Kathmandu's elites cannot seem to understand who these people are. But talk to the cab driver, waiter, vegetable seller, small shopkeeper, slum dweller or construction worker and you will get an idea of who may dominate the streets from Saturday.
There has been coercion in the process of mobilisation. But the Maoists have essentially tapped into the three core contradictions of Nepali society Ė ethnicity, class, and space (Kathmandu versus the rest). They have deployed their cadres; capitalised on the rage of those on the periphery; and channelised popular discontent against inflation, power cuts, corruption and insecurity, for which Madhav Nepal has been projected as solely responsible.
The party leadership knows that violence will invite a backlash and they have tightened up the command structure. Their assessment is that if they can cripple the country for 4-5 days, influential elites and residents will pressurise the government to go. Other assumptions include NP and APF being worn out, NC and UML not having the stomach for a prolonged stalemate, NA staying in their barracks, and India intervening in favour of consensus. This would then totally stamp out the possibility of a right-wing drift post-May 28, which the Maoists are genuinely concerned about.
For its part, the government has framed this as a question of protecting the state's integrity, constitutionalism and democracy. They have highlighted Maoist extortion, use of violence, and portrayed the movement as one aimed to 'capture the state'. The idea is to sound reasonable Ė look, we are willing to give up, but the Maoists are not committed to democracy.
A core group of ministers, which includes hardliners like Bijay Gachhedar, Bhim Rawal and Bidya Bhandari, will monitorthe situation and respond accordingly. A tough cop, Ramesh Kharel, has been given charge of Kathmandu. And NA has been asked to be prepared.
The government's initial premise was that the Maoists were bluffing and would not be able to mobilise. Now, their assumption is that these are only party workers and not the general public; citizens will turn against the Maoists for disrupting their lives; and the Maoist base of daily wage labourers will soon tire. If the state can stand firm for a few days, this argument goes, the Maoists will be 'exposed' and have no choice but to compromise.
In reality, the government is on the back foot. Unlike the Maoists who have reached out to social groups directly, the government has relied on the media to put forth its version. Madhav Nepal's suggestion that there should be a third candidate instead of Prachanda or him has given the Maoists a major perceptual and psychological advantage, for implicit in the statement is the PM's lack of faith in his own government. The carefully constructed case that the Maoists must transform before they can be allowed back to power lies in tatters, and the non-Maoist camp rhetoric is reduced to 'anyone but Prachanda'.
If NC-UML stays inert, the Maoists will claim victory. If they act strongly through NP and APF, the Maoists will cry repression. If they call in the army, they will be overshadowed by a strong military establishment which will come out after credible guarantees from Delhi. And if they do a deal right now, the Maoists will have the upper hand. The strategic short-sightedness of the 'democratic camp' is truly astounding.
The Maoists do not have it easy either. They will struggle to find a right balance during the agitation. They have to escalate sufficiently to generate pressure on the state, but if they go too far, it will invite a full-blown conflict that they do not want either.
The party will have to answer some very difficult questions internally and externally. How much will be enough? What if the government doesn't blink for a week Ė do you turn more violent? How do you arrive at a consensus, which will involve giving up certain demands, when street passions are at their peak? If a non-Prachanda led government is the only solution even then, what was the utility of the movement in the first place? And what if NA joins the fray?
The ideal scenario is a package deal by Friday or even Saturday night, that allows Maoists to convert the crowds into a victory procession and send them back home. Positions will only get more entrenched as the movement progresses. But perhaps a round of limited confrontation is inevitable, to break the stagnation and stabilise the balance of power.
You failed to acknowledge how costly the option of ¬†"anyone but Prachanda" could be for Maoists in wrecking the delicate power balance within the party. Your analysis also¬†unfairly tilted, though with a¬†nuanced touch, in favor of¬†Maoists.
Overall the unfolding scenario is making both sides equally¬†nervous. But there is some degree of¬†asymmetry for¬†potential strategic gains. In this political game, Moaists are the active players and NC/UML are the passive players. That is, Maoists' win may not¬†necessarily¬†be NC/UML loss; but Maoists' loss would be a big win for NC/UML.¬†
30 APRIL 2010 | 12:45 PM NST
We are in presence of two separate wings, namely 1. Troublemakers and 2. Troubleshooters. The May 1st is as a whole a popular rally to celebrate the labor day, as a token of winning the grounds of social justice by the populace. In consequence, such a movement should be a popular fair. But Prachanda alias the awesome wants to showcase his overweening pride of a stag who has gone sociopath ¬†in the course of time. he knows it for sure if street violence overlapped it shall be the end of his party if not it will be considered as simply a dump squib and folks would go back home singing and dancing. I do not presage for Prachanda the same fate as inflicted to his mentor comrade Gonzalo of Shining Path in Peru who is for the time being purging life imprisonment 30 meters deep inside the Andean Mountains and par ricochet Prachanda would be imprisoned in a forgotten cave of a rishi somewhere in the foothills of Himalaya. At now, the buck stops here!?!
30 APRIL 2010 | 1:41 PM NST
great analysis Prashant!
It doesn't make sense other than try create rift in Maoists when MKN says 'anyone but Prachanda'. Its ridiculous, immature and a loser mentality to demand of such for there is no merit in it. And to think that MKN is willing to take the country into confrontation just for this is unimaginable. Also to think that Prachanda is willing to do the same just because it has to be 'him' is equally dumbfounding. Truly our leaders egos come first!
