Posts Tagged ‘Maoists’
It appears that Nepal’s political developments are destined to change dramatically during the spring. The First Jan Andolan which led to the abolition of Panchyat System was the result of popular protest movements spreading through the months of March and April in 1990. The recent Democracy Movement had emerged from popular agitations against King Gyanendra’s rule during April 2006. After the Constituent Assembly elections last year on April 10, many had hoped that the spring ritual had worked its final magic. But Nepal was greeted with another spring surprise this year. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepal first communist Prime Minister resigned from his office on May 4, 2009.
The political instability in Nepal following the resignation of P.M. Dahal was a potent crisis building to explode. While the international community was occupied with concerns of Taliban in Pakistan and LTTE in Sri Lanka, Nepal was gradually inching towards a crisis situation. The developments in Nepal are a stark reminder that forces of social and political extremism cannot be hurriedly inducted into mainstream politics of South Asian countries. But the current political turmoil has come as a blessing in disguise of Nepal’s democracy. Nepal’s struggling democracy has come under a challenge from which it can emerge stronger and healthier.
P.M. Pushpa Kamal Dahal had sacked Army Chief Genereal Rookmangud Katawal following the latter’s refusal to induct 19,000 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) members into the National Army (NA). Though the Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav had reinstated General Katawal, the loss of support from coalitional partners forced P.M. Dahal to resign on March 3.
The National Army’s confrontationist postures have made the political crisis even more critical. There have been reports that the NA was even planning a soft coup if the PLA cadres were forcefully integrated with the regular Army units. Click to continue…
The Third Wave of Democracy swept through South Asia accompanied with apprehensions and anticipation about how democracy would treat South Asia and how South Asia would treat democracy. This exciting interaction led to helpful answers and new questions regarding the prospects of democracy in the developing countries. South Asia’s reactions to the third wave and consequent developments can provide an insight into the design of the distinctive democratic models emerging across the globe. The third wave was characterized by five forms of regime change, three of which have been witnessed in South Asia. The relevant forms of regime change include:
- Cyclical- alteration between democracy and authoritarianism
- Second-Try Pattern: Weak democracy gives way to authoritarianism which is replaced by stronger democracy
- Interrupted Democracy: Temporary suspension of democratic system and then its resumption
Without exception, all countries of the South Asia region have demonstrated one of the above patterns during their political evolution. The commonality running through these patterns has been a matter of grave regional and international concern: the lack of sustainable democracy in South Asia. Authoritarianism makes an unfortunate return at regular intervals in most of the regional states. Political reforms during the present decade show encouraging signs of greater democratization among the South Asian states. The trials and tribulations of the past experiments and the present challenges reveal certain interesting characteristics of the regional democratic endeavour. The uniqueness of the ‘attempts at democracy’ in South Asia is not only an analytical challenge but also a rare lesson in the consistent desire for democracy despite recurring failure. The developments in South Asia mark the beginning of the Fourth wave of democracy: trial and error democracy to evolve appropriate variants of Western liberal democracy. This wave is inspired by the failure to duplicate the popular tenets of Western democracies, the attempts to align demands of identity and freedom in new democracies, proper balance of state guidance and individual freedom and a process which while maintaining the distinctiveness of various ethnic, religious and cultural diversities successfully undertakes the nation-building endeavour.
Political developments in each of the eight states are specimens for comprehending the future of the Fourth wave. The present discussion is not expected to be a historical narrative of democratic experiments in South Asia. It is an attempt to understand the democratic innovativeness, in response to national demands, and its consequent impact on the nature of the political systems in South Asia. Click to continue…
Maoists as ‘new bargainers’ in Nepal
The Community Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) spearheaded the People’s War against the Monarchy in Nepal since 1996. The CPN-M shares its ideological philosophy with the tenets of Mao’s Communism and aspired to establish ‘people’s democracy’ in Nepal by overthrowing the monarchy and feudal elements dominating Nepal’s polity and society. Lenin and Mao’s communist ideology was contextualized as the “Prachanda Path” – politico-social philosophy elucidated by the party’s Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda). The Maoists had adopted the tactic of guerilla rebellion to realize their objectives in Nepal leading to a decade of armed struggle between People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Government forces. Approximately 13,000 people lost heir lives and more than 100,000 were displaced in the PLA-National Army confrontation. Click to continue…
Mainstream politics in South Asia is undergoing a major transformation. Recent developments in the region indicate that elements from the extreme left, armed factions, separatist groups and the ideologically marginalized are entering mainstream politics. Is this transformation reflective of wider democratization or radicalization of politics? Click to continue…