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Anatomy of a resistance

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

The young traders from Patan had started walking out at 8 o’clock on Friday morning to join the citizens’ peace rally at Basantapur, giving themselves an hour to get there. At Kopundole they found the main road to the bridge blocked by Maoists. There was a tense standoff, bricks were hurled, and some of the people in the front were beaten with sticks.

The police arrived and set up a buffer. After a while, the Patan resistance team walked back to Mangal Bajaar. There, they spotted a pickup flying a red flag. They got the occupants to alight, and started tipping the truck over. Local shopkeepers, frustrated and angry over the prolonged closure, lent a hand and managed to topple the car. A victory cheer went up, and the crowd soon grew and people started chanting anti-Maoist slogans. This was going to be a pratikar by anti-pratikarwallahs against pratikar-karis, a counter-resistence by resisters against the resistance.pickup

A group of swarthy Maoists in sleeveless T-shirts armed with chains and iron rods came running in from the Lagankhel and chased the unarmed protesters away. Some climbed the parapet of the Taleju Bell and started ringing it: a traditional alarm from the Malla period rung only before impending invasions or other crises. The bell didn’t seem to be in optimum form because it had no resonance emitting only a blunt metallic sound.

The police soon arrived and started separating the two groups. The Maoists were chased back to Lagankhel and the locals were pushed into the alleys leading to Mangahiti, Bhimsen Temple and Gabahal where they set up defensive barricades and stockpiled bricks. Ward members were conferring in Newari about setting up a warning system in case the Maoists came house-to-house to find the resistance. Patan is where revolutions are born. In 1990, King Birendra is said to have decided it was over for the autocratic monarchy when he saw the red flags over Patan rooftops from a helicopter. In this protest, the Maoists didn’t seem to have the sympathy of the locals.

Nepali flags soon came out, and the ‘white T-shirts’ looked like they were having fun, mustering the courage for the first time in days to say “no” to the shutdown. On the other side, the Maoists were tense and angry, twirling metal chains, waving their iron rods and jostling with the riot police. Throughout these six days, the work of the police has been exemplary, often they have been forced to rescue YCLs from being lynched. Here in Mangal Bajaar on Friday, if it hadn’t been for the police the situation could have easily turned nasty.

A policeman with a hailer told people to be calm and go home. Most were bored. They flocked on balconies, rooftops and sidewalks to watch the tamasha and waited for something to happen. A policeman dropped his riot shield with a clang, making a flock of startled pigeons take wing.

Things were surreally normal. Riot police looking like Ninjas cordoned off the cardinal points into the Square, while devotees fed pigeons, a group of tourists emerged from Sundari Chok listening to a Nepali guide telling them about the exquisite carvings in German. A Korean tourist sat on the steps of the Char Narayan temple reading up on the history of the Malla Dynasty from a Lonely Planet.

From the sanctum of Krishna Mandir came the sound of bhajans being chanted to the accompaniment of a harmonium, while below a squad of Red Cross workers finished treating locals wounded in the earlier clash. Pretty soon, the Square was filled with the medical personnel in white, TV reporters in fluorescent green vests, the human rights folks in blue. Sagarmatha TV had set up a station on a balcony frequented by tourists to broadcast the drama live.

The dreaded confrontation didn’t happen. I overheard a TV reporter say on camera: “Stithi samanya tira unmukh chha. The situation is returning to normal.” He almost sounded disappointed.





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18 Responses to “Anatomy of a resistance”

  1. KiranL on Says:

    Nice case study of how the Maoists used disinformation, fear, intimidation, vandalism and then open attacks to foil a peaceful march. It proves that Mao fears Gandhi. It shows what insecure cowards the Maoist are, and now they are trying to portray this as a class struggle of rich urbanites versus poor villagers. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Kundaji’s post proves: the Maoists were Patan thugs, and the the peace rallyists were shopkeepers and traders from Mangalbazaar.

  2. Bhim on Says:

    All you journalists out there, I hope you were listening to Prachanda’s speech today. He warned that his party was keeping tabs on everyone who was writing against the Maoists and that they would come after you one day. Be careful, but please don’t give up defending the public’s right to know. BMaharjan

  3. Bishwa Nepal on Says:

    Hope this revolutionary (or counter-revolutionary if I use baddies’ guru-ama Chiang Ching’s vocabulary) spirit continues and the (Mao) baddies are shown their true place, come to CA or go to hell. No more bandas from now on. Well done, Patanbashis!

