Texts by Deepak Adhikari
Photos by Dinesh Wagle
On a balmy morning Monday, the Maoist protesters clogged the main intersection at Koteshwar, Kathmandu, singing and dancing in the ‘revolutionary songs’.
Helmeted battalions of policemen in riot gear were mere bystanders. Kirant Rajya Samiti of Maoists was responsible for overseeing the protests in Koteshwar area, one of 18 such points where Maoist staged protests. Hence, most of the protesters here were from eastern hills of Nepal. Maoist supporters came from districts such as Ramechhap, Khotang, Solukhumbu, Okhaldhunga. Most of the supporters are brought from far flung areas while a few arrived from surrounding districts (but mostly from rural areas). Some were even forced to participate.
Meet Suresh Rai, a 30-year-old member of Kirant State Secretariat. He along with one hundred fifty Maoist supporters arrived in the capital five days back. “We came in 2-3 groups,” he says. “We’ll continue to protest as long as people will support us.” Hailing from a family of farmers, Suresh says it’s tough for them in the hills to feed the hungry bellies of 7 members of his family.
As we speak, music blares from the huge sound boxes–there’s a makeshift stage built on a truck. Incessant singing and dancing is going on. In between, there are poetry recitations. Flags with hammer and sickle are waved, YCL, the notorious youth outfit of Maoists has a distinct air about them: bandana in their heads, some covering the entire body with the flags.
They’ve been sheltered in several places in Kathmandu Valley ranging from the party palaces and under construction buildings to Nepal Law Campus, Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, Rastriya Sabha Grisha in the city center.
This has turned out like rural Nepal meeting urban Nepal as most of the village folks have arrived in capital Kathmandu for the first time.
But it’s only natural because Maoists have drawn support largely from marginalized communities such as Dalits (so-called untouchables), janajatis (the ethnic people), Madhesis (the people from plains), among others.
Dil Bahadur Bika, a Dalit from Phulbari village of Okhaldhunga, has come to Kathmandu for the first time. In the village, he runs a grocery store (that also sells cosmetics). But as a sole breadwinner of the family, he had to close it because there’s no one to look after. The 35-year-old, a YCL member, is living with other Maoists in a party palace in Kaushaltar, two kilometer north from Koteshwar.
The protesters’ routine goes thus: they leave for the strike at 6 pm. The lunch time will be from 9 am to 11 am. They observe strict discipline while attending the strike. They stay in the one of 18 points till 3 pm. At 3 pm, they participate in the rally. The evening is the time for torch rally. They finally return home after 6pm. Another cycle of strike and they repeat the routine.
Back to the Koteshwar: A song that is tinged with revolutionary fervor blares from the speakers and Dil Bahadur Bika pirouettes in its music. The song goes:
Arun Tarera Nana Tamar Tarera
Aayaun Hami Birata Ko Gatha Korera
(After Crossing Arun River and Tamor River
We Came Writing the Saga of Bravery)
Similarly, another song evokes the war time nostalgia. It talks about Tyamke village in Khatang, where according to the song; the hills are painted red and are crying (for justice).
The protests despite the initial apprehensions are peaceful. The May Day rally was a huge success but on Day 2, it seems like the protest is waning.
23 responses to “Maoist Strike Day 2: Peaceful Till Now”
Hi deepak dai,
i was wondering where dinesh dai was missing. I sent him two SMSes but they werent delivered. I thought he might have gone to Bhutan. Anyways
we nepalese in India are also worried about the ongoing “Andolan”. noone knows about the outcome.
Dont know what to say. Just dont want any bloodshed. We have already lost lots of countrymen.
Keep reporting and also ask Dinesh dai to post something.
We do need justie for Nepal. It is about time people resposible for spiriling our nation even more towards poverty but I don’t see the reason for the indefinite strike. What are we as a nation gaining from it? This is just another powerplay…
When are we all Nepalese see that none of the so called political leaders care for the country or the fellow countrymen. They are there just for themselves. Even the so called people’s fight and the representation of Nepal by Pushpa Kamal Dahal proved it. WHAT DID HE DO WHEN HE WAS ELECTED? WHY DID HE RESIGN? NOW WHAT DOES HE WANT FROM THIS STRIKE AGAIN??? WHAT IS HIS MOTIVE??
