Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Marxists or fascists?

At one time, the Maoists were populist. Citizens, intellectuals and politically conscious people supported their actions, and wished that their total revolution would be swiftly achieved. Today, the same people have nothing but disgust and hostility for the way the Maoists' methods have degenerated into murder and mayhem. There is no reason for this other than the indiscriminate murder spree of unarmed citizens that they have undertaken.

Not a day goes by without the Maoists murdering someone in some part of the country. They blow up peoples' homes, and looting and plunder have become commonplace. There are no clear indications that the Maoists are behind these inhumane acts, but they are being carried out in the name of the Maoist cause. Teachers have been dragged out of their classrooms and shot, people observing the funeral rites of their parents have been spat at and killed, elderly people who were baby-sitting grandchildren at home have been killed, teachers walking to school have been taken to a secluded spot and killed, people have been woken from their sleep and killed after being tortured. At the rate they are going, there will be a hundred thousand innocent citizens who will have been hunted down by the Maoists.
The Maoists attacked army bases and took on the Royal Nepal Army. But killing unarmed civilians is not victory, it is a sign of defeat. It is cowardice for an armed person to kill an unarmed person. How many people are they going to kill in the offensive they declared on 23 November? The killing of unarmed civilians-for whatever cause-can never be excused. Civilised society will never support the murder of citizens, it will despise it.

The international communist movement saw the first indiscriminate assassinations in the Indian subcontinent during the Naxalite movement of the 1970s. In other countries, such murders were either banned or never tolerated. But even the Naxalites limited their targets to class enemies. Rich people were not killed for their political beliefs. But our Maoists are killing everyone who does not agree with them, not just class enemies. They have totally forgotten the Marxist tenet that you cannot change ideas by force and intimidation. Ideas are changed through debate and discussion, knowledge and philosophy. Changing beliefs by force and intimidation is the fascist way. Either Nepali Maoists do not understand this, or even if they do, they don't want to accept it. The Maoists are behaving like fascists, not Marxists.

Most Nepalis do not want the emergency to be extended or the terrorism ordinance [Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Ordinance] turned into a law. The main opposition parties are working towards this end. Even a faction of the ruling Nepali Congress agrees with this. But it is obvious that the Maoists want an extension of the emergency, otherwise why would they declare a national strike on the day that the emergency is supposed to end? The Deuba government is also for extending the state of emergency, and the Maoists are helping him along. What we don't know is whether this political convergence is a coincidence, or whether the two are being manipulated by invisible forces.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)