Friday, June 03, 2005

NEPAL: Maoists put India on the spot

According to S D Muni, a widely acknowledged expert on Himalayan affairs, engaging the Maoists is "a good idea". He pointed out that India's ruling elite had initially shied away from the communists, who are in an armed struggle to create a kingless republic, because of pressure from various right-wing lobbies that "are working on behalf of Nepal's King Gyanendra and his coterie". Speaking to Inter Press Service in an interview, Muni - who teaches international relations at the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University - identified these lobbies as "the Indian army, the United States [with which New Delhi works closely on the Nepal crisis] and members of India's high society, some of whom have blood ties with the Nepalese monarchy". Yet another lobby that has been vocal in supporting the king against the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) are Hindu fundamentalists that belong to various organizations affiliated to the powerful Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that leads the national opposition in India's parliament.

Read Full Commentary