17 January, 2021

The Nudge That Spilt The Spleen

Suddenly, India is being seen as a nasty by the Maoists who had deemed it a friend

The Nudge That Spilt The Spleen
The day after Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) leader Pushpa Kumar Dahal, or Prachanda, resigned as prime minister, his party organ, the Janadesh daily, published a cartoon showing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh carrying on his shoulder Nepalese President Rambaran Yadav. It was captioned "Hamara Bharat Mahan", succinctly conveying the Maoist line: Yadav had overruled Prachanda’s decision to dismiss army chief, Gen Rookmangad Katawal, at India’s behest. For long, Prachanda had wanted the general sacked as he wasn’t amenable to civilian control.

Maoists believe Yadav’s audacity sprang from New Delhi’s tacit support. Prachanda said as much: "We will not bow before any outside force. What the president did was not only unconstitutional, but a mockery of the principle of civilian supremacy." His trusted lieutenant, Dr Baburam Bhattarai, didn’t shy away from naming the outside force: "It all happened because of India’s blatant interference."

Overnight, the country that had played a crucial role in bringing...



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