Anycase the Maoists seem to have the upper hand and the new balance of power that will emerge will surely be gains for them.
30 APRIL 2010 | 4:21 PM NST
Good analysis and a realistic projection. You should also explore the possibility of Nepal going Bangkok or Kyrgyzstan way.
30 APRIL 2010 | 8:20 PM NST
The analysis is reasonable but too influenced by the short term hype about events around May 1 and the following 4-5 days. It is also too focussed on Kathmandu.
It is quite possible matters could be resolved in that period, but if so, it would be the result of considering what follows after. The short sightedness of the government camp can only¬† be fully appreciated when you look a few moves ahead and also look at the rest of the country.
The mobilization is nationwide, and for a nationwide indefinate strike.
If the government clings on in Kathmandu, can it actually govern in Pokhara, Biratnagar, Nepalgunj etc etc?
If it stays put until May 28, with no extension granted constitutionally by a two-thirds majority then what would prevent the autonomous republics already announced from proceeding to govern, and organize elections and referendums in their own areas?
Legally the state would be obliged to call an election for a fresh mandate immediately after May 28 in the absence of an extension.
If they tried to govern illegally and unconstitutionally, they would first have to take control of Kathmandu. The much advertised training that began in the last few days would by then have been proceeding for a month or more and proceeding in the capital itself during the course of an indefinate general strike. The training is not for May 1, but for May 29.
So their legal choices are either:
1. to reach agreement with the Maoists for a Maoists led government and a short extension to finalize the peace process and constitution on the terms they have been resisting ever since they agreed to them by signing the peace agreement.
2. to hold an election which will result in an even bigger Maoist majority.
It is arguable whether they think they could do better going to the election as part of a Maoist led coalition that has actually drafted a constitution, or as a completely discredited government forced to election after blocking the people's aspirations for a constitution. Either way they aren't going to do very well.
Their illegal unconstitutional option remains as always, to resort to military rule. They already know that won't work.
30 APRIL 2010 | 11:06 PM NST
Yes, they are here with tons of explosives, knives, grenades, guns and other instruments to attack against human integrity. I am "iluminated" with the complicated style of this left ultramontane, the Maoists, psychologically incapables to govern, numerically insufficient to lead but fans of power in the street. It is this Maoists that monopolizes some big words like agraman and liberation, while loudly violates the concepts to which they refer. Not in vain, it is not the same to scream for agraman and force the people to participate in their programmes. Now, they are giving the crank to the word peace, but thrash the streets and the security personnels at any cost has been their national sport since they have announced to occupy the valley.Being a political party, the idea of gathering lethal materials against those professionals is a real insult to the whole security body and peace loving people.
30 APRIL 2010 | 12:04 AM NST
"The strategic short-sightedness of the 'democratic camp' is truly astounding."
That one line deserves five gold stars for hitting the bulls' eye, (not that my compliment matters).¬†The opportunity to read clearly reasoned, fact based, well written reporting is what I like about this paper. I have been reading your reports with interest for a long time, fabulous work.
30 APRIL 2010 | 12:05 AM NST
The latest poll from Himalmedia suggest that if a poll were to happen today, the Maoist will be the largest pary (of sorts); this is a great political opportunity for the Maoist to capitalize on this. However, old tactics won't work. They need to show maturity, trade-offs and consensus (at times) to take advantage of the situation. If they go too strong an heavy-handed for short-term gain, they will be back to this situation within six months to a year. This is true with the Govt. who may be tempted to use state machinary like the NA. There is a strong need to have¬†close-door serious discussion to avoid such confrontation... there is too much at stake to let these politicians ruin the country of whatever is left... close-door diplomacy have proven and provided miraculous solutions in many incidents around the world. There is no guarantees... what's granted in Nepal right now, anyways?
30 APRIL 2010 | 3:32 AM NST
9. Sarada Sandip said;"Your analysis also¬†unfairly tilted, though with a¬†nuanced touch, in favor of¬†Maoists." Correct. Prashant very recently coached the Maoists in a media training session;¬† http://www.nepalnews.com/main/index.php/news-archive/2-political/5466-maoists-planning-to-launch-broadsheet-tv-channel-.html He is their media mole - writing to give the impression of impartiality, but subtly promoting Prachanda & co. A mercenary and dishonest approach, but not surprising.
01 MAY 2010 | 6:58 AM NST
Prashant, What do you mean by Kathmandu elites? Make it clear. So if you mean the maoists are coming after Kathmandu then citizens of Kathmandu need to defend itself. Since the leaders are inept to the point that they are impotent, Kathmanduites need rebel. This rebellion should wipe out maoists and all the impotent leaders. Prashant if you hate kathmandu, get f out.
01 MAY 2010 | 12:09 PM NST
Interesting analysis, Prashant. You should be proud of the fact that a particular section of Kathmandu society¬†often doesn't like what you say.¬†It is a¬†perfect indicator of your worth. If these people are¬†gritting their teeth, then you know¬†you've hit the nail.¬†Imagine if they all agreed with you? Then it surely would be a time¬†for worry!
01 MAY 2010 | 6:35 PM NST
Hatti ayo hatti ayo, fussa.
That will be the result of the Mayday rally and follow on strike- if it happens.
