जेल मानिसलाई चुसिरहन्छ र रित्तिएपछि पाखामा मिल्काइदिन्छ । मानौ मानिस उखुको खोष्टो हो !

राजनीतिमा उपयोगीताको सिद्धान्त बुझ्न दुई जना पात्रलाई उदाहरणका रुपमा लिन सकिन्छ भारतीय स्वतन्त्रता संग्रामका शिखर पुरुष महात्मा गान्धि र एकीकृत नेकपा माओवादीका उपाध्यक्ष मोहन वैद्य 'किरण' । अिहंसाका पुजारी गान्धी र दश वर्षे शशष्त्र द्वन्द्वका क्रममा भएको रक्तपातका निम्ती नैतिक रुपले जिम्मेवार ठहराइएका किरणबीचको तुलना आफैमा अमिल्दो देखिन्छ । तर उपयोगीताको सिद्धान्तबमोजीम भरपुर उपयोग भएर मिल्किएका र मिल्कने क्रममा रहेका यी दुई पात्रको नियतीले दुबैलाई एकअर्काको नजिक ल्याएको छ ।

महात्मा गान्धी उच्च अध्ययनका लागि दक्षिण अपि्रुका जानु अगावै भारतमा स्वतन्त्रता संग्रामको विजारोपण भइसकेको थियो । तर संग्रामलाई सिद्धान्तीकरण गर्ने र 'क्यारीस्मेटिक' नेतृत्व प्रदान गर्ने व्यक्तिको अभावमा यसले गति लिन सकिरहेको थिएन । गान्धिले दक्षिण अपि्रुका पुगेपछि बुझे - कमजोरले बलियोसँग लड्ने भनेको बाहुबलले होइन वुद्धि र करुणाले हो । अपि्रुकामै उनले यसको आरम्भिक प्रयोग समेत गरे जसलाई उनले शान्तिपूर्ण सत्याग्रहको नाम दिए । आफ्नो प्रयोग आंशिक रुपमा सफल भएपछि भारत फर्किएर उनले यसलाई व्यापक बनाए । 'कहिल्यै सुर्य नअस्ताउने' साम्राज्यसँग लड्ने यो भन्दा उपयुक्त अर्को हतियार थिएन । फलस्वरुप भगत िसंह, सुवासचन्द बोशजस्ता केहि अपवादलाई छोडेर स्वतन्त्रता संग्राममा संलग्न सबैले गान्धिद्वारा प्रतिपादित आन्दोलन पद्दतीमा सहमती जनाए ।

गान्धीले उपनिवेशकालिन भारतमा स्वतन्त्रता राष्ट्रियता र साप्रदायीक एकताको आन्दोलनलाई अकल्पनीय उचाइ दिलाए । उनको उपयोगीता त्यत्तिका लागि मात्रै थियो । उपयोगीता सकिएपछि अन्त्यमा उनी आफ्नै पार्टिद्वारा मिल्काइए जसरी अहिले माओवादी पार्टिले किरणलाई मिल्काउने प्रयत्न गरिरहेको छ ।

किरण र गान्धि काँडैकाडाले भरिएको बाटोमा हिड्ने नियती बोकेका प्राणी हुन् । बगैँचाको मनोरम र आनन्ददायक क्षण उपभोग गर्न जन्मिएका होइनन उनीहरु । हिजो युद्धको बेला पार्टिभित्र सर्वत्र पुजिएका किरण अहिले चारैतिरबाट बहिष्कृत भएका छन् । 'क्रान्ति' उठान गर्न कुनै बेलामा किरणलाई गुरु थाप्ने अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहाल अहिले पराइलाई मनाउन आफ्नै गुरुको बली चढाउन उद्दत भएका छन् । हिजो माओवादको नेपाली भाष्य तयार गर्ने बेलामा किरणको उपदेयता थियो । नेतृत्व कस्तो हुनुपर्छ संगठनको शक्ति के हो र यसलाई कसरी परिचालन गर्नुपर्छ ? अरुले आफूमाथि सैद्धान्तीक हमला गरेभने यसको प्रतिकार कसरी गर्ने ? सिद्धान्त अथ्र्याएर मानिसलाई हतियार बोक्न कसरी उद्वेलीन गर्ने ? प्रचण्ड को हो र प्रचण्डपथ के हो ? यस्ता विषयमा दाहाल लगायत सम्पूर्ण पार्टिले किरणको विशेषज्ञयताको चरम दोहन गरेका थिए । तर अहिले शशष्त्र द्वन्द्व टुंगीएको छ र माओवादी शान्तिपूर्ण राजनीतिमा अवतरीत भइसकेको छ । हिजोको जंगलको बास (प्रचण्ड, बाबुराम आदिले नयाँ दिल्लीको नोयडामा ुजनयुद्धु का बेला करिब आठ वर्ष बिताएको तथ्यलाई एकछिन बिसर्िदिउँ) को ठाउँमा अहिले अर्बौ मुल्यका आलिशान महल माओवादी नेताका निम्ति ठडिएका छन् । खच्चडको सट्टा लाखौं मुल्यको चिल्ला गाडिले उनीहरुलाई हुइकाइरहेका छन् । यस्तोमा किन चाहियो माओवादीलाई माओवादको नेपाली भाष्य ? सुखसयल र सत्ताको उन्मादले मात्तिएका दाहाल, बाबुराम, जवहलराल नेहरु र बल्लभभाइ पटेलले अझै किरण र गान्धिलाई आदर्श मानेर लामो कठिनाइपछि आइलागेको अवशरलाई किन जोखिममा पारुन ?

पद र पैसाप्रतीको वितराग गान्धि र किरणलाई जोड्ने अर्को पुल हो । भारत स्वतन्त्र भएपछि गान्धि राज्यको कुनै पदमा आसिन भएनन् । किरणले सभासदको पद त्यागे मन्त्री अथवा प्रधानमन्त्री बन्ने लालसा कहिल्यै देखाएनन् । अप्ठेरो परेको बेला दुलो पसी अनुकुल समयमा फुत्त निस्केर तर मार्ने नारायणकाजिजस्ता अवशरबादका नाइकेको बोलाबोल रहेको बेला किरण पार्टिभित्रबाटै परित्यक्त हुन्छन् भने यसमा आश्चर्य मान्नुपर्ने कुरा नै के छ र ?

भारत स्वतन्त्र नभएसम्म जवहरलाल नेहरु र बल्लभभाइ पटेल गान्धिलाई 'बापु' भन्दै उनको पाउ मुसार्थे । 'बापु' निन्दाएको बेला उनको गोडा मिच्थे र आर्शिवादको याचना गर्थे । तीनै नेहरु र पटेलले भारत स्वतन्त्र भएपछि गान्धिलाई टेरेनन् । भारत-पाकिस्तान विभाजनको बेला भारतले पाकिस्तानलाई ७५ करोड रुपैयाँ तिर्नुपर्ने भएको थियो । पहिलो चरणमा पाकिस्तानले २० करोड रुपैयाँ लिइसकेको थियो । बाँकी पैसा माग्दा नेहरु र पटेलले दिन अस्विकार गरे । त्यतिबेला काश्मिरमा भारत-पाकिस्तान लडाइ जारी थियो । भारतबाट पाउने पैसा पकिस्तानले हतियार खरिद गर्न खर्च गर्ने भय उनीहरुलाई थियो । पाकिस्तान आफ्नै पैसाबाट वाचीत भएको स्थीति गान्धिका लागि सैह्य थिएन । स्वतन्त्र भएलगत्तै भारतले झुट र कपटलाई राज्य साचालनको आधार बनाएपछि गान्धिले यसको विरोध गरे । आफ्नो विरोधलाई नेहरु र पटेलले टेरपुच्छर नलाएपछि गान्धि आमरण अनसनमा बसे । हिजोसम्म 'भगवान' मानेको ७८ वर्षिया वृद्धलाई उनीहरुले हप्तौंसम्म भोकै राखे ।

ओटो भन विस्मार्क उपयोगीताको सिद्धान्तबमोजिम चुसिएका अर्का एतिहासीक पात्र हुन् । उनले जर्मनीको एकीकरण गरे र युरोपको शक्ति सन्तुलनलाई आफ्नो राष्ट्रको अनुकुल बनाए । उनकै पालामा जर्मन ज्यादै शक्तिशाली भयो । तर अन्त्यमा विस्मार्कलाई प्रुान्स र बि्रटनको बेगसँग हिँड्न नसक्ने अयोग्य व्यक्ति ठहराइयो । कैसर विल्हेल्म द्धिृतीयले 'अयोग्य' हुन पुगेका विष्मार्कलाई पदच्युत गरी पहिलो विश्वयुद्धको सङ्खघोष गरे र जर्मनलाई बर्बाद पारे । त्यस्तै सन् १९१७ मा रुसमा बोल्सेभिक क्रान्ति हुँदा लाल सेनाको सर्वोच्च कमान्ड सम्हालेका लियोन ट्राटस्की सत्ता कब्जा भइसकेपछि अवािाछन हुन पुगे । क्रान्तिसम्बन्धी उनको परिभाषालाई अपूर्ण र माक्स्रवादविरोधी ठहराइयो । उनी देशनिकालामा परे र अन्त्यमा मारिए ।

प्रतिकुल समयमा उपयोगी हुने जिव सामान्य जीवनमा सान्दर्भिक नहुन सक्छ । राजनीतिमा अक्सर यस्तो हुने गर्छ । दोस्रो विश्वयुद्धमा आफ्नो अलौकीक नेतृत्वदायी क्षमताको उपयोग गरेर नाजी जमर्नी र फासिष्ट इटालीलाई पराजित गर्ने बि्रटेनका प्रधानमन्त्री सर विन्स्टन चर्चिल युद्ध समाप्त नहुँदै कुसर्ीबाट खँदारिए ।

राजनीतिको यस्तो निर्मम सिद्धान्तबाट नेपाल मात्र अछुतो हुने कुरै आउँदैन । त्यसैले किरणलाई आदर्शवादी अव्यवहारीक समयअनुसार चल्न नसक्ने हठि जडसुत्रवादी स्वैरकल्पनाबादी आदि भएको आरोप लगाइँदैछ । र तिनै जडसुत्रबादीले हुर्काएको बोटको फल टोक्ने दाहाल भट्टराई र नारायणकाजीलाई व्यवहारीक भनि पुजा गरिँदैछ । अहिलेको संसार किरण र गान्धिको होइन । यहाँ 'व्यवहारवाद' का नाइकेहरुका लागि मात्र स्थान छ ।

(हिमालय टाइम्स राष्ट्रिय दैनिकमा प्रकाशित)

साम्राज्यवादको छद्म हुँकार

सुजित मैनाली

साम्राज्यवादी विर्य र विस्तारवादी डिम्बको ुफ्युजनुबाट जन्मिएको सरकारले अन्ततः आफ्नो असली रुप देखाएरै छाड्यो । रक्षामन्त्री शरदिसंह भण्डारीले नेपाललाई टुक्राउने धम्की दिनु अनपेक्षित थिएन । तर उनको अभिव्यक्तिप्रती प्रधानमन्त्री डा. बाबुराम भट्टराईले साधेको मौनता भने धेरैले अपेक्षा गरेभन्दा विपरीत छ । यसलाई राष्ट्रसंघ महासभामा सहभागि हुन जाँदा न्युयोर्क बसाइका क्रममा लागेको बोसोको परिणती मान्नु पर्ला !

