Madhav Kumar Nepal to Blogdai: "Are you happy today?"
Blogdai: "Yes I'm happy, are you going to say something new again?"
Madhav Kumar Nepal: "I always say something new."
Blogdai: "Well, good luck with that today, I suppose."
Madhav Kumar Nepal: "Namaste."
Photos: (top) K. P. Oli calls for a taxi in the middle of his speech. (middle) The lil' elf hisself poses for blogdai.
Blogdai was on the platform for yesterday's garden party at new Baneshwor. I left before the little elf got to speak, but I heard enough.
Some shrill Nepali woman got up and started shrieking about the WTO. Since Nepal is not a strong member of that particular oganization, one has to wonder why all the venom.
It must have been WTO day at the event because some guy named Paul Nichols of La Via Compesina called the WTO a "weapon of mass destruction." I think he was there just as the obligatory, token white guy. A whole lot of hot air that was barely understood by the crowd.
The obscure INdian politician who gave his speech in Hindi, as if we were all in India. I suppose his presence was meant to lend some credibility from "big brother."
UML's singing "all communist boy's folk band" Tried to sing "We shall overcome" in Nepali; no one sang along.
The constantly undulating mass of about 100 teenage boys to the left of the stage. Lots of pushing and shoving: a characteristic of boys this age when they get in a big exciting crowd. Every now and then, one of these boys would fall over and about 1000 people in the crowd would stand up and look, sensing a "riot." (Remember these boys, they figure prominently later in this article)
Funny, lots and lots of party flags and banners: Not one Nepali flag anywhere.
30,000 people, but no Girija Babu. Sure it's a UML meet but is that any way to run an "alliance." The big egos are still embroiled in their perpetual spat, blogdai guesses.
Cops were mellow. You would be too if you were outnumbered 1000 to 1.
Most people were standing around smiling and watching people. One got the impression that they were there just for the spectacle. About, 300 supporters, sitting close to the stage, clapped at everything said and done, however.
This will undoubtedly give some of our reader a heart attack, but blogdai actually LIKED the spirit of the demonstration. There was a real sense of a legitimate citizen movement beginning among those gathered. But alas, the party leaders and speech-givers neither sensed nor capitalized on this feeling. Not one new thing was offered. Instead of hope, they offered blame; instead of new programs, they refused to admit the failures of the old; instead of progressive discourse, they stirred everyone up with slogans and cliche's. Such a wasted opportunity; too bad.
K. P. Oli sounds a lot like Joe Peschi.
All in all, a rudderless affair. No outlines of anything concrete, no promises to not repeat the mistakes of the past, no show of alliance, only blank rhetoric.
Later that same day:
Remember those boys I mentioned above? Turns out they just couldn't get enough of the day so they left Devkota Sadak, turned the corner and waited for the King to arrive at the convention center. So now here comes the rocks: thrown at a motocade heading into the center. Bad move boys. Security kicked some serious butt, ran over someone, gassed the boys and basically wreaked havoc. So, despite what you may read in the papers, this was not a disgruntled surge of humanity bent on overthrowing a tyrant, this was a group of teenage boys out for a day's frolic, throwing rocks at the King's car. Much as I'd love to blame the parties for this one, blogdai can honestly say that it appeared to be unaligned (and unpaid) individuals who threw the rocks and started the mess.