KATHMANDU, AUG 01 – Indian Professor SD Muni on Tuesday claimed that top Maoist leaders had written letters not only to India but also to other international actors expressing their commitment to transforming themselves into a democratic political party.
The statement comes as an attempt to clear the air surrounding controversy
generated by his recent article, where he claims that the Maoist leadership had written to the Indian Prime Minister’s Office in 2002 assuring that they wanted ‘the best of relations with India and would not do anything to harm its critical interests’.
At a discussion programme organised in Patan by the Social Science Baha over the book “Nepal in Transition: From People’s War to Fragile Peace,” the noted academician defended his piece “Bringing the Maoists down from the Hills: India’s Role” published in the book.
“The Maoists approached not only India but also wrote letters to other members of the international community saying that they were not a terrorist organisation,” said Muni. “If writing to India is a slur on nationalism, it is a slur to write to others.”
Muni had written that India’s PMO had asked the Maoists to put it into writing ahead of engaging them but was silent regarding letters which he claims were dispatched to the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and China. At the Yala Maya Kendra interaction, Prof Muni expressed his displeasure by saying that some Nepali media commentators had ‘distorted’ his article by offering their interpretations.
He said that India has supported major political transformations in Nepal since the 1950’s and facilitated the peace process with the interest to ensure stability and a peaceful end to the insurgency. “The king [Gyanendra] approached India and was ready to make far more compromises if his position was secured,” claimed the author. King Tribhuvan in 1950 was ready even to merge Nepal with India to overthrow the Rana oligarchy, he went on to say. Asked if he could prove it, the professor said he was told by Indian Foreign Ministry officials that they had the letter from the king stating his intention and that he would publish it when he got a copy. India changed its policy in 2005 and supported the 12-point agreement after Gyanendra failed to respond to India’s request for reaching out to mainstream parties, he added.
Four other contributors of the book—columnists Aditya Adhikari, Mahendra Lawati, former election commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel and rights activist Mandira Sharma—commented on their chapters. Post columnist Adhikari spoke about his article titled Revolution by other Means: the Transformation of Nepal’s Maoists and Lawati commented on his chapter entitled Ethnic Politics and the Building of an Inclusive State.
Suman Pradhan, one of the editors of the book, said the publication offers a perspective of people who were either involved in Nepal’s peace process or followed the events closely.PHANINDRA DAHAL from Kantipur