  4. Dr.Ramesh on Says:

    Since last 10 year i am reading your articles.You are always bias with maoist and their cause. You represent the voice of only 5% elite class people in the name of democracy but in fact you neglect totally the voice of rest 95% poor people.In principle you may be a democrat but in fact you are a facist who don’t want peace in this country. You want war.You are a war monger… a Hitler ..and a bidesi dalal…in the name of democracy.

  5. NEPALI on Says:


  6. NEPALI on Says:

    Excellent information. People can remove Maoist out of the valley and out of Nepal and send them to a Mao’s village.

    Nepal should never integrate Maoist into army.

  7. KiranL on Says:

    Dr Ramesh, you must be Dr Bhattarai. Calling Kunda Dai a Hitler is teh funnist thing I have heard in long time. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Thanks for making my day really entertaining and enjoyable.

  8. pravasi nepali on Says:

    Great work; mr dixit. 95pc of poor are not all maoists. To the maoists cadres i wanna say
    “Maobadi cadres haru; u should be verry happy and thanking ur stars that the strike has been postponed. The public sentiments against u is on the boil and bhagwan kasam if u try to do this again; they will selectively eliminate you by beating u in public and may be hanging you. You came to kathmandu, terrorised the locales; brought innocent and gullible gaules from hills forcefully; in dream of eating fokat ko masu bhaat. Nepal is not ur mother’s pewaa; that u can do whatever u want.

    Go back to ur gauu gharr; work hard and contribute to national economy by boosting agriculture. Without working; nobody gets food.But u are doing the opposite; u are crippling the national economy paving the way for foreign powers to annex nepal. If u can’t do sth; at least let others do it.

    And i am sure; u all are locales from villages,small towns; who have nothing to do other except whistling at girls at padheru; smoking heroine; etc,”

    And maoists should be grateful to the police for saving them. Otherwise there would be public hangings of maoists in every corners of nepal including kathmandu.

    I wanna thank all my newar brothers and sister esp from Patan(i am not newar) for supporting the peace rally and not the buggers maoists.

    Jai nepal

  9. Santosh kunwar on Says:

    the article carries the voice not only of 5% elite as argued or rather distorted by Dr. Ramesh, but also of all general people, “people ” here not to be mistaken with maoist definition. A party guided by an ideology which demands of a totalitarian regime, and its followers headed by politicians who each time demands of blood just for the sake of their share in the big pie, can never be trusted.If i see any biased deployment of convictions in Mr. Dixit’s literature, then still i would welcome such preferences as long as it is for democracy, as long as its against adamant behaviour of a political bully which knows the language of nothing but barbarian tongues , and whose hands have always been the harbinger of devastation and whose cries has ever been strident enough to send children,the future of the nation into a deep psychological trauma.

  10. Dr. Neupane on Says:

    I agree mostly (except for the extreme nomenclature to Mr. Dixit) to Dr. Ramesh’s comment. I have been reading his articles for quite a while. The feeling I get is the wrath and vengeance – at a cost of the spirit of journalism. Well, then Dixit finds himself among the so called elites who has an amblyopic vision towards the poor. People will reject the self proclaimed philosophers like him.
    Shame on you, Mr. Dixit!

  11. jim on Says:

    maoist suks!!!!

  12. Sherpa Observer on Says:

    This is the beginning of the end of Maoist.

  13. Gauri on Says:

    How come some people see anti-poor rhetoric in this piece of writing. It seems to mostly contain descriptions of events rather than the journalist’s views. In any case, a journalist has the right to ‘see’ events through his eyes.

  14. ripvanwinkle on Says:

    This comment has been removed by the moderator.

  15. a commoner on Says:

    Mr Dixit…..for the past 1 week i’v been going thru all the articles of nepalitimes……your’s,, prashant’s and C.K Lal’s and the comments as well! Yes, I did feel the path taken by the maoist was undemocratic!!! The bandh had crippled my life………so i did go to the peace rally ……i went there to prove my point…..i went there to be heard!!!
    And then,, as we were marching through Sabhagriha,,i saw the maoist(not those yclsss)…the ones in ragged clothes….i cud sense sorrow on the furrows of their forehead……Mr Dixit -were all those brought by the maoist,, goons?Do u seriously beleive that? Some of those present there must hav come frm their villages to be heard…they too hav suffered or, are suffering as we suffered during the past week…they too had come to be heard!!!
    Sir,, the point i wanted to make is that lets stop dissecting these anatomy of hate/biasness….it’s high time now…ppl like u must focus on the cause and write abt it…write abt the sufferings of Mani lal of shankhuwasabha…please write abt the sufferings of dhanbahadur of nuwakot…..tell ppl abt the difficulties of Ram jeevan frm mahottari……these are our ppl…they too are suffering as we suffered a week back!! Yes dmocratic principles was wht we fought for…but these ppl, are they gonna eat democracy to sustain their life??

