Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
I dissent




KARNA SHAH

When we announced that we were splitting from the CPN-M and organising our own struggle, the Maoists started a systematic smear campaign against us.

Those who question our decision think we will start a new armed movement in the name of ethnicity. Yes, this is a struggle, but we will not take up arms. During arms verification, we were ordered to hide some of our weapons and technical equipment. We did so, but now we still have them. We will not use them, nor will we hand them over to the Maoists. If the government is ready, we are willing to talk to them and hand over the weapons. If we really wanted to spread ethnically motivated terror, we could provoke the Tharus to do so. But that would be unfortunate for the entire country.

We know so much about so many Maoist leaders that we could expose them if we wanted to. But our struggle is not against a person or a leader in the party. We do not trust the party's current policies- they can neither capture power via armed struggle, nor be a part of the government and bring about radical transformation.

The Maoists used ethnic issues during their movement, and are now doing the same with other issues to lure some people and assure others. They want to show their flexibility and so sign all kinds of agreements, but this hurts the party. There is also no longer the feeling of sacrifice that drove the party until a year ago. The leadership is simultaneously espousing a peaceful policy and encouraging party workers to accept a 'new' model that promotes terror and violence. The people will only trust the Maoists if they publicly accept that their war was a failure, and work towards setting a progressive, constitutional path.

The CPN-M's leadership is desperately trying to hide the inconsistencies within the party, particularly the financial crisis. The fighters are in camps that are quite different from the luxurious city life some of the leaders are getting used to. This inequality is not a result of the 'people's war', but of the broadly consensual reformist line the party is taking.

Forget about the days of Mao, Lenin, and a socialist world. We must now focus on what the people want. The only hope in Nepal for any transformation is unity between the eight parties, and in civil society. To abandon the wishes of the people and for one party to dominate politics would lead to failure. Janajati and adibasi voices are no longer weak. The Tharus have also risen. Yet there are still kamaiyas in the homes of Maoist leaders. Questioning such practices is considered tantamount to being against the struggle. But one must always speak out against inequality, even inside one's own party. The leaders make mistakes too, and it's wrong to say that all their decisions were good. Our struggle is against this culture of unquestioning acceptance of leaders' decisions.

For the Maoists now, both flexibility and rigidity could be suicidal. They can neither break the eight-party unity and return to war, nor accept all the decisions made by the parties and stay in government. Pushpa Kamal Dahal is wrong to say that a continuation of the struggle is possible only if the Maoists stay in the government. Inside the party there is disappointment about this.



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


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