Images from the Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu-I

Photo blog by Dinesh Wagle
First of Two Parts. Here is the second part.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Who cares about those boring speeches in this heat: Instead take a nap or pick your ear!

It was an impressive show but the number of participants in today’s Maoist Mass Meeting wasn’t as much as it was publicized to be. No way that there were five hundred thousands people in the mass meeting but it was probably the biggest mass meeting Khula Manch has ever seen. One can easily sense that many of the participants in the mass meeting were there under pressure from the Maoist party. Many people whom I talked to said that they received special invitation (that is to say order to be present in the mass meeting.) Who specifically mentioned about such pressure didn’t want to be photographed or quoted but some said on record that they were not Maoist supporters and were in Kathmandu to see the Mass Meeting. Some of them were quick enough to distance themselves form the Maoist party as if being identified as Maoist was a kind of sin! Here is a photo blog.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
A injured boy shallows medicine provided by the medical team of the Maoist part in Open Air Theater, Kathmandu. The mobile medical team from the Party’s third division was active in Khula Manch. A medical camp was set up at the erstwhile dais where at least 80 people came within the 5 hours from 10 AM. Binod Acharya, who was in charge of the camp said that there were around 100 medical volunteers patrolling the area wearing white jacket.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
A Maoist cadre requests people at the top of the dais at Open Air Theater to come down. Many people reported injuries to the Medical Team after being fallen from top spots like this one. Some also fell from trees and broke their hands, a medical supervisor said.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Taking photo for the family album. A boy uses his digital camera to capture a moment in the meeting. He wasn’t from the press.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Of course, the revolutionary lectures by the top brass comrades couldn’t satisfy the hunger of this young chap.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Literatures of all kinds were on sale in Tundikhel today. From the booklets of the Nepali Maoist Party (Prachanda on the cover of course!) to Lolita to, yes, I saw a copy of Geeta, the Hindu holy book.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
The Mass. Maoists claimed to bring 5 hundred thousand people in Tundikhel today. But many independent estimates put the number at around 2 hundred thousands.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Yes, she was looking at my lens but look at the other Guerilla volunteer. She was apparently pretty much impressed by what the boy in front of her (not me though) was talking about. He was able to create laughter and humor among the girls. I mean they were having real good time, I could feel, even at a time when their leaders were speaking on, well let me use the term, boring topics.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
I wondered what the joke the boy cracked. I didn’t dare to ask.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
All for the revolutionary music: An old woman takes rest as she was given the task of taking care of the traditional musical instruments that were used in the rally.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Ready to rock? A man who came from West Nepal along with many other friends puts shoes after taking rest on the ground.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Backpackers! Women from West Nepal with their bags and belongings in Tundikhel today.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Friday’s Fish Fry: Comrades and others who were present in the mass meeting consumed many food items like fired fish that were on sale in Tundikhel. By the way, Rs. 10 for a fried fish if you were curious to know the price like the man on left leaning toward the stove.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Revolutionary Recording? A man wanted to record the speeches delivered in the Mass Meeting. He said that since he wasn’t a journalist he wasn’t allowed to be near the dais.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Just to get a clear view: People climbed trees near Ratna Park to see the mass.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Cowboy Comrade: The interesting thing is that he was quick enough to put the flag on the back of a boy carrying the Madal, the musical instrument, when I was trying to take a picture.

UWB: Here is the second part of this photo blog.

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11 thoughts on “Images from the Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu-I”

  1. Here we are!
    replacing pictures of comrade gyanendra by comrade prachanda, what change are we bringing?
    The Picture traditon still remains.

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  2. Well, first I try to convence you that am not a maoist and I am not involved in any political parties. I am an engineering student and hence I am trying to make myself dedicated to my country, thus I have very much great concern about the time-line of nepal. I visit this site completely but this is my first time. I became glad, for you have taken the real pictures and they made me as if I am infront of the truth. I became able to know what the Khula-Manch actually was, yesterday. I think other photographers were taking the pictures of the leaders giving speech, while you were taking for the hidden facts. Thanks for yours, and I reqest you to join me on my mailing address to share our infuencing and way determining ideas.

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  3. “One can easily sense that many of the participants in the mass meeting were there under pressure from the Maoist party”

    Dinesh Ji seems to be preety weak in maths. No wonder he is in journalism- blog journalism!!

    “Some of them were quick enough to distance themselves form the Maoist party as if being identified as Maoist was a kind of sin!”

    Thats your personal interpretation!

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  4. “One can easily sense that many of the participants in the mass meeting were there under pressure from the Maoist party”

    Dinesh Ji seems to be preety weak in maths. No wonder he is in journalism!! and probably in the worst form of journalism – Blog where you can bark anything you please to please the people you want to be pleased!!!

