Forgotten Fighters of April Revolution

Meeting half a dozen Janaandolan (People’s Movement) victims who are trying to cope with post-treatment life, our blogger probes beneath their dreams, desires, anxieties and sorrows and concludes that they have become forgotten heroes.

By Deepak Adhikari

When one enters into the building of people movement victims’ residence managed by Janaandolan Martyrs and Victims Welfare Forum in Gongabu, one doesn’t fail to notice the helpless and hapless victims of erstwhile Royal regime and now the SPA government. A former boarding school has been transformed into a shelter for the victims in Gongabu where during the April Uprising massive baton charging and firing resulted in huge numbers of injured ones.

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Ugly Aftermath: Victims of Janaandolan 2 discuss on their protest programs at Gongabu Shelter in July 25. All pics by Shaligram Tiwari

Its ironical that the same people who fought for loktantra are neglected after achieving the goal. Forums’ president Kailash Timilsina, a B Sc student in Patan Multiple Campus narrates tales of state’s negligence to accommodate and apathy towards their woes. In July 25, some 40 victims were arrested from Putalisadak and taken to custody in Singhdarbar Ward Police Station. They had to stage fast-unto-death to grab the government’s attention. Finally, Speaker Suwash Nembang made it to the Police Station and promised to form a parliamentary committee to help solve their problems.

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Worst Time for Uttam: Uttam Pulamimagar, a farmer from Ghartigaun, Kavre, who was injured in Banepa sees his future bleak as he lies in Model Hospital bed no:230.

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No Honeymoon This: Krishna Pokharel, newly wed salesman employed by Pepsi Company finds his confined life in Banasthali apartment tough and tiresome.

MP Jagannath Khatiwada is heading the parliamentary committee. He says that the committee’s responsibilities, working procedures and authorities are not clearly mentioned. The Model Hospital initiated Fund and an NGO called Tewa have however done superb job in treating and taking care of patients.

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Helping Hand: A box at Gongabu Shelter asking to donate for the victims.

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Food For Victims: A volunteer cooks chicken curry for the victims in Gongabu Shelter in June 25.

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All Smiles: Narendra Raule, an RR Campus journalism student and victim of Janaandolan attends his practical exam in June 27.

Most of the victims I spoke to were full of praises for comedian duo Haribansha Acharya and Madan Krishna Shrestha. But, their angers were apparently towards the leaders who while visiting them in Hospital bed promised a lot but vanished once they were discharged from the bed. The follow-ups, the rehabilitation and the livelihood are their major concerns as many of the victims are breadwinners of their families with two or three dependents. Why is the government turning deaf ear to their just demands?

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Never Ending Woes: Kedar Biswakarma who was injured in Kalanki temple area in April 21 was arrested by security forces again in Putalidsadak while some 20 victims were marching towards Singadarbar to submit their demands in July 25.

UWB:This article was originally published in Nepal Magazine. You can read the full text in Nepali here.

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

14 thoughts on “Forgotten Fighters of April Revolution

  1. Its true that theres a vast difference in the ‘Aspiration of peoples movement’ & the action of SPA Govt. on the aftermath.
    The SPA have proved themselves as incompetent to fulfill peoples common dream of Peace & Prosperity.
    What are these So called SPA leaders doing as in power with a mandate for New Nepal??

    We Nepalese wonder whether they are in same track of courruption & malfuntion as before!?

  2. Its true that theres a vast difference in the ‘Aspiration of peoples movement’ & the action of SPA Govt. on the aftermath.
    The SPA have proved themselves as incompetent to fulfill peoples common dream of Peace & Prosperity.
    What are these So called SPA leaders doing as in power with a mandate for New Nepal??

    We Nepalese wonder whether they are in same track of courruption & malfuntion as before!?

  3. Nepali people’s religion
    The new State should uphold and protect not only the citizens’ individual and minority right to freedom of religion but also the people’s collective majority right to freedom of religion across-the-State

    By Dr. Upendra Gautam

    On 18th May 2006, House of Representatives (HoR) came up with a nine-point Proclamation. The eighth point in the proclamation stated, “Nepal shall be a Secular State.” To say the least, it was a very unimaginative political proclamation relating to the people’s right to religion-both individually and collectively. This utter lack of imagination was more brutal when one sensed that it was made by an HoR restored by a unified people’s movement.

    HoR wrongs:

    What was wrong with the HoR? The HoR seemed to be a prisoner of appeasement as it could not courageously project a comprehensive alternative futuristic policy way out on the crucial question of people’s religion. It was arguably so for the following reasons: i) it thought religion only in terms of the State, and not the people; ii) it could only think of a State which was either “religious” or “non-religious or secular; iii) it mistook “Hinduism” for the king’s “religion”; iv) it could only think of “secular” model of the Republic of India; and v) it thought it was omnipotent to make a decision about “religion.”

    Clearly the HoR wronged because it was playing the game of power politics ad hoc, and out of the way to appease others more than their own struggling people-whose name was just used in the propaganda to cover the ulterior motive since the people, like God, do not pray for themselves. The people’s demand with the State about religion has never been a hand-puppet show. This explains why the HoR was unable to adopt an imaginative systematic democratic approach towards the question of the people’s religion.

