Maoists and Main Stream Politics of Nepal

Instead of joining the mainstream the Maoists intend to define the mainstream.

By Neil Horning (Updates on Peace Process- inside)

Maoist cadre playing with children

A Maoist guerilla plays with children in a village in Myagdi. Pic by Neil Horning

About a year ago, while trekking in Nepal I took a photo of the distant Annapurna mountains framing a precariously perched, tin-roofed shack, scrawled on the side in bright blue English read, “Political power flows out of the barrel of a gun. -Mao Tse Tung.”

A year later, the graphite is reality.

The recent “April Uprising” has been lauded by the international community as a triumph for democracy and “people power.” The 19 day strike and protest program defied all conventional expectations and forced the increasingly dictatorial king Gyanendra to give up nearly all of his power. Most likely, the rest of it will be striped away as a result of Constituent Assembly elections in the weeks and months to come.

Elections to a constituent assembly with the authority to draft a new constitution are the basis of a Twelve point agreement the ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA) reached with the Maoists in order to form a joint struggle against the king. At this point the SPA-Maoist alliance was offering a way out and peace, and all the palace had to offer was war and dictatorship. The demand for CA was so popular that after the reinstatement of Parliament, protests continued outside to make sure it would be implemented quickly. These elections have even been hailed by the U.S. state department as an acceptable way to bring the Maoists into the main stream.

But, according to Maoist ideology joining the mainstream is considered revisionism. Revisionism is a huge No-No. In what has become my favorite Maoist quote, Prachanda said in a 1999 interview: “My main thrust is that I hate revisionism. I seriously hate revisionism. And I never compromise with revisionism. I fought and fought again with revisionism. And the party’s correct line is based on the process of fighting revisionism. I hate revisionism. I seriously hate revisionism.”

Prachanda clearly hates revisionism. So, how can the Maoists reconcile their ideology with a compromise that has them joining the mainstream. Simple, it isn’t a compromise, and they aren’t joining the mainstream.

The constituent assembly has been the consistent minimum demand of the Maoists since they first agreed to talks in 2001. Their initial proposal was dismissed with the disingenuous counter proposal that they disarm (read: surrender) in order to continue talks. The only thing that has changed in the Maoist position since then is that it has grown significantly stronger. While before they held 2/3 of the country now they control 80%. Where before they had a combination of flint lock and World War II era rifles, now they have modern assault rifles, and where before they used to strike the army and run, now they can stand and fight. A state, according to Max Weber is nothing but a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. by challenging the monarchies monopoly on force, and providing space for their own political work, the Maoists have achieved a political power so substantial that they no longer need force to take the capital. Instead of joining the mainstream the Maoists intend to define the mainstream.

The Parliament is going to need to acknowledge this reality rather quickly. The Maoists are not going to give up their arms before they are included in the government, and when they do give up their arms it will be because their army has been incorporated into the state. Calls for the Maoists to give up their arms in order to “join the mainstream” both from domestic sources and abroad are the height of disingenuousness. All parties making these claims have had no ideological conflicts in the past using violence to achieve their own political aims. Many parties in the SPA have their roots in a violent struggle against the Ranas and Mahendra. These efforts were supported by India. The Dali Lama himself helped channel funds from the United States CIA in order to wage a Guerrilla war out of Mustang District.

The call of the hour is a timely and fair path for the Nepalese people to decide their own future without intimidation or coercion from either side. This is what the Maoists have offered in order to avoid a violent takeover of the capitol. It would be best for Nepal’s democratic forces to remember that is what the alternative is. While it is imperative that both sides agree on how to manage arms during the election, attempts to extend the sovereignty of the Parliament such as returning local Village Development Committiee (VDC) representatives and other political games designed to influence the outcome of the constituent assembly will do nothing but delay the inevitable at best, and restart the bloodshed at worst.

Neil Horning is an American currently living in Nepal. He interviewed the District commander of Myagdi and other Maoists in June of 2005 and holds a BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University.

Peace Talks Round Two: Govt, rebels reach 4-point agreement

By Gaurav Tiwari in eKantipur

KATHMANDU, June 15 – The second round of government-Maoist talks concluded in Lalitpur on Thursday with a four-point agreement between the two sides.

