Images from the Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu-II

Photo blog by Dinesh Wagle
Last of Two Parts. Here is the first part.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Sharmila. Works in a carpet factory in Atterkhel, Gokarna. She came to see the Maoist mass meeting with her friends. She was too shy to talk to me about her participation so her friend Kabita (below) came forward.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Kabita. Sharmila’s friend in the carpet factory. “Nooo,” she responded to my first question. “We are not Maoists. We are just general people. We came here to see the mass meeting. We have nothing to do with the Maoists.” Her factory was closed because of the public holiday in Kathmandu. She said that she participated in the April rallies of Seven Party Alliance. “I am not hopeful about the peace,” she said. “Everyone is talking about peace. I think they are serious.”

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Girls try to make themselves comfortable in Tundikhel. Okay, mark that girl on blue kurta. I talked to her and her friend about their presence in the mass meeting.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
An American conspiracy? The problem was on the woman’s nose. There was a small pimple which got worse three days ago.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
This comrade duo was having private moment when my camera caught their attention. Then they started posing, one encouraging other to see at the lens.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Keeping the hot away with eating the cool in.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
She was tired but minutes later I saw the lady, along with her comrade, distributing pamphlets about the party activities. People lined up to receive the pamphlets and soon girls were out of stock.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Didn’t I say she was tired? Volunteers in front of Tri-Chandra Campus. Yes, volunteers like these seeen in the photo above found hard times controlling the crowd when some of the Maoist cadres went on attacking the Army Dais near Khula Manch.They tried to destroy the Shree Panch (His Majesty) part of the Army Dais name and also captured the army area for a few minutes.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Members of the Armed Police Force (APF) were deployed (see the pic below) around Mahendra Salik (King’s Way) in front of the royal palace. This policeman was taking rest behind the Tindhara hostel. When he knew I was taking photo, he came to his form. Sorry for disturbing him.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
A Maoist volunteer passes from in front of policemen in duty.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu

Hum…this is Mr. James who has been “living in Nepal for the last 30 years.” I found him in front of Tri Chandra Campus picking up the poster- publicizing the Maoist Mass Meeting- pasted at the campus wall. Another foreigner (a film maker, I knew later) was helping him. When he saw me (wearing UWB t-shirt) taking his picture, he said, “Oh..United We Blog! Are you the one who runs that site?”

“Yes,” I said. “Don’t I seem like one?”

He didn’t believe but said that the site was really good source of information. He told me to show my identity card. I showed him my newspaper card with my name Dinesh Wagle. In the beginning he was quite hesitant about revealing his identity but later when another foreigner woman came to me calling my name, he changed his mind, I guess. The woman, a traveling blogger, was meeting me first time though we were in contact via email for quite some time.

James asked me how I felt about the Maoist movement. “Well I am critical about this,” I said. He wanted to know about my criticism: to the whole movement or the tactics used in the movement. “Well, I am against the violent form of the movement,” I said. “Otherwise there are some significant positive changes brought about by the movement.”

I was curios to know why he was pulling out the poster from the wall. “For a souvenir,” he said.

“Don’t put my picture,” he said.

“No, I will put,” I replied expecting his reaction.

“Why?”

“Just to prove that I blog for UWB!”

He smiled.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Click, click, click. Again, for the family album. In front of Tri Chandra Campus.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
This man from Bharatpur, Chitwan came to see the mass meeting. “Are you with the party, baje?” I asked. Within a second, he replied: “No, I am not with the party. I just came to see the mass meeting.” He was hesitant to reveal why he decided to came all the way to Kathmandu for a Maoist meeting. Was he forced by the party? He didn’t want to comment on that and I could see the real answer on his silence. His name is Padam Bahadur Kshetri. Age: 63. No, that was a tounge slip. Its 83. “Do you wish you were 63?” I asked. “Ha, ha ha,” he replied. “Wish I was born today!”

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Participating in a Maoist Mass Meeting.

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
“Nooo,” the woman on the extreme right reaction to my question. “We are not Maoists. A man left this flag here and told me to hold for a few minutes.” She came to Kathmandu this afternoon from her village in Naubise, Dhading to participate in the mass meeting. “We will be going back to home in the evening.”

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
Ice Cream for all ages in the ages of Maoism?

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
They are also recording the speeches. The man from Rolpa (left) said that he was recording the speeches that he will play for his villagers back home. He came Kathmandu yesterday and said that will head for Rolpa this evening.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Do you need name?” he replied.

“Well, yes if you say.”

He think for about 10 seconds and said, “hummm, okay, Ram Bahadur!” [Which happens to be one of the most common name in Nepali society.]

Images from Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu
As I said earlier, revolutionary speeches were not enough to fill the hungry stomach.

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15 thoughts on “Images from the Maoist Mass Meeting in Kathmandu-II

  1. DW,

    You did not take my picture. I was there too. No I am not a maoist and nobody forced me onto a really cramped micro mini for 5 hours from chitawan – I just thought really cool place to hang out on a day like that would be khula munch. So boarded the bus, smelled the sweat, rubbed my ass with other people in a really packed bus to chill out in khula munch. No I am not a maoist and no maoist forced me, and I trust you will all believe me on that!

