ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Blind Eye versus Interference

The editorial “Out of the Barrel of a Gun” (EPW, 9 May 2009) appropriately criticises the refusal by the ceremonial president of Nepal to respect the decision of the civilian government led by the U nited Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [UCPN(M)] to dismiss the Nepal army chief Katawal. However, the introductory blurb “India …turn(s) a blind eye to violation of the principle of civilian supremacy” tends to make a conjecture into a fact. What is more puzzling is that the editorial as well as almost all the Indian and international left criticise India for interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal, while simultaneously demanding that India interfere according to their particular choice.

Every government, organisation or a politically conscious individual has a preference for a ruling party in another country. Many preferred to see the end of monarchy in Nepal and some, including many Nepalese, supported a republic under the leadership of the UCPN(M). On the other hand, India, China, the US and a host of other countries may have preferred the monarchical status quo. However, no government can be blamed for expressing preference; it can only be blamed for d irect interference. In this sense “India turn(s) a blind eye” to events in Nepal may be a desirable action. For example, India could have earlier actively intervened in Nepal to prevent accession of UCPN(M) to power but it did not.

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