01 MAY 2010 | 7:57 PM NST
As usual, this boy only half-knows what he is talking about. The situation is hardly as dramatic as he suggests. The leaders are negotiating. This standoff is just to set the equation straight. Prachande wants to show-off his power one last time in case he has to give in and let BRB become the primeminister.¬†
02 MAY 2010 | 9:11 AM NST
14. Sunita Tiwari
Can't agree more with Nishma (11).¬†
Khadga Oli flies off to Delhi on Wednesday and meets Pranab Mukherjee to receive go ahead orders. Madhav Nepal changes his tone after getting blessings in Thimpu. And these are non issue for the Kathmandu elites, proudly represented by many commentators of this portal.¬†
People come to Kathmandu from all around the country and ask why can't I get health care, education, food and better clothing like you guys and they turn out to be a big headache. This group of people then become¬†forcedly-imported-illiterate-ignorant bunch of troublemakers, or terrorist in some's view who should have remained in their status-quo. We elites are here, after all, to take good care of them ¬†as we have been doing on for centuries, they think. How dare they think about themselves and pass along our lavish mahals.
Forget about all these and just take a look at the MRP scandal. A mere ambassador was dictating our foreign minister, clearly undermining the security issue of a¬†sovereign country. And this lady along with the prime minister were doing all they could to fulfill his plan. Somehow the letter was leaked and we came to know about it. And these "elites" (they like being called a democrat!!!) were like, 'how unprofessional, how could anyone working on foreign ministry could leak something like this!'.
02 MAY 2010 | 9:44 AM NST
I gather it is no use sneaking back into the past trade-offs because such a step was meant to muddle through the intricacies ¬†that our country is riddled with.
¬†While we are at it, if there is a temporary defeat it is nonetheless not a failure until it has been accepted as such.
¬†Point of fact, such occasions are the vital moments when our true grit and resistance to external pressures would be tested.
Our tendencies to spew invective while things rot will be our main handicap to finally get out of this quagmire.
02 MAY 2010 | 12:12 PM NST
Sunita, you are being unnecessarily emotional. The forces that manipulate NC and UML manipulate the Maoists too. Frankly, my dear, KTM elites won't really cry if the Maoists come to power. The Maoists need the "civil society" too. Who do you think is the "civil society"? Besides, most elites have family members safely settled in the west. They are in Nepal not because of compulsion but choice. If they have to leave the country tomorrow, they will do so without as much as a whimper. ¬†
You must be plain stupid to think that the Maoist cadres are in the capital to look for health care and education. They are in capital to fight the enemy.
02 MAY 2010 | 2:26 PM NST
What a pathetic "elite", sneering, patronizing, whining, threatening and gritting teeth all at the same time as boasting about fleeing the country. How comical.
02 MAY 2010 | 4:08 PM NST
And of course our dear kamreds are totally insusceptible to any influence from Delhi.
Having enjoyed the hospitalty of India for many years while they directed murder, loot and extortion in Nepal, our kamred leaders are totally independent of India and are definitely not beholden to India in any way.
02 MAY 2010 | 5:29 PM NST
Arthur, it is quite comical, ain't it? Of course it is pathetic to have to flee one's own country. But people have done it since time immemorial. The Maoists did it too. Only that for them it was a "strategic move." Ha ha. Let it be a strategic move for the elites too. If they really have to flee, and if the country really does well under the Maoists, be sure that they will return to partake the fruits of a blooming economy. And the Maoists will kowtow to them all the same because they will still have the money. You see, my man, in a tragicomedy like the politics of Nepal, it is the people like you who end up being the Idiots or the Holy Fools of history. Stop bashing the elites, they are so impervious to people like you. But may be you yourself ¬†are a half-educated child of an elite who is currently going through an identity crisis... not sure.... But if you are not, do try to make yourself an elite, please, you won't be disappointed.
02 MAY 2010 | 11:14 PM NST
Many of the middle class liberal intelligentsia will embrace the Maoists - the Maoist leadership need to harness their influence in media, business, investment, politics etc and will trade favours with them. That's why they've cultivated links with media mercenaries like Prashant.
Party leaders Prachanda & co will seek to feather their own nests, whether as one-party dictatorship, opposition or leading party. The Maoists are not real communists anyway, so will do little for the poor and workers - they were happy to enact anti-strike legislation when in power. They just want to manage and modernise class society, not abolish it - they want to achieve the economic and political development that the traditional political elite have been too fragmented, under-financed and incompetent to achieve. They are red capitalists, a surrogate bourgeoisie. That they at times resort to extra-parliamentary methods is no different from the history of other Nepali parliamentary parties - and no different from the historical rise of the western bourgeoisie.
The real long-term problem for the Maoists is preventing factional splits in the Party over strategy and competing personal ambitions; and, depending on how much political dominance they achieve, how long they can keep a disillusioned peasantry and working class in its place once they realise Maoist red capitalism is no better than other kinds.
03 MAY 2010 | 6:20 AM NST
When people on this forum say elite I wonder if they are talking about the same persons.
I wonder if anyone can name a dozen actual people that could be considered to be the Nepali elite.
Just to make sure we are all talking about the same people when we say elite.
03 MAY 2010 | 8:37 AM NST
Whats is elite? Is it being successful and educated? Anytime I will bet on elite than a hillbilly.
03 MAY 2010 | 10:31 AM NST
23. Sunita Tiwari
Just to name a few Nepali elites.¬†They support different political parties, if any. Some of them are self proclaimed communist, some are brand new Maoist but most of them prefer being called a 'democrat'.