शरदिसंहको विखण्डनबादी अभिव्यक्ति सुनेर दिल्लीका उनका 'सेठ' हरु झस्किए होलान् । मध्य र दक्षिण एसियामा फुटको बिउ छर्न खोज्ने बाह्य शक्ति यसबाट उत्साहित भयो होला । चीनको उदयलाई छोप्न र अफगानिस्तानमा स्थीरता बाहली गर्ने बहानामा निर्माण भएको भनिएको भारत-अमेरिका रणनीतिक साझेदारीले नेपालमा विपरीत धार समात्न पुग्दा राजनीतिशाष्त्रका विद्धानहरुले समेत निधार खुम्चाए होलान् ।

लिट्टेमार्फत श्रीलंकामा विस्तारवादी नीति लागू गर्न खोज्दा साम्राज्यवादी घुसपैठ भएर तमिलनाडु झन्डै छुट्टिएको त्रासद अनुभव दिल्लीले यति चाँडै बिसर्िने कुरै आएन । त्यसैकारण श्रीलंकाली राष्ट्रपति महिन्दा राजापाक्षेले चिनियाँ तथा पाकिस्तानी हतियार भित्राएर प्रभाकरणको वध गर्दा समेत भारतले जयललिता र करुनानिधीमार्फत तमिलनाडुको चित्त बुझाउनका लागि राजापाक्षेको विरोध गरेझैं देखाएपनि राजापाक्षेलाई असहयोग गर्ने धृष्टता गरेन । उता अमेरिका युरोपेली महासंघदेखी स्केन्डिनेभियन राष्ट्रहरु राजापाक्षेविरुद्ध अिरंगलको गोलो बनेर खनिए । युरोपले श्रीलंकाली पस्मिना आयातमा प्रतिबन्ध लगायो, अमेरिकाको राज्यस्तरको अदालतले राजापाक्षेविरुद्ध 'एरेष्ट वारेन्ट' जारी गर्यो । राजापाक्षेलाई अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय फौजदारी अदालतमा अभियोजन लगाउनुपर्ने एकाध नारा नेपालमा पनि गुिाजए । सार्वजनिक उपभोगका लागि भारतले श्रीलंकामा विखण्डनवादविरोधी युद्धका क्रममा भएका मानवअधिकार उल्लंघनका घटनामा चासो देखाएजस्तो गरेपनि अन्त्यमा राजापाक्षेका लागि नयाँ दिल्लीमा रातो कार्पेट बिछ्याइ छोड्यो । एउटा छिमेकी राष्ट्रमा साम्राज्यवादी घुसपैठको अवसान भएलगत्तै 'इण्डो-गंगेटिक' भूभागको सुरक्षासँग प्रत्यक्ष सरोकार राख्ने उत्तरको छिमेकी राष्ट्रमा साम्राज्यवादको अवशेष सलबलाउन खोज्दा नयाँ दिल्लीको कत्रो 'निन्द हराम' भयो होला !

विस्तारवादी आवरणमा बनेको यो सरकारको नसामा साम्राज्यवादी रगत बग्दैछ भन्ने कुराको गतिलो उदाहरण शरदिसंहको अभिव्यक्ति बन्न पुगेको छ । शरदिसंहले सोच-विचर गरिकन त्यस्तो अभिव्यक्ति नदिएका होलान् । तथापी अनायसै यस्तो विचार ओकाल्ने जुन प्रकारको मनोविज्ञान उनीभित्र विकसीत भयो त्यो झन सघन र खतरापूर्ण छ । किनकी सिग्मण्ड प्रुयडले भनेझै मानिसको वास्तवीक व्यक्तित्व उसको चेतन नभई अवचेतन मनले निर्धारण गर्छ ।

सन् २००९ को अन्त्यमा अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति बाराक ओबामाले चीन भ्रमणका क्रममा काश्मिर विवाद समाधानमा चिनियाँ भुमिकालाई अनुमोदन गरेका थिए । ओबामाको यस्तो कदमप्रती भारतले कडा आपत्ति जनाउँदा उनले लगत्तै नयाँदिल्ली पुगेर दक्षिणपूर्वि एसियामा भारतीय भुमिकालाई आफ्नो समर्थन रहने आवश्वासन दिएर भारतलाई शान्त पार्न खोजेका थिए । यी दुई एसियाली शक्तिबीच 'भाले भिडन्त' आयोजना गरेर आनन्द लिने ध्येय मात्र थिएन, ओबामाको । चीन-भारत कटुतालाई प्रवर्दन गरी यस क्षेत्रमा फुटको विजारोपण गर्ने जमर्को उनको अभिव्यक्तिमा सन्निहित थियो ।

नपत्याए काश्मिर विवादमा अमेरिका र बि्रटेनसँग भारत किन तसर्िन्छ त्यत्ति बुझे पुग्छ । पाकिस्तानले परमाणू हतियार उत्पादन गरेपछि काश्मिरको शक्ति सन्तुलन डगमगाउन पाएन । पाकिस्तानलाई परमाणु हतियार उत्पादन गर्ने अथाह धन कसले दियो ? उसकै तथाकथित साझेदार राष्ट्र अमेरिकाले होइन ? यस कारण काश्मिर विवादमा बाह्य पक्षको संलग्नता अस्विकार गर्नुलाई भारतले आफ्नो 'बटम लाइन' बनाएको छ । नेपालको शान्ति प्रकि्रयामा सघाउ पुर्याउने बहानामा राष्ट्रसंघिय मिसन अनमिन आउँदा नेपालको पहाडै पहाड हुँदै साम्राज्यवादको एजेन्ट काश्मिरसम्म पुग्ला भन्ने भयले भारतले माधव कुमार नेपाल र सुशिल कोइरालालाई प्रयोग गरेर राष्ट्रसंघलाई दक्षिण एसियाबाट धपाएको होइन ?

नेपाल टुक्राउने नीति भारतको होइन । यदि कुनैबेला यस्तो नीति उसले बनाएको थियो भने पनि अहिले परिवर्तन गरिसकेको छ । ु'मोग्राफिक इन्जभेजन' (जनसंख्यीक आक्रमण) र संस्कृतिक अतिक्रमणमार्फत नेपालमाथिको नियन्त्रणलाई स्थायित्व दिलाउन सकिन्छ भन्नेमा भारत विश्वस्त छ । यस्तोमा भारतसँग सिमा जोडिएका २२ वटा जिल्लालाई नेपालबाट अलग गराउने शरदिसंहको अभिव्यक्तिले काठमाडौंलाई भन्दा बढि नयाँ दिल्लीलाई बेचैन बनाएको छ ।

शदरदिसंहको साम्राज्यवादी हुँकारमा सन्निहित सन्देश डरलाग्दो छ । काठमाडौंलाई जाकर्ताको नियती भोग्न बाध्य बनाएर पूर्वी पहाडलाई इष्ट टिमोर बनाउने, तराइ मधेसलाई दक्षिण सुडान बनाउने र यसको तरंगलाई विस्तार गर्दै चीन भारत पाकिस्तानसहित समग्र दक्षिण तथा मध्य एसियालाई 'बाल्कनाइजेशन' को प्रकि्रयामा लाने साम्राज्यवादी 'ग्रान्ड डिजाइन' को संकेत उनको हुँकारबाट मिलेको छ । यस्तो 'ग्रान्ड डिजाइन' बुझ्न कि्रश्चियन धर्म प्रचार र समावेशीका नाउँमा जातियता प्रवर्दन गर्न पश्चिमबाट निरन्तर रुपमा भित्रिरहेको डलको ओइरोको उद्देश्य पहिल्याउनु मात्र पनि पर्याप्त हुन्छ । नेपाली राजनीतिमा भारतले क्षेत्रीयतालाई जोड दिइरहेको बेलामा चरम जातीकेन्द्रित भावना कसरी छ्याप्छ्याप्ती हुन पुग्यो ? के यो साम्राज्यवादद्धारा पालित-पोसित तथाकथित राजनीतिक दल नागरिक समाज र मानवअधिकारवादीको डलरप्रेरीत निष्ठाको उपज होइन ?

अझ प्रष्ट हुन अमेरिकाले बेइजिङप्रती असन्तुष्ट चीनभित्रका जातिय समुहसँग राखेको सम्बन्धपट्टि हेर्नु वााछनिय हुन्छ । आतंकवादविरुद्धको युद्धमा आफूसहित सम्पूर्ण विश्वलाई होमेको अमेरिकाले सिन्जियाङका उइगुर सुन्नी मुसलमान अतिवादीहरुलाई सहयोग गरिरहेको छ । उइगुरको पृथक्तावादी अभियानका अगुवाहरुले अमेरिकामा कार्यलय स्थापना गरी विश्वव्यापी रुपमै अभियान साचालन गरिरहेका छन् । साम्राज्यवाद बडो चतुर हुन्छ । यस्तो विरोधाभाषपुर्ण अवस्थालाई पनि उसले बडो कुशलताका साथ समन्वय गरिरहेको छ ।

'इसाइ साम्राज्य' विस्तारको एकसुत्रिय एजेन्डामा लागि परेको अमेरिका र युरोपेली महासंघले दलाई लामाको 'स्वतन्त्र तिब्बत आन्दोलन' लाई खुला रुपमै सहयोग गरिरहेका छन् । इसाइ धर्मका लागि सबैभन्दा ठूलो जोखिम बन्न पुगेको बौद्ध धर्मलाई साम्राज्यवादी सहयोग हासिल हुनु आफैमा असामन्जस्यपूर्ण स्थीति हो । तरपनि साम्राज्यवादले बडो चर्तुयाइका साथ आफ्नो एजेन्डा लागू गरिरहेको छ । तिब्बतमा चीनलाई थोरै मात्रामा गलाउन सकियो भने सिन्जियाङ, माचुरीया र भित्रि मंगोलियाजस्ता चीनका सिमान्त भूभागमा विप्लव मच्चाउने हङकङदेखी मकाउसम्मको अन्तरविरोधमा खेल्ने र चीनलाई धुजाधुजा गराउन सकिने सम्भावनालाई साम्राज्यवादले बडो मिहिनपूर्वक नियालीरहेको छ । यसो भएको खण्डमा पश्चिमको आर्थिक तथा धार्मिक साम्राज्यवादको प्रतिरोध गर्नसक्ने कुनै शक्ति एसियामा बाँकी रहने छैन । यस्तो अवस्थामा मध्य तथा दक्षिण एसियाको साँधमा रहेको मुलुक नेपालमा जातियताका आधारमा विखण्डनको वकालत गर्ने सबै सामाज्यवादका भरिया हुन् । आवरणमा उनीहरु विस्तारवादका एजेन्ट देखिन्छन् भने त्यो हेर्नेकै दृष्टिदोष हो ।

