‘Maoist Movement Is A Challenge to Corrupt Elites’
— Dr C. K. TIWARI
Dr CHITRA KRISHNA TIWARI is a US-based Nepali political scientist. He was in Nepal for about five months to cover May general elections. Upon his return to the Washington D. C., he replied to a set of questions over e-mail to SPOTLIGHT. Excerpts:
How do you see the culmination of Maoist rebellion in Nepal? How does it pose threat to country's
I have seen strength in the Maoist movement from day one of the launching of People's War. I clearly saw the movement's strong roots among the poverty stricken masses of Nepal. I am not surprised at all to see the expansion of guerrilla war into as many as 38 of the country's 75 districts. I would not be surprised at all if Maoist People's Army marches into Kathmandu within the next 2-3 years!
I am not quite sure how it poses threat to the entire country's political stability but the movement is
certainly a threat to political and economic monopoly of Khaobadi rulers/ leaders and their henchmen.
The common people are suffering on a day-to-day basis but they have nothing to lose. Therefore, if
Maoist rebellion is a problem of stability, it is the problem of the stability of the corrupt Khaobadi elite based in Kathmandu and other urban centers.
Given the sense of instability in the government even after securing majority, how do you see the role
of monarchy and so-called foreign forces in the Nepalese polity?
The past election of May 1999 was a farce. The Congress Party's parliamentary majority is
questionable. As a result, the government leaders are haunted by a sense of instability. They see
enemies all around them. They interpret Maoist rebellion as monarchical game played to establish
status-quo ante by undermining democracy. There are others who see foreign forces behind Maoist
I do not see any logic behind both of these arguments. These arguments reflect a crisis of confidence
prevalent among the ruling elites in Nepal. After all, why would the king instigate Maoists who are bent on destroying the monarchy itself? Seeing the hands of the so-called 'foreign forces' is yet another example of the crisis of confidence. I can't believe India would fan the Maoist insurgency; China is no longer a Maoist state; the U.S. is geographically so far away that it does not make any sense for Americans to fan communist rebellion in Nepal even for the purpose of temporary expediency.
So, Maoist problem is internal. Foreigners will certainly watch the developments to protect their
day-to-day interests but I don't believe they are doctoring the Maoist political and military events. The monarchy, however, might take an active interest as events unfold.
Vol. 19 :: No. 14
THE NATIONAL NEWSMAGAZINE
October 01 - October 07, 1999