Category Archives: Eye on Maoist

Rights and Wrongs. Two Photos, Two Stories. Justice and Injustice. Nepal

Nanda Prasad Adhikari and Ganga Maya Adhikari have been staging a fast-unto-death seeking justice for their murdered son Krishna Prasad Adhikari. Krishna was killed by Maoist cadres during the Maoist insurgency in Chitwan in 2004.

Nanda Prasad Adhikari and Ganga Maya Adhikari have been staging a fast-unto-death seeking justice for their murdered son Krishna Prasad Adhikari. Krishna was killed by Maoist cadres during the Maoist insurgency in Chitwan in 2004. Pic: eKantipur.com

Seventy former Maoist combatants (two of them pictured) formally entered the Nepal Army as officers on Monday (26 Aug). Former People's Liberation Army combatants’ integration into the national army was a key component of the peace process that began in 2006.

Seventy former Maoist combatants (two of them pictured) formally entered the Nepal Army as officers on Monday (26 Aug). Former People’s Liberation Army combatants’ integration into the national army was a key component of the peace process that began in 2006. Pic: eKantipur.com

Two powerful images were splashed on the front pages of Nepali newspapers over the past week. Lets start with the most recent one- that of the former Maoist combatants- smiling to cameras, holding and kissing their kids with their wives by their side- who have been integrated into the Nepali army as officers.

A reporter from Kantipur newspaper caught Basudev Ghimire, one of the graduating officers, by surprise at the graduation ceremony (Tue, 26 Aug) with a question: “Do you know Pawell?”

“No, I don’t,” came the reply from the man who, as a Maoist guerilla, was known as Pawell. “I have already forgotten it.” Continue reading

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Privileged Maoist Kids and the Unfortunate Lot Who Were Forced Out of Schools by Maoists

Pen and book for your own daughter while gun for the daughters of poor ethnic people.

Pen and books for your own daughter while guns for the daughters of poor ethnic people.

A Facebook page named “CPN UML Youth Campaign” posted a combo photo (above) recently with touchy captions: “Pen and books for your own daughter. Gun for daughter of ethnic people.” [See details about the first photo below.]

Madhav Nepal Offering Daam to King Gyanendra on Coronation Day

Madhav Nepal Offering Daam to King Gyanendra on Coronation Day

The context: Election season has started (voting is slated for 19the November). Remember the ‘famous’ Madhav Nepal photo (right)- in which the UML leader is seen offering daam to King Gyanenndra on the latter’s Coronation Day- that the Maoists circulated massively during the 2008 CA elections?

But this is not merely an election gimmick of a rival political party. The fact that a UML campaign circulated these pictures doesn’t mean it undermines the credibility of the poignant message that these photos convey.

The truth is Baburam Bhattarai actually sent his daughter to the safety and quality education of schools in India (and, most recently, to China to learn the Chinese language!) while he forced many young people out of schools in Nepali villages arguing that they should reject the bourgeois education and join the revolution. Baburam’s boss, Pushpa Kamal Dahal kept his son with himself as personal assistant while he sent many sons and daughters of poor Nepalis to front lines to be killed or injured. Baburam Bhattarai himself attended the same bourgeois education system and excelled at it. He attended a missionary high school in his home district Gorkha, went to college in Kathmandu and attended an Indian university (for which he seems to be very proud of). He should be. He should also have let thousands of poor Nepali youths to be proud of their education. But he and his party deprived a whole generation of Nepali youth of education. Ironically, most people who the Maoist party forced out of schools are from the same communities Prachanda and Baburam promised to emancipate from poverty and backwardness. Continue reading

Contradiction, Evidences Suggest, is the Communist Religion in Nepal

Temple hopping CP Gajurel (You spotted him! Silver-haired and in white kameej) of the Maoist party at the Doleshwor Mahadev temple.

Temple hopping CP Gajurel (You spotted him! Silver-haired and in white kameej) of the Maoist party at the Doleshwor Mahadev temple.