  2. Finally, democray revealed its true meaning.
    Its a positive sign towards peace.
    The same maoists, who were hiding into the jungle a few months ago, are at the Khula manch addressing the mass. Isn’t it look nice.
    The people from various walks of life are interested to listen to them ,eventhough they are not maoist? I am very happy to see whats happening in Nepal now despite of some bad news of robbery and other misconduct. Now, its the time to do something to restore peace in detoreorating situation of Nepal. And I thing this is the first step towards the peace.
    LIVE AND LET LIVE.

  3. That must have been a nice change for Maoists. I believe they will not want to go back to the jungle now.

  4. in the jungle
    on the street
    life will blossom
    hands will meet

    in the mountains
    by the streams
    east and west and
    future dreams

  5. Yes, it is cool to see murderers gathering. But it is really not cool to force people to come to Kathmandu, for private buses and truck to ferry their reluctant audience, walk around the city streets wearing T-shirt that has Prachanda’s face. I want to ask one thing. Who the hell is Prachanda? what has he done so he deserved a place on people t-shirt? What has he done other than destroy national infrastructure, killed innocent people and social workers, killed jourlanists, abducted hundreds of people, forced poor families out of their own house and yet they are here in the city walking as if the country belonged to them. If you rally want a place in people’s t-shirt or people’s heart just put down all the arms, join mainstream political parties, and fight the election without having your guerrillas carrying guns and see how much vote you get. You don’t belong to the people and that is why you can’t yet come to Kathmandu and appear in public.
    I shit on Prachandapath!

  6. When James asks him about the Maoist movement, Wagle says, “Well I am critical about this.”

    Seems like, he is critical not only about the movement, but also about the mass meeting. A quick comparison of his reporting of the SPA victory rally and the Maoist mass meeting: SPA rally- Wagle sees a woman sitting on the ground and reading a newspaper, then his caption for the picture is: “No problem if I do not get good place to sit.” Probably that is what she was thinking today while listening to the speeches of SPA leaders in Khula Manch. (They Want Republic Nepal…Jhyamma Jhyamma )

    Maoist rally: Wagle sees a man picking his ear, then his caption for the picture is: Who cares about those boring speeches in this heat: Instead take a nap or pick your ear!

    Interesting! Interesting!!

    In fact, the thesis of the report is that the mass meeting was not as large as publicized and that many people were forced to come. The photos are good (he certainly has a knack for noticing beautiful women), but when he sees people eating, he suddenly realizes that the speeches are not able to satisfy the hunger (of course, no speech can satisfy hunger, not even SPA leaders’ speeches). When he sees people picking ears, it comes to him that the speeches are boring, so boring that people have to pick their ears to kill the boredom.

    But apparently Wagle is so critical that he didn’t see that there were people who were dancing to the tune of the music, people who were clapping and so on (http://www.mysansar.com/?p=469#more-469). Or he saw it but didn’t think it was worth reporting. After all, lately there has been plethora of comments accusing UWB of being sympathetic to the Maoists.

    Besides, it is understandable that in order to continue getting invitations to the US, like the one Wagle got few months ago, it is imperative that one be critical of the Maoists. So, why lose this opportunity to show that UWB is indeed critical of Maoists by bringing a ‘critical’ report of their mass meeting.

    Perfect! Here you go! Wagle’s report of the mass meeting of the Maoists.

  7. now the country is secular…..girls have equal right as boys to be pictured…….haha…..have a coke and a smile……

  8. “She was tired but minutes later I saw the lady, along with her comrade, distributing pamphlets about the party activities. People lined up to receive the pamphlets and soon girls were out of stock.”
    I thought 40% of the Maobadis were girls?

  9. In my youth time there used to be PANCHE RALLY. I find some interesting similarities and differences between then PANCHE RALLY & yesterday’s Maoist’s Rally.

    Similarities
    1. No change in Kind & type of people
    2. No change in Slogan shouting
    3. No change in Cult making
    4. No change in so called cultural groups with baja-gajas
    5. No change in technique of mass collection and mass ferrying
    6. No change in water distribution and medical posts
    7. No change in the scene of people hurrying back after rally
    8. No change in tedious Bhasans

    Differences
    1. Change in Color from Yellow to Red
    2. Change in size of Mass
    3. Change in slogan from HAMRO RAJA … to GYANE CHOR …
    4. Change in Cult Figure from Mahendre & Bire to Prachande
    5. Change in Govt officials in Daura Surual to Red T-shirt Militia

    Any way we have to welcome Maoists for their come back from jungle.

  10. Blogwatch doesn’t seem to be tired of posting cynical and pathetic comments!! Must have been very upset to see such a crowd in maoist’s aamsabha. I feel pity for people like you.

  11. Nothing will change from such rallies. Rallies are the easiest things to do for politicians. Creating jobs and building infrastructure for all these faces posted up there are much harder. That’s why the (Maoist) politicians want to keep all these people fooled with such fanfare as long as possible. Because they know they don’t have the means or knowhow to bring about real, beneficial, practical changes.

  12. Hey Coke, that’s not true (photos of girls only) there are loads of male photos there! Like the 83 year old, and James the American.

    Great man on the street account! Thanks Dinesh.

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