Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


M.R. Josse: A Numbers Game & Impending Fireworks

A Numbers Game, Impending Fireworks, Revealing Differences And Stuff


By M.R. Josse

LAST WEEK'S rally at Tundikhel's open-air (Khula Manch) Theatre addressed by a slew of Maoist top guns, albeit not by supremo Prachanda or his second-in-command Baburam Bhattarai, was undoubtedly a landmark political event. That, not least, because of the massive turnout – larger, by all accounts, than earlier rallies by the SPA.

If Prachanda's absence was disappointing for many, it was

certainly memorable and reassuring in that, contrary to popular expectation, it turned out to be a mostly peaceful affair. That no doubt was a shrewd and calculated decision effectively enforced by the organisers, as far as this weekly babbler is concerned.

NUMBERS GAME

Of course, what should not go unmentioned is that a goodly section of the assemblage bussed from outlying districts had done so not entirely of their own accord, at least going by glowing blow-by-blow reports in the daily press. Nor, as per similar sources, can it be said that the large number of transport vehicles that has been used for the purpose – and which very largely accounted for the large crowds – were voluntarily provided. But, never mind.

Given that posters that had been pasted all over town weeks in advance had clearly indicated that the rally would be addressed by Prachanda himself, it is interesting to speculate why he did not. A couple of days earlier, for example, he had done so at a smaller gathering in Makwanpur district. Was it because of a lack of confidence in the government's ability to provide adequate security cover, or what?

Or, was it merely meant to test the waters, to be a dress rehearsal or dry run, for a future Happening to be addressed by the Maoist supremo in the flesh? Yet again, was it a subtle message to the SPA government and the powers that be that if such an enormous crowd can be mobilized in the heart of the capital even in the absence of their apex leaders, it should have second thoughts before seeking to mess with them in the future?

Most importantly, was the show of political strength meant to substantiate their very credible assertion that their contribution to the events leading to the 24 April proclamation by the King was far more substantive than that of the SPA and other claimants? Perhaps we shall never know or perhaps time alone will reveal all.

IMPENDING FIREWORKS?

Yet, given the general tone and thrust of the speeches made on the occasion this scribbler is fairly sanguine, sports, that it must have sent shivers up the spines of SPA types that are now behaving as if they were solely or mainly instrumental for the dramatic changes that have taken place lately. By the way, Prachanda's warning (TKP, 31 May) in his speech at a mass meeting at Chakari, Makwanpur of a "violent storm" if talks with the government fail is most arresting, wouldn't you agree, old pal?

No doubt, boys and girls, such developments may help explain the rationale behind intemperate outbursts such as the following by UML's Keshav Badal (TKP, 4 June): "Dogmatic ideology would eventually help rightist forces only. Even the parties won't swallow the Maoist demand for a People's Republic." Gosh.

By the by, noting that pointed barbs were also directed at interfering specimen of the Kathmandu-based diplomatic corps, more than a few cocktail glasses were probably rattled that Friday evening along the Kamaladi-Lajimpat axis, don't you think? Heck, crickey, and baaf-ray-baaf!

Incidentally, writing about the Maoists, your Graces, it is interesting that, post-Khuna Manch rally, there are reports of Maoist curfews in Panchthar district and Maoist patrols in Dadeldhura district. No less riveting was the disclosure in the Himalayan Times (5 June) that quoted Maoist honcho Dev Gurung thus cautioning: "There is still the possibility of the army ruling the country."

Read along with a news item disclosing Janamorcha Nepal's Lila Mani Pokhrel's statement in parliament (THT, 5 June) that "it is reported that the government is buying weapons from China, while India is trying to sell a package to Nepal", this chappie can only say, oh boy, fireworks are clearly in the offing!

REVEALING, WHAT?

I don't know about you chum but as far as this political innocent is concerned it is enormously revealing that my two favourite (believe me) daily reads – TKP and THT – seem to have parted editorial company. While not too long ago they were virtually on the same editorial wavelength, now however yours truly believes they are poles apart. They are certainly not on the same page, as "Amrikans" are wont to say ever so often.

To cut a long story short, dear and loyal sports, to me it appears that TKP is now pretty critical of the Maoists while THT tends, on the whole, to treat them with kid gloves – when, that is, it is not bending backwards attempting to appease them. Now, there's a hot subject for all you Ph.D-aspiring types to delve into. Perhaps the NPI or some other such centres of journalism learning might also be interested to probe into that abiding (at least for me) mystery.

Of course, there are other occasions they both TKP and THT seem lost, quite incapable of calling a spade a spade. I have in mind a few of their recent editorials that seemed to me pretty sitting-on-the-fence, if you know what I mean?

While none can doubt, of course, that language-wise, THT beats TKP hands down, both seem to have lately developed the annoying tendency in their edits to talk, as the cliché goes, from both sides of their mouths.

But then, that is perhaps the way all of us hacks should go in the future: not really saying what's on our minds but only what is expected to please the new powers that be or the powers that are in waiting. Ah well, as the wise ol' Frenchies say c'se la vie: that's life.

On that note of "resignation" – a word that is very, very much in the news these days, if you'll notice – allow me, mon ami, to bid adieu till next week..

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news