My View of the Maoists…

…is completely apolitical. The word “Maoists” evokes in my mind, the picture of an entire group, that draws inspiration from the angry-young-man. There seems to be great loyalty and enthusiasm in the Maoists, but also a great deal of hostility.

By Prateebha Tuladhar

I have always found it intriguing how we call the Maoists “Maoists.” For it’s not just a term. It’s a way of looking at “them”. When I read Dinesh’s caption “Maoists beauties” on United We Blog! the thought struck me with greater strength. We seem to look at the “Maoists” as a clan more than a political party. Throughout the election, like most of my journo friends, I too used the term ‘Maoists’ to denote a force in my mind. In my mind (I assume like in many others), they are a force. When I say Nepali Congress, UML, Janmorcha or Sadbhavna, I look at them as different umbrellas, under which people seek shelter or claim ownership, their reactions different from time to time, sometimes depending on their need and opportunity.

But it seems quite the contrary with Maoists. The word “Maoists” evokes in my mind, the picture of an entire group, that draws inspiration from the angry-young-man (we’ve already seen how their fury in the past). There seems to be great loyalty and enthusiasm in the Maoists, but also a great deal of hostility. My view of the Maoists is completely apolitical. During the insurgency days, I got to read reports about “Maoist atrocities” all the time. I also briefly worked with the Indian Embassy as a translator in those days preparing press clippings on Maoist activities, and all, (swinging my job with my studies) and I could never stop wondering how the Maoists possibly thought they would justify the need for change by killing people. It has always repelled me. I do appreciate the U-turn Maoists have made in participating in the peace-process and participating in the elections in some-what non-violent manner. However, if there is something I will never forgive them, it is the death of those 13 thousand Nepalis (I am not overlooking the breaches committed by the State). Again, it is nothing political- just a bare human expression on the personal level.

I’ve often noticed how the term “Feminism” is hurled at women like a tag for being too headstrong about their rights (regardless of whether they are right or wrong). Why do I feel “Maoists” is another such term in the making?

Coming back to the point I was trying to make- most of us have political convictions. We all have our favourite parties and candidates, if we are not a part of any party. But we are never called Communist or capitalist in casual conversation, for believing in what we do. At least, not in the same way as the way the term “Maoist’ is used. But when we talk about the Maoists, they always appear in parenthesis, even if it’s just verbal! And anyone who supports the party gets connected to the ‘ist’. For some reason, the term seems to stand out. I’ve often noticed how the term “Feminism” is hurled at women like a tag for being too headstrong about their rights (regardless of whether they are right or wrong). Why do I feel “Maoists” is another such term in the making?

When the much enthusiastic days of poll counting was going on, one of my colleagues, during breakfast at the Kantipur Canteen, said in a bit of shock, “Mero budhi ta Maobadi bhayecha!” (My wife has joined the Maoists) The shock was so apparent in his voice. His grievance was that his wife had joined the party as a member and that she had voted for the Maoists without any of the family members’ knowledge. There’s nothing wrong with his wife joining the party. He knows it probably just as well as I do. After all, it is a matter of preference! But it seems to me sometimes, the bias in our psyche is still so alive (not to forget that some of even voted for Maoists despite this bias), that it might take a long time for it to melt down. Will the Maoists change of position or the YCL adopting a Gandhian philosophy be enough, especially with the people’s aspirations skyrocketing now?

Prateebha Tuladhar is a journalist with Kantipur TV.

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31 thoughts on “My View of the Maoists…”

  1. Maiost : the patriotic ,republic and people’s workers party . Since its the one party that the country is waiting from long decades ; I think its the party that will bring dignity to all Nepalese people who have suffered in the many Arab’s places and many Indian places where they were called Kancha and Kanchi .Lets all the pain be forgotten and make new Nepal its the time for we all. I will ask for the unity of all Nepalese people in this present context to support Maiost and make New Nepal,

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  2. Well, the past view of ppl towards the Maoists is definitely not good and we all know the reason. Given the present scenario of our country, it is the Maoists’ turn to change their ways of conducting things and making a new and a better of themselves.

    Amen.

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  3. To be honest I didn’t vote Maoists in this election though I wanted them to win respectable position in the constitution assembly. The thing is that I haven’t been able to identify myself with that party. I feel like they are foreigner to me. When I hear their speech, they are all filled with all those words that are very difficult to understand: samantabad, pujipati dalal, barga sangarsha etc etc. I don’t feel they are a fashionable political lot but what I am seeing on the street is that for many people to be a Maoist is becoming a fashionable thing. So let me say Maoists are IN, whoever they are.

