6-12 March 2015 #748

Sedition + Treason = Self-Loathing

Those who question the legitimacy of the current government should review the last election results
Foreign Hand
It took full blown self-righteous indignation to drag the Hand out of retirement after a half-decade of blissful indifference. As the constitution writing continues to be blocked by the same people who insisted on the process in the first place, we’re now hearing threats of armed revolt from all parties who lost the last election. Isn’t that illegal, screamed my beleaguered mind?

A newspaper report on a recent meeting of the CPN (Moribund), detailing their decision to become a ‘Militant Party’ and ‘develop’ an army of 10 to 15,000 cadres, got your columnist wondering why these people aren’t thrown in jail. Can any party form a private militia (sounds feudal to me) to wage war on the state just because nobody voted for them? After ten tragic years of pointless conflict and another six (or is it 8? 9?) of fruitless constitution drafting, are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes? The fact that such a momentous declaration was buried on page 3 indicates such threats aren’t taken very seriously, but that doesn’t change the fact the nation’s laws on treason are being scorned with impunity.

Keeping track of which party is threatening the state these days can be a challenge, especially since the Maoists have degenerated into multiple competing cabals. This particular call to arms, issued by Netra Bikram Chand’s faction of the CPN (M), begs the question why it never occurs to such politicians to ‘develop’ the country instead of an army, or at least ‘develop’ some self-discipline and respect for others (like the voters, for example, who rejected such violent agendas at the polls).

Their plan to recruit ex-PLA and YCL members into an armed force is not only illegal but displays a shocking lack of respect for the country and its institutions. Those who purport to be nationalists and saviors of the nation are plotting to destroy the state, which must be some perverted form of grand scale self-loathing that I’ll leave for the psychiatrists to analyse.

The article goes on to say ‘sources’ speculate the party only has a ‘few hundred weapons’ dating from the insurgency (that were supposed to be turned in to the UN, by the way), not nearly enough to launch a civil war. As usual, what appears to be good news is anything but, since ‘much of the party activity is funded through vigorous donation campaign’, otherwise known as extortion. Arming, training and feeding 15,000 full-time combatants is a costly affair that you, dear readers, will be expected to finance to ensure you can be better coerced with the weapons you just paid for. It’s as if the traitors of the nation insist that we, the hapless denizens, get dragged down to their level and become traitors to ourselves by forcing us to pay for our own demise.

According to a central committee member, the party decreed all cadre must adopt ‘pseudonyms to evade their identity’ which sounds like they’re hiding from themselves and smacks yet again of self-loathing. Strict anonymity is to be observed at all times, probably because such childish behavior in grown men is embarrassing, and activities are to be carried out in a ‘semi-underground style’, whatever that means. Such official sanction of a strategy usually reserved for criminal mafias, it’s worth noting, is unlikely to be a coincidence.

When confused, reach for the dictionary. Websters defines sedition as ‘incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority,’ which describes the party’s declaration with remarkable accuracy. Then there’s treason: ‘the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state the offender owes allegiance to.’ Bingo!

The meaning of words can change over time, of course, and I wondered if my dog-eared dictionary wasn’t out of date. Perhaps a more current definition of sedition and treason should read ‘desperate activity initiated by floundering politicians who have lost all touch with reality.’ As support for the Maoists collapses, firing up their base with cries to rebel must be a last ditch attempt at recreating the good old days when they were still relevant.

Those who would question the legitimacy of the current government should perform a reality-check by reviewing the last election results. The politics of confrontation and conflict, as epitomised by the Maoists, was rejected by a massive turn out at the polls. Whenever Maoists of all stripes threaten another civil war or to set up a ‘parallel government’, as Prachanda does every other day, their disrespect for that verdict becomes painfully obvious.

The fact that nobody ever gets arrested for sedition and treason inevitably makes the perpetrators despise the state even more. To employ the logic of the only Marx worth listening to (Groucho), who refused to join a club that would have him as a member, we can’t expect those who publicly threaten armed insurrection with impunity to ever respect a country too weak to jail them for their crimes.

Foreign Hand is a curmudgeon meddler and long term resident of Nepal afflicted with a strong distaste for hypocrisy. He is restarting the column he used to write for Nepali Times in 2006-2008 until silenced by the fear of retaliation.

Read also:

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