Winds of Change
Can you feel it?
Nepalis are getting fed-up. Maoist atrocities are increasing and it's the same old inept "business as usual" from Girija and his cronies.
An actual "People's Movement" is starting to take hold. For the first time, we see what appears to be mass, spontaneous outrage and intolerance of Maoist cruelty. Just a few days ago, thousands of citizens took to the streets in Jhapa in a mass display of disgust at Maoist atrocities. It seems one band of clueless cadres thought that playing dice and cards during Tihar was a Maoist moral no, no. Oops! For a group of violent little boys who claim to represent "The People," how could they have miscalculated so? Everyone knows you DO NOT mess with traditional gambling games during Dashain or Tihar. The little Maoists were subsequently thrashed and paraded naked through the streets.
Listen Prachanda, looking the other way and claiming that atrocities by your cadres is "not authorized" no longer holds sway in the villages. Retalliations for Maoist acts are increasing in numbers and people are tired of living in fear. Witness this report off Mercantile's site (paraphrased):
Irate by the continuous excesses of the Maoists, local people of Sarlahi vandalized two barriers at Ranijung area of the district put by the Maoists for collecting taxes from the vehicles plying at the street.
Local vandalized the barriers and chanted slogans against Maoists, protesting the Maoist’s act of taking into control a local youth and beaten him seriously in the charge of consuming alcohol on Tuesday.
The locals also warned Maoists not to collect any form of taxes in the area and also warned of dire consequences if they did not obey.
In another incident, seven people including four Maoists were injured, when villagers protesting the Maoist atrocities clashed with the Maoists in eastern Jhapa district on Tuesday evening, radio reports said.
Three locals and four Maoists were injured, when a group of 15 Maoists attacked locals, who were protesting against Maoist excesses at Kumari bazaar of the district.
The villagers taken into control four Maoists injured in the incident.
In yet another incident local people of Situwa bazaar of Dhankuta district organized Situwa bazaar bandh (Shut-down) and also blocked the Koshi highway protesting the Maoist excesses.
They protested the rebels move to take into control people playing cards in Tihar festival and confiscating money from them.
Maoist leadership however refutes such reports of Maoist excesses saying it is against the party policy, but they remained indifferent from the acts of their cadres. nepalnews.com pb Oct 25 06
Perhaps people are finally realizing that there is no central controlling mechanism running the Maoists. They are no more than roving gangs of autonomous thugs that must be dealt with on the ground level where they operate.
And then there is the Nepal Jana Tantrik party. blogdai loves this because such an organization is formed and gets its support under the same mandate that launched the Maoists to power: dissatisfaction withs the status quo. In this case, the dissatisfaction is not only with SPA ineptitude again, but with Maoisms brutal hand in the villages.
"An armed struggle has been declared from the far west to show disagreement with the current political activities under which all others except the seven political parties making up the SPA and the Maoists are being treated badly..." says the party. They plan a series of "sabotage" programs that will begin this December. We need to watch this closely.
First off, as Dr. Marks has told us, the Maoists will broach no rivals in the field. That is why they loved to knock-off UML's rural representatives. If this Jana Tantrik party is for real, look for real clashes with the Maoists. If this is in fact a true people's front, this could spell the end for Maoism in Nepal.
Next, and more critical, the Jana Tantrik party needs to downplay their "royal" support. This could turn them into no more than just another violent faction with its own unilateral political dogma. Maoists in different stripes, if you will. No, this party will succeed only if it is inclusive. It is enough to portray oneself as the lone voice willing to stand up to Maoist tyrrany and government inattention on behalf of rural citizens. These themes alone are enough to unify Nepal and get a wide base of public (not coerced) support. Is Jana Tantrik the catalyst for unity? Only time will tell.
The important thing is that there is a palpable realization that people are moving past their fears and taking matters into their own hands. Perhaps a true leader will emerge from this. A leader with public service and national unity as a goal.