(हिमालय टाइम्स राष्ट्रिय दैनिकमा प्रकाशित)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

बदलिँदो मधेस राजनीति

सुजित मैनाली

विशाल जनसंख्या, खेतीयोग्य जमिनको प्रचुरता, कलकारखानाको विकास र विदेशी भूमिमा सहज आवतजावतको सुविधा आदिले राष्ट्रिय राजनीतिमा मधेसको उपस्थितिलाई बलियो बनाएको छ । संविधानसभामा मधेसी समुदायको प्रचुर उपस्थिति र सडक तथा सदन दुवै मोर्चाबाट मधेसले निम्त्याउन सक्ने कम्पनको सतही अध्ययन मात्र पनि मधेसको सुदृढ क्षमता बुझ्न चाहनेहरूका लागि पर्याप्त हुन्छ । मधेसको जनसांख्यिक संरचनाको बलियो आधार र भारतको टेकोको सहायताले झ्यांगिन पुगेको मधेस राजनीतिले मुलुकमा राजनीतिक संक्रमण गहिरिँदै जाँदा परिवर्तनका संकेत देखाउन थालेको छ । मधेस राजनीतिले नयाँ शैली र प्रवृत्तिलाई आत्मसात् गर्न खोजिरहेको संकेत केही समययता प्रस्ट रूपमा देखिन थालेको छ ।

राजेन्द्र महतोले अध्यक्षता गरेको सद्भावना पार्टी फुटाएर संघीय सद्भावना पार्टी गठन गर्ने अनिलकुमार झाको अहिलेको द्विविधाग्रस्त मनस्थिति मधेस राजनीतिले लिन खोजिरहेको नयाँ स्वरूपलाई नियाल्ने आँखीझ्याल बन्न सक्छ । महतो 'बेइमानी का काम इमानदारी से ना कर्ने वाला' -बेइमानीको काम इमानदारीपूर्वक नगर्ने व्यक्ति) भएकाले पार्टी फुटाउन बाध्य हुनुपरेको बताउने झा अहिले 'पर्ख र हेर'को अन्योलपूर्ण र द्विविधाग्रस्त मनस्थितिमा छन् । खासगरी दिल्लीले पार्टी फुटाउने आफ्नो निर्णयप्रति कस्तो धारणा राख्ने हो भन्ने विषयले उनको द्विविधा र सन्देहलाई बढाइरहेको छ । माओवादीको प्रभाव न्यूनीकरणका लागि दिल्लीले संयुक्त मधेसी मोर्चालाई क्रियाशील गराइरहेको अवस्थामा मोर्चामा सहभागी दल सद्भावनालाई टुक्रयाउने झाको निर्णय दिल्लीका लागि अपि्रय हुनु अनौठो होइन । तसर्थ, आफ्नो भावी मार्गमा दिल्लीले भाँजो हाल्ने सम्भावना प्रबल रहेको अनुभव झाले गरेका छन् । अतः जुनसुकै वेला भारतविरुद्ध 'जिहाद' छेड्नुपर्ने हुन सक्छ भनेर झा अहिले नेपाल र भारतबीच भएका यावत् सन्धि, सम्झौता अध्ययनमा लागिपरेका छन् । नेपाल-भारत सन्धि-सम्झौतामा नेपाल कहाँ ठगिएको छ भन्ने पहिल्याउन उनी अहिले घोत्लिरहेका छन्, ताकि भोलि भारत साँच्चिकै आफूविरुद्ध खनिए सन्धि-सम्झौताका धारा, उपधारा, दफा आदिको हवला दिँदै भारतप्रतिको आफ्नो व्यक्तिगत र स्वार्थप्रेरित आक्रोशलाई वैधानिक एवं राष्ट्रिय चरित्रको बनाउन सकियोस् ।

तथापि झा राजनीतिले जुनसुकै वेला अनपेक्षित मोड लिन सक्ने राजनीतिको सामान्य चरित्रलाई समेत बुझ्न सक्ने ल्याकत नभएका नेता भने होइनन् । राजनीतिको सैद्धान्तिक एवं व्यावहारिक पाटोमा झाको दक्षता राजेन्द्र महतोको भन्दा लाखौँ गुणा नभए पनि हजारौँ गुणा बढी अवश्य छ । अझ अहिले नेपाल संक्रमणकालबाट गुजि्ररहेको र भारतले नेपालमा गम्भीर चुनौतीको सामना गर्नुपरिरहेको वर्तमान अवस्थामा दिल्लीले नयाँ रणनीति बनाउन सक्ने र यस्तो रणनीति कार्यान्वयनको 'भरिया' आफू पनि हुन पाउने सम्भावनालाई चतुर झाले पूर्णतः नकार्न सकेका छैनन् । त्यसैले उनी अहिले भारतसँगको नेपालको सम्बन्धबारे खुलस्त बोल्दैनन्, न त मधेसी मोर्चाले उठाएको ताजा जनादेशको पक्ष/विपक्षमै स्पष्ट धारणा राख्छन् । भारतले 'गि्रन सिग्नल' दिएको खण्डमा पनि उसलाई रिझाई मधेस राजनीतिमा आफ्नो भूमिका बढाउन झाले अन्य मधेसी दलसँग प्रतिस्पर्धा गर्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । त्यसैले सन्धि-सम्झौताको अध्ययनबाट फुर्सद निकालेर उनले भारतको गुलामी गर्ने तौरतरिकाको 'ट्रेनिङ' पनि सँगसँगै लिइरहेका छन् । किनकि सयौँ वर्षसम्म बि्रटिसको गुलामी गरेको भारतलाई प्रसन्न बनाउन उच्चस्तरको गुलामी गर्न आवश्यक छ भन्ने कुरा त नेपालका राजनीतिज्ञको आजसम्मको व्यवहारले प्रमाणित गरेकै छ ।

झाको द्विविधाग्रस्त मनस्थितिले भारतको असहयोगका बाबजुद मधेसमा राजनीति गर्न सकिन्छ भन्नेतर्फ संकेत गरेको छ । यसको अर्थ हुन्छ, मधेस राजनीतिमा भारतको विकल्प विस्तारै उदाउँदै छ । अझ प्रस्टसँग भन्नुपर्दा मधेसमा भारतको एकाधिकार क्रमशः भंग हुँदै छ । नयाँदिल्लीको विकल्पमा मधेसले पेरिसडाँडालाई मात्र होइन, क्षेत्रीय र अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय शक्तिकेन्द्रतर्फ समेत आँखा डुलाउन थालेको छ । यसलाई मधेस राजनीतिमा देखिन लागेको गुणात्मक परिवर्तनको पूर्वसंकेत मान्न सकिन्छ ।

आजसम्म मधेस राजनीतिको आधारभूत चरित्र भारत भक्ति र सत्ताप्रतिको आशक्ति रहँदै आएको छ । सद्भावना पार्टीका संस्थापक नेता गजेन्द्रनारायण सिंहदेखि जेपी गुप्ता हुँदै महन्थ ठाकुर र राजेन्द्र महतोसम्मले दोहोर्‍याउने गरेको नेपाललाई श्रीलंका बनाइदिने विखण्डनकारी रटानको पृष्ठभूमिमा भारतभक्तिको आशय लुकेको देख्न आँखा तन्काइरहनुपर्दैन । मधेसका जनताको हित गर्ने भ्रम छरी अधिकांश मधेसी नेताबाट आजसम्म भारतको सेवा गर्ने काम हुँदै आएको छ । आफ्ना नेताको यस्तो विदेशभक्तिको महँगो मूल्य भने मधेसका सोझासाझा जनताले चुकाउनुपरिरहेको छ । स्पष्ट रूपमा भन्नुपर्दा भारत नेपालमा तीनवटा नीति लागू गर्न चाहन्छ : जनसांख्यिक हमला (डेमोग्राफिक इन्भेजन) मार्फत नेपालमा आफ्ना नागरिक निर्यात गरी प्रजातान्त्रिक तरिकाबाटै नेपालमा कब्जा जमाउन ! हिन्दीभाषीको बाहुल्य रहेको युपी र बिहार राज्यसँग सीमा जोडिएको राष्ट्र नेपालमा हिन्दी भाषालाई बलजफ्ती लाद्दै यहाँ सांस्कृतिक साम्राज्य संस्थागत गर्न र सांस्कृतिक र जनसांख्यिक हतियार प्रयोग गरी यहाँका राजनीतिक र प्राकृतिक साधन-स्रोतमाथि कब्जा जमाउन । यी नीतिको सफल कार्यान्वयनको जाँतोमा सबैभन्दा पहिले पिसिनुपर्ने मधेसी समुदायले नै हो । तथापि, मधेसीको हकहितका लागि भन्दै भारतका यस्ता नीति कार्यान्वयनको भारी बोक्न मधेसी नेता लाग्नुभन्दा ठूलो विडम्बना मधेसी जनताका लागि अरू के हुन्छ र !

'जनसांख्यिक हमला' मार्फत ह्वारह्वार्ती नेपाल भित्रिने भारतीयले सबैभन्दा पहिले विस्थापित गर्ने भनेको मधेसका नेपालीलाई नै हो ! नेपाली नागरिकता किनेका भारतीयले राज्यबाट पाउने सेवा, सुविधाको मार खेप्नुपर्ने आखिर मधेसका जनताले नै हो ! नेपालमा नागरिक निर्यातका लागि भारतले खुला राखेको नेपालसँगको सिमाबाट भित्रिने अपराधीले सबैभन्दा बढि प्रताडित गर्ने आखिर मधेसका जनतालाई नै हो ! र, यदि भोलि नेपालको जलस्रोतमा भारतको कब्जा स्थापित भयो भने बृहत्तर नदी जडान परियोजनाका नाममा नेपाललाई 'वाटर रिजर्भर' बनाइँदा डुबानमा पर्ने पनि आखिर मधेस नै हो ! त्यसैले, भारतका गृहमन्त्री पी चिदम्बरम् नेपाल-भारत सीमा व्यवस्थित र नियन्त्रित गर्न चाहँदैनन् । तर, फोरम नेपालका सभासद् अभिषेक प्रताप शाह सीमा नियन्त्रित गर्नुका साथै नेपालपट्टकिो सीमामा सुरक्षाफौजको ठूलै डफ्फा परिचालन गर्न चाहन्छन् । अभिषेकको यस्तो चाहना मधेसको भूराजनीतिको वस्तुगत आँकलन मात्र नभई मधेस राजनीतिमा देखा पर्न लागिरहेको परिवर्तनको अर्को सूचकसमेत हो ।