After the talks which started at around 2 pm at Hotel Himalaya in Kupondole, the government and the Maoist rebels agreed to hold summit talks between PM Koirala and Maoist Chairman Prachanda; form a truce monitoring team (Ceasefire Code of Conduct National Monitoring Committee); request the UN to assist the truce monitoring team and to monitor human rights; and to hold further talks under observers.

Addressing the media after the talks, Home Minister and the coordinator of the government talks team, Krishna Prasad Sitaula said that the talks have advanced positively. “Both the government and the Maoist talks teams have decided to hold summit talks between the PM and Maoist Chairman in presence of the leaders of the Seven Party Alliance as soon as possible,” Sitaula said. Home Minister Sitaula also said that a 31-member Ceasefire Code of Conduct National Monitoring Committee headed by civil society leader Dr. Devendra Raj Pandey has been formed. The Committee will monitor the implementation of the 12-point understanding reached between the seven-party alliance and the Maoists in November last year, and the 25-point Ceasefire Code of Conduct signed between the government and the Maoists during the first round of talks held on May 26 this year.

The members of the Committee are Dr. Arjun Karki, Dr. Om Gurung, Prof. Kapil Shrestha, Dr. K.B. Rokaya, Keshav Bhattarai, Krishna Pahadi, Gauri Pradhan, Chandi Raj Dhakal, Charan Prasain, Taranath Dahal, Nilambar Acharya, Padma Lal B.K., Prof. Dr. Bhupati Dhakal, Malla K. Sundar and Dr. Mahesh Maskey. Similarly, other members of the Committee are Madhav Banskota, Raman Shrestha, Dr. Ramman Shrestha, Wangchhe Sherpa, Bishnu Nisthuri, Dr. Birendra Mishra, Bishnu Pukar Shrestha, Shanta Shrestha, Shyam Shrestha, Shiva Gaunle, Sushil Pyakurel, Er. Saroj Devkota, Sudha Sharma, Subodh Pyakurel and Sushil Chandra Amatya.

“We have also decided to request the Nepal-based United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-Nepal) to assist the truce monitoring committee and to monitor human rights,” Sitaula added. Likewise, Sitaula also said any further government-Maoist talks will be held under the observation of civil society leaders Laxman Prasad Aryal, Padmaratna Tuladhar, Dr Devendra Raj Pandey, Damannath Dhungana and Dr Mathura Prasad Shrestha.

Talking to journalists, Sitaula also expressed his view that the success of the talks was essential for sustained peace and prosperity in the country. “The summit talks will be held sooner than expected,” coordinator of the Maoist talks team Krishna Bahadur Mahara told reporters further calling for all the citizens to contribute to make the government-Maoist talks a success. “While we are approaching the historic Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, we are not going to hinder the process by focusing only on our party’s agenda,” Maoist spokesperson Mahara said, expressing the Maoists’ approach towards the talks and the country’s future.

Mahara also said that his party was against PM Koirala’s stand for a ceremonial king but “would let the people decide in the CA.” Earlier, in the first round of peace talks held on May 26 in Gokarna Resort, the two sides had announced a 25-point Code of Conduct governing the cease-fire announcement so as to ensure a violence-free environment. They had also agreed to invite credible national and international monitoring teams to oversee the ceasefire and compliance to the Code of Conduct.

PM, Prachanda to meet today
Second round of talks forms ceasefire monitoring committee, diologue observation team, and decides to request OHCHR to assist monitoring

BY BIKASH SANGRAULA in the Kathmandu Post

LALITPUR, June 15 – Following the second round of talks between the government and the Maoists Thursday, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist Supremo Prachanda will hold “supreme talks” on Friday. At the second round of talks led by Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Krishna Bahadur Mahara at Hotel Himalaya at Kupondole Thursday a four-point agreement was signed. The agreements include conducting talks “very soon between the Nepal government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) with the participation of top leaders from the seven political parties and the CPN (Maoist)”. (continue reading)

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

54 thoughts on “Maoists and Main Stream Politics of Nepal

  1. Neil:

    I wonder how you got that magical 2/3 or 80% control numbers?

