Nepali Times
Dear Baburam

After reading 'Gun men' (#207) and the web exclusive photos in your online edition, I would like to address this letter to Maoist leaders Baburam and Prachanda. It is clear that your movement in Achham is getting closer to its goals. Your 'People's Liberation Army' and 'People's Government' control the rural countryside in spite of the government's assertions to the contrary. Now that you say you are moving to choke or capture the urban areas, your fellow Nepalis would like to know more about your vision for Nepal:

1. How do you aim to tackle inequality in social and political terms?
After all, your own organisational hierarchy seems un-representational of the Nepali social structure. CK Lal in the same issue 'The middle Path' (State of the State, #207) cites that both the Kirat Workers' Party and the Madhesi National Front disassociated themselves from your party due to internal non-acceptance.
2. How are you going to eradicate poverty? Are you planning to tax the rich, nationalise corporations or have worker/peasant communes? What is going to happen to private property of farmers, merchants and workers? How will development work be done without international aid?
3. How are you going to control the overpopulation problem?
Are we going to follow the Chinese One Child policy to solve this problem?
4. You advocate for a classless society, yet, stress that dictatorship of the proletariat and peasants is necessary for transformation of a society. In essence your ideology justifies the need for the Communist Party's political control over society. However, history is witness to the failures of this model in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and N Korea, where the parties have themselves become a class unto themselves and sometimes even spawned dynasties.
5. Admit it, communism has failed or reformed itself. The Soviet Union has disintegrated. Mao's China is now a showpiece of capitalism. Are you going to follow a more pragmatic political philosophy?
6. What happens to people who do not agree with your view point? Is there going to be a freedom of expression, press and basic rights granted to the people? Do you believe in democracy?
7. What happens to peoples' religion and belief systems? There is no room for religion ('opiate of the masses') in your ideology. Can we still practice or not?
8. Right now you are on the opposing side, so it is easier for you to criticise and analyze the problems facing Nepal. If you become the rulers, you are going to have show results. How are you going to achieve that-through the barrel of the gun or through democratic political persuasion? In other words, how are you going to provide good governance?
We have read or are already familiar with the Red Book, so please give us real answers. Who knows, if your agenda is sound, practical, and 'mato suhando' many people like me and others may come to your fold.

SN Singh,

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)