दूरगामी सोच राख्नसक्ने केही मधेसी नेताले भारतको भक्तिमा आफ्नो र आफूले प्रतिनिधित्व गर्ने समुदायको अन्त्येष्टिको झल्को देखेका छन् । तथापि, मधेस राजनीतिमा देखा पर्न थालेको परिवर्तनको संकेत यी नेताको दूरदृष्टिको उपज मात्र भने होइन । मुख्य कुरा के हो भने मधेसमा राजनीति गर्नेका लागि झोली फौलाउने ठाउँ अब दिल्ली मात्र रहेन । बेइजिङ, वासिंगटन र ब्रसेल्सका ढोका पनि अब मधेसी नेताका लागि खुला भएका छन् । मधेसमा भारतको एकाधिकारलाई चुनौती दिने शक्तिको बीजारोपण भइसकेको छ । डलर छर्दै वासिंगटन र ब्रसेल्स मधेसमा छिरिसकेको छ भने बौद्ध धर्म र व्यापार-वाणिज्यका आडमा मधेसमा प्रवेश गर्न बेइजिङले पनि यात्रा सुरु गरिसकेको छ । यस्तै अवस्था जारी रहँदा कालान्तरमा मधेसमा भारतप्रति चरम असहिष्णु नेतृत्वपंक्तिको उदय हुने सम्भावना प्रबल छ किनकि भारतको कमजोर उपस्थितिमा मात्र मधेसमा सुदृढ नेतृत्व निर्माण सम्भव छ भन्ने कुरा उपेन्द्र यादवको अहिलेको दयनीय अवस्थाले नै छर्लंग पारेको छ । हिन्दुत्वको धागोले अहिलेसम्म पहाड र मधेसलाई एकअर्काविरुद्ध निणर्ायक रूपमा खनिन नदिएको अवस्था छ । यसै धागोको आडमा भारतीय हस्तक्षेपको विरोध गर्ने नाउँमा आगामी दिनमा मधेसी र पहाडी समुदायबीच अभूतपूर्व एकता भयो भने कसैले आश्चर्य नमाने हुन्छ । यस्तो एकतालाई कसैले पर्दापछाडिबाट सहयोग गर्छ भने त्यो अचम्मको विषय बन्नेछैन । किनकि पर्दापछाडिको राजनीतिको प्रधानता नेपाली राजनीतिको मौलिक चरित्र नै बनिसकेको छ ।

Published on Naya Patrika Daily

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blatant Indian intrusion in Nepal affairs is an open secret

Khagendra Prasad Sharma
Conflict Management Expert, Nepal

K.P. Sharma is a conflict management expert of Nepal with rich experience and excellent academic backing. He has recently presented a working paper entitled 'Nepalese Perspective; Challenges in Security Sector Restructuring' at a seminar jointly organized by Germany based Berghof Research Center and Canada based Canadian International Development Research Center in Canada. Currently he is persuing his doctoral degree in conflict management from Nepal Sanskrit University.
Journalist Sujit Mainali for Telegraph weekly/ talked with Mr. Sharma on several aspects of Nepal's peace process.
Here are the excerpts of this exclusive interview: Chief Editor.

TGQ1: Contradictory standpoints acquired by the major political parties of Nepal on several issues related to peace process is widely being held responsible for the ongoing political stalemate. Mr. K.P., can you forward some ideas on how to bridge such contending standpoints for concluding ongoing peace process in a win-win situation?
Peace process in Nepal was initiated after a compromise was reached in between the then armed subversive force, Unified Maoists, and other parliamentarian parties of Nepal. However, after the Maoist formally entered into the mainstream politics; the parliamentary parties became very reluctant to acknowledge the former as a major political force. The Maoist also couldn't completely abandon the war mindset. I think this is the main reason responsible for the continuing political stalemate in Nepal.
To resolve the ongoing peace process in a win-win model, all the major forces of Nepali politics have to perform a constructive role. The parliamentary parties of Nepal should, first of all, acknowledge the Maoists as a major political force. The Maoist garnered largest number of vote during Constituent Assembly (CA) election held April 8, 2008. However, the other parties are insisting that Maoists are yet not eligible to steer the government. This is a ridiculous argument. The Maoist have had peoples mandate for it. Everyone must acknowledge this fact.
Secondly, the Maoist currently is in itself facing serious internal differences on several ideological and tactical issues. The party is highly polarized on two distinct poles where one pole favors conclusion of the constitution drafting and peace processes while the other prefers immediate revolt. The Maoist must forge common strategy and it should publicly announce its commitment on the logical conclusion of peace process.
Thirdly, Nepal is now experiencing acute absence of 'third party engagement' that could assist to reconcile, mediate and negotiate the parties in conflict through back channel. After the departure of UNMIN, civil society could have filled the vacuum. However, civil society in Nepal is sharply divided and adheres to different political leaning. The civil society should have to forge common agenda and try their best to continue the legacy of UNMIN.
Fourthly, Nepal is now suffering from the leadership crisis. After the demise of G.P. Koirala, Nepal couldn't produce any statesman (?) to replace him. We can understand the importance of statesman in resolving conflict from the study of conflict resolution process of South Africa, Ruanda, Burundi, etc.
Fifthly, Nepali politics is divided into different lobbies and each lobby is heavy influenced by alien forces. The international community is trying to impose their interests with the help of these lobbies. If these lobbying groups resolve their differences for the sake of larger national interests, this will provide positive impetus to the ongoing peace process.
And last but not least, the Maoists must abandon its war mindset. They should believe on the will of people, rather than believing on the barrel of the guns. If the above stated guidelines are strictly followed in practice, then I firmly believe that peace process can he concluded in a win-win model and current political impasse can be resolved.

TGQ2: Foreign community based in Kathmandu has been exhibiting its serious concerns on the ongoing peace process of Nepal. Moreover, it is widely believed that India is trying to impose its interest and concerns through different mode of intervention. Could you please enlighten our august readers on what might be the interests of India associated with Nepal's peace process?
Well, the blatant interference of India in internal affairs of Nepal has now become an open secret. Because of the excessive intervention, its Nepal policy has now miserably failed. India is trying to recover the loss by sending its modest and calm envoy, Mr. Jayant Prasad to Kathmandu. Mr. Prasad will have to face daunting challenges to bag success in his assigned goal in the days ahead.
Right now, Nepal-India relation basically means the relations between Maoist and New Delhi. An antagonistic relation has developed in between them. In the current position, it looks as if India feels that Nepal-India relations are dominated by the Maoists. Each and every Indian attempt are becoming futile because of the Maoists.
I can give some examples to prove my argument. India's Nepal policy is primarily aimed to elevate pro-Indian forces in Kathmandu’s power corridors. Such force only can obey New Delhi's dictation and can address even the illogical and illegitimate concerns of New Delhi.
In post CA election period, Nepal got three successive governments. Among them, two government leaded by Chairman of Unified Maoist Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Chairman of UML Mr. Jhalanath Khanal were formed without the consent of New Delhi. This is the sign of failure of India's Nepal policy.
There are several political and security related interests of India associated with the ongoing peace process of Nepal. India wants to foil Maoist's attempt to make communism tilted constitution of Nepal. Such a constitution, India believes, will weaken pro-Indian forces in Nepal in the long term. To materialize this desire, India is trying to bring about a split in the Maoist top echelon. It is even trying to topple its leadership. This has posed serious hurdle in the conclusion of peace process.
India is against the integration of Maoist combatants in Nepalese Army (NA). The integration of combatants will limit the influence of India in NA structure because till now NA has remained in favor of our southern neighbor.
India had tried several times to make Maoist militarily weak. It had previously forwarded integration and rehabilitation package. However, the Maoist did not accept the Indian proposal. The Indian package was implicitly designed to curtail the military might of the Maoists.
India played crucial role in ousting UNMIN from Nepal by using its proxies in Nepal. And it is lingering Nepal's peace process by providing clandestine support to the anti-Maoist parties of Nepal. Strong and vibrant Maoist is not in the interest of India.

TGQ3: Communal hatred is gradually increasing in Nepal and it is widely believed that Nepal will witness widespread communal violence in the days ahead. If it so happens, unfortunately, what might be the regional impact of such a violence? What say you?
Your question is more hypothetical. I don’t think Nepal will ever experience widespread communal violence. National and regional ground is not favorable for the emergence of such violence as you stated. Maoist had schooled their followers on ethnic grounds. They have assorted the class and ethnic sentiments. They are advocating for the formation of provinces on the basis of ethnicity with an aim to garner support from the ethnic communities of Nepal. If the Maoist fail to provide proper schooling to the people regarding their agenda, this may create hostile relation between ethnic groups. But I don’t think such hostility will ever crop up in Nepal.
Lots of people in Nepal believe that India may further provoke such hostile relations that presumably exist between ethnic groups of Nepal in order to make this Himalayan nation more unstable. If it so happens, it will be detrimental to the overall security of India itself. Ethnic violence of Nepal, if it ever happened, will be followed by enraged ethnic movement in Utter Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal of India which shares border with Nepal. There are many ethnic communities in India with secession motive. The situation of Nepal will encourage those ethnic communities. And eventually, Nepal may get many neighboring countries in its surrounding.
India is aware of this fact. Therefore, may use communal card for the short term to elevate some vested interest groups to the power corridor. However, India will not favor widespread communal violence in Nepal.
Similarly, unstable Nepal is also not in the broader interest of China as well. A strong, peaceful and stable Nepal can only ensure the security and stability of China's underbelly Tibet.
Hence, in conclusion I believe that communal violence in Nepal can be detrimental to the overall security and stability of both China and India. Hence, both regional and internal context do not favor communal antagonism in Nepal.

TGQ4: There is huge difference inside Unified Maoist regarding the ongoing peace and constitution drafting process of Nepal. What type of effect this internal division inside the Maoist will have an impact in the overall peace process?
If the Maoist fails to bridge its internal differences, then the ongoing peace process is not going to see a positive end. The Maoist must be clear about their future move. If they want "People's Revolt", they should immediately prepare for it. Otherwise, they should be sincere towards the peace and constitution drafting process. Until and unless the Maoist do not favor the conclusion of peace process, this process is not going to end because the Maoists are one of the major stakeholders of this process. Maoist consent is required for the successful conclusion of these processes.