    Control is not same as having influence. As for control, they don’t even control one district. As for having some kind of extortionary effect, they exert it nationwide. I hope you know the distinction.

  2. UWB ! You are posting this and that , but why are so silent about the killings of 7 Nepalese in Kashmir.

  3. Neil, after reading your last paragraph, I get the impression that we should just let Maoist rule, is that so? This all boils down to “through a barrel of a gun.” They control 80% of the country, they Instead of joining the mainstream they intend to define the mainstream, and no,no to revisionism. So its if you cannot beat them then join them, be a communist and be a maoist state. Dream on.

    Who can say there will not be a birth of movement which holds a view that in order to correct the wrongs, order of the day will be to do whatever is necessary. It may mean counter organization that equally believes in armed revolt to get what they want- who is gonna stop them. See the vicious cycle.

  4. Dear Neil
    Thank you for the unbiased analysis of current political situation in Nepal. But, I did not get the meaning of the phrase “The Dali Lama himself helped channel funds from the United States CIA in order to wage a Guerrilla war out of Mustang District”. What do you mean by this? So far as I know is that, after the invasion of Chinese souldiers in Tibet, some Tibetian “Khampas” had escaped from Tibet and had captured and settled in some places of Mustang. They were involved in torturing and grabbing the locals and Royal Nepal Army had chased them away and some were said to be killed. The recent army camp in Kaisan was established by these Khampas. I do not whether this is true. I came to know this from the locals when I had visited Mustang myself and I had never read about it in any print media.

  5. Is this photo taken under pressure?
    If children are playing they jumping laughing and making jokes but look good to the faces of this little ones!

  6. I took the photo, and the kids were playing around with the Maoist before I took the picture. When I went to take a photo of the Maoist the kids all wanted to be in the photo.

    If there was coercion going on in this situation it certainly wasn’t visible to me. The Maoists told me they were holding a meeting with the villagers, the kids were not included in this meeting so they were playing around with the militia member. They also made the point to me that if the army came the kids would go inside and hide, but when they are there the kids are outside playing.

    It is of course possible that when the Maoists are present everybody pretends to like them. It is even likely that this is the case. However, the actual situation is certainly more complex then the jingoistic idea the the Maoists have managed to gain all of their power through intimidation.

  7. Neil, when you talk about jingoistic idea- one thing struck me, this is about white settlers and Red Indians. Do find any similarity, here. White being Maoist and Red Indians being people like us.

  8. As for the percentage of control…

    Last year when I was here there were 3 places out of 70 odd districts that where armed Maoists were not operating freely. Mustang, Pokhara, and Kathmandu Valley. In Myagdi district there were no police, and I was never asked to present my treking permit. From talking to locals and treking guides in I learned that if the army wanted to get to Beni from Jomsom that instead of walking through Myagdi district (along a popular treking route), they would instead fly down to Pokhara and take a bus to Beni. To me this constitutes Maoist control of a district.

    The Maoists later told me that out of the 40 VDC’s in Myagdi district the Government controlled 3. This was the district headquarters and the sorounding communities.

    From this information I have made the judgement that the Maoist claims of 80% control are correct. By control, I mean that the government is not free to operate but the Maoists are. This is not influence, it is control.

  9. Livewire: Yes, if you want to be jingoistic, the comment about settlers and Indians is a good way to do it. It adds no information and there is nothing in particular that would stop a Maoist from extending the same analogy towards the RNA, King, upper castes, India, U.S. imperialism etc.

    Purplerain has mentioned some good points, however, and they need to be addressed:

    I don’t suggest that Nepal simply roll over and become a Maoist state, but I do suggest that both sides of the conflict abide by the results of a free and fair election to re-draft the constitution. There could be no better result to years of conflict then to allow the people to actually decide how their country is to be run. It is a much better result then a compromise between various existing centers of power, such as in 1990. Since the Maoists have agreed to Multiparty democracy you have hope that the result will not be a one party Maoist dictatorship.