Chandi Raj Dhakal
Pashupati Shumsher Rana
Kanak Mani Dixit
Kul Chandra Gautam
Prithvi Bahadur Pande
Prabhakar Shumsher JBR
Bishwa Nath Upadhyay
03 MAY 2010 | 11:27 AM NST
# Interesting list. But is this who is meant by the author and the commentors when they say elite?
Kathmandu's elites cannot seem to understand who these people are.
Opening line of the article. I doubt if any of the above would even try to understand who these "people" are.
Their assessment is that if they can cripple the country for 4-5 days, influential elites and residents will pressurise the government to go.
Again, can't imagine any of the above talking to the government, let alone pressuring them to go. Maybe some of the politicians on the list but that would be because they are politicians.
# 14- And these are non issue for the Kathmandu elites, proudly represented by many commentators of this portal.
I can't imagine any of the commentators on this portal representing any of the above on your list but who knows? Some of them may actually be commenting on this thread.
# 14- And these "elites" (they like being called a democrat!!!) were like, 'how unprofessional, how could anyone working on foreign ministry could leak something like this!'.
Who, among those listed made the comment?
# 16- Frankly, my dear, KTM elites won't really cry if the Maoists come to power. The Maoists need the "civil society" too. Who do you think is the "civil society"?
So, "civil society" is the elite??¬† Is this what the elites call themselves now??
# 17 Kamred Arthur- What a pathetic "elite", sneering, patronizing, whining, threatening and gritting teeth all at the same time as boasting about fleeing the country. How comical.
Anyone who doesn't agree with the Kamred, or who he doesn't like, is elite I suppose.
That is why it is so interesting. Everyone with their own definitions.
Meanwhile it has started to rain. Someone should remind the guys on the streets that it is time to plant the maize and if they hang around Kathmandu too long, they will miss the planting season and have to suffer next year. Prachanda won't be there to help them then. They will have been expended material by then.
03 MAY 2010 | 2:14 PM NST
25. Sunita Tiwari
1) Had Gyanendra understood who these people are, neither 'these people' nor Gyanendra would have been what they are now.
2) Kanak Mani Dixit, Kul Chandra Gautam, Bishwa Nath Upadhyay and Yubaraj Khatiwada have the influence to pressurize the government to go
3) "....represented by many commentators of this portal" doesn't necessarily means they 'have' to be the one on the list. I just meant they share similar views and opinions. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough.
4) The comment was made by an 'elite' who is not in the list. I just jotted down some names who are quite well known. I hope you are not assuming the list to be exclusive, are you? There are tons of people who are elite but whose names are almost unheard in the media. At least one of them is listed, hundreds are left out. You just asked for a 'dozen' names after all.
5) 'So, "civil society" is the elite??'¬†
Khagendra Sangraula and Krishna Pahadi¬†
6) 'Anyone who doesn't agree with the Kamred, or who he doesn't like, is elite I suppose'¬†Nir Shah nowadays agree with Kamred Arthur. I personally like at least two person on the list, though I'm not a Kamred.
Your last paragraph proves me saying ''How dare they think about themselves and pass along our lavish mahals."¬†They should just keep on planting maize and continue with their sorrowful maze of life, isn't it?
03 MAY 2010 | 6:32 PM NST
''How dare they think about themselves and pass along our lavish mahals."
Exactly who thinks that way? The people here are not "the dispossessed poor", coming in for their right for healthcare and education. They have been summoned here to make sure that Prachanda and his clique would have the government in their control, so they can then do what they like.¬†
I have not ignored people like Arundhati and I know people like CK Lal. Try cuckolding someone who has not lived a real life amid real people. Try making a fool of someone who feels guilty about going to elite schools and thinks "who these people are?".¬†
I know who these people are ‚Äď they are men and women and children, some are good, some are not, some have money, some don't, some are victims of fate, some of their own failures in life, some are always whining, some working, some are proud, some are not. There are a lakh men and women, all separate individuals, they are not "these people" they are being made into that and that just cannot be good. It's the beginning of the end. ¬†
Why should the farmers not get the time to do their planting? How are they going to take care of their farms and families if they don't plant now? Do you even have any idea what it costs if you get your planting late - no you don't because when you were reading¬†Dostoevsky, little kids growing up on their farms were busy wondering what the heck is happening with the world and why is it getting all wonky.
I don't know much about what the Kathmandu elites think, but at least I am not letting truth getting clouded by leftist insinuations.
Who blasted all the health posts in Humla and everywhere else, who blew up the bridges, the schools, government offices, forced people to fight so a couple of fools with complicated theories could get into power. When Maoists come to power, would no one need to plant Maize and be a farmer? Would farming not require labour? Would the Maoist not have their own occupy public posts, look back and check what they did in 9 months of their government?
Deny all of that, deny that people - running shops, businesses - and everybody else is not suffering so that you can be called liberal and intellectual by your peer group.¬†
All the extortion from the shops, all that destruction in the wake of this, are Maoists the first political group on the planet to start a freaking banda that they need to amass¬†a fortune for its own? Are all those collectors "poor dispossessed"? No, they are looters.
I cannot forget that when the Maoist were in government they did not do a thing other than to extort and hurt people, it was there for all to see and the people living in their comfortable cocoons to ignore.¬†
Were all those murdered teachers elite being fed by the Maoists, all that money extorted from the elites? What do you want me to call these terrorists so I can avoid your silly implied insinuations - life givers??
