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When Nepal discovers its own version of Modi.

With Hindu nationalism being the new buzzword in Nepal’s polity, Oli’s sudden definitive tilt towards Hindu nationalism appears to be a panacea for his cure in the upcoming general election. No wonder Oli appears to rediscover the new version of Narendra Modi as his new political face to win the election, but the moot question is: Will the people of Nepal accept this diehard communist as the newly transformed version of Narendra Modi of Nepal?

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Vivekanand Jha Ranchi: Indeed politics, as so candidly defined by Sir Stafford Cripps, the architect of Cabinet Mission Plan, ‘is the means of getting money from the rich, vote from the poor while promising to protect each from the other’. In fact, politicians, shameless as they are, always continue to explore the new avenues to win elections, especially when the chances of winning the election, with the previous tactics and political gambits appear impossible.

Significantly, the power intoxication is so blinding that continually sets the politicians towards chasing power, unconcerned about any other consideration. K.P.Oli is the latest politician in Nepal whose power intoxication is increasingly becoming obvious to one and all. Significantly, Nepal, currently in the fervour of Hindu Rashtra, where the demand for the restoration of Hindu Rashtra has been gaining traction in the recent years, taking cue from neighbouring India, where the new wave of Hindu nationalism, in the wake of the coronation of a Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, has been reverberating across Nepal, with a forceful voice of Hindu nationalism resonating with the considerable chunk of population that Nepal has begun regretting its loss of the status of Hindu Rashtra. And all this could be possible because of a new awakening in neighbouring India where the new wave of Hindu nationalism has already triggered a frenzy, engulfing the polity in its octopus like grip.

Nepal, which under the influence of hitherto expanding tentacles of Communism, has abandoned its long institutionalised status of Hindu Rashtra, in favour of secularism. In hindsight, Nepal, far from progressing by leaps and bounds, with the change in political philosophy, as expected, it found itself moving closer to the Communist China, in the name of development brought about by the Chinese’ dangling its carrots of BRI, ( Belt and Road Initiative) promising a quick infrastructural development, triggering a rise of employment opportunities. Whereas Nepal, under the impacts of Communist rule, moved closer to China, while in the process, getting correspondingly alienated from India.

The New Nepal power elites, euphoric that they found a new friend which could checkmate India, finally felt that their euphoria was unfounded. Small wonder, China too had played its own tricks carefully to enable Communists’ rising stock in Nepal’s polity; The Communist party of China(CPC) had played its own card strategically when it sought to bring the warring factions of Communists of Nepal together. Both Prachanda and Oli, the leaders of two different factions of Communists, were remarkably brought together, with Oli as well as Prachanda, appointed as the joint chairmen of the Coordination committee for an effective and smooth functioning of the government. Nonetheless, soon after Oli’s ascension to the Prime Ministerial position, he had conveniently given a decent burial to the Coordination Committee of the Party. No wonder the party was never consulted for the decision making of the government. Oli, during all these years, had ensured that the influence of Chinese Communist Party reached its zenith. Playing to the tune of Communist China, in its fight against India, Oli went to the extent of redrawing Nepal’s map yet again, claiming Indian territory of Uttarakhand -Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani-as theirs.

This, as expected, engendered a new whataboutery between India and Nepal, resulting in a further deterioration in relationship between the two neighbours. Worse still, during all these years, when Chinese influence in the Nepal’s corridor’s of power has increased manifold, the Chinese ambassador in Nepal, Hou Yankee had developed a close proximity with Oli and other Communist leaders. The situation showed the flagrant violation of the protocol when Yankee held one to one meeting with the President Vidya Bhandari for rolling back the dissolution of the National Assembly. Also, her access to all Communist leaders at her discretion, added further grist to the mill that how the ambassador has been charming the Communist leaders of Nepal and the ruling elites, was the talk of the town, especially her frantic activity to roll back the presidential proclamation to dissolve the House. But then Oli’s rise as a new Communist mascot, when taking the fullest advantages of the evolving situation, especially when Constitution was on the anvil, he inflamed the national sentiment against India, and thereby, ascended the power.

Later he left no stone unturned to play China against India. But then the visit of Samanta Goel, the RAW chief to Kathmandu and his one to one meeting with Oli, has abruptly changed the political dynamics in Nepal. Not only K.P.Oli forthwith recommended the immediate dissolution of National Assembly, he point blank refused to meet the Chinese ambassador.

Significantly, Oli, who not in the too distant a past, had said that there was no God, and if there was ever any God, it was Karl Marx, suddenly has overnight turned into a religious Hindu. His latest visit to Pashupatinath Temple, and his order for the new javeri, vindicates a new avatar of the Prime Minister: his transformation as a Hindu nationalist. Oli knows, as shrewd politician that he is, Nepal needs in this changed scenario, its own version of Narendra Modi to consolidate the Hindu votes around himself.

No wonder his God Karl Marx has seized to appeal to him, for the upcoming election will not fetch him votes in the name of Marx. Hence, the latest visit to Pashupati Nath to seek His blessings. But then whether his transformation into that of Narendra Modi of Nepal, in this radically changed scenario of the resurgence of Hindu Rashtra, will finally resonate with the voters, still remains a million dollars question.

Vivekanand Jha, author of Delhi Beckons: RaGa for NaMo, 56 Inches and The Making of Narendra Modi, Unmaking of Jawaharlal.

Vivekanand Jha, an author and a Public Intellectual.

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