    The vicious cycle you are talking about indicates you think it is never right to take up arms against the government. I would have to disagree with you on that. The country I grew up in was founded on the principle that in certain circumstances it is the duty of a free people to do just that. Last year when I was teaching English and social studies here the issue of rights came up in one of the text books. I had the students copy down the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. I thought it was timely. When I was done with the copy I printed out I handed it to one of the Maoists I took photos of. I’ll put these in my next post.

    If you have fear of a continuing cycle of violence I can do little to reassure you other then refer you to Chalmers Johnson’s Theory of Revolution. It states that revolution will only successfully occur in societies that are out of equilibrium. Once a new equilibrium is found and a process of conservative change is synchronized, then the state becomes immune to revolution. You can find it in my article on in the articles section. It may be difficult because was blocked by the king last year.

  10. IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

    hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

  11. Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment II
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    Amendment III
    No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Amendment V
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Amendment VI
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

    Amendment VII
    In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    Amendment VIII
    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Amendment IX
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    Ok, I hope you enjoyed that. I have another article to work on. Thats enough procrastination for today.

  12. Neil, I take your point but I cannot quite digest your sentence like this one “since the Maoists have agreed to Multiparty democracy you have hope that the result will not be a one party Maoist dictatorship.” What made you come to this logic. You seem well versed about Nepali politics but from my vista all I see is poppycock rhetoric, played extremely well by the maoist in order to gain credibility but the real intention is quite to the contrary.

    You talk about connection between equilibrium and revolution, may be there is but disparity between haves and have nots is everywhere, does it justify revolution at cost of lives and livelihood? The issue is not the equilibrium but the mode or system that is inclusive and integrates vast majority of the population whereas maoist and their propaganda is solely focused, falsely, on dream of “utopia” that can never be realized.

    Let me take you back to Iraq- coalition forces say that they have Iraq under their control but on a daily basis 40/50 are being killed in sectarian or subversive action. Why do we justify this? Is this war for Iraq, Americans or Jihads, do you find equilibrium disturbed, here? Will revolution start after the pull back of coalition forces. Yes, this is tricky.

    All I want is Nepal as a nation that avoids the pitfalls seen in Khmer Rouge, Iraq, Kashmir, East Timor, and Somalia. I want to have Bills of Rights and freedom enshrined and protected whereby my children never have to face gulags, persecution because of belief, and right to choose his dream and way of life.

  13. Mode of Extortion:

    M: We want you to donate us Rs 100…..
    N: Why shall I donate you? There is a truce and Peace Process is going on.
    M: Yes Peace process is going on. Thats why we are not using our guns. But we have not laid down our guns. Do you want us to use these guns again?
    N: It looks I have no choice but to accept the offer you have made. I surrender the amount Rs 100….. you want.

  14. First, Khamer Rouge ideology and Maoist ideology are completely divergent. The Maoists have at no point stated they are in favor of a peasant Utopia. They are in favor of what I would call a “development state.” If they want to successfully achieve a high rate of development they are going to need the mainstreme parties or this land locked country will be cut off from the rest of the world. You can call the Maoists anything but incompetent, so this is unlikely happen.

    Second, There are more components to the equilibrium of a society then a disparity between haves and have nots. It relates more to the rate of change within society and the ability of the social elite to keep up with this change. If society is static then there can be no revolution. If society is changing and there is an elite that is trying it’s hardest to keep society the same, particularly if it uses force to do so, then society will be prone to revolution. It is more complex then that, but that is the basic concept.

    Third, sorry for any spelling errors. I am being charged 100RS/hour for this connection and I need to get off.

  15. Mr. Horning-what a disingenous article! Why not just tell us to give in to everything the Maoists want or drop dead. You seem to completely ignore their darker side. With such an orthodox communist like Prachanda at the helm can you please explain to me how he is not going to turn Nepal into another N.Korea or Cuba? In this globalised world pragmatism is needed not strict adherence to an outmoded ideology. We all know why communism does not work-humans beings are too greedy to think and work for the greater good. Prachanda’s flogging a dead horse. It just a pity that Nepal is so full of corrupt and inefficient rulers that this old, recycled nonsense actually has appeal to the poor of this country.