    I am still confused: what will happen to my home? Will they take away my computer and give it to the villagers by breaking into pieces? I don’t care, but let me warn, whoever gets the keyboard, he will be cursing the Maoists: Caps Lock doesn’t work! CAPITAL is locked!! I used the Shift key for those capital letters.

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  4. um, to be honest – i don’t even understand the language that politicians use in nepal, not only maoist but all the politicians. I found difficulties to catch words when Girija or Madhav nepal used to speak. I rather find easy to understand english than nepali. i think politicians borrowed other language or try to translate other language in exact terminology in nepali that’s why it seems so hard to understand.

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  5. Ant & Grasshopper

    The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer
    building its house and laying up supplies for the
    winter.

    The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs &
    dances & plays the summer away.

    Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The
    Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in
    the cold.

    Modern Version

    The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer
    building its house and laying up supplies for the
    winter.

    The Grasshopper thinks the Ant’s a fool and laughs &
    dances & plays the summer away.

    Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press
    conference and demands to know why the Ant should be
    allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold
    and starving.

    Nepal Tv, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the
    shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in
    his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

    The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can
    this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to
    suffer so?

    YCL stages a demonstration in front of the
    Ant’s house.

    Nagrik Samaj goes on a fast along with other
    Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated
    to warmer climates during winter.

    Amnesty International and Koffi Annan
    criticizes the Nepalese Government for not upholding the
    fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.

    The Internet is flooded with online petitions
    seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising
    Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as
    against the wrath of God for non-compliance) .

    Opposition MPs stage a walkout.
    Upendra Yadav call for ‘Nepal Bandh’

    Maobadi in immediately passes a law preventing Ants
    from working hard in the heat so as to bring about
    equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.

    Baburam allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Nepali
    Buses aptly named as the
    ‘Grasshopper Rath’ .

    Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ‘Prevention
    of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act’ [POTAGA], with
    effect from the beginning of the winter.

    Madav Nepal
    makes ‘Special Reservation ‘ for Grasshoppers in
    Educational Institutions & in Government Services.

    The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA

    and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes,
    it’s home is confiscated by the YCL and handed
    over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by Nepal Tv.

    Prachand calls it ‘A Triumph of Justice’.

    YCL calls it ‘Socialistic Justice’.

    Maobadi calls it the ‘Revolutionary Resurgence of the
    Downtrodden’

    UN Secretary General invites the Grasshopper to
    address the UN General Assembly.

    Many years later…

    The Ant has since migrated to the US
    and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon
    Valley.

    100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite
    reservation somewhere in Nepal

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  6. Hey prativa

    I think it to early to make judgement about Maoist. Land slide victory of Maoist is sitll doubtful and report of all national observers have not been release yet. No doubt that election was so peaceful but it is vey hard to say election was free and fair untill all observers report comes out. I know the carter center and EU have already said that election completed sucessfully with no violene and largely in free and fair manner. Being previouly worked in one of the observer organisiton , i know it takes al least a week to collect all the field obsever report from the constitutency due to remoteness of geographical condition of Nepal . WHere as in the case of Carte and EU, their observation verdict came just day after the election which i personally dont think is possible . Othe major observer groups are preapring report which not release yet. We dont know what they have got in there. What if their report condtrdict with carter and EU report. whom the people going to beleive and other thing is that we Nepali beleive everything done by foreigner more than anything done by locally. In this case too i’m sure that, no matter what is the outcome of National/Local observer, Carter and EU report considerd more authenticate.
    But i agree with whatever you wrote in this article. This article is more useful for moaist to read and understand the people perception toward them and how it is changing. After Maoist won people have big expectaion from them and its their responsibilty to excute it by exercising and giving people democratic rights.

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  7. Prativa ji,

    I am glad that you wrote this. Yes, you are write there is biasness. Even with this biasness, people voted them. Can you now imagine how much they loath the other “political’ parties? In spite of that biasness, they garnered courage to vote for them?

    Another point I want to make, that I already made in this blog in some other article, is that maoists were not responsible for the 13,000 deaths. I am not saying this because I like maoists or I am their cadre. In fact, I have a different opinion. But the fact is state(i mean, the home ministers during that period, the prime ministers, UML, NC…everybody) is responsible for that. I do not understand why the “elite” journalists don’t understand this(or they pretend because of their social, cultural and political background) fact. Truely speaking, there are thousands of missing people who were taken by army, police and slaughtered somewhere.

