Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
A decade of hope, violence and uncertainty



The Maoist insurgency is entering its 10th year. When they first started fighting corrupt politics, they offered hope even though they resorted to violence. It is easy to sell revolutionary dreams however utopian in a society with our inequities. But where has this revolution got us? How safe do the people feel from the rebels? And how much of its political character does the movement still have left? It is imperative for the Maoists to examine these questions.

The Maoists were ultimately responsible for the royal step of February First. Whether by disregarding the political parties in the second round of the peace talks or by declaring that they would talk only to the king, the Maoists have steadily weakened the political parties and the multi-party government. Political trust in any party or association ends when its strategy and principles cease to be relevant and are contradictory. Having declared that they would talk only to the king, the Maoists will lose the trust of the people if they emerge as a political entity. The UN and human rights organisations have condemned the Maoists for abducting school children and recruiting child soldiers, so it doesn't look likely that the UN can be a mediator as the Maoists want.

The international community is watching with keen interest. They disapprove of the growing distance between the king and the parties. They say they will continue with economic and military support for Nepal only if the political parties are granted freedom under constitutional monarchy. The parties must be allowed the environment to pursue their political activity in cooperation with the king. Though the international community by and large doesn't agree with the February First declaration, it has not changed its stance on the insurgents. For the Maoists to assume that the international community now supports them would be wrong.

But if the Maoists do not renounce violence and fight for individual freedom, human rights and people's authority or peaceful politics, they may be swept away by history. The last 10 years have made clear that politics at gunpoint doesn't work. The public support will be short-lived. Even those who had looked upon the Maoists as a possible political alternative now question their political character and solidarity. The political parties have consistently said they can work with the Maoists if they give up violence and work for multiparty democracy.

A rift within the Maoists has become apparent. In these difficult times, if the Maoists stand firm in their statement and come forward for talks with political integrity, character and solidarity, they might be forgiven for the 11,000 lives they have taken. For a nation sinking into a vortex of violence and uncertainty, that would prove to be an immense relief.

The Maoist insurgency is entering its 10th year. When they first started fighting corrupt politics, they offered hope even though they resorted to violence. It is easy to sell revolutionary dreams however utopian in a society with our inequities. But where has this revolution got us? How safe do the people feel from the rebels? And how much of its political character does the movement still have left? It is imperative for the Maoists to examine these questions.

The Maoists were ultimately responsible for the royal step of February First. Whether by disregarding the political parties in the second round of the peace talks or by declaring that they would talk only to the king, the Maoists have steadily weakened the political parties and the multi-party government. Political trust in any party or association ends when its strategy and principles cease to be relevant and are contradictory. Having declared that they would talk only to the king, the Maoists will lose the trust of the people if they emerge as a political entity. The UN and human rights organisations have condemned the Maoists for abducting school children and recruiting child soldiers, so it doesn't look likely that the UN can be a mediator as the Maoists want.

The international community is watching with keen interest. They disapprove of the growing distance between the king and the parties. They say they will continue with economic and military support for Nepal only if the political parties are granted freedom under constitutional monarchy. The parties must be allowed the environment to pursue their political activity in cooperation with the king. Though the international community by and large doesn't agree with the February First declaration, it has not changed its stance on the insurgents. For the Maoists to assume that the international community now supports them would be wrong.

But if the Maoists do not renounce violence and fight for individual freedom, human rights and people's authority or peaceful politics, they may be swept away by history. The last 10 years have made clear that politics at gunpoint doesn't work. The public support will be short-lived. Even those who had looked upon the Maoists as a possible political alternative now question their political character and solidarity. The political parties have consistently said they can work with the Maoists if they give up violence and work for multiparty democracy.

A rift within the Maoists has become apparent. In these difficult times, if the Maoists stand firm in their statement and come forward for talks with political integrity, character and solidarity, they might be forgiven for the 11,000 lives they have taken. For a nation sinking into a vortex of violence and uncertainty, that would prove to be an immense relief.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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