The comment may be long, but, it is fact. So, then, read once and release.
The main creator of the Nepalese dama was the late Girija Prasad Koirala, the most power-hunger traitor as well as the Indian leaders and RAW. Nationality cannot be saved by miscreants fed by foreigners. Although Girija has died away the nation will not be able to become free from the crimes he committed. Nepal has been known as the party of opportunists and destructors. There is not guarantee of Maoist. The court, national army and various bodies of the state should fulfil their respective responsibility. After general election Girija Prasad became Prime Minister. He came out aggressive in spreading the influence of Congress in every organ of the politics and administration by finishing off opposition. Girija’s failure started. The current violence, murder, theft, rape and insecurity started from 1991. The creator of Maoist rebellion was Girija. After 1992 in name of annihilating Masal-Communists (later who called the Maoists) the murder, suppression, rape was not much it crossed the limit. In revenge, Maoist systematically killed thousands of civilians, police and army personnel. Millions worth physical infrastructure was destroyed or burned. Now, CIA also may be active to destroy the peace, democratic system as Iraq and Afaganistan. What is their interest to do so ? It is a matter of search. I think- they are investing money for Christianality.
In fact,Dear editor,
Due to the incompetent prime minister and the leaders of so-called big party, Nepal is in danger position.
Whom and why the Maoists are going to disturb the people with protests and strike in Katmandu. It is unanswered. It is necessary for all to understand the facts. Nepalese people do not want any kind of communist authoritarianism, they aspire only full democracy. The concerns of the people are political stability, peace and good governance. A democratic political system is always put at the highest echelon. It is because only a good and well-established political system can lead the public mass by determining appropriate social and economic management of the state through concrete policies and programmers. But, mainly the so-called three bigger parties– the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Maoist – have been sucking blood of the people like the vampires by sharing power and position only amongst themselves.
The Maoists are opening a ‘Pandora’s Box’ (evils collections) in the name of so-called- ‘people’s supremacy’ in another word- ‘one party communist anarchism’. We, Nepalese people are suffering from the notorious activities of
Nepalese traitors as well as UNMIN. Nepalese people had expected that the UN’s role would be impartial. But the UN could not remain neutral. The main cause of the crisis in Nepal is UNMIN, because the UNMIN listens only to the Maoist rebels and the corrupt leaders of Congress, UML and Maoist leaders. UNMIN totally disregarded the aspiration of majority of the Nepalese people. They have analyzed that the shortest way to achieve their goals is to influence the Bhramins of the political parties and the NGOs here. According to a revelation, 4-7 non- Bhramins have already been made to walk in the design of CIA earlier. They have understood that investing on various ethnic people and Dalits or non-Bhramins is not as much influential as it is by investing on the Bhramins. Secularism and a republic were declared with the activities of Bhramin leaders. Secularism and republic were not the demands of the Nepalese. But it was declared overnight in an uncustomary way by using 5-7 traitors by treading over constitutionalism. This is the design of the foreigners where the UNMIN has been representing everyone. This is why it is our demand that UNMIN should be chased away as soon as possible. Nowhere in the world, would a country be able to protect its sovereignty by making the national army weak and powerless? The national army can’t compare with Maoist’s army. Due to the suspicious activities of UNMIN, now, in Nepal, we have two kinds of army- the national army and the Maoist’s army. Can we imagine two kinds of army in a country? Why UNMIN is not responsible for the overall management and supervision of Maoist army and their movement?
The Delhi 12 points agreement 2005 has been the major cause to create the crisis and desintrigate. Now, Nepalese Maoists, RIM and COMPOSA have been joining the hands for one-party anarchist-Communist rule. The Nepalese and Indian people are not secure. The situation is being very dark. The Maoists proposal is just like a poisonous wine in a new bottle. Without analyzing the assumption, the Indian leaders supported the Nepalese Maoist’s hypocrisy. ‘Crows are never the white for washing.’
