Monday, November 28, 2005

Does he sleep well?

He has staked everything to his cause.In victory, unmitigated glory as the head of state of a rejuvenated Nepal. In defeat, the denunciation of history.If correcting the messiness of multiparty democracy demanded a relentless flow of Nepali blood, then that price had to be paid. In the
larger scheme of things, death and destruction could provide the stepping stones to eternal greatness.Adversaries publicly assail his motives. Deep down, they secretly admire him. Going against the global current demands
extraordinary steel.In recent times, though, some of his own supporters have become his most severe critics. The burden of leading has definitely taken
a heavy toll on him.Comrade Prachanda has taken a huge personal risk for the country. Does he fear for his life and legacy?Skeptics in the mainstream and the right end of the spectrum are scarcely the problem. Selling the Delhi Compromise to his foot
soldiers, who still believe storming Narayanhity is the best way of exorcising evil, might not be that difficult either. What will he say to the Revolutionary International Movement (or whatever name that generic amalgamation of communists, anti-
globalization radicals, Islamofascists and others wedded to destruction of the Great Satan goes by these days)?After Fujimori snuffed out that great era of hope in Peru, Nepal's Maoists almost singlehandedly blazed the shiniest path to paradise. Until this spring, Comrade Prachanda was expounding how Nepal's People's War was actually “a totally new 21st century war [also
against] the evil of the imperialist world, the hypocrisy of so-called democracy that a superpower like the U.S. represents.” (see
TIMEAsia, April 25, 2005). Such rhetoric revved up revolutionaries from the islands of the Philippines to the intifadah frontlines of Palestine.What might they think, say -- and worse still -- do? Comrade, have you been able to sleep well these past few nights?