    Facts about religion:

    Nepal is a country of religious pluralism. The majority of people are of two basic origins -Mongol and Aryan. The people have seriously been airing their grievances in the past during both the King’s panchayat regime and the Parliamentary System of government that the Census conducted in the country was neither fair nor efficient. Because the Census was not fair and efficient, it never recorded the people’s faith or religion they actually practiced. Further more, despite all the “Hinduist” paraphernalia, the essence of religion was missing in the so-called State’s advocacy of the “Hinduism.” The country’s increasing poverty, on the one hand, indicated the use of “Hinduism” as mere façade for elitist exploitation, the rebellion against such exploitation, on the other hand, delivered a resounding message to all vested interests that the people of Nepal had set out in their mission of the genuine people’s religion.

    Clearly the HoR wronged because it was playing the game of power politics ad hoc, and out of the way to appease others more than their own struggling people-whose name was just used in the propaganda to cover the ulterior motive since the people, like God, do not pray for themselves.
    The mission of genuine people’s religion fundamentally refers to unflinching support to and protection of the people’s freedom of religion. Whereas the foundation of the Nepali civilization is the people’s individual civic right to freedom of religion, the super-structure of this foundation is the people’s across-the-State collective right of adherence to their religion. Together with the Mongols and Aryans, the people from minority groups significantly contribute in strengthening the foundation of the Nepali civilization. Approach to religion:

    An imaginative systematic democratic approach to religion can therefore be taken only then when i) the competent and legitimate body (CLB) has fairly and efficiently collected Census information about the religion an individual citizen practices, ii) the CLB recognizes religion as a fundamental intellectual property of the people and not of the State, and iii) on the basis of Census information about religions individual citizens practice, and recognizing religion as the people’s common intellectual property, the CLB proclaims the basic policy towards religion. If the above mentioned three inter-related steps are honestly implemented in all fairness, the alternative basic policy towards religion of the people of Nepal, it is only an assumption at this stage, may be a Bauddha-Hindu dispensation.

    Let the new State uphold and protect not only the citizens’ individual and minority right to freedom of religion but also the people’s collective majority right to freedom of religion across-the-State. The HoR restored after the unified people’s movement should like to assert its procedural role more in the moments of transition than to go for undue and unwanted proclamation. Formulation and changes relating to the fundamental law of the land are an exclusive jurisdiction of a separate CLB. What the respective CLB needs to keep in mind though is only authoritarian and exploitative regimes treat religion as “opium of the people.”

    Dr. Gautam is a freelance writer and can be reached at cmsug@cms.wlink.com.np

  4. I believe SPA have justification for this negiligeince as well. May be they will proclaim from the assembly to readress this anomolies.

    We, being a supreme of all, shall declare the injured and disabled person during protest of 19 days to be given due medicine and comfort. This decree cannot be challenged or questioned even if it is not legal, acceptable to the injured or medicine is not provided.”

    Rather blame the injured for their folly, why? Did anyone see leaders venturing out in the protest? they sat glued to TV and only came out when they saw tide turning in their favor. Your balidan seems all in vain.

  5. I don’t expect much for the injured. These people are for the SPA “Almost martyrs”. If they can treat semi-martyrs in this manner, how do you think they will treat the rest of us? They rather have them dead so they can make statues of them and call them martyrs and forget about them. The injured alive is probably seen as a headache to them more than anything else. It is so much easier to glorify the dead and think no more about it, but in glorifying the living you need to pay attention as they ask questions and demand compensation and care and normal things that any other human being needs, and this is something the SPA don’t have the priority for.
    For the SPA the dead are martyrs and for the Maoist the dead are cadres.

  6. Why its a big deal. I knew this will happen everybody knows our corrupt leaders. This was bound to happen, if anybody have thought that sick and injured will get all support until they will be fine as before then they are the biggest fool. They are expecting miracle.

  7. I’m not going to beat arund the bush. If there is a constitutional assembly election I will vote for the people who advocate for multiparty democracy with a constitutional monarchy in a ceremonial role.

    Having said this, my sincerety goes out to the people who lost their lives and were injured in the “janandolan”. It is a shame that these innocent people have been affected so severely by taking part in these events. I will not entirely blame just the likes of Kamal Thapa and the police for this, but equally blame the SPA leaders for not being present in the andolan, which would have prevented many injuries and probably all the fatalities. Their absence has led to the police brutality, as there was a lack of direction and lack of thinking leadership on the ground.

    It would be atleast dignified and respectful if the media does not just refer to the people who were killed and injured as numbers. They have manes and they have families. I suggest that the media, do some work for a change and list the names of all the injured and the dead, so the people of Nepal know who they are, and they can be referred to by names and not just numbers. If the media truly care, I suggest they do a daily bio on each person who lost their life and the injured as well. Let the people know the personas behind the names. I think this would be more dignified than just handing out money only. Let us hear what they have to say and give them the respect they deserve. The same cannot be said for the SPA leadership and much much less for the maoist one.

  8. P.S. Let me add and say that UWB has made a good attempt to respect these people. But now the same should be exported into the mass media.

  9. We as a nation suffer from malady of overkill. Give one chance on anything and we overkill it without knowing or caring for future consequencies. The whole episode of Andolan was that. The suffering of these people will be coined in songs and dance but respite will never come to these people.

  10. What happend to donation collected by Madan Krishna and HariBansha. Are they not channelising for the Victim. It was collected for Vicitm.

  11. Maobadi are extorting money and the violence during the Andolan was caused by Maobadi Agent Provocateurs..Prachanda must be compelled to pay for these victims…

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