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Maoism In India And Its Appearance In Nepal

Maoism In India And Its Appearance In Nepal

By Kamala Sarup

India being a big neighbour, it is nothing wrong having co-operation in terms of military supplies and sharing of defence intelligence information. Although India, the U.S. and Britain have given the Royal Nepal Army weapons and training, the army lacks in intelligence and capability to carry out offensives. Unless the strong neighbour like India gives direct military support, it is difficult for the army to get an upper hand with the Maoists.

On return to its military support to tackle the Maoists, New Delhi wants a change in the 1953 extradition treaty to incorporate a clause for allowing Indian police to enter Nepalese territory to investigate activities of its enemies and handing over nationals of third countries if New Delhi considers them as criminals. Another proposal is that Indian security personnel will assist authorities at the Tribhuvan International Airport, citing the 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight. Civil society in Nepal feels that Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who no longer has the advantage of being an elected prime minister, is giving in too much to get Indian support for tackling Maoist insurgency. Of course, it would be better for Nepal not to depend too much on external military support if it could devise means to tackle insurgency by itself. But then, the Maoists and the Nepalese army are neck and neck, with the former having capacity even to carry out strategic offensive. The other factor to be considered is that taking Indian military support in suppressing the insurgency may boomerang resulting in the Maoists gaining more sympathisers. Dr. Arul argued.

India is a regional hegemonic power and Nepal and Nepalis have to live with that. India's position on the armed maoist insurgency in Nepal is not static. Initially India considered this Nepal's internal problem. Maoists used the open boarder between Nepal and India very effectively for shelter, and to ferry arms and other vital supplies. It was only a matter time before the resourceful Nepali maoists made links with maoist groups on the Indian side. Recently, long divided Indian maoist groups have agreed to wage a united campaign against the Indian state, and Nepali maoists have pledged to lend their full moral and strategic support to this cause. Indian security may have evidence that Nepali and India maoists conduct joint political and military training on Indian as well as Nepali territory. All added up, the Indians have suddenly realized that this is not only Nepal's, but a regional problem with definite spillover effect into key bordering Indian states like Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Bengal, and beyond. Schalor Dr. Anup Pahari argued.

India has her own bag of trouble with insurgencies, including the Indian Maoists. She has not been able to bring them to any meaningful negotiations there. Further, she has not been able to discourage the involvement of the Nepali Maoists with the Indian Maoists with explicit declaration of forming a "Compact Revolutionary Zone" including the territory extending from Nepal to Andra Pradesh. At best India could do is expend more effort than currently being made to control the open border to prevent the Nepali Maoists form using India for refuse, and export of clandestine of weapons and other logistic materials into Nepal. Limiting the scope of action of the Maoist in this way could perhaps force the Nepali Maoists to opt for genuine negotiations.Misras also said.

The revival of the Maoist movement in India and its appearance in Nepal represent a phenomenon that goes against the trend of international communism. At a time when the doctrine seems to have run its course in both Russia and China - once the two main bastions of the creed - and is surviving precariously in isolated outposts like North Korea, Cuba and Laos, it is a matter of surprise that the most violent version of the dogma has reared its head in South Asia.

"It would have been understandable if the Maoists had grown in numbers and organisational skill in the 1970s when China under Mao Zedong openly urged them to spread the 'prairie fire' of revolution. It was indeed as a result of Chinese inspiration that the Maoists under their charismatic leader Charu Mazumdar broke away from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in West Bengal in 1969 to emulate the Maoist example of guerrilla warfare in the countryside. The first shots - or, rather, bows and arrows - were fired in Naxalbari village in West Bengal in 1967, giving the uprising the name of the Naxalite movement. Peace activist Chiranjibi also said.

Even security has been tightened along the Indo-Nepal border area after recent incuidents of unrest in Nepal. "Our duty is to keep track on Maoist activities, track them down and take necessary counter measures," said Himanshu Kumar, the Director General of the Special Services Bureau.

He said a massive combing operation has been launched in the area and police have also set up temporary posts as they with the merger of the Communist Party of Nepal India merging together there is fear of exchange of weapons going on though there is no notice of any kind of joint strategy between the two.

"Communist party of Nepal and CPI (India) merged together to there will definitely be exchange of weapon but there is no notice of any joint strategy between the two," he added.

New Delhi is a key ally in Kathmandu's efforts to end the insurgency and is keen to see it quelled quickly. India also urged Nepal to invite insurgent Maoists for peace talks.

"And they have to be convinced that they cannot win an armed struggle and that their bargaining power would diminish if they continued with their agitation for long," Indian Ambassdor Saran told a seminar on Nepal. "Certain assurances such as a level-playing field have to be given to them and some parts of their programme accepted to convince the Maoists to come to the political mainstream and participate in elections," he said.

"The Maoists are seeing a fractured polity in Nepal. The political parties, in their rivalry, do not seem to understand that the need now is to rise above their differences to ensure that the multi-party system survives," he said.

It is known that the special security relationship between India and Nepal was re-established during the 1990 New Delhi visit of Nepal's PM Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and during the 1991 visit to India by Nepalese prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala. Even during the Indian PM's visit to Nepal in June 1997 the two sides reiterated their determination to work closely to fight violence and the Home Secretary level talks were also held and all matters relating to security were discussed in detail. After the Joint Working Group on Border Management and Home Secretary level talks, effective border management measures were taken to counter the misuse of the open border. India recently passed the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance to ban various political groups, including the India-Nepal Solidarity Forum-which has been working in India to build support for the Maoists in Nepal.

It is true Nepal is very close culturally to India than any other country and it is also true, India has condemned the widespread violent attacks by Maoists and opposed the recourse to violence and extremism in the pursuit of political objectives.

Our definition of security depends heavily upon our relationship with India, which nearly surrounds our territory. We have an open and unregulated border with Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal. Our security position has been adversely affected by our lower level of political and economic development. But the political and military dimensions have predominated the situation. Even, India and Nepal have been having close relationship since before 1857, and in 1950 India and Nepal initiated their intertwined relationship with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship and accompanying letters that defined security relations between the two countries.

"Nepal and India have to learn from Vietnam. Vietnam was robbed of its ancient heritage and forced to accept the culture of communism. Instead of a socialist paradise communist have obtained only poverty, hunger and misery. These facts have become so clear and brutal that even many of the Communist Party's most ardent supporters are admitting that they have failed.

In 1990, the leading Communist official Tran Bach Dang told the author Stanley Karnow, "Our belief in a Communist utopia had nothing to do with reality. We tried to build a new society on theories and dreams--on sand. Instead of stimulating production by giving people incentives, we collectivized them. Imagine! We even collectivized barbers. It was preposterous. We were also consumed by vanity. Because we crushed the Americans, we thought we could achieve anything. We should have heeded the old Chinese adage: 'You can conquer a country from horseback, but you cannot govern it from horseback.'" Finally the Communists must look their failure in the face and confess their mistakes.

In a similar confession the unrepentant but realistic Dr. Duong Quynh Hoa, a high leader in the VietMinh, told the same journalist, "I have been a Communist all my life, but now I've seen the realities of Communism, and it is a failure--mismanagement, corruption, privilege, repression. My ideals are gone." In a later meeting she voiced the same outrage saying, "Communism has been catastrophic. Party officials have never understood the need for rational development. They've been hypnotized by Marxist slogans that have lost validity--if they ever were valid. They are outrageous." Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh of Vietnam said.

(Kamala Sarup is editor to )

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