TGQ5: A French scholar Isabelle Duquesne in her latest book "Nepal: Zone of Peace" has proposed to declare Nepal as a Zone of Peace (ZoP). As a conflict resolution expert, what you would like to say on the proposal forwarded by Mrs. Isabelle?
Being a son of Nepal, I praised her proposal. However, I don’t think situation has become favorable to declare Nepal a ZoP.
Nepal has not yet recovered from the internal conflict. Peace process has not yet reached to its logical conclusion. We have already ousted UNMIN, a lone mediator of the peace process. Things have become more fragile. The internal difference between Maoists has made the situation more serious. In these circumstances, if we propose to make Nepal a ZoP, I don’t think international community will endorse our proposal.
Right now, Nepal is being the victim of triangular rivalry. Pro Indo-US, pro Chinese and nationalist groups of Nepal are in direct confrontation. This has made Nepali politics fragmented and disintegrated. Amidst this situation, if we forward the proposal of ZoP, international community may laugh on us. First of all, we have to bridge our internal differences and should successfully conclude the peace process. The political parties of Nepal should unite for the common national agenda. Then only we should think about declaring Nepal as a ZoP. Right now, the concept of ZoP looks immature. However, the concept of Mrs. Isabelle is praise worthy one. I personally want to offer thanks to her for her affection towards Nepal.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A terrorist attack in India, media accuse Pakistan and claims design planned in Nepal

Shambhu Kattel
Lecturer, Mass Communication, Nepal

Mr. Kattel is a lecturer of mass communications and is among those few young academicians of Nepal who are keenly observing the trends of Nepali mass media of late. The Telegraph Weekly and has initiated a campaign to promote youth leadership in the country. As a part of the same campaign, Sujit Mainali for The Telegraph Weekly and its online edition has talked to this vibrant scholar on different aspects of Nepali media and of Nepali politics. Here are the excerpts of the interview: Editor

TGQ1: Mr. Kattel, as we all know that Nepal's socio-political landscape is further becoming more sensitive day by day. Do you think the Nepalese media have acknowledged this fact and were performing accordingly?
Nepali media has yet not become a professional one. First of all, we must admit this fact. The history of the development of mass media in Nepal is also not so long. Only after the advent of multiparty democracy in 1990, investment from private sector was warmly welcomed in Nepali media. Since then, Nepali media has made substantial achievements.
Media has now opened the platform for the extensive and intensive dialogue on different political, social, economic and cultural issues confronting the nation. Looking at this fact, we can say that Nepali media has acknowledged the sensitivities of the existing socio-political landscape of the country.
However, Nepali media is also not totally distanced from the politics. The media of Nepal are being made highly biased by the political parties who are in the power corridors. Thus, the media is now carrying the ideology (ies) and agenda of those political parties. The ongoing debate on the op-ed page of newspapers, magazines and discussion forum of electronic media on several sensitive subjects like national security, ethnicity, federalism, social inclusion, secularism, foreign policy, etc is also, in one way or the other, being influenced by those political parties.

TGQ2: A sizeable section of the analysts often accuse the mainstream Nepali media for not being serious towards the national interests and on issues of the preservation of the aspect of Nepali nationalism. Do you think there is any rationale behind such grave accusations?
I do not agree with those analysts. As we are observing now, the mainstream Nepali media is doing a lot for the sake of national interest and nationalism. It has time and again urged for the immediate formulation of a foreign and security policy. It has opened the floor for discussions on several issues related with nationalism. It is also making the people aware about foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Nepal and the regular encroachment of Nepali territory by our southern neighbor. Look how superbly Nepali media acted when the Indians of Nepali origin were targeted and indiscriminately killed in Indian state of Meghalaya?

What we must not forget that media is not the judge, it is only the lawyer. It can sensitize the issues, advocate it and can make people and ruling elite aware about the urgency of the situation. The issues related to nationalism and national interests should be settled down in the negotiating table. But the ruling class of our country, both politicians and bureaucrats, are very much reluctant to work robustly for those issues related to national interests. They are massively influenced and controlled by their alien masters. Nepali media is far more nationalist then those who are in the policy making levels of different machineries of the State.

TGQ3: As we all know that the international communities have rapidly increased their role in Nepali politics. Is the Nepali media also being influenced by this syndrome?
Nepal is not independent in economics sense. Most of the economic and business activities of Nepal are being carried out by foreign business firms. To be more candid, a multitude of production and services industries of Nepal are in the firm control of the Indian businessmen. China, US and some European countries' presence in Nepal's economic sector is also gradually increasing. With the help of the advertisement of their business activities, the international community is trying to control Nepali media. However, they have yet not succeeded completely in this regard.
Nepal is still experiencing the transitional period pang. Different alien forces with a variety of political interests are looking forward to institutionalize their presence in Nepal in the existing fragile situation that we have now. For example, India wants to perpetuate its hegemony in Nepal and China wants to ensure that no any anti-China activities will ever rise from the Nepali soil. For this purpose, they are trying their best to use Nepali media in their favor. They have sent their paid agents in big media houses of Nepal to work for them. They want to please media persons by offering scholarship and visit package and at times even by offering lavish dinner. However, up to now, Nepali media has preserved its integrity. It has yet not danced to the tunes of an alien music like the Nepali politicians. Nepali media has acted in a matured manner in this regard. It has respected the legitimate economic and security concerns of our neighboring countries, India and China. However it has refused to submit themselves blindly in their favor.

TGQ4: Mr. Kattel, now let's talk about the attitude of Indian media towards Nepal. We have found that Indian media frequently allege the connection of Nepal in almost every terrorist attacks that happen in India without any reliable information. What you would like to say on such unfortunate trend acquired by the Indian media?
The Indian media does not warrant serious comments. They have lost their credibility worldwide. The situation is further worst in electronic media of Indian Union. The Nepali media is far more credible then their Indian counterparts. Take it for granted.
Indian media has become an instrument of Indian establishment to spread politically motivated propaganda. The Indian media usually follow the prescribed foreign policy of the Indian Government when it has to deal with the news related with other countries. Whenever a terrorist attack takes place in any part of India, the Indian media immediately accuses Pakistan behind engineering the attack. And they further say that the overall planning of the attack was made in Nepali territory. However, every time they failed to quote any reliable intelligence source.
The Indian government wants Nepal to bring under its security umbrella. It wants to make Nepal its satellite state while dealing with defense related matter with other regional and extra-regional powers. For this purpose, Indian government uses the Indian media to exaggerate the security related news in order to overly-sensitize the issue. By portraying the connection of the Nepali soil in the terrorist attack, India wants to compel Nepal to sign extradition, air- marshal and other different security related treaties with it. Indian media are the tools of the Indian government to institutionalize its hegemony in its neighboring countries.

TGQ5: Of late, China and India are exhibiting their immense interest and concerns in Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha. What might be its implicit reason?
We all know that the national interest is the main driving force of any nation while conducting the international relations. The same theory applies in the interest and concerns recently exhibited by Indian and Chinese towards the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The Chinese government backed Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation (APEC) Foundation has recently decided to invest USD 3 billion for the overall development of Lumbini. The APEC has already begun the preliminary study of this ambitious mega project.
China is not so generous to provide such a big chunk of money for the welfare of Nepali people. China is still struggling to feed the teeming millions of its own poverty stricken population living in its mainland. Similarly, India is also not being worried by the Chinese move for the welfare and benefit of Nepali people. Both countries' move is driven by their national intrinsic interests. By developing the pilgrimage center for the Buddhists in Lumbini, China wants to overshadow Dalai Lama as a lone preserver of Buddhism. This, China believes, can subdue the Free Tibet Movement. Similarly, India is worried on this Chinese move because it does not want the presence of China in Lumbini, which is very close to the Indian border. And further, India is developing bogus birthplace of Lord Buddha inside its territory in order to deceive the followers of Buddhism worldwide. If Lumbini comes to the frontline, the malicious plan of the Indian regime will go to the dogs. Therefore, India is getting more and more nervous and also panicked with the fresh steps taken by China based APEC to develop Lumbini.


Nepal: Alien forces use our leaders as tools

Ajambar Rai Kangmang
Central Committee Alternative Member, CPN-UML, Nepal

Mr. Ajambar Rai Kangmang is a young leader of the CPN-UML. He had assumed upper echelon leadership of different youth wings of the UML. Currently he is serving as a Central Committee Alternative Member of the party. The Telegraph Weekly and has initiated a campaign to promote youth leadership in the country immaterial of which political affiliation they adhere to. As a part of this campaign, Sujit Mainali for The Telegraph Weekly and its online edition has talked to this young emerging politician on different aspects of contemporary Nepali politics. He hails from Bhojpur district. Here are the excerpts of the interview: Editor

Q1: Intra-party feud of the ruling CPN-UML is escalating and is gradually taking a dangerous turn. As a youth leader of the UML, how do you see such a pitiable state of your party?
Mr. Kangmang:
Some analysts accuse the ongoing internal rift inside our party as a mere fight for power and authority. However, there are different serious political agenda associated with the ongoing feud. One faction of our party does not want the immediate conclusion of peace and constitution drafting process. This faction wants the dissolution of Constituent Assembly (CA). In the name of fresh election, this faction wants to welcome political instability in the country.
Whereas, the other faction believes that the institutionalization of fresh political changes introduced in the country is in the broader interest of the nation. This faction wants to institutionalize the achievements so far gained by drafting new constitution and to install peace in the country by concluding the ongoing peace process. Unified Maoist is one of the major stakeholders of constitution drafting process and peace process and therefore the second faction of our party wants to cooperate with the Maoist for the successful conclusion of these agendas. The friction between these two political lines has created an atmosphere of chaos inside our party. This is a pure political debate.

Q2: The two factions inside your party is led by Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and leader duo Madhav Kumar Nepal and KP Oli respectively. At the personal level, which faction's political line do you prefer?
The idea always remains for a change. Idea is like a flowing river. It is not like the frozen water of the pond. I, being a Marxist, support or resist someone's ideas on the basis of the issue he/she carries. At this point of time, I think the political line that comrade Mr. Khanal adheres to can recover our country from the vice of political ailments.
Right now, our party is fiercely debating on the rationale of the act of Prime Minister Mr. Khanal to swearing in the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers from the Maoist camp. I think this is unnecessary debate. Prime Minister has exercised his prerogatives and I don’t see any logic to oppose his move. Right now, he is dynamically moving ahead for the successful conclusion of peace and constitution drafting process. He needs full-fledged support from the party to conclude this challenging job.

Q3: CPN-UML is widely accused of being an opportunist party. Sometimes it prefers to be close with the Nepalese Congress (NC) and when things and context change, it again increases hobnob with the Maoists, abandoning its previous ally. Mr. Kangmang! What you would like to say on such serious accusations?
This is totally a baseless allegation. Let me make it clear. Right now, three major ideas prevails inside Nepal. This first one is ultra-communist idea and is represented by the Unified Maoists. The Maoists want to wage yet another revolt without institutionalizing the gains so far bagged. The other camp believes that the republican order and the issues of social inclusion, secularism, federalism, etc, were introduced in Nepal against the consent of the Nepali population. This camp, represented by the NC, dares to oppose each and every progressive moves. The third camp wants to contain the hasty and extremist move of the Maoist and at the same time desires to make NC more progressive. The third camp is well represented by the UML. The political line of the UML is the only way to recover the country from the pangs of ongoing political logjam. Can you just tell me how a party with such a sound political scheme can be an opportunist one?

Q4: But Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, the Vice Chairman of the Unified Maoist has time and again alleged the UML for being a party of the eunuchs. He usually claims that UML does not have any concrete political agenda?
Comrade Dr. Bhattarai may have said so on a different context. He represents different political camp, and therefore we should not get surprised if he accuses his rival camp. Dr. Bhattarai's charge is baseless and totally wrong. The political position of UML is the need of the time. Indeed, it is essential for the overall benefit of the nation.