  16. Regarding the US Declaration of Independence: It only applied to property owning white males. This was a minority of the US population. It was the British settlers demanding more power vis-a-vis the British Crown. It was not egalitarian. It did not end the slave system. In fact, if you read carefully, one of the big complaints was that the British weren’t bringing in “enough” slaves or killing the indigenous people fast enough.

    Democracy for the rich, slavery for the poor.

    That is the history of America’s democracy.

    Only yesterday, the Supreme Court declared the police need not notify victims of searches, but can barge into your house with guns drawn. We can now be arrested without charge in the US and held by the military. Muslims and Arabs (and Indian Sikhs) face tremendous racial discrimination and torture.

    That is the truth.

    Democracy is a piece of paper.

    Socialism is the power of the people in daily life.

  17. burningman-you must never have heard of a guy called Stalin. Champion of socialism he was. I think only Mao, another champion of socialism, topped him in the ‘number of millions killed during their absolute rule’ charts.

  18. Uncle Joe?

    Yeah, I heard of him. My grandmother told me about how he backboned the fight against Hitler. Millions did die — because Nazis thought they should rule the world and the old ruling classes thought their lack of privilege was the same the as their “death.”

    If the whole world isn’t your servant, you are “persecuted.” Sure…

    Stalin isn’t the model. Prachanda and Bhattarai have been clear that they have a different model, one based on the people — exactly those lower classes and castes you think are your draft animals.


    Kirat: You must not have heard of George W. Bush and his torture camps and prisons, his nuclear weapons and his defense of the rich against the people of the world.

    You will not be able to beat the future with the club of the past. This system is intolerable and its days are numbered. Your fear-mongering is shown for the foolishness that it is by facts on the ground. Anti-communist dogma is the last defense of an indefensible system.

    Mark the days.

  19. burningman-the way you gloss over Stalin’s crimes and choose only to talk about his stand against the Nazi’s shows your true colour. Do you realize that more people died after the war at Stalins hands? Well I know how your mind works now-you’re a real fake who will twist the facts to suit your beliefs. Just as people like KG give royalty a bad name twisted idiots like you give communism/socialism a bad name with your bald faced lies and denials.

    I hate George Bush too but to compare him with Stalin and think the latter is better-only for a deranged mind like yours .

  20. Neil, I will make it short, define me the difference between “development state” and “peasant utopia” in real terms and in a pragmatic way, please?

  21. Development state: Committing all available resources of the state to the rapid economic development of the country.

    Peasant Utopia: Committing all the resources of the state to reducing everyone to the level of a peasant.

  22. Burningman: You obviously agree with the point I was making about the right of people to take arms against the government. What your read in RCP literature about the Declaration of Independence does not detract from the power of the document, and is not relevant to this conversation.

    Please try and keep limit to the group-think. On both sides

    Thank you

  23. I know that Kirat is obsessed with Pol Pot and he also lurks unsaid in some of the other posts on this site.The difference between him and Pranchanda and Bhattarai could not be more clear and dramatic. Nepalese communism is very rational and scientific like Chinese Communism.

    THE FOLLOWING IS FROM GARY LEUPP A US HISTORY PROFESSOR But this association between the Khmer Rouge and Maoism, originally made by the Soviets, is in fact rejected by Maoists themselves. The Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (the “embryonic center of the world’s Maoists” of which the Nepalese party is a member) indeed calls it “a deliberate effort to slander Maoism.” RIM describes the Khmer Rouge as “more a small circle than a party” that operated through a secretive body with an undisclosed leadership simply called “the Organization.” It denounces the Khmer Rouge for indiscriminate and widespread torture, economic disasters such as the abolition of money and proclamation of an immediately classless society, and general failure to understand socialism in the Marxian sense. It notes that the Khmer Rouge never called themselves Maoists, and indeed stated “it is better to learn nothing from foreign experience.” They made use of the monarchy surrounded by Theravada Buddhist traditions, promoted a ferocious nationalism, indulged in fantasies about recreating the glory days of the ancient Khmer Empire, and practiced a curious mix of doctrines that Philip Short, who has written biographies of both Mao Zedong and Pol Pot, declares should not be confused with Maoism. The differences, in Short’s interpretation, result largely from cultural context: “Whereas Mao was the product of an intensely rational, literate society, with highly developed traditions of philosophical debate, [the Khmer Rouge’s] cultural heritage was irrational, oral, guided by Theravada transcendentalism and by k’ruu, spirit-masters, whose truths sprang not from analysis but from illumination… They never once…carried out any social investigation of the social conditions in which that revolution was to come.” (“Investigation of social conditions” is fundamental to Mao’s thought.) “The contrast with Maoist China could hardly be greater,” concludes Short, a former BBC correspondent with no special pro-Mao agenda.

