Thanks to you, Baburam Bhattarai comes across as a coherent and rational person to explain the policies of the NCP(M) (#51). However, the fact remains that the Maoists have been behaving in an almost criminal manner in recent times. Your questions to Mr Bhattarai were rather lenient. He should have been asked why he and Mr Dahal should not face charges of crimes against humanity, for conspiring to kill, or not taking adequate steps to prevent indiscriminate killings of innocent policemen even after their surrender. You left it to Mr Bhattarai to put forth his own agenda. He even boasted that under the Maoists, Nepalis will enjoy unprecedented democratic privileges. What a load of rubbish.
Suresh K Kafle
Equal opportunities for all, equal access to education, health, and all the basic necessities of
life, the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden. What
the Maoists stand for is truly just and noble. Where the government has failed to deliver, the Maoists have tried to take the initiative. But just how is Baburam going to do it? By a strategy of grab-and-loot? By the massacre of innocent people who find themselves in a situation they have not created for themselves but which they have been forced into? By threats that instil fear rather than support? No matter how well the supporters of this so-called "People's Movement" may be able to justify their actions, the hard truth is: this is a very noble cause gone astray because the end does not justify the means. And that, I feel, is the greatest tragedy of all.
Baburam Bhattarai's flaccid logic and fossilised dialectic is a throwback to the 1970s, I have now lost the little faith I had that the Maoists were up to something good to create a New Democracy in Nepal. With jargon that thick it sounds like the New Peoples' Army goes to the Himalaya. What is he trying to do, spoof the Sendero Luminoso? The interview is proof of just how hardline and out of touch the comrades are. They will never learn from history. The Nepali people are going to be let down one more time.
(Name withheld on request)
As a frequent visitor to Nepal over the past 23 years, I have viewed with alarm the deepening political crisis. It seems to me that the CPN (Maoist) are politically more mature than many of the mainstream political parties in at least having an agenda to which they have adhered. But some of Baburam Bhattarai's statements in your paper (#51) are extreme. I particularly find their attempts to internationalise and politicise the most tragic deaths of His late Majesty King Birendra and his family distasteful and unpatriotic, and find their disregard for human life nothing short of criminal. However, without at least attempting to open a dialogue, the government is condemning the Nepali people to a long, protracted and bloody civil war and possibly inviting foreign intervention which can only result in a loss of sovereignty. King Birendra could see this and had the foresight to establish his own channel of communication with the Maoists. What more fitting tribute could the government and people of Nepal give their late King than to take this example and expand it to avert an impending national catastrophe?
The problems in your young democracy are related to the lack of political knowledge on the part of both the leadership and the people. Particularly, I am really concerned about the growing violence caused by Maoists. It is an illusion that things can be negotiated. Revolutionaries, moved by ideology, will not stop before they will consumate the revolution. But knowledge of what communism really is can help to resist their propaganda. August 31 marks the 21st anniversary of the end of prolonged strikes in the Gdansk Shipyard which resulted in the forming of Solidarity in Poland. The presence of the theoretical concepts of Marxist-Leninist philosophy was the source of injustice in Poland.
Dr W J Korab-Karpowicz
Department of International Relations
Bilkent Universi, Poland
Given the dire situation the country is, civil society should not shy away from saying enough is enough. Political squabbling should be stopped and a national consensus reached on the present crisis. Let's move ahead with this five-point check-list:
A national comprehensive programme to deal with the Maoist movement that includes time-bound negotiations, or even the declaration of emergency if necessary
Improving the law and order situation by active community vigilance.
Agreement by political parties not to resort to bandhs for a few years.
Equal status to underprivileged castes actively enforced country-wide.
The Anti-corruption Bill, and Political Party Bill pending in the Parliament to be discussed and passed soonest.
Himalaya S Rana