By Siromani Dhungana

Communist movement in Nepal is full of controversy and contradictions. Nepal has seen communist leaders who once called parliament a “butcher’s shop, where dog’s meat is sold by displaying the goat’s head” got elected in the same parliament to lead a government. This country has also seen communists who waged a bloody war against parliamentary democracy join the mainstream, got themselves nominated to the parliament and take part in elections of a parliament to be the largest party in the House.  The country has also seen atheist communists who condemned religion as opium turn into devotees and companions in temple hopping. Continue reading

Deconstructing Baburam Bhattarai: Conflicts and Contradictions

Two Baburams: Baburam Bhattarai, left, talks to a Kantipur journalist four days before the Maoist started “People’s War” in 1996. He goes to assume office of the Prime Minister in Singadarbar in August 2011 after taking oath to secrecy. Pics by Bikas Rauniar via Kantipur

Two Baburams: Baburam Bhattarai, left, talks to a Kantipur journalist four days before the Maoist started “People’s War” in 1996. He goes to assume office of the Prime Minister in Singadarbar in August 2011 after taking oath to secrecy. Pics by Bikas Rauniar via Kantipur

On Friday (9 August), Kathmandu Post published a piece by Suman Khadka (a PhD candidate at Monash University, Australia) that critically analyzed Baburam Bhattarai’s contradictory personality with focus on his bourgeois education that the Maoist leader stopped many Nepali youths from pursuing. (His party forced many students in rural Nepal out of schools to join the Maoist ‘militia’ reasoning that they shouldn’t waste time pursuing bourgeois education. At the same time, Bhattarai sent his daughter Manushi Yami Bhattarai to prestigious schools in India.)

De-schooling doctor Baburam

Baburam Bhattarai’s rise in politics has much to do with this perception of him being a ‘learned’ man. This reverence largely stems from the degrees he has earned, rather than wisdom per se. His wisdom is difficult to ascertain because his writings are abstract. Neither have many of us have read his PhD thesis or his books, which I find far too incomprehensible, even though I don’t consider myself stupid. Even CK Lal has noted the difficulty of deciphering Bhattarai’s writings. But it is precisely such writing and rhetoric that succeed in creating a feeling of intellectual inferiority among others, so successful that even the opposition parties once wanted Bhattarai to be prime minister. Although Bhattarai’s popularity has nosedived recently, many accept that he is the most knowledgeable politician, not because they understand him but rather, because they don’t. When Bhattarai defended Dekendra Thapa’s accused murderers, a question people had was “how can such a learned man do so?” Interestingly, this group forgot that Bhattarai is the Maoist ideologue based on whose scholarly arguments many people like Thapa were killed in the first place. This article continues here

Yesterday, the Post carried a rebuke to the Suman Khadka’s piece, a hagiographic defense of Bhattarai by two men (one of them a fulltime Maoist cadre who also writes articles idealizing Bhattarai on Maoist publications including a pro-Bhattarai website that is promoted by Bhattarai.) The article, by Resham Thapa, who teaches in TU, and Dhruba Raj Adhikari, states setting up of a complaint box, branded ‘Hello Sarkar’, in Singhabarbar during the tenure of PM Bhattarai as one of his biggest achievements. The piece was so adulatory that it prompted a well-known pro-Maoist (pro-Prachanda, to be specific) journalist, Kishore Nepal, to tweet this: “Glorification of Comrade BRB in TKP: “Bhajan-Kirtan” of politician in this season of Bird flu! It is highly infectious. Beware Dr Saheb!” Continue reading

The 20 Billion Rupees Scam in the Name of Peace Process in Nepal

The ‘misleading’ and wrong decision taken by the Special Committee comprising representatives of six political parties has clearly indicated that financial accountability is a far fetched dram for Nepali people.
 