    What do you think honestly huh? Did any of the newspaper people(journalists) go the the remote districts of midwestern region during the insurgency(some of them did, but for their career or monetary reasons)? Broadly speaking, NO, none of them went there. They don’t know the other side of the coin. They were lilstening to the propaganda made by the government and publishing them in their papers.

    Again, I wanna say that the people who say that NC and UML were/are democratic forces of Nepal,are lying to themselves.None of the forces in Nepal are “democratic”. If you talk about partial democracy/absolute democracy and want to refute my argument, then I ask you better not point at maoists because their ideology is different.

    Prativa, Good luck with your political understanding. I hope you will go understand it much better in future. My advice is that take your mind somewhere else. Somewhere far from the publication, the “elite” perspective, and see from the eyes of a woman from Karnali Zone. Ok?

    Cheers.

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  8. responsibility unfortunately of killings is both the states and maos. We cannot blame one and not the other. The state needs to learn many lessons in human rights etc, but let’s also not forget the sensless killings by the maoist party – magdi – 40 people bombed on a bus, several journalists killed and hung out for everyone to see and fear, party cadres killed, these include the elderly and babies etc. we hope these mistakes are never repeated.

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  9. Also ktm,
    You question where the journalists were ? Why were they not in the remore areas? Well if you also remember you needed maoist permission to venture there and only sympathetic jounos could go through – like I have cited some of the ones brave enough to venture there and report the truth were killed and displayed, same with many cadres of other parties – the maoist policy then was parties and journos STAY AWAY. So let’s stop trying to lecture each other on understanding the whole insurgency and especially the METHODS – this will take a long time for people to understand – if ever. Now the maoist party is watched by the EYES of the entire nation and the world more then before.

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  10. KTM,

    forget about the days of insurgencies, they are still stopping party cadres from entering certain areas (this is yesterday, as cited by this blog) – if you think this blog news is biased and elitist, verify it and report otherwise.

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  11. slowdown is good Lafontaines story about the turtle and the hare something like that was it a hare? turtle reached first.
    competition is so boring.
    business community is entirely maoist, all are eager to make something of this country and so be it.

    Nepal is a great country and the result of the elections is extraordinary all will be normalized there is no doubt about it. Opposition must return fast, there is no reason to be abroad AT ALL. Now if Bhattarais and Prachandras are smart they at least let loosers play game of democracy. Multiparty was and is the idea….

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  12. In Los Angeles a 28 year old guatemaltecan woman is looked for as most wanted criminal for trafficing of women her boyfriend is gang leader, names of trafficked women for prostitution are same family name.
    Read: poverty desperation weak social classes.
    Nobody nowhere in the world is surprised about the result of the elections.
    Who collects the garbage in Italy? Who closes down national airline company? There are votes of despair and votes of HOPE. POSITIVE VIBRATIONS>

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  13. All birds have feathers, what is wrong with common pigeons, one pipal tree.
    Enlightenment is like this.
    National bird has no passport did not vote.

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  14. Really Ji,

    My point was just to provide the other side of the story. As we all know, and I know you know, that the national medias are biassed against the maoists. The “surprise” in this election is also an example for that.

    I think that the journalists suppose themselves as a omnipotent and omniprescent (piece of a crap). Not only in Nepal, its almost same in other countries as well.They think that they are above all and cannot be touched. They have “beyond borders” kind of groups. Hey guyz, cheer up! it is obvious that journalists get killed. I don’t mean to say that they should be, but it is natural. Of course, nowadays, when they are even touched or argued against, they think that the opponent is against “democracy”/”right to speech’ or something.

    Lets see what maoists will do now. Whether they can keep up their promise. I read in some newspaper that they are going to fail to keep up that promise, but by how much is unknown.(by the way, this newspaper is foreign and is more “unbiased” than the nepali ones”.

    Jai Nepal

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  15. The Maoists momentum and Nepal’s survival…a clear Maoists victory in Nepal did reinforce Prachanda’s argument that he(could) beats others in the big- King-or-NC or-others-leaning areas that the other party relied on in the CA election.For Prachanda,a strong showing would help quell concerns that he can’t connect to the underestimated,working-class voters who made up the party’s base.
    He did win, and big…whether you like it or not..
    I hate to see my beloved Nepalis suffer–even Maoists.
    I do think it’s important to recognize it and this is a step toward closing the deal for nomination..for sake of Nepal.

