Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Obverse Of Animus: Equivalence

Consider it this way. The Maoist Demolition Crew has redefined the national debate on the monarchy. By pulling King Gyanendra’s predecessors down to his pedestal, the Young Communist Leaguers may have detected a short cut to Year Zero. The obverse, however, is what stands out the most. The Maoists have equated the current monarch with his forebears.
The distinction is more important than it sounds. Remember how, after the Narayanhity Massacre, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai tried to single out King Gyanendra for opprobrium by eulogizing all of his predecessors. (Although, we still don’t know how Doctor Sahab felt about King Dipendra.)
For the rebels, Birendra, Surendra and Rajendra were in the same league as Rana Bahadur and Girban. Tribhuvan and Mahendra, whose temperamental and attitudinal disparateness we were told defined our destiny, were made of the same stuff, too.
Now the Maoists see Prithvi Narayan and Prithvi Bir as worthy of national ire as the rest of our kings. What could this mean at this critical juncture? The Maoists sound equally flustered.
Two weeks ago, Dr. Bhattarai reminded us that no monarchy in the world has been abolished through a constituent assembly. Last week he tried to foist that leadership-line ploy that ended up deepening suspicions of a crippling rift in the ex-rebels’ ranks.
In denouncing the Goebbelsian tactics of his critics, he only emulated the inventor of Big Lie Technique. By the end of his exegesis, the chief ideologue sounded uncharacteristically unsure of whether he should have contradicted his critics or cold-shouldered them.
For the rest of the country, things are crystallizing a bit. Until recently, a lot of people were making a clear distinction between the Maoists’ guns and the monarch’s. Sure, the rebels were fighting for the people – for their people. And now they seem to be fighting within, especially since Hisila Yami trumped Pampha Bhusal to become a minister. (Ms. Yami is probably wondering whether it was worth all that, considering the Melamchi mess.)
Crown Prince Paras, meanwhile, continues to make headlines from a decade-old news peg. Evidently, his more recent purported episodes stood little chance with all those YCL crown princes unleashing their knuckles, fists and elbows all around us.