  24. kill the people pol pot way, stalin way or prachanda way, whats difference. all of them are just killing machines. yeah chinese communists and prachanda did it scientifically or rationally or whatever.

  25. All armies are killing machines irrespective of ideologies.Prachanda has taken the risk of making peace in Nepal pawan and you cannot even commend him for that !

  26. prachanda went for peace deal because indians were about to kick his butts out of india.

  27. Now the fact that Maoists have 80% of the country under their control is not entirely true. However much I find some of the Nepal Army’s methods unpalatable, if they were to go out in full force, quite a bit of the country would be recovered. The idea that the people are with the Maoists is shallow. What have the Maoists done for them in 10 years that would make them respect them?

    I am distrustful of both the NA and the Maoists but the fact that they are about evenly matched allows me to sleep better at nights. That’s the reason the Maoists have come to negotiate. They realize that they can’t win on the battlefield. They can’t lose, but they can’t win either. Therefore the entry into politics. I don’t care what Prachanda said–if he’s as shrewd as I think he is, he’s not going to fight anymore.

    Which is why, good or bad, we still need the NA.

  28. manan, is that not the stinking thing about the RNA? They never went at the Maoists at full force-as if they were scared or something. We all know it was not because of fear of civilian casualties. This incompetent, corrupt organisation needs heavy reform.

  29. Neil, this is the problem. Is see the similarity between peasant and development state. Just that the time has changed. Now the question is “development state” at what cost and price, will it be at the cost of individual unalienable rights, freedom of expression and speech, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?

    Being a romantic is not bad but being a senseless one is a doom.

  30. For me, PolPot, Stalin,Mao,Guzman, Prachanda are the same. they are killing machines against the poor in the name of poor. Maoists still have not renounced the violence. They are continuing to kill. Our corrupt leaders are thinking that they will have peace soon but it can be only a mirage.You never know the hardcore communists how they can choose to return to 360 degrees.He said that RNA is killing people and raping the women but what about their PLA ? Are they like gods ?

  31. Did you guys watched channel Nepal 1 interview with Prachanda’s interview- I hear siad if he’s defeated in CA then his revolution will continue and his party does not believe in Assembly although he believes in Multiparty system- Tell what you take from this.

  32. Pawan: as I stated before the Maoists have not compromised anything. The unconditional CA has been a demand of the Maoists since before the army was mobilised. The SPA are the ones who compromised. It is therefore highly unlikely that the deal is a result of Indian pressure.

    It is also highly unlikely that “Going at the Maoists in full force.” would have accomplished much.

    First of all, terror campaigns by the RNA were an excellent recruiting tool for the Maoists.

    Second, notions that the army was not “Going at full force” are dubious. The king assumed direct power under the auspice of doing just that.

    Third, The strategy of warfare employed by the Maoists is extremely difficult to dislodge. It is based on “luring the enemy in deep” as written by Mao. Campaigns designed to encircle and eliminate the enemy would likely result in being exposed in unfavorable terrain, cut off from supply, and eliminated. Forces that were deployed competently by the RNA would be denied engagement by the Maoists. Forces that were deployed in exposed positions would be attacked with overwhelming force. The last Maoist attack before the unilateral ceasefire is a textbook example.

    the Maoists started their parleys with the parliamentary parties from a position of strength. the result is they were able to achieve power while avoiding a battle for the capital. From what I gather this is what differentiates “Prachanda Path” from “Gonzalo Thought” for those familiar with those terms (Livewire and co.)

