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Plenty of 'P' problems for Prachanda

The chief in command of Nepal's astounding Maoist guerrilla movement, Prachanda, seems to have found his nemesis in the letter 'P'

world Updated: Aug 26, 2010 15:44 IST

Born Chhabilal Dahal to a struggling farmer in southern Nepal, the chief in command of Nepal's astounding Maoist guerrilla movement became a global figure after he adopted the nom de guerre Prachanda, literally meaning awesome.

After the People's Liberation Army under his guidance fought a 10-year 'people's War' to succesfully heave the establishment in the sleepy Hindu kingdom, he consented to be known by a civilian name as well, Pushpa Kamal. But now, apparently the once beneficial "P" has forsaken the former revolutionary and is plaguing him with a curse, claims a Nepali actor and comedian, Umesh Mayalu.

'Look at him carefully now and you will see all his nemeses start with P,' says Umesh Mayalu, Nepali comedian, whose new show starts off on this theme. Apparently, his troubles started two years ago when he dared to tangle with the divine might Pashupatinath, the revered Hindu god. This points out the set of events where maoists staunchly refused Indian priests from performing rituals at the Pashupatinath, where indian priests have been appointed the ritualistic guardians through age old tradition.But the plan misfired with Nepalis as well as Indian leaders condemning the bid to interfere in religion and the Maoists had to reinstate the Indian priests.

The comedian ticks off a second "P" that had an even greater collapsing effect on the Prachanda government, causing it to collapse. It is the Pradhan Senapati or army chief. The same Army chief that the maoists tried to sack, only to find their plan backfiring, when their allies walked out of the alliance, forcing Prachanda to resign.

The latest P seeming to be plaguing Prachanda is the post of prime minister, which he has been trying to get for a month now, from July 21 to Aug 23, unsuccesfully. Ironically, there have been 'panch' (five) rounds within the house and none yeilding him even a simple majority.

Despite all the jokes passed at this P fixation, there is one 'P' that has been forgotten. The potent "P" factor - the party. Despite being the sole face and voice the Maoist party for almost two decades, Prachanda has now been thrown the gauntlet by two of his deputies.

As the top leaders of the party have begun meeting to assess the mistakes and what steps should be taken to rectify them, his deputies Babu Ram Bhattarai and Mohan Vaidya have also presented separate papers, recommending different remedies.

Jokingly Mayalu says that if Prachanda doesn't gain simple majority for the sixth time, he'll be reduced to just another 'p' - the 'pati' (husband) of wife Sita Dahal.

First Published: Aug 26, 2010 15:33 IST