The Phenomenon Called Prachanda

The Maoist’s success has demonstrated the brilliant combination of bullet and ballot to rise to the power. Chairman Prachanda will be cited as an example of success in world communist movement. His challenge: turn the flowery promises into reality.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Weblog [In the photo: Prachanda’s dominance in party’s advertisements during the campaign trail to the party itself is cemented like never before.]

In almost all campaign speeches Prachanda used to explain why he chose constituencies Rolpa-2 and Kathmandu-10 to for the CA polls. “People can interpret my candidacy from here and Rolpa-2 in their own varied ways,” Prachanda had said in a campaign rally in Kirtipur where I was present. “My candidacy has symbolic importance. We started the great People’s War from Rolpa and one of the last qualitative attacks of the War was bravely conducted here in Thankot (Police Post).” [Read here Prachanda’s reasons in detail.]

The interpretations were that Prachanda wasn’t sure about winning from Kathmandu so he chose Rolpa. I listened to couple of his speeches during campaign and I got the impression that Prachanda himself wasn’t sure about the victory. Definitely not sure about getting the landslide that he got in Kathmandu-10. He sounded like he was desperately pleading for an alliance with the CPN UML. “Yesterday we tried to find UML leaders for four hours as it was the last day to form an alliance,” Prachanda said in one of those rallies. “But the senior leaders of the UML were not available.”

Prachanda in the campaign trail [In the photo: Prachanda on the campaign trail.]

Today, CPN UML leaders organized a press conference who was broadcast live on TV and they were in somber mood. Nobody smiled. Once MK Nepal, the beleaguered general secretary of the UML, smiled but that was because he was embarassed by one of the questions by a reporter to KP Oli, a leader who was vehemently opposed to alliance with Maoists. “Today’s press conference is about me, not him,” Nepal said of Oli who was seated on a corner. UML is totally humiliated.

Anyway, let me come back to Prachanda. The general assumption is that he wasn’t sure about the victory in Kathmandu-10. Many people were also not sure about his victory in Rolpa-2. But that was the conventional wisdom that has been (and is being) shattered by the results that are trickling in from around the country.

Yesterday while receiving the certificate of the victory from the Election Commission Prachanda tried to portray himself as a pragmatic leader who is willing compromise and give importance to cooperation among political forces. He also tried to assure the international community that he is not a radical communist with anti-west agenda.

Many people, including Maoists, are awed by the electoral performance of the Maoist. This impressive show undoubtedly cements Prachanda’s dominance in the Maoist party. There was an internal rift within the party regarding the party’s participation in election and in the interim government. Prachanda was regarded as pro-election, pro-peace process. There was even talks of launching urban revolution, an idea propagated by the Ram Bahadur Badal faction of the party. It is believed that the Maoists pulled out of interim government because of that rift. Now that Badal himself has got landslide victory along with the party from Chitwan, there will be no opportunity for critics of Prachanda to raise their heads. Their mouths have been shut by these victories forever. There is no other way than Prachandapath (The Way of Prachanda).

Not only in his party or in Nepal but Maoist’s performance under Prachanda’s leadership will definitely create ripples in the world communist movement. It’s certain that Prachanda will be regarded as the example of success in the world communist text books. After a decade of armed struggle, he is in the verge of capturing the state lawfully. The Maoist’s success has shown the brilliant combination of the power of bullet and ballot. The party has been propelled to power as the armed struggle and the democratic exercise came together.

Many people are already talking about the possible actions of the Maoist-led government. Will they kick out opponents and try to impose communist dictatorship in Nepal?

I don’t think so. This is an example that I have been giving to all people whom I have been talking with on that topic:

The Maoist Information and Communication Minister couldn’t stop the beauty context Miss Nepal from being boradcast from state owned Nepal TV in April 2007. The Government police even applied force to chase away those, mostly Maoists, who had gathered around Birendra International Convention Centre at Baneshwar, the venue of the contest, reported a weekly magazine at that time. Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the information minister, even had to pacify his party workers who were wounded when the police used force. And he quietly ignored his party colleague, led by Minister Hishila Yami who went public saying beauty contest is nothing more or less than body-show and its commercialisation. Minister Mahara’s dilemma began when he was shown the long term contract between Dabur, an Indian company that sponsored the beauty context and Nepal Television. Any breach of contract, by any side would mean incurring huge penalty. Mahara chose to let NTV telecast the contest live. Mahara was later heard as saying “Paisa ko skakti dekhiyo [we saw the power of money]”