It was these corrupt people who drained the state coffer yesterday, and today also these are the very ones. Nepal will not become firm without punishing them. Nepali NC, UML and Maoist leaderships and the agreement 24 April 2006 with the King has already failed. So, there should revive the King’s proclamation 20 Apr.2006, according to the 1990 constitution and form all party cabinet including the foreigners who want peace and democracy in Nepal. From that a path should be searched with Everyone’s agreement to save the nation. I request- the entire democratic world also should think positively, how to save the peace & democracy in Nepal?
Dirgha Raj Prasai
Former Member of Parliament,Nepal
Sad day for Nepal and Nepalese people who suffer and continue to suffer. NO worse than the Nazi propaganda that brainwashed illiterate individuals in the name of future.
Government of Nepal does nothing to protect and safeguard the rights of people to work, live, study without FEAR of these bandits.
It is a shameful day for Nepal and NEpali.
Peaceful my ass…. they just vandalized more than a dozen stores in Anam Nagar. The public needs to show defiance to the Maoists and all political parties that only contribute to Nepal Bandas only and never perform any progressive deeds.
We should take note from the Mothers or Mustand who have completely defied the Banda and the youths of Dharan you have also defies the strike.
KTM and all other parts need to stop acting like helpless idiots and move into the streets in defiance. Maoist, NC, UML etc. have no right to disrupt our lives. If they wish to show the democratic right, we need to show ours and defy the banda even if it gets violent.
Well mr. Prasai, your analysis is praiseworthy. But do you think there is a “real” way out? None of the political parties have a “path” ahead. They just want to lead the nation but none of them have any idea of how to. Dont blame Late GPK. Just dont blame anybody.
“To change the system you need to be inside it.”
You were a former member of parliament. So, what did you do?
Nothing more. You just tried to make your “Karyakartas” happy and were sad that you could never make it to “powerful” ministries.
This shows the behavior of our politicians.
THE SAME BLAME GAME.
We are fed up of all of you.
Go to hell.
Banda culture may be bad for economy, but it is great physical fitness, entire nation especially granparents go for little or longer walks with their offsprings myself finally went by bike!
God bless mao althoug I do not like the outdated rethorics, something different. Also since they became our friends isn’ t it, we nearly do what we like again, that is what I can say for today.
The Maoists are moving towards self-destruction. Wake up, fools or you get wiped out from the political map of Nepal.
Nation is a hostage. When you muddle meaning of rights, democracy and governance, what you get is a confused state of being. All know the problem and each and everyone has their own solution and THERE is NO SOLUTION. This is why we need government- to act hard when time demands for the people not on the party’s interest but these qualities is not there.
The product of unholy alliance of 7 party at the behest of India is creating cross-fire hurricane in Nepal.
Praise Dinesh, Pandeys. Dixits and Phahadis for their neo- elitis attitude then, now they show their face no more for they lacked the critical aspect of vision which escaped them b;ind at the instigation of dollars fuel veritol
What a mess! We have no one to blame but ourselves. Yes it is true that external forces are also at play, but we Nepalese in general, and our political masters, in particular, are the main culprits.
The Maoists are using their strong arm tactics to psychologically defeat the will of the government and the people to resist them. They are also hell bent on establishing a dictatorship of the proliterates, by imposing a constitution of their own.
The Government is non-existent. Totally confused and hoping that India will extricate them out of this predicament. But why should India oblige at this stage. They will let the people first suffer and only when we all plead will they lift their finger.
The Nepal Army – they are sleeping.
God help us.
We keep hearing the bandhs being “peaceful”? Can one question how it is peaceful when the threat of violence is always in the air? If protests are poeaceful then why are shops closed and novehiclesply the roads? To be called peaceful there should allow people to go about their business the way they choose and students to go to school. Then it is peacefulk, it is definitely not peaceful if the threat of violkence is used and everytimne a vehicleis seen it is shatterefd and everytine a shop opens it is gvandalised – peace has to mean peace of mind as well.
Namaste, how come there is no news updated on your blog?