14 years of living on the edge, people worrying about whether their families would be back home safe, 4 of denying the daily suffering, the daily strikes, interference in people's lives, extortion in the name of this movement and that and all you have to say is insult the "elite" and not a word against these "terrorists".
You have some gall to get toxic about all the hospitals, the schools turned to political recruitment ¬†- and one time militant recruitment -¬†centers¬†and what more did you say, anyway who cares?
You know what the elite thinks and should think, you think that all the murders, the ongoing loot, the suffering, the uncertainty, the whole nation converted into a freaking joke, should be allowed to get cooked up with insinuations to counter facts. What do you think? What did you do? Where were you when everything was going wrong?
Answer me this, did the Maoist make all those buildings that they blew them up? Did the Maoist or democrats design the free schooling system that they wasted all that work by blowing them up? Did the elite make up all the doctors, the engineers?¬†Did they make the bridges, the roads, the factories, set up shops, tobacconists, schools, what, what more?
The answer to all of that is an extremely emphatic NO. Workers worked, doctors treated people, builders built, and businessmen set up enterprises, what did you do? Blast bridges and call them all an act of freaking liberation.¬†
I am sorry, but I get completely livid when I see this sort of baseless invectives, and people thinking that only some sort of elite will hate Maoists, as if ordinary people do not have the brains to see through this extraordinary farce simply because some JNU grad is doing the writing.¬†
03 MAY 2010 | 11:48 PM NST
I am glad that Prachanda is calling the Kathmanduites bluff. This is his genius. I'm not saying that this is in Nepal's best interest, but it is in Prachanda's best interest. It is a brilliantly aggressive and courageous move. In a nation that has spent a few centuries learning to acclimatize and adapt and say "yestai ho" to power, here comes Prachanda who unapologetically and aggressively shows his middle finger to the crown that everyone else is bowing down to. This is the man that asks the king of Nepal to bow to him. Now he is exercising the same arrogant defiance in aggressively and unapologetically asking Madhav Kumar Nepal to stand down. I admire him for this. He knows that the mechanisms that hold Madhav Kumar Nepal up in power are weak. So why should he respect the mechanism when he can challenge it?
Though not in the best interest of Nepal, Prachanda has shown that he understands how weak the political structure of Nepal is. Prachanda is like a quality assurance analyst who knows how to hit all the right spots in the political system to make it fail. There is no other politician who has the guts, the courage nor the organizational skill to pull off what Prachanda is pulling off. The difference between a criminal or a brilliant political leader depends on whether you can get to power.
And Prachanda will get into power because there is no single unified force that can oppose him.
03 MAY 2010 | 11:59 PM NST
28. alice in chains
Mass of unemployed people is the root of all these problems. Unless this problem's¬†solved, these people will be source of all political parties who use 'em to fulfill their own filthy agenda.¬†
Let's say Maoists won the agitation & got the government-ship. Now what, again those unemployed mass used up against that government!? What the heck about Constitution? When's it going to be drafted so that the nation can prosper!?¬†
And who gives a rat-a$$ about Kathmandu Elites when¬†Katmandu's¬†not only Nepal where more than forty-percent of citizens live under poverty.
GOD SAVE MY COUNTRY.
03 MAY 2010 | 12:33 AM NST
#25 Please read my statement more carefully:
Meanwhile it has started to rain. Someone should remind the guys on the streets that it is time to plant the maize and if they hang around Kathmandu too long, they will miss the planting season and have to suffer next year. Prachanda won't be there to help them then. They will have been expended material by then.
04 MAY 2010 | 10:18 AM NST
You folks might consider me as a stinker that I am not. Just judge it for yourselves.Your list of elite distinctly show that you guys are too much entrenched in the past.
Almost every name is linked with the ancient palace. Apart Gyane' most of them were his clique who ran hotels then private funds made with the exchequer's lavish courtesy and the rest were just sticking around in case the cheese fell from the crow's mouth while he was getting wooed by the base flatterers. Kul Ch. Gautam deserves better place anyway.
Ain't you a tad big optimistic in your choices of elites without anybody who has a calling of a scientist, an economist et al? Why do they practically all belong to the has been politicos?
Perhaps you all need changing your prism of point of view and stratagem.
You got to pass the buck!?!
You want to construct new Nepal with those has beens?
You are left with no other options in case you feel the discomfort is too high a price to pay.
04 MAY 2010 | 10:44 AM NST
There is now no doubt in my mind that Comrade Prashant Jha is the official Maoist spokesperson. It is no surprise that Nepali Times, which has always had a soft spot for terrorists, lets him write his fashionably radical JNU claptrap. JD.
04 MAY 2010 | 11:47 AM NST
32. Sunita Tiwari
I can feel the painful experience few are going through due to what is going on in this country for about a decade. The rest were always in the pain and suffering, its just that a ray of hope is germinating somewhere in their heart. Its even more painful for those few as somehow, some of them who not only knows what happens when you can't plant on time, but who has experienced that hardship falls in love with Maxim Gorky.¬†
And yes, that health post will blow up when you can't 'buy' a pill for your dying children. That dam will collapse when you can't irrigate your khet in 'sukkhayam' but you are inundated in 'barshat'. And that 'godam' will be looted ¬†when you sweat for the whole day and yet sleep hungry.¬†
But these people are terrorist for you as you never experienced these misfortune. You were busy studying some far off places, learning to write good English in a coherent way so that you can throw some very less used words and succinct phrases supporting, favoring and ultimately receiving some 'wah-wahi' of the elites.