See the Maoists couldn’t even stop a beauty peasant from being broadcast live on the TV that is controlled by them. So it’s one thing to give revolutionary slogans to the public and its entirely another to fulfill them. Now that Maoists have got chance to turn their sugarcoated promises into actions. That’s a huge challenge. They have to be realistic. Prachanda has repeatedly made it clear that his party was for capatilistic democracy in which capatilists could earn profit. We have to believe him. Actually there is no option. People have decided to let them take charge of things. We can hope that they will do the best. At worst they will be another Congress lot who was engaged in corruption and power abuse. In such case Nepali people know what to do with the Maoist: vote ’em out.

For The Record:

Prachanda wins Rolpa-2: He defeated his nearest rival with a wide margin of votes. He won the election securing 34,230 votes while UML’s Shanta Kumar Oli ended up with 6029 votes. The Maoist party has triumphed in Rolpa-1 also. Party’s central leader Jayapuri Gharti won the election securing 26,505 votes to NC candidate Madhav Prasad Acharya’s 4946 votes.

Prachanda wins Kathmandu-10: Prachanda has won in Kathmandu constituency-10 with a huge vote margin. He secured 20,499 votes, almost double than his close rival Rajendra Kumar K.C of NC who got 11,103 votes. UML fared badly in this constituency also as in other Katmandu constituencies that used to be its stronghold. The party’s bet for the constituency, Sanu Kumar Shrestha, managed to garner just 6,216 votes.

Related blog:

1. The Campaign Trail: Following Prachanda in Kathmandu-10

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33 thoughts on “The Phenomenon Called Prachanda”

  1. I read the Maoist manifesto for the first time today. Prachanda hasn’t become a hero till now, he will only become a hero if he can fulfill the Nepali dream (Gass, Bass ra Kapaas).

    Nepal is a real hard place to develop. Maobadi le sapana bade ko chha tara tyo sapana kati sakaar hunchha herna baki chha.

    Some things interesting are:
    1. Prachanda is going to eliminate illiteracy in next 5 years.

    2. Produce 10,000 Megawatts of electricity in next 10 years.

    3. Establish 15 more universities, one in every state and another a agriculture university. Every such universities will be research oriented ones. They will attract “bideshi” students and researchers.

    Its not written with what they are going to do that? Guns, intimidation or by constructing labor camps.

    Lets hope Puspa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda wont be the next Castro or Next Mugabe.

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  2. Maoist Campaign .. and Candidate Selection .. Was superb .. hope … they will do the same .. when building up a new constitution for the country .. the one i like best about Maoist was that they tried to Get into Youths .. No I am not taking abt YCL .. I am talking abt the Basketball tournaments (also Football tournaments)that they organized .. wid one of the highest rewards that attracted huge amt of teams to participate…
    Maoist Did really did make a difference in this 2 years . . and really they deserve their fruit .. But this is just the begging .. they need to prove themselves .. that they worth .. the Trust of Nepalese people

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  3. Hamas also won the elections in the Palestine .. it did not change the attitude of world to judge them any other than a terrorist organisation. Hamas could not make the old palestine a “new” palestine.

    The same will happen with the Maoists. We have seen it all. Hisila Yami’s action of employing all her relatives in her ministry speaks more than amply regarding Nepal’s future with the Maoists. Don’t raise the hope for “new” Nepal just yet.

    Alas, people just don’t get it, it seems!

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  4. Nepalis are paying for their ‘Karma’- soon they will understand the price of supporting Maoists, if not already.

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  5. Sarki ko chhoro,

    Talking about the world opinion, in this case so called international community has slipped off. They thought Maoists were going to loose and wanted to force them to accept the results. That is why there came barrage of press releases from the western community even before the results started coming in. Look at all of those press statements language..all of them urge the parties to respect and accept the results! All that was intended only and only to the Maoists. And yes, Maoists have heeded the international community’s request: they have accepted and welcomed the result!

