Hisila Yami is a senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Known by the nom de guerre "Comrade Parvathi", Yami, whose spouse Baburam Bhattarai is widely considered to be among the leading intellectuals in Nepal, is a former minister of tourism and civil aviation with the now deposed Maoist government in Nepal and a central committee member of the party.
The Nepali Maoists have a grouse - which is quite legitimate if one looks at the issue dispassionately - that the Indian ruling establishment has unfairly intervened in Nepali political affairs to isolate them from the other political parties and has also tried to affect the ongoing peace process, the Constitution building and government running processes in the country.
Hisila Yami, in a recent piece in the Kathmandu Post, tries to point out the reasons for the Indian intervention in Nepal. She suggests that India, being a "big country" and engaged in an effort to raise its profile as a "global power" in competition with China is also faced with various kinds of political systems in its neighbours and that has constrained its foreign policy vis-a-vis these nations. Fair enough, I would say. This is what I could term the "systemic equation" that governs any nation's foreign policy.
Hisila Yami is also direct on the internal challenges to India's current form of federal system with demands being made of new federal units and rights based movements asking for concessions by the state, not to mention other grievance based agitations in parts of the country such as in the North-East and Kashmir.
Yami also exaggerates the influence of the CPI(Maoist) in the country suggesting that the Indian Maoists constitute a "revolutionary" challenge to the Indian state. She suggests that the Indian foreign policy toward Nepal is constrained by these external and internal challenges, as the Indian state and the ruling establishment is distrusting of the Nepali Maoist leadership. And this explains the ebbs and flows in the relations between the two countries. She ends with a call for co-existence between Nepal and India in a peaceful manner, but adduces the theory that a scientific vision could only manage the various contradictions -internal and external in both countries.
I agree with Yami on most issues, except that she overestimates the "Maoist challenge" or the "revolutionary" nature of Indian Maoism. Also, she terms the ruling classes in India to be from the "comprador bourgeoisie". The implications are that, the Indian ruling class is incapable of co-existing peacefully with a Nepal under the leadership of radical forces, as it would be seen as a threat to India's own integrity by them. And that, the Indian ruling establishment, as it represents the "comprador bourgeoisie" interests would merely tail what the developed capitalist world imposes on it. This is a gross under-estimation of the autonomy of the Indian bourgeoisie and its potential and seen in the light of the Nepali Maoists' recent pronouncements on "Indian expansionism" - that India is bent on a policy that could be tantamount to annexation of Nepal or to treat it merely as a "buffer", it is clear that the Nepali Maoists see the Indian interests to merely be an extension of global capital, nay imperial interests in the region.
On the other hand, the Indian establishment equates the Nepali Maoists' and their designs in Nepal with what the Indian Maoists have set to achieve - a violent revolution encompassing the two nations (from "Pasupathi to Tirupathi" as some "strategic analysts" have termed the "Maoist praxis"). And this distrust of the Nepali Maoists, despite their democratic election to the Constituent Assembly, has meant that there is constant interference in Nepali politics to the extent of micro-managing the internal political situation in that country. One can thus conclude that the Nepali Maoists' and the Indian ruling establishment's relations are now at the lowest ebb.
This analyst believes that the Indian ruling establishment - which enabled the peace process in Nepal in many ways, should encourage this to continue to its logical conclusion - i.e. the writing of a new Constitution in the newly formed republic. The choice of the people in Nepal is very clear - by popular mandate, the people have elected a combination of the radical and formal left outfits in the country. A workable pro-poor. rights based Constitution promising a welfarist, redistributive and federal republic replacing the thus far unitary and centralised Nepali state is possible if the two left parties - the UML and the Maoists work together along with other democratic and republican sections in other parties. But the Indians in their endeavor to isolate the Maoists have indulged in machinations to keep a rainbow coalition which includes the UML and other assorted and discredited forces in power - clearly against the given mandate.
Similarly, Hisila Yami and her comrades within the Nepali Maoists should realise that there is no support for the Indian Maoists and neither are they a "revolutionary" force who have mobilised the working classes, the peasants and even most of the tribals in the country. The Maoists have been reduced to an insurgent military force confined to remote areas and engaged in what some analysts term as "social banditry"; while cashing on genuine resentment against the Indian state's policies to impose an undemocratic praxis, which has only resulted in further alienation and immiserisation of the affected sections and no genuine change in their fortunes. There is a great deal of legitimacy accorded to the formal democratic processes in the country and the ruling establishment and other parliamentary forces are forced to play the electoral game, even if merely formally in the race for power. And in a limited but quite an effective manner, sufficient checks and balances are placed within the parliamentary system to wring out some pro-people measures. The point is to strengthen these measures and build an alternative system of governance through democratic means. And that would include the realm of foreign policy as well.
As long as the Nepali Maoists continue to rely on the Nepali people to democratically stake their claim to power and also to implement their stated programme, the Indian ruling establishment can not offer the logic that the Nepali Maoists are in cahoots with the insurgent Indian Maoists. And as long as there is enough pressure on the Indian ruling establishment by progressive, left and democratic forces to address the grievances and concerns, the prospects of a progressive foreign policy are very much alive. That would require that the democratic-minded people in the country should be strengthened in their fight against the violent and murderous insurgency spearheaded by the Indian Maoists in places like West Bengal, as is explained in this article by Vijay Prashad. This would indeed constitute a "scientific vision" and necessitate a peaceful coexistence of both nations if worked out.