04 MAY 2010 | 12:20 PM NST
Ms Tiwari, so that is it! You are envious of the English words used by the other people who post comments here? You have so much bile in your system you probably have ulcers. Go get a check up.
I guess people will always vote with their feet. The ordnary people know Maoist BS when they see it.
04 MAY 2010 | 2:16 PM NST
Sunita Tiwari, I love you.
04 MAY 2010 | 3:52 PM NST
# 32 More leftwing pseudo revolutionary claptrap that has got us in the current mess.
According to this logic if you have suffered misfortune then it entitles you to¬† murder, loot and extort. If you can't get what you want when you want then that is justification for blowing up the establishment where you expect to get it?? According to Maoist logic anyone who has more than the next person is an exploiter and the one who has less is the exploited.
So, Baburam suffered misfortune??
PKD suffered misfortune???
Any of the top leadership suffered misfortune??
Any of the middle ranking suffered misfortune??
No, these are spoiled brats who got a decent education when most of the others didn't have that privilege. And what do they do with it- murder, loot and extortion and destruction instead of doing something constructive.
04 MAY 2010 | 4:12 PM NST
37. Mira L
how sweet that jange takes republica so seriously! do u live in ktm jange? the whole town knows republica spreads anti-maoist propaganda. they can't please their masters otherwise. kantipur is the same (everyone knows that too). so is nepali times -¬†only that its best columnists (prashant jha and¬†ck lal)¬†won't join¬†the right-wing bandwagon. they are both¬†good -¬†occasionally¬†brilliant - analysts but i won't go so far as to call them 'left-wing radicals'. that¬†is¬†a¬†category i'd reserve for heroes, say,¬†noam chomsky, arundhati roy, edward said, medha patkar, mahashweta devi (to give some names off the top of my head). i can't think of a single nepali who falls into this category.¬†perhaps we have yet to reach that stage in history, i.e. we are an enslaved society and even our best minds remain colonized to some extent. as for the minds that are writing comments on this page, well, i had better not comment on them!
04 MAY 2010 | 8:37 PM NST
Is it just my impression or are the heroic anti-Maoist warriors here becoming even more¬† incoherent?
Kunda Dixit's "East West" on "peaceful banda" seems to have turned into a travelogue of his own nightmares.
In "moving on" jange tries to convince himself that the open air forum (khula manche) was not at Tundikhel but a "smaller place" and only 15,000 were there! Too frightened to look at the linked photos? Now he is hoping for "rain stopped play" (#29).
Heathcliff and Sarada dream of the Maoist "red bourgeoisie" kowtowing to them (#19-20).
Whatever happened to the rightist-military-monarchist backlash?
Only buzz #10 still seems to be resolute, fearlessly leading the enraged talkerati of kathmandu to "wipe out maoists".
This is only day 3. Imagine how many more Sumita Tiwari's will be speaking out soon.
04 MAY 2010 | 9:06 PM NST
where is five arba(5000000000000, may be I am exagerating with zeros) rupainya that they collected from donation campaign so that these folks get epidemic malaise and infrahuman conditions? Why not call a life long strike?perhpas cat-man-du is too hard for kamreds...beware kamreds newari folks can turn against you If you insist the protest im this way...
04 MAY 2010 | 11:02 PM NST
It's Arthur #38 who is incoherent in 1) wrongly assuming I am of the KTM (or any other) elite and 2) interpreting my post as saying I "dream of the Maoist "red bourgeoisie"kowtowing to" the KTM elite. Anyone who ignores Arthur's distortion and bothers to read what I actually wrote will see I talked of a mutually beneficial relationship, not of either side "kowtowing" - I said; "Many of the middle class liberal intelligentsia will embrace the Maoists - the Maoist leadership need to harness their influence in media, business, investment, politics etc and will trade favours with them. That's why they've cultivated links with media mercenaries like Prashant." You falsely assume that anyone who criticises the Maoists must be conservative and for the defence of the elites of existing society - an arrogant assumption but convenient for thoughtlessly dismissing all who disagree. It's hardly controversial to talk about such a relationship - the Maoists have often enough stated their goal of "winning" intellectuals to their cause - and, as pointed out above, their leadership itself comes from the same class (and Mao himself came from a rich peasant background and sent abroad for his later education). Given the chance, the Maoist leadership will clearly function as a red bourgeoisie - it's their stated economic program to develop industry along capitalist lines with SEZs, foreign capitalist investment etc(which means competitiveness is dependent on keeping wages down), helped by strike bans and all. Developing capitalism means developing exploitation of the poor. Meanwhile the leaders and cadres will get rich and privileged...
04 MAY 2010 | 3:08 AM NST
41. pravasi nepali
All now; nepal needs is a big natural calamity like chile,haiti; everything will faltten down. Then only the gauless will go back to their villages. Why don't they understand that farmers as well as engg. play imp role in national economy. The economy is on brink of collapse; what do these people think. They will continue dancing drunk on the streets of capital; not doing work themselves and not letting others work too; how will the essentials from in and outside country come. Chinese and indians wont come with masu bhat in plate to feed you.So, live and let live. They are just being used as pawns by prachande, baburame, hisila kichkandi,etc. Once they get power; all will be forgotten.