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  5. Good our intrepid reporter can “sense” that people were compelled to attend… especially since the march was unarmed and there was plainly great enthusiasm among the crowd.

    And for all the talk of repression, it’s funny that the Maoists allowed everything from Lolita to Hindu holy books to be openly sold at THEIR rally…

    Those who fear the people fear the future. This will not be a bourgeois republic directed from London, Dehli or Washington DC.

    Do the math. (And by the way, what is so “independent” about the capitalist media? Really… this is the same argument that says the (R)NA is just the “national” army…)

    What other party says the constituent assembly should be unconditional? Who else respects the people enough to promise publically to respect WHATEVER the constituent assembly decrees?

    The Maoists are not a fringe group. They are the new mainstream, even if the middle classes of the city haven’t reached a consensus on this. That’s the difference between socialism and “democracy.” The “democrats” believe that politics is a middle class pursuit and the people should just work away while they sit in the city living off the booty of the world.

    Thanks be to the Maoists for changing the game.

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  6. Burningman asks: what is so “independent” about the capitalist media?

    Well, independent bloggers who are unpaid and completely voluntary are not exactly ‘capitalist’….

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  7. Burningman,

    From the sound of many of your entries you are probably not even in Nepal, or may not even be Nepali. How cushy to stay within the comforts and liberties of your “bourgeois” democracies and see the drama unfold here, feeding your fat face with whatever it is you feed yourself with in the comfort and security of your residence. No thanks to electronic media representatives like you for playing the game. It’s like discussing the weather in Mars with a Martian via the web.

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  8. Burningman,

    By the maoists saying the CA elections should be unconditional it should not be taken as a credit to them because they probably mean:
    1. No conditions so that they can continue carrying arms before, during and after the election.
    2. Following from point # 1, this would mean no conditions as to waht form of government can be voted in (incuding a totalitarian maoist republic)
    If you put 1 & 2 together, then it basically translates to – maoists will carry guns and threaten people to vote for a totalitarian maoist state.

    This is nothing to hoot about! Therefore the democratic parties as you call them have two conditions in mind, conditions which ensure that people are not thretened and their lives are subjest to freedoms of speech, expression and the freedom to live. These two conditions being:
    1. Lay down arms before CA elections.
    2. CA elections should only include multiparty democracy in any form (no absolute anything).

    I am sure that these are not at all unreasonable to freedom loving people. Otherwise we might as well all carry weapons and “unconditionally” impose our will wherever and whenever we want.

    If you have any knowledge of law and order and the right of humans to think for themselves I am sure you will agree that certain conditions which ensure the freedom and sense of security are not debatable.

    I’m afraid “unconditional” translates to many as a complete disregard for law and order and the right for citizens to vote without threat to themselves. Otherwise we might as well be running around naked in the jungle killing each other for food and territory. And not unlike you have stated the maoists have not made clear what their “unconditional” means – does it mean that they will unconditionally carry arms and if so do the rest of us “unconditionally” get to carry arms as well? I’m very afraid they have already given far too many conditions to the democratic forces for their claims on unconditionality. They do not want the local bodies to be revived, they want this that and the other and have been given many concessions. If these are’nt conditions then what are?
    Unfortunately, the conditions of the democratic forces have not been met at all and there are not many. After all is’nt one of the conditions to have a CA election a condition of the maoists? So what makes their position so “Unconditional”?

    As for your attack on democracy vs. your idea of socalism? How can you even compare the two? First give an example of a successful socialist nation so that we can compare that to democratic nations which are many in number. Otherwise you may be rattling off idealistic nonsense, by speaking from your mouth but thinking from your arse.

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  9. Of course the maoists want “unconditional” election to CA. This is because they have already got many of their conditions met and are still putting numerous conditions before the CA even takes place you fools! When all your demands and conditions are met before the event why would you want to have a conditional appraoch? Then it would mean fulfilling conditions of the opposition. Now why would a fascist group want to do that? Heeello, anybody in there?

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  10. Funny you should assume life is so peaceful where I live. I lost my home on September 11, and watched three thousand die with my own eyes. I breathed in the dust left from their destruction.

    In the last month, I’ve seen one corpse on the street a city block from my home, a 15-year old shot in a gang war, the kind of “war” that kills thousands a year in the USA. No joke.

    The comfy life of the bourgeoisie is not the same “America” that everyone lives in.

    What’s most exciting about the Maoists is not that they fight, but why and who. It is people fighting for their own emancipation agianst the brutality of the king and the duplicity of the demogogues.

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