Q5: Now let’s change the context of our conversation. A section of Nepali analysts say that the politics of identity in Terai and Eastern Hills is gradually becoming an anarchist one. Could you please forward your precious comment in this regard?
I want to deal your question along with its context. From 1990 to 2000, political parties used to be regarded as a sole platform to uproot each and every kind of existing exploitations. People used to look towards political parties for the remedy of exploitation based on class, caste, religion, ethnicity, region, gender, etc. But after 2000, the political parties lost the faith of the people. And different groups representing different ethnicity, region, religion, etc began to raise their concerns on their own.
The 10 years’ Maoist insurgency gave a great impetus to the dissatisfaction of different ethnic groups. The Maoist insurgency shaped a new culture, culture of violence in the country. The Maoists rationalized the use of violence for the fulfillment of even a minor demand.
Thus, in conclusion, I would like to say that the declining credibility of the political party, the attempt of the ethnic community to raise their voice themselves and the violent culture institutionalized by the Maoists is gradually making ethnic movement more violent and anarchist. And the situation is becoming more inflammable and serious especially in the Terai and the Eastern Hills.

Q6: We are time and again listening that different donor agencies are funding a sizeable chunk of money, both covertly and overtly, to derail the existing communal harmony in Nepal. Mr. Kangmang, what would you like to say on such rumors?
The ethnic and other groups do not get a single penny from the donor agencies without addressing their latter's concerns. They provide fund along attached with strings. I too have heard that those agencies are funding a big chunk of money in Nepal. They are investing money not only on ethnic issues, but also in the issue related with inclusion, drafting of new constitution, etc. However, I exactly cannot say whether the hidden intention of the donor agency is to derail the communal harmony of Nepal or not?

Q7: Mr. Kangmang, several national and foreign analysts have warned that Nepal may turn into a battleground of international powers soon. What do you would like to say on this subject?
Nepal is currently is in a transitional period and different political parties and its leaders are keenly looking to swell their influence in national politics by pleasing their alien masters. And the alien forces are also looking forward to address their concerns by using those political parties and leaders as tools. While doing so, they are breaching the minimum diplomatic norms and values also. Such deeds of local political actors and international power is creating critical situation in Nepal.
Right now, Nepal is experiencing several difficulties in the conduct of international relations. It is high time for Nepal to devise foreign policy looking after the economic, cultural, political and geographical constraints and strength of our nation. While devising foreign policy, we have to give top priority to the legitimate concerns of our neighbors. This is the only way to curb the growing influence of international powers in Nepal.

Q8: The Chinese government backed Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation has decided to invest 3 billion US dollar for the overall development of the birthplace of Lord Gautama Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal. However, this issue has now been dragged into controversies. Do you think it was necessary to make this issue controversial?
We should try our best to develop Lumbini as an international pilgrimage center of Buddhists, just like the Pashupatinath temple for Hindus, Mecca-Medina for Islam and Vatican City for the Christians. If any country or INGO wants to help in this campaign, then we must heartily welcome them. But the overall funding and managerial aspect of such campaign must be under the strict supervision and control of Nepalese government. If the Chinese government backed Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation wants to help us to build Lumbini by addressing our concerns, then I don’t see any valid reason to oppose it.

Source: The Telegraph Weekly

Friday, August 5, 2011

Some Regional and Global power want to contain Chinese increasing influence from Nepal

Umesh Thapa
Youth Leader, Nepal Maoists

Mr. Umesh Thapa is a young leader of the Unified Maoist. He is associated with the student wing of the party. The Telegraph Weekly and the has initiated a campaign to promote youth leadership in the country. As a part of this campaign, Sujit Mainali for the Telegraph Weekly and its online edition talked to this studious young politician on different aspects of contemporary Nepali politics. Here are the excerpts of the interview: Editor

Q1: The party which you belong to is mired in serious internal feud, yet we have been told that the matter has got settled temporarily. What you would like to say on such pitiable situation of your party?
The internal rift inside our party is not a new phenomenon. Our party was formed through the amalgamation of different communist parties. All the leaders who jointly formed a new and vibrant Unified Maoist party are sincere towards the strategy and for achieving the final goal of the party. However, they sharply differ on the tactics to achieve the strategic goal. Their goal is same, but ways to achieve it are different.
During the time of civil war also, our party used to experience serious political and ideological differences among the leaders. This difference has become more severe now. The unity among top brass of our party is essential for the transformation of the country.

Q2. There are three distinct factions inside your party led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and Vice-chairman duo Mohan Baidya 'Kiran' and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. At the personal level, which factional political line do you prefer?
I would like to correct your question slightly, if you please. If anybody says that three factions exist inside our party, I think the analysis of that person is virtually wrong. There are only two major factions inside our party. One faction believes on the immediate People's revolt and this faction wants to install People's Republic instantly. The other faction believes that the situation is yet not ripe for the revolt and so first wants to institutionalize the achievement so far gained during post 12 point agreement period. This faction is urging to wage revolt after some period when circumstances become more favorable. The third faction does not have any political line and hence it does not exist.
At the personal level, I believe the political and tactical line proposed by Dr. Bhattarai is more relevant and a reasonable one. The global communist movement is now in the defensive posture. Dr. Bhattarai’s proposal is based on the minute analysis of the global, regional and national circumstances, the stage of evolution of the Nepali society, the geostrategic location of our country and today's geopolitical reality.

Q3. Mr. Umesh, you have made quite interesting comment about the factions prevailing inside your party. Could you please tell us at which point do you think the ongoing Maoist movement will be concluded?
Unified Maoist is a revolutionary party and we all know that the revolution is an ongoing process. The Maoist movement is the result of age old discriminatory behavior of the State. Until and unless the civil suppression is not ended, the root of feudalism is not abolished, Nepali society is not transformed and our nation does not become independent in real sense, the Maoist movement is not going to conclude.

Q4. Do you think that revolution is likely to successfully happen in Nepal?
Why not? Revolution is unavoidable. It is a universal phenomenon. No forces that exist on the earth can avert the wave of revolutionaries. Revolution is necessary for the evolution and transformation of the society and the world at large. I firmly believe that revolution will be a grand success in Nepal. I am optimist towards it. In fact, optimism and patience are the major features of true revolutionary.

Q5. Mr. Umesh, could you please tell our august readers what type of Nepal do the youths of your party want to make? What type of Nepal do you dream of?
We, the revolutionaries, became rejuvenated and energized by our dream. We are struggling for a New Nepal and we are ready to sacrifice ourselves to make our dreams come true. We want independent and sovereign Nepal which can take its decision on its own without the dictation and bullying of the alien forces. We want to end the marginalization of the Dalit community; want to ensure the deserving stake of indigenous community in the machinery of State; we want to end the existing patriarchal society and we want to liberate the women; we want the liberation of poor peasant and farmers from the clutches of feudal landlords. In short, we dream of an independent, sovereign and glorified Nepal. The introduction and installation of nationalism (rastriyata), democracy (janatantra) and livelihood (janajeevika) is our ultimate dream.

Q6. A large section of Nepali analysts usually accuse the leadership of Unified Maoist for using Nationalism as a bargaining chip to elevate them to power corridors?
What we have to understand is that the way of revolution is not straightforward and easy. In the process of achieving the ultimate goal, our party may have compromised on some immediate policies. This may have created some confusion among the masses regarding the sincerity of our party towards the aspect of nationalism. I do not like to criticize those analysts. However, I want to remind those observers that from the time of civil war, our party has been vigorously raising the issue of nationalism and national independences. Can you tell me who else than the Maoists have raised the issues of nationalism, both from the street and negotiation-table in the history of Nepal?

Q7. Let's change the topic of our conversation. You are keenly studying Tibetan issues and its impacts on Nepali politics. Could you please tell us what type of influence do Tibetan issues have exerted on the Nepali politics?
The Nepalese and Tibetans have influenced the politics of each other since long. Before the unification of Nepal by late King Prithivi Narayan Shah, our northern neighbor used to tremendously influence the Nepali political circuit. However, after the unification, the influence of China still remains in Kathmandu in this or that form. Nepal had time and again come under military confrontation with Tibet. China appeared on the battle ground to fight on behalf of Tibet against Nepal. In the past, Kathmandu had experienced the influence of Peking and Lhasa. At the same time, Lhasa was also influenced by Kathmandu politics. Tibet used to pay annual tribute to the King of Nepal. This system was abolished only after the victory of communists in China. After Nepal signed the Treaty of Sugauli with East India Company, 1816, the influence of our southern neighbor began to increase in Nepal. And the influence of China gradually faded.
China has time and again asked Nepal to be aware of the sensitivity of Tibet. Nepal and Tibet Autonomous Region (TOR) of China share common border. Some vested interest groups are trying to abuse this territorial linkage in order to create havoc in Tibet. China is very cautious and sensitive on this issue.

Q8. Could you please kindly tell our readers as to which groups are trying to abuse the territorial linkage between Nepal and TOR of China?
Everybody knows which those groups are? China is gradually strengthening its economic, military and political might.
Some regional and global power, fearing of the China’s meteoric rise, want to contain its increasing influence. They are time and again trying to use Nepali soil for Free Tibet Movement. Some local stooges of those alien forces are helping the latter to implement their malicious plans. Those local marionettes are doing in order to please different power centers, which they think, will perpetuate their unjust hold on political and economic resources of Nepal.

Q9. Mr. Umesh, you might be aware of some alien academicians who have been telling that China, in a deceit manner, is looking to interfere in Nepal by projecting the hullabaloo of Free Tibet Movement. Could you please forward your precious comments on the analysis of those alien analysts?
National interest is and should be the primary and chief agenda of each nation in the conduct of international relations. We, the communists, believe that the foreign policy is the extension of domestic policy. China may do anything in order to protect its national interests. It may begin to interfere in internal affairs of Nepal also. To neutralize the aggression of all alien forces, including China, Nepal must devise appropriate foreign policy. We should not allow them to maneuver Nepal. We should try our best to address the security concerns of our neighbors. Similarly, we should deny dictations and interferences of other countries in the internal matter of Nepal which could surface in any form.

Q10. The last question. August 31 is approaching nearer. The tenure of Constituent Assembly (CA) will be cease to exist on this very date provided its tenure is not further extended. Some political parties and political analysts are urging for the dissolution of CA after August 31. What might be the implied meaning of such a proposal?
CA is an achievement gained after waging 60 years long armed and peaceful struggle. It is the single platform to ensure and institutionalize the rights of Nepali population. The CA should be protected at any cost. However, the regressive, reactionary and rightist forces are advocating for the dissolution of CA. These forces want to obstruct the escalating wave of revolution by dissolving CA. This is anti-national and anti-people's move. The revolutionary and patriotic forces of Nepal should join their hands to protect the CA. Otherwise; Nepal will be engulfed on serious conflict.

