M.D. Nalapat: Will the Maoists Defang Nepal’s Army?
Professor M.D. Nalapat is vice-chair of the Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair, and professor of geopolitics at Manipal University. He writes on the UPI Asia:
Nepal would never have come to be led by Maoists were it not for the help that the rebels got from India. For decades, Maoist guerrillas took refuge in India’s eastern states of West Bengal and Bihar, given sanctuary by an indulgent Indian administration.
Later, the Maoists’ numerous contacts within the Indian security establishment ensured New Delhi’s help in emasculating Nepal’s monarchy – according to courtiers within Kathmandu’s Narayanhiti Palace, because the Nepali king and Sonia Gandhi disliked each other – and subsequently nudged the Nepali Congress into joining a government led by the guerrilla fighters.
Since then things have shifted. China has characteristically reversed its earlier policy of backing the monarchy, and has become the most significant international backer of Nepal’s version of the Peoples Liberation Army. This is causing increasing disquiet in India, which – foolishly – has an open border with Nepal.