And how can maoists be so stupid. Their leaders' children study and work in west;earning in dollars and living lavishly on wealth looted by kiiling nirdosh juntaa; and they are playing with nepali bucchabucchi's career by blowing schools; tearing exam papers; etc.
And kewal political parties and king aren;t liable to non-kathmanduites' plight on their lack of cvil amenities. Didn't maoists blow up powerhouses;kill innocent rural teachers and nurses;kidnap businessmen;blast health centres that were existing.
Hey bhawan; india,china,uk,usa lai bhannuss ki one of them comes and annexes nepal and kill all these thugs.
05 MAY 2010 | 12:40 PM NST
#32, if you can't argue, don't resort to slogans.¬†Maoists care as much about poor, as a tiger worries about the deer population - it needs it for food. People who care about poor don't tell the poor that, they do something about it.¬†That something is not strike, but industry.¬†And also show me one person who works and goes hungry in Nepal and I will show you a hundred thousand who were forced into not working and then going hungry.
05 MAY 2010 | 8:33 PM NST
Sarada, I will explain why in #38 I linked your #19 and Heathcliff #20 together as dreaming of a Maoist "red bourgeoisie" kowtowing to the elite, although only Heathcliff actually used this expression and you did not.
It is not because I think either you or Heathcliff are in any sense "elite". I do assume (perhaps wrongly) that unlike me, you are both Nepalese, since you ought to have mentioned it if you are not (as I and other foreigners have when first posting here). But I have no opinion as to whether either of you (and many others commenting) are in Nepal at all, let alone in KTM.
Obviously the Maoists have and will continue to cooperate with many people in the middle class, including liberal (and social democrat) intellectuals. They are also very clear that they want to cooperate with Nepali bourgeoisie and promote capitalist development of Nepal (as a necessary stage beforee it would be possible to build socialism). They also want foreign direct investment, which is obviously needed in Nepal to cease being dependent on "aid" that reinforces semi-feudal and bureaucrat capitalist backwardness.
At present they are also trying to get cooperation from the UMLs and Congress on a common platform of the minimum required for transition from a semi-feudal society to a bourgeois democracy that those parties agreed to when they participated in the Constituent Assembly elections that they had previously resisted bitterly.
The demands of the present general strike and third people's movement are nothing more than the minimum for Nepal to move forward in either a capitalist or a future socialist direction, ie that the peace agreement be carried out and the power of the feudal Army and the Indian government be subordinated to the power of Nepal's elected representatives under an agreed constitution that is actually implemented.
Of course a communist party leading a new democratic revolution to carry out the historical tasks that were done by the traditional bourgeoisie in western countries could result in a "red bourgeoisie" presiding over another form of capitalist society, as eventually happened in the Soviet Union, China etc. The name "Maoist" emphasizes the importance they attach to this problem. They are determined to fight against this outcome. Whether they succeed or not is a matter for the future. But it will certainly be a fight as shown by past experience.
The reason I see your views as similar to Heatthcliff and others is because you sing the same tune as other anti-Maoists here in opposing this transition from semi-feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and Indian domination.
There is nothing original about your claim that the Maoists are not communists at all, but really just out to "feather their own nests". All the anti-Maoists say the same thing. They sometimes even say it simultaneously with claiming that communism has been tried and failed and that the maoists are crazy because they do want communism, which supposedly can never work, instead of just feathering their own nests like any "sensible" political party.
Nor is it original that you speak (hopefully) of factional splits and competing personal ambitions. This again is a standard anti-Maoist theme from people who cannot even conceive of any other politics than the politics of personal intrigue.
Nor is it original that you speak (hopefully) of the peasants and workers becoming disillusioned with the Maoists and claim to be siding with the poor against exploitation by the Maoists. That theme too is completely standard in the rhetoric of most the anti-Maoist commentators here. Whoever heard of a status quoist that does not pretend to sympathize with the poor?
There is of course a difference between your language and others, in that you present a capitalist future for Nepal as though it is both inevitable and undesirable and as though you yourself would prefer something better, unlike the Maoists.
How convenient it must be for you to believe what you do!
Your beliefs excuse you from any need to actually side with the poor who are fighting for a better world right now, against real enemies who clearly and openly stand for an incredibly backward status quo.
You can instead attack the Maoists together with the spoiled brats of the old system who are openly defending the status quo. But you can do it while pretending to yourself that you are actually more progressive than the others,
But whatever you think of yourself, others will judge you as I did - by what side you are on in the current mass struggle.
05 MAY 2010 | 9:23 PM NST
Kamred Arthur Saheb- The Maoists will be judged by their own actions- murder, loot, extortion and to use your own words, coercive requests.
06 MAY 2010 | 8:02 AM NST
45. Udandha II
PKD enterprise has been running an extortion campaign through out the nation for years. People with different opinion are swiftly dealt with and moreover Chairman PKD openly professes the demolition of democracy and installation of himself as Supreme Leader. Isn't his enterprise reminiscent of Italian mafia? ¬†Has PKD Company have any honesty and really bothered to implement all the agreements done in the past (like return of seized land, stoping extortion and other criminal activities?) If your problem is with illegitimate MKN then take it to his headquarters in Balkhu Do not make our life miserable in the city. It is really time to stand up and teach these criminal thugs a lesson that people have their lives . Let us remember PKD had a "small dream" of making Nepal at least as "Switzerland". I am wondering where we might be now in his roadmap‚Ä¶
06 MAY 2010 | 9:54 AM NST
46. Sunita Tiwari
'show me one person who works and goes hungry in Nepal.'