Published on The Telegraph Weekly

Sunday, July 31, 2011

अफगान युद्धमा भारतीय चासो

सुजित मैनाली

विदेशी हस्तक्षेपकारी शक्तिविरुद्ध अनवरत रूपमा लडिरहेको एसियाली राष्ट्र अफगानिस्तानले शान्तिको सास फेर्न नपाएको युगौँ भइसकेको छ । पश्चिम, मध्य र दक्षिण एसियाको साँधमा रहनु अफगानिस्तानको भूराजनीतिक विशिष्टता भए पनि आफ्नो भौगोलिक अवस्थिति उसका लागि घाँडो बन्न पुगेको विभिन्न समयक्रममा विकसित घटनाक्रमले प्रमाणित गरेका छन् । ईसापूर्वमा एलेक्जेन्डरको युनानी फौजको आक्रमणबाट सुरु भएको विदेशी प्रभुत्ववादी शक्तिको मार खेप्नुपर्ने अफगानिस्तानको नियती २१औँ शताब्दीसम्म आइपुग्दा पनि बदलिन सकेको छैन ।

सन् २००१ को सेप्टेम्बर ११ मा अलकायदाले अमेरिकामाथि हवाई आक्रमण गरेको घटनाले २१औँ शताब्दीमा अफगानिस्तानको संक्रमणलाई अत्यन्त पीडादायक बनायो । आक्रमणका मुख्य योजनाकार ओसामा बिन लादेनलाई अफगानिस्तानको तात्कालीन तालेवान सरकारले संरक्षण दिएको आरोपमा अमेरिकाले अफगानिस्तानमाथि सैन्य हस्तक्षेप गरी तालेवान सरकारलाई अपदस्थ गर्‍यो । लादेनलाई पक्राउ गर्न र 'आतंकवादलाई संरक्षण प्रदान गर्ने' तालेवान सरकारलाई अपदस्थ गर्न अफ्गान भूमिमा ओर्लिएको अमेरिकी सेनाले दुइटै लक्ष्य हासिल गरिसकेको छ । घोषित लक्ष्यहरू हासिल भइसकेकाले अघोषित स्वार्थहरूको रक्षा हुने गरी अमेरिकाले अफगानिस्तानमा आफ्नो उपस्थिति घटाउँदै लैजाने सोच पछिल्लो समय बनाएको छ । यसले अफगान युद्ध नयाँ मोडमा पुगेको आभास मिलेको छ । दक्षिण एसियाली क्षेत्रीय सहयोग संगठन (सार्क) को सदस्य राष्ट्रसमेत रहेको अफगानिस्तानमा अमेरिकी सेनाको उपस्थिति कम हुने सम्भावना देखेपछि यस क्षेत्रको सबैभन्दा शक्तिशाली राष्ट्र भएको नाताले भारतले यसप्रति गम्भीर चासो प्रदर्शन गरेको छ ।

केही समयअघि अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति बाराक ओबामाले अफगानिस्तानमा अमेरिकी सेनाको उपस्थितिलाई पातलो बनाउँदै लैजाने घोषणा गरे । अफगानिस्तानमा अहिले एक लाख अमेरिकी सेना तैनाथ छन् । यसै वर्षको अन्त्यसम्ममा १० हजार अमेरिकी सेनालाई अफगानिस्तानबाट फिर्ता बोलाउने उद्घोष गर्दै राष्ट्रपति ओबामाले आगामी वर्षको सेप्टेम्बरसम्ममा थप २० हजारलाई फिर्ता बोलाइने घोषणा गरे । सन् २०१४ सम्ममा अफगानिस्तानको सुरक्षा जिम्मेवारी स्थानीय सुरक्षाफौजलाई सुम्पिने अमेरिकी नीतिअनुरूप ओबामाको घोषणा सार्वजनिक भएको बताइन्छ । त्यसो त यसअघिका राष्ट्रपति जर्ज डब्लु बुसको युद्धमुखी आक्रामक नीतिको विरोध गरेरै उनले राष्ट्रपतीय निर्वाचनमा विजय हासिल गरेका थिए । त्यसैले अमेरिकी मतदातालाई युद्धको सघनता घटेको देखाउन ओबामाले शान्तिका पक्षमा कुनै कदम चाल्नै पर्ने बाध्यता थियो । नयाँ राष्ट्रपतीय निर्वाचनको मिति नजिकिँदै गएको र सन् २००९ मा ओबामाले सन् २०११ को सेप्टेम्बरदेखि अफगानिस्तानबाट अमेरिकी सेनालाई फिर्ता बोलाउने प्रक्रिया सुरु हुने बताएको पृष्ठभूमिमा उनीबाट अफगान मामिलामा केही पहल हुने अनुमान धेरैले गरेका थिए । सबैको अनुमानलाई सही साबित गर्दै राष्ट्रपति ओबामाले अफगानिस्तानबाट फिर्ता हुने अमेरिकी सेनाको संख्या हालै तोकेका हुन् ।

अफगानिस्तानमाथिको अमेरिकी आक्रमण यो इस्लामबहुल राष्ट्रमा विदेशी शक्तिद्वारा गरिएको सैन्य हस्तक्षेपको पछिल्लो उदाहरण मात्र हो । भिन्नाभिन्नै समयमा विभिन्न शक्तिराष्ट्रले अफगानिस्तानमाथि आक्रमण गरेका छन् । भारतमा बि्रटिस उपनिवेश कायम रहेका वेला भारतले अफगानिस्तानमाथि पटकपटक आक्रमण गरेको थियो । अफगानिस्तानको सिमाना रुसी साम्राज्यसँग जोडिएको तत्कालीन समयमा रुस र अफगानिस्तानबीचको सम्भावित साँठगाँठलाई रोक्नु भारतीय आक्रमणको उद्देश्य थियो । अन्ततः अफगानिस्तानलाई आफूले चाहेअनुरूपको सन्धिमा हस्ताक्षर गराउन ब्रटिस भारत सफल भएको थियो ।

उसो त भारतले त्यसअघि चन्द्रगुप्त मौर्यका पालामै अफगानिस्तानलाई आफ्नो भूखण्डको अंश बनाइसकेको थियो । त्यसयता विश्वले आर्थिक, सामरिक र राजनीतिक क्षेत्रमा ठूलो फड्को मारिसकेको छ । बदलिँदो समयमा अफगानिस्तानमा भारतका आर्थिक तथा सुरक्षासम्बद्ध चासो थप सघन हुँदै गएका छन् । त्यसैले अफगानिस्तानमा अमेरिकी सेनाको उपस्थिति कम गर्ने राष्ट्रपति ओबामाको घोषणा स्वाभाविक रूपले भारतको गम्भीर सरोकारको विषय बन्न पुगेको छ ।

सन् १९४७ मा भारत र अफगानिस्तानको बीचमा पाकिस्तानको उदय भएपछि भारत र अफगानिस्तानबीच भौगोलिक सम्बन्धविच्छेद भएको छ । पाकिस्तान भारतको जन्मजात दुश्मन भएकाले अफगानिस्तानको महत्त्व भारतका लागि पृथक ढंगले विशिष्ट भएको छ । सुरक्षाका दृष्टिकोणले भारतको पश्चिमी सिमाना उसका लागि सधैँ संवेदनशील रहने गरेको छ । भारतको राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा र उसको सार्वभौमिकतामाथि खलल पुर्‍याउने शक्ति पश्चिमी सिमाना हुँदै भित्रिने गरेको इतिहास साक्षी छ । अहिले भारतको सार्वभौमिकतामाथि खलल पुर्‍याउन सक्ने शक्ति नरहे पनि उसको बाह्य सुरक्षामा पाकिस्तानबाट असर पर्ने गरेको छ, जो उसको पश्चिमी सीमासँगै जोडिएको छ । त्यसैगरी कास्मिरलगायतका विवादमा मुछिएको भारतलाई इस्लामिक अतिवादीले पश्चिमी मोर्चाबाटै तारो बनाउने गरेका छन् । त्यसैले आफ्नो बाह्य सुरक्षामा सबैभन्दा गम्भीर खलल पुर्‍याउन सक्ने क्षमता भएको राष्ट्र चीन उत्तरमा रहे पनि भारतले आफ्नो सैन्य संयन्त्रलाई पश्चिमी मोर्चामै केन्दि्रत गर्दै आएको छ ।

अफगान युद्धमा भारतको स्वार्थ के छ भन्ने पत्ता लगाउन अफगानिस्तानमा अमेरिकी आक्रमणपछिको भारतीय कदमलाई नियाल्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । अफगानीस्तानमाथि सोभियत संघको आक्रमणलाई झैँ भारतले अमेरिकी आक्रमणलाई समेत समर्थन गरेको थियो । यसबाहेक उसले काबुलमा अमेरिकाको कठपुतली हमिद कारजाईको सरकारलाई बलियो बनाउन अनेक प्रयत्न गर्दै आएको छ । तालेवानविरुद्धको अमेरिकी कदममा उत्तर एटलान्टिक सन्धि संगठन -नेटो) बाहेक भारत पनि दरिलो साझेदार बन्न पुगेको छ । पाकिस्तानसँग अफगानिस्तानको खुला र अव्यवस्थित सिमानाको उपयोग गरी यही मौकामा पाकिस्तानमा अस्थिरता उत्पन्न गराउने भारतीय योजना, इरानसँग जोडिएको पाकिस्तानी भूमि बलुचिस्तानको जातीय अन्तरद्वन्द्वमा खेली यसलाई स्वतन्त्र राष्ट्र बनाएर इरान-भारत ग्यास पाइपलाइन निर्माण परियोजनालाई मूर्त रूप लिने उसको भित्री इच्छा, इस्लामिक चरमपन्थीलाई अफगानिस्तान द्वन्द्वमै अल्झाएर कास्मिरसम्बन्धी विषयबाट उनीहरूको ध्यान हटाउँदै लैजाने उसको ध्येय आदिले नयाँ दिल्लीलाई अफगानिस्तानमा आफ्नो उपस्थिति थप सघन पार्न प्रेरित गरिरहेको छ । यसका लागि भारतले अफगानिस्तानको वर्तमान सरकारलाई बलियो बनाउन चाहेको छ ।