By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

On 12 April, some members of the Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants which was formed in October 2008 wanted to know how Rs 19.71 billion was spent on the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cantonments over the last seven years. According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat proposed that the committee passed a proposal directing the government to conduct a special auditing of the expenses.

However, the committee, as many believe took a controversial decision. The Post writes:

The committee, comprising representatives of six political parties, adopted a resolution with a soft tone, committing that the Office of the Auditor General will conduct a detailed investigation to see whether the funds were spent legally. It also agreed that the financial discipline maintaining body would recommend the government to publicize its report.

Following the decision, different section of the society has questioned the ability and intention of the leaders who were party to the decision. According to analysts, the decision of the committee is quite misleading and deceptive. Kantipur daily news editor Hari Bahadur Thapa, who has written books on corruption and has extensively covered corruption-related issues in the paper, tweeted: Continue reading

Political Stagnation and Maoists

In textbook of science in high school, we used to read the scientific definition of ‘work': using a force to move an object to a certain distance. Or, using force is not enough to define work. It seems our leaders have been putting excessive force but no progress in distance front. Their efforts have failed to deliver any results and their relevance in the country’s politics has expired though they think that the country cannot move ahead without them.

Siromani Dhungana
UWB

UCPN Maoist chairman Prachanda roared at his party’s seventh General Convention in Hetauda: ‘I will come up with a formula’ to end current political stagnation that opposition parties cannot disagree with.’

He did it. He floated the idea of Chief Justice (CJ)-led government for holding elections. Top guns of other political parties admired his idea and followed him in a submissive manner. Leaders of so-called democratic parties even did not discuss the idea within party mechanism.

And, even after putting ‘tireless’ effort since the first week of February, they have failed to show the result. Accordingly, CJ Khil Raj Regmi denied to lead the election government citing possible unwarranted pressure from political parties.

Neither could they convince the chief justice to form an election government nor could they float any alternative idea to move the country ahead. In fact, top guns of political parties have created a situation of political stagnation putting citizens at the receiving end.

Peoples’ hope for political reforms have faced a severe obstacle due to and their decision to give Maoists a try (during Constituent Assembly election in 2008) have gone futile.

It has been proved that Maoists are good players of blame-game. During decade-long bloody insurgency, Maoists used to blame ‘expansionist’ and ‘feudalist’ forces including royal palace for wrongdoings and malpractices in politics. And, during CA election, they came down heavily on Nepali Congress (NC) and UML.

In rabble rousing speeches, they tried to persuade people saying peoples’ lifestyle would change if monarchy were abolished and a Maoist-led government was established in Nepal. People were told that they could be master of their own destiny and their dream of prosperous life would come true once the Maoists held power.

Maoists came into the power and have been holding absolute power for some time now. The question is: where are their promises now? Forgetting insurgency-era promises, all leaders in the party have been doing nothing more than creating an era of political stagnation.

First, they forgot the ‘Prachanda Path’ — the brain child of Prachanda — and they also forgot their own promises which were made during decade-long insurgency and they forgot their political consumers, that is, faces of ‘proletariat’. In sum, they forgot the entire political philosophy and ideology based on which they had started decade-long insurgency. They are now a deviated communist party clever enough to betray people.

Immediately after their entry into peaceful politics, deputy of UCPN (Maoist) Dr Baburam Bhattarai dubbed CPN (UML) ‘Hing Badheko Talo’ and had claimed that the relevance of CPN (UML) had expired since Maoist was real ‘Hing’. Comrade Bhattarai aka Laldhoj, can you claim your party ‘Hing’ at this point of time? If your party is still ‘Hing’, what about break away faction or Baidhya-led Maoist?

It has been proved that Maoists are far ahead in creating catchy jargon to persuade people. It is for sure that they will create dozens of jargon to be sustained in the politics. But, I know they will lead us into nothing than political stagnation and perennial vacuum.

A Maoist Attempt of Merging the Judiciary into the Executive

Appointment of the SC Chief Justice as the Prime Minister will be Supreme injustice to the people of Nepal.