Are you talking about Nepal? Are you telling me that people are hungry because they don't work and they don't work because they are forced not to work by the Maoist?¬†
It can be mathematically inferred from your argument that no Nepalese slept empty stomach before the Maoist revolt began. What an argument! And it is you who is writing 'if you can't argue, don't resort to slogans'.¬†
Since fact based truths are propagandist slogans for guys with your mindset,¬†I'll quote one report by International Food Policy Research Institute. I believe you guys love big organizations with big names and lengthy reports.
'Put simply, the main cause of hunger is poverty. The poor¬†
have no access to key resources and with this they are denied¬†
a chance to shape their lives proactively. Poverty in¬†
combination with hunger results in a day to day struggle¬†
for survival with no prospects for the future. There has¬†
been no progress in countries with bad governance.'
This protest, my friend, is part of an ongoing struggle to change that bad governanceso that hungry and poor people can shape their lives proactively towards bright prospects for the future.
06 MAY 2010 | 9:54 AM NST
# 46.¬† It is reasonable to infer that if you are poor you are likely to be hungry.
But then how do you come to the conclusion the putting in government a bunch of murderers, looters and extortionists (which is what PKD and company have proven themselves to be) will reduce poverty?
06 MAY 2010 | 2:30 PM NST
First of all Nepalitimes censors a lot. My commnets have been censored.
Now Arthur, people are in defiance. They have started whacking them everywhere. And I am not a political figure, I am a resident of KTM.
What maoists are doing is act of terrorism holding nation hostage. In this was another civil war is inevitable.
06 MAY 2010 | 8:10 PM NST
Arthur; The reason I see your views as similar to Heatthcliff and others is because you sing the same tune as other anti-Maoists here in opposing this transition from semi-feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and Indian domination. I don't oppose the abolition of class society - I oppose the false¬† bourgeois-democratic rule dressed up as a solution to class exploitation. At least the bourgeois democrats are more honest that this is all they seek. You are using a crude stalinoid amalgam technique - lump all in the same boat who oppose the Maoists. The Maoists sing the same song as the capitalists on capitalist development - which means developing exploitation of the working class - but I still wouldn't crudely amalgamate Maoists and other parties without pointing out where they differ. There is nothing original about your claim that the Maoists are not communists at all, but really just out to "feather their own nests". Truthfulness and accuracy are not dependent on originality. ¬†All the anti-Maoists say the same thing. They sometimes even say it simultaneously with claiming that communism has been tried and failed and that the maoists are crazy because they do want communism, which supposedly can never work, The Maoists understand communism as Stalin, Mao, Guzman etc did - all systems of class exploitation and repression, the rule of an elite¬† masquerading as communism. ¬†... feathering their own nests like any "sensible" political party. Ex- Maoists with inside knowledge say the same, and the party felt obliged to pass rulings on how personal wealth was handled - so it's not pure fiction.
Nor is it original that you speak (hopefully) of factional splits and competing personal ambitions. This again is a standard anti-Maoist theme from people who cannot even conceive of any other politics than the politics of personal intrigue. Hopefully or not - it's not a ridiculous assessment. Nor is it original that you speak (hopefully) of the peasants and workers becoming disillusioned with the Maoists and claim to be siding with the poor against exploitation by the Maoists. That theme too is completely standard in the rhetoric of most the anti-Maoist commentators here. Whoever heard of a status quoist that does not pretend to sympathize with the poor? Your last sentence applies equally to the Maoists. By controlling the state and directing capitalist investment the Maoists would be the status quo - managing the exploitation of the working class and peasantry. How convenient it must be for you to believe what you do! I can say the same to you. Your beliefs excuse you from any need to actually side with the poor who are fighting for a better world right now, against real enemies who clearly and openly stand for an incredibly backward status quo. I do side with the poor - against all who offer false solutions to their problems - as a means of gaining power over the poor. History - including USSR, China - illustrates this.
You can instead attack the Maoists together with the spoiled brats of the old system who are openly defending the status quo. But you can do it while pretending to yourself that you are actually more progressive than the others, I have explicitly stated I'm against all class exploiters, so you misrepresent my statements. You like to believe everyone who criticises the Maoists is 'objectively' siding with conservatism - that conveniently precludes the Maoists ever accepting any criticism from anyone - typical of the totalitarian attitudes of such parties and their lackeys. This is how the red bourgeoisie of USSR & China justified repression of all critics - including workers who dared to go on strike - this kind of sick 'logic' built the Gulags. But whatever you think of yourself, others will judge you as I did - by what side you are on in the current mass struggle. The same to you. The poor have to fight for their own interests - make sides, not just take sides of various bourgeois parties who want to rule them, which includes the Maoists.
07 MAY 2010 | 6:00 AM NST
50. Himalayan Tiger
A day will¬†definitely¬†come Nepalese holding¬†suicide¬†Bombs Killing Thousand of people cause if they are trapped from both sides den some one should retaliate the things
07 MAY 2010 | 7:55 AM NST
After reading all the posts, I still don't get it.. Who are the elites???
16 MAY 2010 | 1:37 PM NST
And also Arthur.. Can i get a little information regarding your experience in Nepal and so forth cause I am having a hard time reading your posts without being biased..