    Check this out:

    https://blog.com.np/united-we-blog/2008/04/12/international-accolades-to-nepal-elections/

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  6. so wagle you also agree to the use of bullets to gain power – thats why you are calling it brilliant??? all the people who suffered have been forgotten – its sad – really sad – just another article to write huh?

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  7. it was in 2003, when i was returning from Pokhera to Kathmandu, while we arrived at Thankot, i noticed a huge queue of busses, stopped by police (and or Army). later I realized that police are conducting a search on buses and on us. police were also rude towards people. they pointed guns on us and told us to get off from the bus as quickly as possible. we were not even allowed to take our belongings. I was extremely agitated by their attitude. all the passengers including me had to walk about 30 minutes or so while i was walking with other people, thoughts started to strike in my mind…..i felt for a moment, whether i was in a foreign land?,,, is that a kind of treatment we nepali get being in own country? at that moment i thought, who could have dared to break this Iron like Gate. how could we survived like that …if we are being searched and questioned us on our dignity and in our every action, how can our life get better and how could we develop our dream? we were being undermined by police/army why? ….just to save kingdom…royal family?

    I was thinking – Oh my God! who is going to solve this problem. I never thought it would be Maoist… Moist ( nepali brothers and sisters). they did a great job. they fought for freedom even though they are not endorsed by so called educated and or high class people (claimed by them) and people who always thought that people who were fighting comes from dalit and low caste. We that’s right, they have every right to fight for inequality and discrimination. I am afraid it was a Bhramin administration was carried on this kind of discrimination in Nepal. Bhramin was king and Bhramin were Prime misters in Nepal. There was Newar..’Marich Man Shrestha” once a prime minister but Bhramin could not bear him and he had to go. Now you can see Koirala family used to get most of Madhese vote from Biratnager but what happened now…they lost now they know how unpopular they are in other castes/communities.

    Whatever happens in the future is in leaders hand but i truly would like to Thank all the Maoist or and all the nepali people who fought for this. They provided us a new hope. its not only Moist or UML or NC’s responsibility but its our responsibility too! We need to tell our leaders – how we want leaders to act. we should not allow them to cheat on us. Talking double standard. we want to see how they stop paying to Royal family….coz that was one of the thing in their manifesto.

    Nepal is a hindu country! not a muslim country so there is no comparison between Hamas or Maoist. Israel and Palestine’s fight is for land but our fight was for equality and freedom. Yes, we want a leader like Chabej who treats Venezuelan equally. who also managed to escape an assassination which was master minded by USA and restore country ‘s oil. we want to see from our leaders to do the same as much as they can. we want to restore hydraulic power from India and fortified our border between India and nepal just like other country has done that.

    At last, not least, once again my congratulations to Maoist/nepali brother and sisters who made this possible. I am truly very delighted by the results.

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  8. yes. Hitler, Mugabe, Geogre w. Bush, Suddam Hussian, they all won when they were in power.

    I think you are stupid to compare our election to them. you are such an idiot.

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  9. Today’s world, you need to use bullets to gain power. That’s the way it always has been. if you look at the history then you realized how red indian were killed/wiped out by white people…..
    even Nelson Mandela used bullets to get power and free africa from white people. so what’s wrong with that. Be real.

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  10. “Adolf Hitler also won a landslide victory in democratic elections.”

    Wrong, the Nazis never won a majority, but were manoeuvred into power by powerful industrialists who thought they could control the party for their own ends. And they did. They benefited handsomely from the Nazi war economy and slave labour.

    The Maoist triumph is strangely only a belated revolution. Nepal should have gotten rid of feudalism and monarchy decades ago. Even Bhattarai is talking about the stages of capitalist development where Nepal must first get rid of feudalism and then go through an era of capitalism before arriving at socialism. This will shock the Maoists’ communist supporters. The goals of their guerilla war was much more like that of French or American revolutions or even English Civil War, than a modern day October Revolution.

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  11. United States of America should immediately retract the terrorist tag on the Maoist in recognition of the properly conducted elections and the results.

    If the US fails to URGENTLY follow through, it has no business keeping its embassy open for business in the new republic of Nepal. Continuing the TERRORIST tag on the leading elected party of Nepal is a direct insult to the people of Nepal, a legal electorate who voted its choice.

