During the insurgency, the Maoists made Thawang in Rolpa the capital of their revolution. Almost all houses served as shelters for the rebels, and most people gave up their possessions and even their lives to the 'people's war'.
But today the locals are thoroughly disillusioned with the political system and enraged that the leaders with whom they once walked shoulder to shoulder have become billionaires overnight and forgotten the plight of the poor. Villagers say they won't even let Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal enter their home, and they plan to wave black flags in protest if he shows up.
The Maoists started a commune of 33 families in Thawang during the war. After all these years, that experiment has failed and only 11 families reside there currently. Those who gave their all to the Maoist cause and went to reside in the commune have now nowhere to go. The state needs to provide them with some form of employment and also investigate their land rights.
Thawang also suffered immensely at the hands of the security forces during the conflict. Several houses were burnt down, and 33 people lost their lives. A similar number were captured, tortured, and injured. Yet, six years after the signing of the peace accord, Thawang residents see no sign of relief or reconstruction.
In the absence of state welfare, the community has taken the responsibility for development upon itself. The locals collected money and built infrastructure including a micro-hydel project and are planning to open a hospital soon.
Santosh Buddha Magar, who is considered a 'big leader' in the area, recently joined Mohan Baidya's CPN-M and public opinion in the village today is driven by the party. However, the locals have already made it clear to Magar that they will not take part in any kind of violence as in the past. This is one of few positive changes in Thawang.
Throughout its history, Thawang has seen promises made and easily forgotten, and this is the reason why the Maoists have become so unpopular. But Thawang is only one among countless villages and towns across the country stirring with discontent.
All of this is due to the unstable political transition and the failure of the state to make the economy a priority. This has in turn caused people's living standards to plummet. The political leadership must address these issues at once. A permanent constitution, stable rule, and good governance are imperative for this to happen.