  33. In the initial phase of Maoists campaign it was believed that Prince Gyanenedra offered some logistics help to boost Maoists. It was done in Nirmal Niwas just to discredit democratic leaders and democracy. King gyanenedra was not concerned with the Maoists but he was very angry with multi-party leaders and tried to repress them instead of Maoists. As Prachanda said recently, King misread the Maoists intentions. King may have thought that “as I helped them to grow, they will obey my order or request”. It is exactly Bhindrenwale syndrome at the time of Indira Gandhi or Tamil to Rajiv Gandhi assassination.King never tried and gave orders RNA to pursue the Maoists during his direct rule.If that was the case, Nepalese would have different attitude as regards the King. KG and SPA would have gone together against the Maoists. King was dead wrong in his strategy.He is the biggest fool on earth today.

  34. I guess Maoist are better tacticians then the coalition force in Iraq under US of A. The stupidity of SPA is the crux of the matter, For a gringo to analyze and come to conclusion that what Maoist did was just and right is pointless. I remember Reagan saying ” run but you cannot hide” and not to talk to any terrorist organization (maoist are still terrorist-US) smacks of double standard. How can anyone forget Contras and US attitude & action towards them (US’s backyard) but it is alright in Nepal, just because we are nowhere in the radar.

    This does not mean fault lies somewhere else, its pure and simple, its us. But the point is, if you look at from a pragmatic point of view, even if maoist comes to power they are limited in reaching stated goal of “development state.” Only thing they can do is distribute and allocate resources and enact populist polices at the expense of capitalistic entrepreneurs who are backbone of this economy. So much for rhetoric and decrees.

    Truth is simple- haves will endure the loot and have nots will enjoy the bounty but for how long? This is my concern.

  35. The parenthesise in my above post should read
    (burningman and co.)

    sorry for any confusion.

  36. One thing we can be sure of: we’re not in an LTTE type situation. Prachanda and his pals simply can’t continue in this way. They don’t have money, don’t have support. I think Girija’s doing a good thing by supporting a constitutional monarchy. He has to tell the Maoists that he’s not on their side. He might invite them over, but that doesn’t mean he’s giving them everything.

    And I have a hard time believing Prachanda is going to go back empty handed now. He wants power, you can see it. For so many years we didn’t even know who he was, and now he’s all over the capital. Either he’s sure his Maoist troops are going to conquer Kathmandu or he’s had enough of living in the boondocks.

    I think he’s come to the realization that he’s no Mao.

  37. When maoists join the Interim Govt., which Minstry they want to have ? They will definitely demand one DPM and powerful Ministry with that. They will take another three/four Minstries.The maoists activists will start threatenning each and every bureaucrat in those Minstries and enroll their hardcore activists in the Minstry’s job. That will create a lot of problems and Coalition may crumble. I hope that they will not capture Home and Defence Minstries.

  38. Friends the best solution to a peaceful environment is not to have any armies. Disband the Nepale Army and just buidl up the militias that Prachanda has proposed. Good for all concerned.

  39. To add to Deva- lets not have national boundaries-we are people of the world. I tell you Prachanda to me is like Jotis you find in Tudikhel. He can talk the talk but can he deliver. No matter what people say- things are stacked up against him, historically and politically. To be a firebrand anti-establishment is easy in country like Nepal but to lead is another matter- Just ask Girija and his lot. So the pain we are going through is because of these lots and too many Ditthas without acumen to lead.

  40. Livewire,

    Right on. It’s so damned easy to talk of nationalising this that and the other, taking from the haves and giving to the have nots. As if this will sustain us for more than two months at most. Instead of talking of creating industry, trade, jobs etc. so that the have nots can become the haves tomorrow.

  41. Horning defends his arguments well, but the flaw in his argument is some of the premises itself.

    The claim that maoists could stand and fight is bogus. The maoists were becoming less and less able to cause any sort of damage to barracks, they wer only harpinmg their propganda by destroying public properties and the only major defeat the army encountered was that of it’s non combat battalion who are largely mobilised for infrastructure work. In fgact if it was not for the parties joining hands with the maoists many believe the maoists were running out of funds and any new strategies to go more than a couple of months beyond April 2006.