Political parties in democracy can, of course, be good or bad but most certainly without a capable leadership of political parties, the democratic system will never be anything but bad. -tweaked version of Albert Camus’s quote on free press

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

On January 30, before the Maoists proposed appointing incumbent Supreme Court Chief Justice as Prime Minister, I had written in in this blog: “Democracy in Nepal is on the verge of collapse. Most of the indicators of democracy are either dismantled or dead. The basic notion of democracy- ‘check and balance’- has been destroyed and now there is only the check of the communist-led government.”

Unfortunately, the Maoists have proved me right yet again with their flabbergasting proposal. You don’t have to be a political scientist to know what the Maoists are trying to do is completely against the basic notion of democracy, that is, the check and balance. And, incompetent and shortsighted opposition parties are once again going to be fooled by the UCPN Maoist. And that will cost Nepal’s fledgling democracy dearly.

The propose of appointing incumbent chief justice as the Prime Minister of the country has apparently showed that the largest political party of Nepal is trying to ruin the basis democratic concept ‘check and balance’ among major state organs — judiciary, executive and legislature.

If materialized, the Maoist proposal will not only ruin completely the independence of judiciary but also jeopardize the entire justice system of Nepal. On the other hand, it will also help undermine the importance of political parties in Nepal which will have repercussion in the long run.

It is for sure that the Maoists want to resume their war-time ‘kangaroo courts’ which they operated in villages in a direct challenge to the existing judicial system. Even after ending armed conflict in 2006, the party had floated the idea of reviving ‘kangaroo courts’ in 2007 in an effort to step up pressure against the then interim government headed by NC leader Girija Prasad Koirala.

The Maoists never believed in current judicial system in Nepal. They have constantly argued that this is the one State organ that still represents that feudal, old Nepal. They have constantly flouted Supreme Court decisions. Their senior leaders, including the PM, have every now and then spoken against the judicial system and courts in general. They think, after controlling executive and having had largest number of seats in legislature parliament (dissolved in May 2012), the judiciary is the last  bastion that still remained out of their sphere of influence. The fact that the Maoists couldn’t win notable number of seats in the recently held elections of national committee of Nepal Bar Association despite fighting polls against democratic candidates in partnership with the UML-supported lawyers shows their poor presence in judicial sector.

And now, suddenly, they have this new-found trust in judiciary! Doesn’t sound plausible at all. Those who have been criticizing and flouting judicial decisions are now suddenly seeing ‘most independent and trustworthy’ person in the head of the same judiciary.

And at a time when the SC is already stretched- and is functioning with only around half of dozen judges and can’t fulfill vacant positions because there doesn’t exist a mechanism in the absence of parliament.

And at a time when the SC has issued quite a few orders staying or stopping several controversial decisions of the Maoist-led government including in the case of Dekendra Thapa. Continue reading

The Maoist Idea of National Productivity: More Cash for the Party

King Mahendra reportedly said in the mid-1960s: “Communism does not travel in a car.”

Some say he used the word ‘truck’, not ‘car’. Whatever. I think, communism does not but communists do. Communists travel in the most luxurious vehicles according to their availability. Nepal’s ruling UCPN (Maoist) is an example how controversial communists can become when they struggle to maintain a balance between their ideology and lifestyle. The party floated new jargon in its just concluded seventh General Convocation, that is, national productivity.

Is this concept a major paradigm shift in ideology of UCPN (Maoist)? What is the covert intention of chairman Prachanda? Can Maoists translate concept of national productivity into action? And can they bring about any changes in lives of ‘proletariats’ for whom they claim to be engaging in politics.

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

Surrounded by Pulsar-riding cadres of Young Communist League (YCL) and party leaders who have already elevated themselves to the elite class from the proletariat that they were until recently, and flanked by his Mustang-rider deputy Dr Bhattarai talks about austerity but indeed encourages corruption, nepotism and favoritism in his government, comrade Prachanda announced in the Hetauda Convention that his party will be focusing on national productivity.

