Saturday, December 17, 2005

Irked Ideologue

With Kisunji's endorsement, the 12-point accord between the mainstream parties and Maoists has recovered some of the traction it lost with chief rebel ideologue Dr. Baburam Bhattarai's latest comments.
In an interview with the Maoist mouthpiece Janadesh, Comrade Lal Dhwaj cautioned all against expecting a complete cessation of armed rebellion even with the inauguration of total democracy.
That was the soft ball. Lower down the column, Dr. Bhattarai categorically ruled out that India, given its history in Nepal, could be an honest broker.
What happened? Did Prachanda, who not too long ago accused Dr. Bhattarai of being an Indian agent, use the interregnum to open his own channel with South Block?
Is this the rebel philosopher's way of hitting back – by making things easier for the palace?
After all, who gets the most sleep knowing that the regional hegemon will be welcomed to throw its weight around by one less – no doubt influential – quarter from within?
As for the United Nations, even a palace hukke knows that a full mission in Nepal – something the Maoists seem to want -- would never get past that draft-resolution-circulation phase among Security Council members.
By ruling out India's role, Dr. Bhattarai has put the mainstream parties in a dilemma. They can't afford to insist that New Delhi remains central to their understanding of the accord. Not doing so would spell the end of the initiative's whole purpose.
Prachanda, where art thou?