Nepal: Monarchy and Maoists

While international attention is on the Kashmir dispute and the possibility of nuclear conflict, the Indian army has one eye on the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, sandwiched between it and China, which is going through twin crises of law and order and political instability.

The World Today
4 minute READ

Arnab Goswami

News Editor, New Delhi Television

The imposition of a national emergency has failed to control Maoist violence, as a result of which more than three thousand people have died in the last five years. The governing party, the Nepali Congress, is deeply divided. There have been eleven governments and nine prime ministers in the last twelve years of democracy and there is now a serious fear about a return to absolute monarchy.

When the chief of the Royal Nepal Army, General Prajwalla Rana, recently blamed his country’s politicians for the rise of the Maoists, he was being a little unfair. During the period of democracy, the Maoists only emerged as a serious threat in 1996, when they organised their first precision attacks against the authorities and other symbols of state power. Many believe that 144 years of palace autocracy is as much responsible for the rise of the extreme left-wing militia as the inexperience of its democratic rulers.

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