Sunday, August 09, 2009

For The Maoists, A World To Win Back

Did or didn’t they? From the way United Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal first put it, he averted a putative world war by stepping down as premier earlier this year. Who knows who else – state as well as non-state belligerents – might have stepped into actual hostilities involving the world’s sole superpower and its two most populous nations?
But Dahal hurriedly denied having made such a comment. The newly reinstated supreme commander of the People’s Liberation Army characterized the phony attribution as part of a conspiracy to spoil his party’s relations with the countries involved.
Had the newspaper really peddled a fictitious story? Or had Dahal assumed he was still outside the pale of the media? Or was he simply playing to the base without having anticipated the reaction the comment ended up provoking? (Not exactly a novel hazard, when it comes to our Fierce One, heh?)
The Indians came out with a flat denial. The Americans generally do not comment on such matters for obvious concerns about alerting the target. The Chinese have probably been planning for such an eventuality from the founding of the People’s Republic. So the senior Indian professor Dahal quoted as having intimated the sensational plan may have the answer. And whoever that is, is unlikely to share it.
The trouble with Dahal is that he shoots from all sides of his mouth. When he later eats his words, he doesn’t want us staring at the mastication. Now, the ploy worked extremely well during his years underground. Amid the public glare, the boomerang effect becomes deadlier because of the multiplier effect. It was, after all, one newspaper report the media around the world that quoted him on this one.
Still, this episode has underscored the geopolitical origin of Dahal’s exit. It turned out his press adviser leaked the controversial Chinese draft treaty of peace and friendship, suggesting the premier did not want to cross the Rubicon. After he quit, Dahal told an Indian reporter that the succession of Chinese delegations had not arrived in Kathmandu at his specific invitation. (And we thought that used to be the proprietary trademark of the Soviets a la Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan.) Then Dahal said he was forced to cancel his visit to China to forestall a military coup.
Before our leading people’s warrior could finally blossom into a global peace-maker, he balked – and in a weird way. Instead of supervising his party’s stepped-up offensive against the “usurpers”, Dahal, joined by wife, Sita, and son, Prakash, landed in London. The timing of his urge to brief Europe-based cadres and loyalists converging on the British capital about the central committee’s fresh decisions confounded many back home.
Yet there may be a scheme to the stupefaction. Dahal’s real urgency at this time is to mend fences with the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia. Those two organizations, along with other fraternal groupings, felt the Nepalese Maoists betrayed the cause of international communism by entering mainstream politics. It was sacrilegious for them to have shared power with the very forces they had originally risen up against. No wonder they could not even sack a hugely insubordinate army chief.
By firing up the streets, for now, Dahal expects to assuage allies that had sustained the insurgency internationally. For them, after Peru and Nepal, funding and finesse all depends on the fig leaf Dahal can provide. The geopolitics of it all can be left for another day.