    It very much seems that things are going the maoist way, but I would not be too quick and jump the gun. There are activities brewing and little suggestions here and there that is becoming clearer that the SPA have a plan and so does India. It will be a question of let’s bring them out, get them reeled in, then there is no other way but the democratic way. As Girija cooly put it this past week:
    “Now everyone – the parties and the maoists are under the Kangressi umbrella, this has always been our aim, and even the King is under this umbrella,and no one can escape from it as it is the umbrella of democracy”.
    Maoists may have won the battle but the war is not yet over. Besides according to Horning the maoists already had 80% of Nepal in their grasp, so is’nt it the SPA who are the winners after the April uprising?

  42. To Deva,
    What is the rational of having state, country and Army- is there any? Just like you have said “having an army does not make sense for Nepal, I feel the same way about country having borders, politicians having idealogy, and a nation having a political parties. Join the movement- Anarchism for the individual

  43. Our Army can fight neither the Indian nor the Chinese Army, so why keep it? We will have the police and the militias to look after the law and order problems. We can use those budgetry savings for the development of the nation.

    Nepalese have always done well outside their own country. Won VCs in the British Army, MVCS in the Indian Army, been very good domestic helpers in India, excellent labourers in various parts of the world,etc, but they have been miserable failures within Nepal. What is perhaps needed is someone other than Nepalese to command them.

    Even the state as we know it today, is weak, poor, irrelevant; so why not join in India’s success and become a part of the Federation. I a sure our politicians will not mind.

  44. I don’t know if it is the SPA that won, but they are certainly the ones that made the “soft landing.” If the 12 point understanding hadn’t happened it is likely that the King and the Maoists would have gone at each other for a year or two more. Being unable to organise a significant movement on their own, and not being included in the government, the SPA would likely have lost relevance. This is worthless speculation though. The minute Gyanendra took direct power it was inevitable that their would be a polarization.

    Evidence that the Maoists were running out of money would be virtually impossible to find. Their records are not exactly public. It was actually the king and government who mainstream analysts believed would be bankrupt by July of this year. The Maoists are not dependent on international financial support. The Government is. The king had managed to get most of his international support cut off, particularly military support but also foreign Aid. See or do some googling. My Internet connection is too slow here to find a link for you.

    The Government/RNA and various independent analysts Have been predicting that the Maoists were about to break, had lost their public support, were looking for a soft landing etc. since 1998. A month before I came to Nepal the first time I attended a summit in Berkeley with Depak Thapa and others. They were repeating the same kind of pablum, None of it has ever been reflected by the situation on the ground.

    I look at it this way: The Maoists were charging tourists 1000RS each to go through the area I interviewed them. Thats more then the average monthly income here. During the season there are up to 500 tourists that could be staying at a given village. An army that couldn’t manage to connect Jomsom to Beni in order to cut off that cash flow does not have the strategic advantage. In addition, A guerrilla movement that just built a 91km road is not running out of money. That’s simplistic analysis of course, but it more based on the ground reality then idle claims from Kathmandu.

    Deva: (If you are not being sarcastic) A movement for no state or army in Nepal and a movement to become a province of India are functionally equivalent.

  45. Deva wants Prachanda’s personal goondas to intimidate and run the country..

    Deva says:
    ” Disband the Nepale Army and just buidl up the militias that Prachanda has proposed. Good for all concerned. “..

  46. lets not be too fatalistic, Deva. I guess its slave mentality you are talking about, I agree with its here but most worrying thing is herd mentality we seem to pick up, dunno from where?

  47. My above should have been adressed to Diehard instead of Deva. Sorry Deva.

    lets try it again:

    Diehard: A movement for no state or army in Nepal and a movement to become a province of India are functionally equivalent.

  48. Neil, buddy I have no agrgument with that. That is the reason and why I answered Deva.

  49. Good God, we can’t have militias in this country.
    A small standing army, for prestige’s sake, might be a good idea. Plus, we need a force capable of responding quickly to emergencies and natural disasters.

    But militias, no. Who will they be controlled by?

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