--By Madan Lamsal
After abandoning Pranchandapath, Dr Baburam Bhattarai kept on mentioning a phrase –Naya Shakti (New Force). Those who were wondering as to what this ‘New Force’ was saw him launch a new political party with the same name on Sunday, June 12. However, people are saying that though our Dr Saap has launched a new political party, he is yet to free himself from his old hangovers.
For example, Dr Bhattarai appeared on newspaper advertisements trying to look exactly like Che Guevara. This shows that he could not or did not want to separate himself from Che’s legacy. Needless to say, old habits die hard. Arthur Koestler, the compiler of the famous book The God That Failed, once said, “People don’t keep a faith by analyzing it right from the beginning. They keep a faith first and then try to prove it right.” Is this applicable to our very own Dr Saap? Because we all know that he has been a disciple of Che right from the beginning and that’s how his image was built.
Dr Bhattarai has already announced that he will not follow any ism. However, it’s been said that Naya Shakti will be a left-democratic force. Perhaps only Dr Bhattarai knows how a political party can be leftist as well as democratic at the same time!
Or does it mean that Dr Bhattarai’s party will sometimes be leftist and sometimes democratic according to the situation? Something like the CPN-UML? Whatever, this scribe would not like to believe that Dr Bhattarai’s New Force is just old wine in a new bottle. The New Force is indeed a new force; look at the changes they have already started! For example, other parties have closed sessions; the New Force has called that a ‘discussion session’. Other political parties have central committees; the New Force is yet to give a new name to this crucial party structure.
In the inauguration session of the party launching programme, the evergreen actress of the Nepali silver screen and a new leader of New Force who was also the Master of Ceremony, treated the incumbent prime minister as a jester and said the bored audience would get refreshed by listening to Prime Minister. This is indeed a new style of the New Force! Not only that, she said the New Force would not follow any particular ism. That means, if necessary, the New Force can choose and follow any ism from Mahendra-ism, Prachanda-ism, Modi-ism, Gyanendra-ism, Mao-ism or Stalinism and call it Baburam-ism at the end!
The New Force has formulated a new principle of increasing investment in the country and making it prosperous without asking foreigners for aid money and without increasing taxes being levied on Nepalis. Can anyone tell now how the investment will increase and how the country will become prosperous without doing either of these two things? It seems Dr Bhattarai wants to have his cake and eat it too! Baburam should have copyrighted this, but only he knows why he didn’t! Also, it seems that Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel has already emulated this dual policy of Dr Bhattarai in this year’s budget.
Whatever! Dr Bhattarai is trying hard to establish New Force as a major political party of the country. Though hecklers from the NGO Sisnupani Nepal jibed ‘pieces collected from all around to make, Baburam’s butterfly’, he still managed to gather 100,000 people at Dashrath Stadium for the launch of his new party. It’s up to you to guess how many came for the cine beauty, and how many for the Biryani! that the event promised. And not to forget, he has been successful in roping the bigwigs from other political parties in the New Force. Only the elections will tell if the Nepali people have taken a liking to his New Force. For now, however, Dr Bhattarai has been trying to sell the dream of prosperity to all Nepalis.
But the people have some questions for Dr Bhattarai. Will Dr Bhattarai, also known as Laldhwoj (the red flag), be able to create a new identity for himself? How will he strike a balance between the left and the democratic ideologies for his party? In other words, how will he resolve the conflict between those who want to see the New Force as a leftist party and those who want to take it along the democratic path?
It is said that when, in the inauguration session of New Force’s launching ceremony, Ram Chandra Jha said corruption should be rooted out from the country, Hisila Yami (Dr Bhattarai’s better half) was smiling. Will Dr Bhattarai be able to make Hisila smile in the future by remaining serious to what Jha said?