    Let’s keep alive any hope of…..undermining (Maoists)Prachanda’s claim.

    By the way, the food(rice) is running low and petroleum is one barrel $115 and going up.

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  16. Manish,

    Good on ya mate!!

    Enjoyed the story more than it intended. Nepal infact is Grasshoppers’ paradise and it showed we have more of them than Ants for sure.

    Poor Ants, it’s unfortunate that they continue to suffer from Grasshoppers and the future looks blink too!! Alas,…hope all of them could have the endnote as you have mentioned!!

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  17. I seriously request all the country men to think what is happen to going next ?
    My predictions are YCL activitists going on rampage extorting and annhilating the congress and UML supporters.The defence and home ministry will belomg to Maoists so there will be no check and balance,no government mechanism to control them.The maoists caders will be freely wandering the street wilth the arms that they have cocealed and not disclosed. There will be clandestine death squads operated by YCL under the name of punishing the samantabad The violence will dramatically increase and at the centre Prachanda and baburam will keep repeating the words of committment to democracy . Army and police will be gradually transformed to Maoist loayalists by induction of maoists insurgents into the army

    Ultimately the Maoists with the use of their cadres and the army will declare emergency and impose the Cambodian model of Maosit rule pushing back the country into the darkest area of history

    My dear country men I can bet MAOISTS WILL NEVER DRAFT THE CONSTITUTION.THEY HAVE ALREADY CAPTURED THE NATION

    Why depose the king before the draft of the constitution? The reason is to weaken the morale of army that they want to control

    My dear country men raise the voice Maoists suspend thr YCL before going to power
    My dear country men raise the voice King should remain although under the suspended form until the final constitution has been drfated and passed by assembly because maoists should remember that it was not the King who issued the red corner notice on the Maoists heads.it was not the king who initiated the army action against the Maoists.Gyanendra was forced to use power by the serious mistakes of Congress /UML
    Raise the voice congress UML should control the home and defence ministry other wise the nation is going to the most disastrous Cambodian trail

    Speak out

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  18. Its fantastic. Hearing results from media enchanted all, positively or negatively. Blood circulation fastened. Maoists won the game. lets wait n see the future. I am doing it with hope n eagerness at a time.

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  19. Annihilation,mob violation and assisination are to be controlled.Lets see.You know Maoists are the follower of MAO.So Why you guys are crying at the gay moment of Maoist Victory ?
    Don’t cry.Maoists victory not supposed to annihilate the UML and NC cadres.They both play the pond of blood.Keep them neat and clean for sometimes.They will be taken bath with water then will swim on water pond.

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  20. People! Thanks for all your comments. It’s the first time ever I put something on a blog (Thanks to Dinesh!). I’m just learing to blog and I’m happy to have been able to generat this discussion. You all have come up with so many things I never though of.
    To correct one of you, I’m not an “elite” journalist. I’m still learning journalism. And to me journalism is not about reporting press releases. It’s about being able to pick stories that have a human touch.

    Yes, I haven’t been to Karnali. But that doesn’t make me less Nepali.

    My point with the write-up was the way we have placed a mental tag on the CPN-Maoists. If we are to give them and the nation a chance, we have to do away with this bias in our psyche, just as much as the Maoists should work harder at proving themselves. It’s a great opportunity for them to do so. Regardless of which party it is, the successful governance of any party or coalition only means good news for us Nepalis and we must back-up our leaders, so that they feel greater responsibility for better delivery.
    Afterall, incompetent leaders is one of the reasons our nation is the way it is today. And history know it’s also up to the people to make a great leader a great one.

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  21. “I found difficulties to catch words when Girija or Madhav nepal used to speak. I rather find easy to understand english than nepali.”

    Another hopeless example of how our education system has failed to train “NEPALIS” to understand Nepali. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be Nepali as long as its your mother tongue, be it Newari, Maithili, Bhojpuri or whatever. But master a language that actually belongs to you, and not go around yapping about how you are good at a foreign language as if it somehow makes you “cool”.

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  22. I agree Ashim. I have always been ashamed of the way I can’t write good Nepali. But I am proud to be able to speak decent Newari.
    I wish we could find a way to make Nepali more popular among the young by making it simpler. I have often noticed how our government statments and such things run over and over, a sentence spanning into a full paragraph. It’s high time Nepali language went through change in presentation. I think one of the reasons Palpas Cafe was appreciated was for the simplicity in the use of language. Good language is supposed to be simple, hoina?