    If the US continues to operate a US embassy in Nepal while calling the leading party a “terrorist” organization, the only business the Americans can truly conduct in Nepal is to offer Visas to poor Nepalis who get themselves in a prolonged, semi-slavery like situation once they reach America for nothing but to earn US Dollars that is nothing but cheap pieces of Paper in the world economy now.

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  12. can anybody tell me? … why Ravi (son-in-law) and her royal princess is still dwelling in Nepal embassy in London free of charge? he lived there for 4 years while he was doing dr. course…to escape royal massacre. I can’t wait when public get rid of these Parasites from the palace! just like in Russa and Iran.

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  13. Joti, you know one thing “Lato ki Bhoot… Baato se Nahi manta” We all nepali needs to be gathered and surround the palace then they will go away forever. I hate these suckers!!!

    I don’t understand why ‘Pasupati Samsher still being provided a police guard?” why? who is he? he is just a party leader just like other. is it because he is rich? or is it because he is Nana clan.

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  14. Glad to see the election going well.
    The hope of change in Nepali people is the reason for this victory.
    Let’s hope that Maoists behave well after they form a government.
    Also, request to Wagle-ji, please keep your eyes on the YCL cadres.
    If the nepotism and favoritism continues for them, Nepal will never change!!

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  15. ??????? ????? ???????? ?????????????
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  16. you must be happy Joti, your wish came true… Maoist are winning… good for you… i hope it would be good for all the Nepalese people too…..

    And about the bullets, bullets can terrorize people, it can not gain their confidence…. bullets can gain power, it can not earn people’s respect…… bullets can kill people, make people cry; it cannot bring smiles to people’s faces…. bullets can do so many things, and yet it can do none….

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  17. Hmmm… In fact I am an UML supporter, not an activist though. What I assume is that Nepali people are so intelligent. All these times, Maoist were all about intimidating people in whatever ways they could. People here just wanted to get rid of their behaviour whatever may come. So by letting Maoists win Nepalese here have forced Maoists to feel the difference between their words and acts, because it’s gonna be a mess for them due to the following reasons.
    1. Handling of YCL. (A terror group comprising never seem to be compromising with their combative ways.)
    2. Maoist army that no one needs of .
    3. Handling international relationship.
    4. Not falling into the ways of Maoists activists who now feel like when they have a Maoist led government they are free to do anything in Nepal.
    5. Leading all parties.
    6. Add up some sense to their uneducated CA lawmaker. In fact Moist candidates do not have their own vision and perspective. The only words they speak are the words fed to them by their leaders.

    But still there are few plus point.
    1. They have now opportunity to institutionalize peace because no way they can go back to forest now.
    2. They can free nepal from corruption by properly handling the corrupt bureaucracy .

    So, I wish that together we make a new Nepal, because if we don’t do it now…it’s gonna be the end.

    Cheers to Prachanda!!!
    And Madhav Kumar Nepal, u don’t need to worry because I am gonna be a UML supporter for few more years.

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  18. There is no such thing as World Communist Movement – it died with the collapse of the Soviet Union or even few years before that. Even if there was one, Puspa Dahal would be cited as a bad example because he is NOT a real communist according to Mr.Wagle’s writing.

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  19. Why Did Maoist Win?

    1. Maoist said “Hare vane Vayenkar Huncchha” [If we loose, it will be dangerous]

    2. Nepalese people were fed up of the insurgency. As someone said in the comments above,Nepalese are intelligent. Nepalese people wanted peace which could be achieved only if Maoist were in government.
    [If they are out, there is no one to stop them from the bloody rampage]

    3. Maoists have distributed dreams to people. All other parties being hopeless and Maoist yet to be tried and tested in the government, Maoist were the only choice.

    4. Prachanda seems to be a powerful leader. He has charisma and aura. His moustaches are the burning proofs.

    5. They have done unique and very difficult task and landed safely. All the other party leaders have done many mistakes. See, how the revolution landed safely right amidst people after the April rising. This shows smartness amongst Maoist leaders. Lets see, how they use it for the economic development of Nepal.

