"Ultimately, we will have to fight with the Indian army. That is the situation. Therefore, we have to take into account the Indian army. When the Indian army comes in with thousands and thousands of soldiers, it will be a very big thing. But we are not afraid of the Indian Army because, in one way, it will be a very good thing. They will give us lots of guns. And lots of people will fight them. This will be a national war. And it will be a very big thing. They will have many difficulties intervening. It will not be so easy for them. But if they stupidly dare...they will dare, they will be compelled. They will do that stupidity. We have to prepare for that. And for that reason we are saying we will also need a particular international situation. And for us this has to do mainly with India, Indian expansionism. When there is an unstable situation in India and a strong mass base there in support of People's War in Nepal and there are contradictions within the Indian ruling class-at that point we can seize, we can establish and declare that we have base areas, that we have a government." ----Prachanda, the Nepalese Maoist leader in an interview to a Latin American journalist. Please see my article titled "THE MAOISTS OF NEPAL: Three perspectives" dated July 13,2001, at http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers3/paper277.html
As a successful democracy, India cannot support a military coup in any country.
2. But sometimes, in our national interest, we may have to close our eyes to a military take-over or to the evils of a military rule in a neighbouring country.
3.As we have been doing in the case of Myanmar for over a decade now.
4. As we did in Bangladesh last year when chronic political instability seemed to be pushing the country into the hands of jihadi terrorists of various hues and various vintages.
5. We may be well-advised to do so if the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) decides to prevent the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) led by Prachanda, which has emerged as the leading party in the recent elections, from using its position as the leader of the Government to convert the RNA with its glorious traditions into the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of Nepal patterned after the PLA of China and North Korea and after the Cuban Army.
6. In his statements and interviews before the elections, Prachanda has given clear indications of their priorities if the Maoists came to power. First, have the monarchy abolished and proclaim Nepal as a Republic with a Presidential style of Government. Second, himself assume office as the President of Nepal. Third,abrogate all existing agreements with India and re-negotiate those of them, which are considered to be in Nepal's interests. And four, merge the armed cadres of the Maoists into the RNA to convert a royalist army into a people's army.
7.After Mao Zedong's PLA captured power in China in 1949 and proclaimed the People's Republic of China, the PLA became the army of the State. The leaders of the Chinese Communist Party proclaimed China as the "rear base" for all communist movements in Asia. It assisted North Korea in its war with the US-led coalition, North Vietnam in its war initially against the French and subsequently against the Americans and the South Vietnamese Army and the communist insurgencies in Malaysia, Northern Thailand and Myanmar and helped the Indonesian communists in a big way till the military coup staged by the Indonesian Army under President Suharto saved the country from falling into the hands of the communists. The Burmese Army under Gen.Ne Win similarly captured power in the early 1960s to prevent their country from falling into the hands of the communists and other ethnic insurgent groups. In 1979, after 30 years of trying to export Maoism, Deng Xiaoping changed this policy and stopped exporting the revolution to other countries.
8. After capturing power in Cuba in the early 1960s, Fidel Castro converted his armed guerillas into the army of the state and embarked on a policy of exporting the Cuban revolution to other Latin American countries, with Cuba serving as the rear base. The death of Che Guavera, who was asked to have this policy executed, allegedly at the hands of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) put an end to Cuba's communist dreams in Latin America, but till today, the Cuban Government and Communist Party continue with their attempts at political subversion in the Latin American countries.
9.Only Vietnam proved a refreshing contrast. After they defeated the Americans and the South Vietnamese Army in 1975 and re-united their country, they concentrated on developing the country and avoided all ideological adventures abroad.
10. Which model Prachanda and his Maoist followers will follow---the Chinese, the Cuban or the Vietnamese? If one goes by his past statements and interviews, he is likely to follow a mix of the Chinese and Cuban models and not the Vietnamese. He has always been attracted by the idea of Nepal serving as a rear base for exporting the Maoist revolution to India. He has also viewed a destabilised India preoccupied with internal security as in the long-term interests of Nepal. We should not allow his present charm offensive towards India make us forget his past.
11.Till now, our military planners have been worried over the dangers of India being confronted one day with a two-front war----with Pakistan and China.We now have to think seriously about the dangers of a three-front war with Pakistan, China and Nepal.
12. Once the communists accede to power---through an armed revolution or through the ballot box---- they try to see that nobody else can dislodge them. There have been exceptions, of course. Nicaragua, for example. But, there the communists were prevented from entrenching themselves through strong US support for non-communist elements.
13. It is neither in the interests of Nepal nor of India for the Maoists to entrench themselves in power and convert the RNA into the PLA of Nepal and turn Nepal into a rear base to help the Maoists in India. The plans of the Maoists for a presidential style of Government in Nepal with all powers concentrated in the hands of Prachanda and with the RNA replaced by the PLAN should be thwarted. All genuinely democratic forces in Nepal and the military leadership should join hands to prevent the communists from carrying out their long-term designs.The communists will fight back ferociously all attempts to deny them the fruits of power. The fear of a possibly bloody riposte by the communists should not deter those worried over the implications of the Maoists' plan from acting before it is too late. (26-4-08)
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi,and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: email@example.com )