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  23. well ashim i`m convinced with your remarks for masterin a language but i think you should come out of nepal and see whats going on in the global market… if you are not good in english… whole career is dumped…. so its important to master mother language along with englis in my view…..

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  24. I don’t totally agree with you hedayat. If you are a genius, you don’t have to master english. You can become successful even with the use of broken english. And, english is preffered in very few countries of the world. People from developed countries prefer to use their own language while communicating. Like Japanese people would expect you to speak Japanese if you are in Japan and German would like to speak in German in their country. And there are people who act like they don’t understand a word of English even if they do if you don’t speak their mother language in their country.

    Knowledge of various languages is a plus point in many feilds. I think school should provide more choices for secondary language other than english. It could be any one of the languges found in Nepal or any foreign language. However, Nepali language should not be ignored.

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  25. The subject matter of this blog is your view of Maoist. You guys are writing as if you are in the grammar class.Languauge is nothing. I dont suggest any body to shy away from this blog communication because of any language problem. You see communication is two way process .The failure of communication takes place because of personal biasness and incompetency on part of the reader or lstener.The writer alone should not be held responsible.This is problem with Ashim

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  26. I totally agree with Freedom writer – language doesn’t matter especially if you are in executive level or politicians, such as in China, Japan, France, German, Russia…english language is not important as long as they are strong and powerful position. Not only for them but even normal people i.e. service provider such as IT supports worker working in call centres in india, nepalese waitress or waiters in USA or Europe and Australia etc. they all have to master the english the better they can be and eligible to work.

    Look at westerners (USA and Americans) they conquered the world and influenced their language ‘English’ as international language. they are powerful and they don;t need to learn any other language as other country like nepal, india etc speaks their language.

    But, this isn’t the case anymore – China has become powerful now and westerner think they should teach Cantonese language in schools as they already have, french, germany.

    So its really a matter of importance! for me a leader should have vision not english language of perfection. i know there is always an advantage of knowledge of other language. for not for a good leader. Chairman Mao never spoke english language rather he made them to speak his language instead.

    While writing in Blogs like this – for me and i also think that many people has the same problem ‘typing mistake’ which always happen to me. But we all understand what we are trying to say.

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  27. we should emphasize on pride and patriotic towards nepal. Like in china they teach children at age of 6 or 7 years to be patriotic to china by providing them Mao’s ‘Red Tie’. we need to teach our children at school how to be proud of nepal. Because i think children are the future of nation – tomorrow they will lead the country.

    Asian, African and mid-east people are too easy to be manipulated by westerners. they can easily create fight in them. But they can’t with China – Do you know why?….

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  28. Honestly speaking, in the beginning of maoist fight, their reasonings for fight were so strong that I believed in all of them. As the time went on, they started deviating from their motive, the voilence in the name of people’s fight started increasing day by day and thousands of innocent citizens lost their lives. Nepal, which used to be a peaceful and secure country started becoming a war zone. Bomb started blasting in the center of the capital city. Armed military people roaming around the streets and checking the belongings of travellers, just to make sure that they don’t have a hidden gun or bomb with them, became a common sight. Maoists started collecting fines from people and killing those who are not able to pay their fines. They started including at least one person from each family in their army and people from rural areas started migrating to the capital city for the fear of loosing their life.

    And in the midst of all these happenings, some where on the way, I lost faith in the maoists and in their divine cause. I don’t say that the king or the current leaders of that time don’t have anything to do with it. I blame all the leaders of Nepal. But I won’t forget that maoist started voilence and killing in Nepal, which is carried on till date by the YCL. The new generation of Nepalese are growing up in the midst of all this voilence and I fear on the kind of lessons they are going to learn out of this voilence and Nepal bands and all.

    Yeah, I agree with the author of this article when she says “maoist” is not just a term, its the way of looking at them. For me, whenever I use the term “maoist”, there is some amount of doubt mixed with it. Yeah, they have talked about developing Nepal, but they haven’t said exactly how they are going to do it. I don’t see any master plan for the development of Nepal. So, I’m still doubtful about them. People are talking about giving them a chance; I say they already got their chance. Now is the time they prove to Nepalese people that those who died in the name of the people’s right didn’t loose their life for nothing. They have already won by the people’s verdict, now is the time to bring positive changes in Nepal and claim on their lost respect from the common citizens.

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