That announcement didn’t come at a surprise to those who are familiar with inherent nature of UCPN (Maoist) – which is popularly known as ‘cash Maoist’ (as opposed to the dash Maoist, the Mohain Baidya led CPN-Maoist) due to the party’s excessive focus on amassing ‘cash’ through intimidation, forced donation and brazen corruption.

I do not think, the concept of national productivity will bring any differences in ideological front of the ruling party. His concept of national productivity neither supports capitalist economic system nor socialist. Rather, I think, there are two implied meaning of Prachanda’s proposal: to maintain a hold on all economic/financial resources and to divert attention of his cadres from political issues to other less contentious issues. Continue reading

Dear Comrade Prachanda….think before using the word ‘democracy’

Before calling Baburam a democrat, Prachanda should answer the following questions:

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

Speaking at the seventh General Convention of the UCPN (Maoist) in Hetauda on February 2, comrade Prachanda, after encouraging his followers against main opposition Nepali Congress, posed a close-ended question to his cadres: “Is Baburamjee against peace and constitution? Is he an undemocratic leader?”


His cadres clapped and laughed but did not dare to answer because it was a close-ended question and Maoists cadres are not free enough to oppose their headquarters.

Dear comrade, yes you and your fellow incumbent Prime Minister (Baburamjee) both are indeed undemocratic leaders. Your deputy has dual character. He talks about uplifting lives of the poorest of poor but in practice he does nothing for them. In an interview with the Indian newspaper DNA, he says:

Q: Yet, Maoists in India are popular with the poorest and with many intellectuals, including the likes of Anuradha Ghandy, whose memorial lecture you will be delivering. So why did it not capitalise on this support?

A: (Smiles) I think this is for the Marxists and Maoists of India to asses as to why they failed to make an impact. But seeing this from a theoretical level, parliamentary democracy does not address the problems of the poor masses and people in backward countries like India and Nepal. There is too much disparity, with one section enjoying the fruits of democracy and the majority in the country — the dalits, the tribals, the women, the poor — are deprived of their genuine democratic rights. This contradiction is there. I think the radical communists are trying to champion the cause of the downtrodden.

Comrade Prachanda, your deputy thinks ‘parliamentary democracy does not address the problems of the poor masses and people in backward countries like India and Nepal’. So, which is the most suitable model of democracy for a country like Nepal? Continue reading

Badhshala- A Bad Director Can Never Make a Good Film

Letter written by the Defence Ministry.

Letter written by the Defence Ministry. Click to enlarge

This is yet another example of former adversaries- the Nepali Army and the Maoists- coming together to cover their dirty secrets (conflict-era crimes).

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

Habituated to the filthy political drama, the government imposed a ban on Nepali movie Badhshala (Slaughter House) in a clear sign that the government is going to be a butcher for the Freedom of Expression (FoE). In a letter (see pic above, and below by Ministry of Information and Communication to Nepal Film Development Board) sent to Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC), Ministry of Defense has asked to impose ban on the movie citing on the vague reason: ‘…some issues including use of Army regalia in the movie’. Republica, in an editorial, writes:

In a deplorable move, the Ministry of Defense, [currently led by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai],  has requested a ban on Nepali movie Badhshala, citing a rarely invoked rule. Apparently, the filmmaker should have taken permission to use Army regalia in the movie. But many Nepali movies have previously depicted characters in Army uniforms without any interference from the government. Hence the Defense Ministry’s reasoning falls flat at the outset. All previous movie bans were conducted by censor board (for example, the movie ATM that was banned for vulgarity). This is the first time that the Defense Ministry has gotten involved in preventing a movie’s screening.

American judge Potter Stewart says: “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”

So, the question is has our government lost its confidence? And whether it is heading towards an authoritarian regime? Many say that is exactly what is happing. Continue reading