Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
"Sacrifice for what, comrades?"

Right now, everybody-the opportunists, the South-leaning, the Congress, the UML, the Maoists-are saying publicly that Deuba just needs to wave his magic wand and all our problems will be solved. Perhaps they just want to prove that and it was why they were clamouring for Koirala's resignation. They are certainly leaving no stone unturned in trying to prove their point.

But the real question is: Are we in this situation because of Koirala or because of the state of our politics? Is it possible that Koirala's exit and Deuba's entry will solve everything? Because, after all, the political configuration remains pretty much the same. The party that Koirala led continues to remain in the same position, only now it is led by Deuba. The changes that Deuba will want to bring in, won't they be formulated, studied and passed by the Congress? Or will they be things dreamt up by the palace, the UML and the Maoists?

Deuba has already said that he's there to see through Koirala's 14-point agenda. Do you (Maoist leaders) want to face reality or are just going to sit back in the hope that Deuba will make you the president of a republic? True, honest communists should study the agenda and analyse it honestly. I am an ordinary member of the Maoist organisation and feel that I should ask my leaders to at least find out what the followers of their party think about dialogue between the government and the Maoists.

It was in Deuba's earlier term as prime minister that the Maoist uprising began in Rolpa. The oppression under Deuba's government drove the peace-loving, free and open Maoist organisation underground. Party members still remember vividly the oppression and the cruelty of Deuba's regime. The Maoist organisation spoke against and the locals supported us.

The peoples' struggle and the Maoist campaign started in February 1996. The campaign was started to wipe out the present political structure. Dil Bahadur Ramtael was martyred in the second week of February and this was followed by a long list of martyrs, leaders and followers including alternate central committee member Suresh Wagle. The entire party was attracted by the idea of a "Republic of Nepal" and we were all willing to sacrifice our lives for it. It is because of these sacrifices that the party has managed to reach the high position it finds itself in today.

Between 1996 and 2001, a lot of water has flowed in the Mechi and Mahakali rivers. On the one hand, during this time a great struggle took place between the present political forces and the Maoists. On the other, the Maoist leadership started cheating the very people it was supposed to represent and started taking one wrong decision after another. The party used the people to strengthen itself, but at the same time made many wrong decisions based on certain party members' selfish and personal judgements and requirements. The philosophy that leadership needed to be centralised, Prachanda's photo sessions, making ordinary people quote his aphorisms and swear by them-these actions have created a cult. They were self-centred and detrimental. As a result of such actions, the party has lost its vision and has become irrational. The party is going to join forces with Deuba and slowly wither away.

The importance of having a vision came home to us at the second convention. What was the result? We, the people, got saddled with the Prachanda Path. It was said with conviction that this was the greatest thought of all time. Since this was borrowed from the Ekata Kendra, they, too, were called Maoist Party. This despite the Ekata Kendra's protest that they were not in fact Maoists, but simply people who believed in and followed the principles of Mao. If the Maoist leaders had vision, they would have worked with the Ekata Kendra-instead, they prepared a list of all that they said. This, they called the Prachanda Path. They are making fools of the people. Worse, they are disrespecting those who gave up their lives for the party.

Such actions, such thoughts expressed in public all show just how illogical, irrational even, the party's leaders have become. During the Panchayat era, Dhirendra Shah was the black sheep of the royal family. To protect its own reputation, the palace had to take away his royal title. The man on the street was not too impressed with him either. People might have given him a break after the 1 June incident. The Maoist leaders have made their relations with Dhirendra Shah public with great fanfare. Where exactly does he fit in with the peoples' war? Has the party lost the support of the people, that it needs the help of Deuba and Dhirendra Shah? Do not be surprised if the Maoists say that Deuba is the true follower of Amarsingh Thapa. This is the same person who committed a crime against the nation by signing the Mahakali Treaty.

This is what happens when there is a bankruptcy of thought and vision. The party's soft line on Deuba and Dhirendra, their hatred of Koirala and Gyanendra, all show that a different line of thought is hard at work in the party. Are the party's vocal protests against the new king a way to fool simple, innocent party followers? This is one of the main reasons I doubt the Maoist leaders.

The time has come when we must test the Maoist leadership. Will their dialogue with Deuba throw up a solution eventually? Will they accept that solution, will the Nepali people see the dawn of a republic? Was this struggle truly not carried out to make a hero of Prachanda?

The people of Nepal do not want a republic, they want a Peoples' Republic. Is the leadership prepared to fight beside us till the end? If they are not, if they compromise for anything less than this, they will rain bombs in the party headquarters. Another struggle will start which will remain true to the people. The people have now learnt the art of carrying out a struggle. We are prepared to carry on to the end, and no compromise can stop us. The struggle of the people does not depend on the whims and fancies of any one individual. This is the property of all the oppressed people of the world. Prachandas, Babu Rams may come and go, but the peoples' struggle will move on-to its final destination.

(A letter from a Maoist activist)

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)