  16. Pahadi Jetha on Says:

    Mr Dixit,
    As a Nepalese diaspora living outside Nepal for last 15 years, I was looking for a reputable English website covering daily news from Nepal.
    I happened to come across this site. I do follow a lot of articles lately and it does seem to satisfy my appetite.
    However, I must admit that I am discontented with this particular article. It is overtly biased and against Maoists. Nonetheless, I want to make clear that I am no supporter of any political parties whatsoever. What I want to stress here is that, during the general strike all walks of life,sectors of life equally suffered. Therefore, it is necessary to know the grass roots of this problem rather than pointing fingers at each other.
    I hope all the political parties straighten their act up and work together to bring peace and prosperity in Nepal and every Nepalis.

    So please practice writing unbiased articles and try to look from all different angles and perspective on the issues. Thanks.

    P.S. I totally agree with the above post posted by “a commoner.”

  17. bandhu on Says:

    Next election I am voting for FNCCI.

    Root cause of the problem is political parties. Missusing taxpayers hard earn money.

    There is no biasness news on the media. You can see with your own eyes. Put the TV on Mute and watch the beheavour of the YCL with sticks and rods. I am sure they can’t hurt the law enforcers. Those sticks and rods are for people like you and me who aren’t maoist or YCL. I am not supporting any party or govt.

    Next election lets campaign for NO VOTES FOR PARTIES !!! FNCCI is great !!!

  18. Blatant_Journalism on Says:

    Mister Kunda Baje,

    It does not matter at all the way you exaggerated the incident by concealing the hooliganism first instigated by the other part, your funding of VIGILANTES.

    The prospective readers (diplomatic gurus of Nepal) of your blog was present at the interaction program hosted by the Maoists. Pls read the following for- the first hand account of inner face of your socalled non-violent corrupt parliamentary democratic netas :

    भेटमा अध्यक्ष दाहालले सरकारमा रहेका मानिसले विगतमा आफूलाई ‘एसओएस’ सन्देश पठाउने गरेको सन्दर्भ पनि उल्लेख गरे । ‘यी तिनै मानिस हुन्,

    जसले राजाको शासनमा नेपाली सेनामाथि बढी हिंसात्मक आक्रमण गर्न र दोस्रो जनआन्दोलनका बेला केही सय मानिस उतार्न नसक्दा ठूलो समुदाय ल्याउन मलाई एसओएसको सन्देश दिन्थे,’ उनले थपे, ‘आज ती मानिसहरूले जनताले सबैभन्दा ठूलो दल बनाएर पठाएका हामीलाई नागरिक दलमा रूपान्तरण हुन आग्रह गर्नुभन्दा हास्यास्पद अर्को केही हुन सक्तैन ।’ माओवादीलाई जनताबाट तिरस्कृत भएकाहरूबाट लोकतान्त्रिक कसरी हुने भन्ने सुझाव नचाहिएको दाहालले अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय समुदायलाई बताए ।

    भेटमा अध्यक्ष दाहालले सरकारमा रहेका मानिसले विगतमा आफूलाई ‘एसओएस’ सन्देश पठाउने गरेको सन्दर्भ पनि उल्लेख गरे । ‘यी तिनै मानिस हुन्,

    जसले राजाको शासनमा नेपाली सेनामाथि बढी हिंसात्मक आक्रमण गर्न र दोस्रो जनआन्दोलनका बेला केही सय मानिस उतार्न नसक्दा ठूलो समुदाय ल्याउन मलाई एसओएसको सन्देश दिन्थे,’ उनले थपे, ‘आज ती मानिसहरूले जनताले सबैभन्दा ठूलो दल बनाएर पठाएका हामीलाई नागरिक दलमा रूपान्तरण हुन आग्रह गर्नुभन्दा हास्यास्पद अर्को केही हुन सक्तैन ।’ माओवादीलाई जनताबाट तिरस्कृत भएकाहरूबाट लोकतान्त्रिक कसरी हुने भन्ने सुझाव नचाहिएको दाहालले अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय समुदायलाई बताए ।


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