Monday, April 10, 2006

Scripting Self-Defense

As Nepal burns, each act unfolds with a precision that stupefies the scriptwriters across the southern border.
The Maoists, having declared a unilateral cease-fire in Kathmandu, lead the peaceful protests organized by the Seven-Party Alliance (SPA) through vandalism and arson.
The rebels continue to mount heavy attacks elsewhere, seeking to pin down the security forces.
The royal regime, ostracized by a world that simply refuses to see the stakes involved, tries to uphold its basic responsibility of maintaining law and order.
Every government act is portrayed as repressive. Three civilian deaths, unfortunate no doubt, prompt a rage of revulsion.
The Maoists must be marveling at the muted sighs their decade of murderous rampage prompted.
The SPA gloats over another manifestation of people power. Which people and whose power?
Those sustained by the sudden spurt of Indian currency in the central bank’s coffers? Faces not normally seen and dialects not normally heard are suddenly everywhere. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next.
Except the alien scriptwriters who have carefully calibrated each twist and turn. Indian news organizations had the perfect lead. By the end of the first day of the strike, the royal regime’s crackdown had already precipitated an exodus of refugees into bordering Indian states.
How can the world’s most populous democracy sit by and watch the palace desecrate the democratic aspirations of the Nepalese people? The crowds of Nepalese migrants grow in the Indian capital.
The Indian communist parties instrumental in crafting the 12-point agreement between the SPA and the Maoists voice solidarity with their Nepalese brethren.
The debate takes another form. With continued death, destruction and debris, how longer can the only country sharing a 1,000-mile open border with a failed/failing/failed state ignore this threat to national security.
You don’t have to be the world’s hyperpower to exercise your right to self-defense. Send in the jawans. The all-party conference has set the mandate.
The ghosts of Jaffna continue to haunt. Surely those dark shadows can’t be allowed to hold back a nation destined to shine. Nothing to worry about. The Nepalese Maoists won’t become another LTTE. By veering into the Indian camp with such palpable shamelessness, Prachanda has lost the ability to become another Prabhakaran.
India said it would not allow any third party to mediate an end a conflict in its backyard.
Hey, not too fast. Weren’t the Indian generals supposed to be in favor of bolstering the royal regime against the Maoists?
Too late. Orders are orders.