“W” – I agree with you. Just because there is an absence of large scale violence does not mean that the situation is peaceful. Our reporters need to change their mindset and report the truth more objectively and accurately.
Sometimes I tend to believe that we are a people that are spineless and have surrendered not only our rights to individual freedom but also our capability to speak out our minds. Peace at any costs is not a desirable end to the present predicament of the Nepalese Peoples. Unfortunately, we seem to have become emasculated, and subdued into submission by the Maoists.
My earlier post has still missing from this blog! I wonder why?
The Maoists think they have a monopoly of representing the “People”. They are threatening the other political parties and the people of this country that if their point of view is not accepted in toto, then they will launch a “Peoples’ War”!
Do not let them make good their bluff. Let them go to the jungles if they so desire. This is their last opportunity to achieve a soft landing. If not, they must be hunted down.
It is heartening to hear about the resistence that the Vishwa Hindu Organization of Birgunj has displayed today. Well Done! May be we should learn from them.
Give it up for political, civil and social leaders of Nepal- These certain class of people have true colors. To them it is for them, by them and for them who gives fck for a nation. Was not this evident last 15 years and after 12 point agreement to dislodge only standing pillar of Nepal.
Peaceful .. WTF! This so-called andolan has been farthest from peaceful .. millions are being dictated to whims of a bunch of outdated wackos so-called leaders. People are dying because they can’t get to hospital in time. People have nothing to eat as food has run out. And who’s calling this peaceful again …?!
All Nepalis except the so called leaders are idiots. They have seen the condition of the country from the time when they(political parties) sarted operating it. Nepali Congress and UML couldn’t do it well so they invited Prachanda and Baburam to start operation and they are in the last stage of completion. Once it is completed by the Maoists you all will not find a place to live, you will have to leave your country like North Koreans and Cubans. You all will get chance to come to America. So hope and let the demons do whatever they like. You idiots can do nothing except to follow these CORRUPTED, BARBARIANS, MURDERERS and the TRAITORS. If you are the not the idiots then get up and defy your right for the country and not for the political parties and their leaders.
Where are Krishna Pahadi, Kanak Mani Dixit, Dr. Devendra Panday, and other so called human right activists? When Maoist were killing the people they were in front to save the Maoists from allegations and now they may be waiting for the clashes between the Maoists and the Police. If clashes occur they will definitely support the Maoists because these people are also the TRAITORS. If not why don’t they speak for the people who are suffering now due to the strike?
The Maoist have demanded donations from these people or else to speak for them, so they are doing the same thing as per their agreement.
Now What do you all think of these people? Who are they? Are they Human Right Activists or opportunists?
Its a stalemate. Political parties think there is no alternative to them and Maoist think they can bulldoze. It is not going to end. The character at play know so therefore no one shows sign of giving in even if it means nation crumbles from within. Just imagine if we had the third power- Monarchy.
Om – how right you are! Where are our so called champions of democracy and human right activists? Where are the great civil society members like Krishna Pahadi, Devendra Raj Pandey, Padma Ratna Tuladhar, Kunda Dixit, and Daman Nath Dhungana? Shame on you guys. How can you betray yoou own brother citizens of Kathmandu?
The recent decision by the Indian Government to tackle the Indian Maoist problem by identifying and charge-sheeting sympathizers and/or instigators of terror is a move in the right direction. We should learn from our Southern neighbor.
Just because the educated part of the nation is patience patience has been tested enough by now.
then they said bandha stopped because foreign aid will be withdrawn.
National patience will be withdrawn!
very good article.
I think the point is several complications we all sympathize with equality yet it is hard to see the very people who should benefit …
The young guys I saw in Kopan area must have been 5 years old when they joined party. Then the UNMIN Lingren is proud to announce they work with ‘ both’ parties and some were paid.
This is the main mistake seeing all through the eyes of materialism or moneys I believe people are better than that. Yes it is an internal matter I do agree with Wagle ji.
Nepal is amazing ( the country) and peace process is good. I am sorry to miss the next dances my plane is scheduled 28.
Dance feel sorry for your village and pack the luggage.