    ______________________________________

    The fall of the Chariot was a technical failure. Wheels need to be fixed properly. We, the Nepalese people have seen the bottom of the poverty and misfortune.
    I hope, there are not greater failures and misfortune than what we have seen already.
    _______________________________________

    Everest is very happy to see the change. Very shortly Nepal is going to be established as one of the prosperous nation inhibited by benevolent, intelligent people. No 1 in tourism, education, hydropower, IT and intellectual capital.
    ______________________________________

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  20. Well, i’m not sure how respond to Maoist victory or intimidation. Any way i hope Nepal and all Nepalese could see a good future and believe that all the people’s blood in so called martyrdom would not go fruitless like the predecessors of the Maoist did while in the government.
    Good luck to the Maoist hope everyone would advise them the correct way to build a proper Nepal SANS CORRUPTION, NATABADI AND ALL THAT HAD BEEN HAPPENING WHICH WAS FRUSTRATING.

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  21. wrong,

    Germany was in depression after the first world war and Hitler promised the people jobs among many other things and said that jews were the cause of their problems and he won through an election. Get your history correct.

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  22. Yes and Nelson Mandala went to jail for 30 years and regrets that he ever picked ip the gun. His time in prison made him a Gandhian and that is what won over the people and the world.

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  23. FYI,

    Adolf Hitler got 17277000 votes (yes 17 million+) on March 5th 1933 – an overwhelming election victory.
    His traits are very similar to Prachanda. Then he declared himself Chancellor and then Fuerher.

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  24. See this on nepalnews

    ‘Most wanted criminal’ wins election as independent candidate – a fellow called Baban Singh. But why is it so surprising when mass murderers have also won.

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  25. After you have written all comments, I have only one question? What you are going to do for Nepal or how you are going to contribute. Nobody can do anything without our contribution. So think now what you are going to contribute in order to develop Nepal, what you have envisaged. Don’t follow other’s dream, dream yourself, dream and try to achieve that dream for Nepal.
    Timi harulai bhat ta aru le khuaudaina ni, afai khanchau…. ta afno nepal banauna chahi aruko mukh kina herchau……
    Hami haru suru garau, then after 10 years Nepal can be seen as developed prosperous Nepal.

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  26. I agree with you Love Nepal. Bhate haru aruko aalochana garera samaya bitauna chahanchhan. I think we all the nepalese people have to give hands for the building of New Nepal. If today’s leaders also fail to make decission on the side of Nepal and Nepalese people, they will get punishment like UML and Congress at this time. “Aunla haru mile pachhi muthi kasinchha, Aapas mai bajhi basey bhirma khasinchha.”

    Like

  27. Nelson Mandela NEVER said it was a mistake to pick up the gun. In fact, he’s said that without picking up the gun, South Africa could never have been freed. When he was released from prison, he did not promise that the ANC would stop its armed fight, and the threat of violence is what made the white fascist government give in.

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  28. is prachanda planning to negotiate with royal? why did he went to see Japs ambassador ? people needs to be very careful with him now. people didn’t sacrifice for this…

    I will just comment briefly:-

    Well, Nelson mandela was a peaceful protester in beginning but then he realized, all the people were dying by enemies bullets and finally he had to fight back so he went for “tit for tat’ tactics. there is no such a country/people who had not used guns to grab power in the world.

    Don’t forget this – once former British prime minister, Margaret Thacher named Nelson Mendela a Terrorist.

    Gandhi made india free because of II world War coz Britain was loosing the war and had no time to think.

    Martin Luther King said “Change always comes from Grass Roots” exactly that’s just happened in Nepal. Yes I am happy. As barak Obama says “Change is not come easily”

    may be you think ( i don’t blame you for this as entire nepali society are like that) that maoist are not elite enough to lead the country. At least they have courage! what do have you done so far to bring to this? I haven’t…but i appreciate for their contribution. they don’t seem a selfish like you do. they did not all of us.

    What do you know about communism? living in nepal you talk about how chinese communist policy is wrong? you don’t know how better of Chinese people are now compare to before. Every corner of China is flourishing…but Westerner are jealous that’s why they put wrong rumors about china. I used to have China without knowing a single thing but the more i hear about china the more i like about china and mao;s policy, which what he thought in 60’s is now getting popular.

    Maoist are innocent people who suffered from hunger, destitute. when people live like this don’t feel or hesitate to give their own life. what what we need to understand. You may have enough food for your family or your relatives or family are living in USA, UAE , UK and you get money to buy what you want but what about them?

    Why people don’t accept the fact that nepal is a 2nd poorest country in the world?

    Like

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