सन् १९७९ को अन्त्यमा अफगानिस्तानमाथि सोभियत संघको सैन्य हस्तक्षेपलाई भारतले समर्थन गरेको थियो भने पाकिस्तानले सोभियतविरुद्ध जिहाद नै छेडेको थियो । भारतीय कदमका कारण अफगानी मुक्तियोद्धा मुजाहिद्दिन र भारतबीचको सम्बन्ध ज्यादै चिसो बन्न पुगेको थियो । त्यसमाथि कास्मिरका जनताको मुक्तिको आवाजमाथि बर्बर दमन गर्ने भारतीय कदमले विश्वभरका मुस्लिम अतिवादी समुदायमा भारतप्रति चरम नकारात्मक भाव विकसित गराएको छ । यी दुई कारणले गर्दा दक्षिण एसियाका मुस्लिम अतिवादीहरूको आक्रमणको निसानामा भारत पर्ने गरेको छ । मुस्लिम अतिवादीको एक्लै सामना गर्दै आएको भारतले ९/११ को घटनापछि दक्षिण एसियाका अतिवावादीविरुद्ध लड्ने सहयात्री पाएको छ । त्यसैले अमेरिकी सेनाको कमजोर उपस्थिति रहेको अफगानिस्तान भारतीय स्वार्थका लागि वाञ्छनीय छैन । अफगानिस्तानमा अमेरिकी सेनाको उपस्थिति अझ सुदृढ बनोस् भन्ने भारत चाहन्छ । अमेरिकी सेना अफगानिस्तानबाट फर्किए कारजाई सरकार तत्कालै ढल्ने र भारतप्रति असहिष्णु तालेवान सत्तामा आउने सम्भावना प्रबल छ, जुन भारतीय हितमा छैन । यसो भएको खण्डमा अफगानीस्तानको आन्तरिक मामिलामा हाल कमजोर बन्न पुगेको पाकिस्तानको क्षमता पुनः सुदृढ बन्नेछ किनकि अफगानी तालेवानप्रति पाकिस्तानले अपेक्षाकृत नरम भाव राख्दै आएको छ । भारतले भने उल्टो तालेवानविरोधी उत्तरी गठबन्धन र कारजाई सरकारलाई सघाइरहेको छ । काबुलमा तालेवानको सत्ता पुनः स्थापित भए पाकिस्तानसँगको अफगानिस्तानको खुला सिमानाको उपयोग गर्दै पाकिस्तानविरुद्ध खेल्ने भारतको सम्भावना क्षीण बन्न पुग्नेछ । अफगानिस्तानबाट अमेरिकी सेना फिर्ता भए 'इसाइ क्रुसेड'लाई निस्तेज गर्न गोलबन्द भएका चरमपन्थीले आफ्नो फुर्सदिलो समयलाई कास्मिरमा 'हिन्दू अतिक्रमण'को विरोध गर्ने कार्यमा खर्च गर्नेछन् । यसबाट भारतको सुरक्षामा गम्भीर खलल पुग्नेछ ।

अमेरिकाका विख्यात सुरक्षाविद् रोबर्ट डी कप्लानले आफ्नो पुस्तक 'जिगोग्राफी अफ साउथ एसियामा'मा त्यसै लेखेका हैनन्, 'अफगान युद्धसँग गाँसिएका भारतका स्वार्थहरूलाई बेवास्ता गर्दै अमेरिकाले एकलौटी रूपमा अफगानिस्तानबाट फिर्ता हुने निर्णय गर्छ भने यसले भारतसँगको उसको बहुमूल्य रणनीतिक साझेदारीको अस्तित्वमाथि नै प्रश्नचिह्न खडा गर्न सक्छ ।' यस्तो परिप्रेक्षमा ओबामाको अफगानिस्तानबाट अमेरिकी सेना फिर्ता गर्ने कुरालाई भारतले गम्भीरतापूर्वक नियालिरहेको सहजै अनुमान लगाउन सकिन्छ । तसर्थ, अफगान मामिलामा भारतका आगामी कदम अफगानिस्तानमा अमेरिकाको सैन्य उपस्थितिलाई कसरी अनन्त कालसम्म सुनिश्चित गर्ने भन्नेतर्फ लक्षित हुने दाबी गर्न सकिन्छ । यस सन्दर्भमा हालैको भारत भ्रमणका क्रममा अमेरिकी विदेशमन्त्री हिलारी क्लिन्टनसमक्ष भारतले अफ्गानिस्तानबाट आफ्ना सेना फर्काउने ओबामाको घोषणाप्रति राखेको चासो र यसको जवाफमा विदेशमन्त्री क्लिन्टनले अमेरिकी सेना फिर्तीपछि पनि आतंकवादविरुद्धको युद्ध जारी रहने भनी भारतलाई दिएको आश्वासनमाथि ध्यान पुर्‍याउनु वाञ्छनीय हुन्छ ।

August 1, 2011
Published on: Naya Patrika Daily
Original Link:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nepal: Rajendra Mahato is both shooter and looter

Anil Kumar Jha
Chairman, Sanghiya Sadbhavana Party, Nepal

Mr. Anil Kumar Jha is the Chairman of Sanghiya Sadbhawana Party, the 31st party of Nepal representing Constituent Assembly (CA). His party was formed after the split of Nepal Sadbhavana Party led by Rajendra Mahato. The rivals of Jha are accusing him of splitting the party with the tacit support of Upendra Yadav, the current Foreign Minister of Nepal. However, Jha summarily denies such accusations.
Journalist Sujit Mainali for The Telegraph Weekly and talked with this now controversial young politician on different subject matters related with the ongoing Nepali politics. Here are the excerpts of Mainali's exclusive interview with Chairman Jha: Editor

Q1: Could you please tell us the reason(s) behind the fresh split in the Nepal Sadbhavana Party?
Jha: There were two major reasons which compelled us to split the Party. First reason is the ideological deviation noticed in our party. Chairman Mr. Rajendra Mahato failed to run the party according to the party's prescribed guideline and ideologies. The second reason was his individualistic working style. He began to run the party in an extremely irrational way. He mishandled the party thinking as if it were his private property. Thus, we unwillingly were forced to split the party in order to protect our integrity.

Q2: What types of response are you receiving from different quarters after the formation of new party that you lead now?
I have found people are very sympathetic towards me. I was pushed to the wall and no options were left with me. Mahato jee did injustice to me and my well-wishers desired me to retaliate. And now, I have found them very positive towards my decision.

Q3: After the formation of new party, you made a fascinating remark. You have said, 'A sharp-shooter only shoots the target, it does not loot money and purse. Mahato is a different kind of shooter; he not only fires bullets but also loots money and purse.' Could you please elaborate your saying for the simplicity of our august readers?
There is one popular saying in Hindi, "Do the dishonest work in an honest manner." (Baimani ke kaam bhi imandari se karo). But Mahato jee did not follow the essence of such genuine proverb that it contained. If you give supari (nuts) to a shooter to kill somebody, then he just presses the trigger of his gun and shoots the person in target. The shooter does not loot the money, purse or bracelets of the slain victim. Have you ever heard a rapist stealing the jewelry of a girl after the rape? But Mahato jee did it. He himself became more dishonest while doing unfair works. He tried to make the party his personal property and he ruined the ideology that the party adheres to. In this context, I have accused him of being both shooter and looter.

Q4: While addressing a program in Bhaktapur city, you had recently said, "I am Nepali of Madesh." Mr. Jha, could you please simplify your saying?
Nepali is a larger and wide-ranging identity. This is a national identity. When I am traveling abroad, I introduce myself as a Nepali citizen. But when I am inside Nepal, I say that I am from Madesh. Nepali is a broader term. Different communities, nationalities and ethnic groups are living within this vast territory of Nepal. However, all the groups are incorporated in this broader national identity.

Q5: What type of response did you receive from Unified Maoists, the single largest party of Nepal, after splitting the party?
I haven’t got any message from the Maoist party; neither have I met with any of its leader. Right now, they are engaged with their own internal problems. I think these days; they don’t have any time to think about other parties. The Maoists are intensely busy in managing the political and ideological differences between themselves.

Q6: Are you having some sort of conversation with Chairman of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum- Nepal, Mr. Upendra Yadav? Your rivals have accused Mr. Yadav for engineering the split in Sadbhavana Party?
That is a ridicules charge. Upendra jee is among those Nepali leaders with whom I meet very rarely. We have split the party because of the hegemonic and totalitarian working style of Mahato jee. I have not met Upendra jee since long. However, he congratulated me after I formed new party.

Q7: The Madhesh based parties are polarized in two extremely opposite poles. The Unified Madhesi Front is now in opposition where as the MJF-Nepal, is in government. Will your party also join government or will prefer to remain in opposition along with the Front?
These days, I am totally devoted to manage the fragile situation and consolidate the newly formed party. Our party is being targeted from different possible quarters. The Front is against us and is trying its best to foil the achievement that we have gained. My primary concern is to consolidate our party first and make it a robust one. Only after that, we will decide whether to join the government or the Front.

Q8: Some latest media reports say that some sort of tacit understanding has been reached in between the armed outfits of Terai and the Front. Could you please forward your precious comments on such understanding?
I have heard that some armed outfits of Terai-Madesh are forging alliance amongst themselves. Forging alliance is not bad thing. Indeed it will enable the government to hold dialogue with several outfits in a collective manner. However, I don’t know whether any tacit understanding has been reached in between the Front and those armed outfits or not.

Q9: Didn't you read the news about the dialogue managed recently by the Indian establishment in between three leaders of the Front, Mr. Bijay Kumar Gacchedhar, Mr. Mahanta Thakur and Mr. Rajendra Mahato, and the armed outfits of Terai during the formers' last sojourn to New Delhi?
I suspect the credibility of this information. I don’t think such dialogue has ever happened. Immediately after return of the leaders of the Front from India, I had visited New Delhi. There I didn't smell anything about such presumed dialogue.

Q10: Are you planning to visit India, China, US, Europe or any other countries as the Chairman of a newly formed party?
These days, I am primarily focused on the consolidation of our party. I am not planning to go abroad right now.

Q11: What was the response of diplomatic community in Kathmandu on your decision to split the party?
I am among those few Madhesi leaders who have many good friends in almost every diplomatic mission situated in Kathmandu. But please don’t think that I am admiring myself. At the personal level, the diplomats in Kathmandu are very sympathetic towards me. They all know that I was pushed to the wall and no any other options were left behind with me. I am getting several congratulatory messages from them.

Q12: Could you please name some diplomatic mission that has send congratulation message to you?
If I would have received such message from any one or two diplomatic mission, then I would have told their name(s). However, many diplomatic missions have congratulated me and it is not possible to present the whole list.

Q13: Let's change the context of our conversation. We have come to know that India is vigorously developing Buddhist circuit in India to overshadow the birthplace of Buddha, Lumbini, which lies right inside the Terai belt of Nepal. As a leader of Terai, how do you analyze the Indian moves?
To be frank, I don't know many things about the question that you have asked. Now I will study in this subject matter. But one thing what we have to accept is that at the time of the birth of Lord Buddha, the political, cultural, religious and territorial landscape was totally different. If India wants to develop Buddhist pilgrimages in its territory, I don’t think any reasons to oppose the Indian move.

Q14: But India is spreading false propaganda about the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Mr. Jha, what would you like to say on such false propagation?
If India is doing so, then it is not fair. We should not try to misinterpret the history. This is a cultural and religious issue but not a political one. Therefore this dispute should be solved in an academic manner.

Q15: August 31 is approaching nearer. If the CA is not further extended, then it will be dissolved on that very date. Your party wants further extension of CA or prefers its dissolution?
Today, we are in different circumstances. Yesterday, our standpoint was different because we were the leaders of another party. Let's hope that preliminary draft of the new constitution will be charted before August 31 and CA tenure will be further extended according to the 5 point deal. If preliminary draft of the new constitution will not be charted and the basic tasks of peace process is not completed before 31 August, our nation will be in a completely different state of affairs. We will make our position clear after some days on whether or not to extend the term of CA if things do not move according to the 5 points deal.

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