The Maoist Attack On Himal

Personal Angle

Ashutosh Tiwari has been a personal and cherised friend of mine for a decade and a half now. I cherish our first meeting in Kathmandu in the mid-90s when he was home for vacation from Harvard, and I was someone applying to colleges in America. Curiously all of our subsequent interactions have been online, but that does not make the bond any less strong. Prashant Jha and I have never met, but we chat online like friends. I have admired CK Lal over time. And it gives me pride he knows of me. I have met Kunda and Kanak in New York City, although for some reason I connected more with Kanak than Kunda. I embarrassed Kiran Nepal during his NYC trip by video interviewing him for so long over a few days. You have turned me into a celebrity, he complained. Kashish Das Shrestha has had a small time affiliation with the Himal brand name. So if I have not jumped all over this act of Maoist atrocity, it is because I have had some urgent engagements locally, personally. Believe it or not, this is the first time I have read these Nepali Times articles below.

Sharp divide Nepali Times
The boundaries of federalism
"It will backfire"
(Blank Editorial)
High noon at Himal
Dahal in the dock
They do it again

This attack is outrageous, but not surprising.

Wet Dream

The idea that the Maoists will turn Nepal into a one party communist republic is a wet dream. It is not going to happen. Dahal talks of a transitional republic. I also think Nepal currently is a transitional republic. It will continue so as long as it does not have a firm constitution. Kiran talks of a people's republic. He should go ahead and talk of a one party communist republic if that is what he means by that. Otherwise the term people's republic is vague, perhaps intentionally so. Who in Nepal today is for a royal Republic, or a Hindu republic, or a republic of the landed, or a republic of the moneyed? Of course we are for a people's republic. My idea of a people's republic is a one person one vote republic. What is Kiran's idea? I would like to know.

The Nepali people just got rid of a Gyanendra Shaha dictatorship, and the dude had roots going back hundreds of years, a 100,000 strong army personally loyal to him. Who is Pushpa Kamal Dahal? Who is Kiran Baidya?

Fire, Water

Dahal keeps suggesting he can have both fire and water. You can not be both for a multi-party democracy and a one party dictatorship. You can not be both for a free press and violent attacks on journalists. You can not be both mafia and political party. What we have in Nepal right now is the Communist Party of Nepal (Mafia). The Chinese complained the Nepali Maoists were defaming their Great Leader, so they became CPN (Mafia).

CPN (Mafia), Money-Muscle

The Maoists said they were having doubts about the fundamental Maoist dictum that power flows from the barrel of a gun, so we entered into an alliance with them to throw the monarchy. But now in power they act like power flows from biceps and triceps. In the Indian shanty towns the goondas collect hafta, or weekly payments from small business owners, vendors, street hawkers. That is the mafia way. The Maoists in Nepal do the same thing. They have come up with a cocktail of a nationwide organization, a climate of fear, and the power-flows-from-biceps-and-triceps dictum to the point that the CPN (Mafia) is basically a money machine. It is not Pushpa Kamal Dahal, it is Pushpa Kamal Corleone.

It Is About The Money

Like some wise man said a long time ago, follow the money, it is always about the money. What the Maoists want is to assemble truckloads of money, from the state coffers, from private businesses. Considering they claim to be a communist party, their appetite for money seems to be limitless and healthy: that is strange. They have not shown any talent for creation or democratic distribution of wealth, but they have shown a limitless capacity for looting and lavishly spending wealth. That is not political party behavior, that is Mafia behavior.

It is ridiculous that they wish to establish a one party communist republic with money looted mafia style. That will bring forth not a one party communist republic but rather a one party criminal republic.


The Maoist dream of a one party communist republic will never be realized. Nepal will see renewed civil war before it will see a one party communist republic. Nepal will see a revived monarchy before it will see a one party communist republic. But the Maoists might do a lot of damage while trying. They will fail but after having done a lot of damage. So making sure Nepal does not turn into a one party communist republic is not enough. That is pretty much guaranteed. Nepal is not going to become one. The real challenge is to not allow the Maoists to try, not let the Maoists to do damage while trying.

Solution: Rule Of Law, Power Of Law

The most important thing to do is for the parliament to pass a law that makes it mandatory for all political parties to make and keep their finances public. That of course would apply to all the affiliated organizations as well. The non Maoists have enough votes to be able to pass this law.

Then pass a law saying organizations engaging in violent activities can be sued out of existence. Organizations engaging in extortions can be tried in a court of law. Then try organizations like the YCL, even the YF, and the Maoist sister organizations that routinely engage in violence and threats of violence.

Are there political leaders willing to pass these laws? It is not going to be easy to pass and apply these laws. The Maoists are going to want to intimidate all sorts of actors to the process. That is one thing they know to do. Such threats and intimidations can be nonviolently countered, as long there is the political consciousness to stay alert, to expose, to stay united for the common purpose of basic rule of law.

Freedom of association and assembly do not apply to groups willing to engage in violence. It is possible to sue YCL like organizations out of existence. We do not depend on the mercy of the Maoist leadership to dismantle the YCL. A judge can order it to dismantle.

The rule of law, power of law also applies to Maoists. The Maoists have every right to be for workers' rights. But those rights can't be enforced through mafia threats of force. They should pass labor friendly laws in the parliament, and get the state to implement those laws.

The Old Ways Of The Nepali Congress And The UML

The Congress and the UML keep wanting to go back to the 1990s. The idea never was to turn the Nepali Maoists into just another political party in a system like we had in the 1990s minus the monarchy. The Maoists and the non-Maoists represent the two main streams of global politics in the past century. Fusion of the two is the only way to move forward. If the non-Maoists are going to keep pushing to turn Nepal into like it was in the 1990s, the Maoists are going to keep pushing to turn Nepal into what China was like in the 1950s.

The Congress, the UML, the MJF, the TMLP, the Sadbhavana and all the rest of them are going to have to come around to saying they are for turning Nepal into a multi-party democracy of state-funded parties. They should come out for it first. And if the Maoists do not also come for the same, they should get together and topple the Maoist-led government.

You Don't Dig Heels, You Triangulate

As long the Congress and the UML will stay in the habit of digging heels wanting their old ways, the Maoists will stay lost in fundamental ideological confusion. The country will suffer.

Transition Challenges

In The News

Sharp divide Nepali Times
The boundaries of federalism
"It will backfire"
(Blank Editorial)
High noon at Himal
Dahal in the dock
They do it again


Anonymous said…
I am surprised and some what disappointed about the fact that you have not yet written anything about Uma Singh's brutal murder.
Lava Kafle said…
Thanks for more details on their lives; I am subscribed to Himal magazine and I am fan of Kanak, Kunda, and Cklal.
I also like your style of describing mafia, mafioso, hehe.

A blogger from inspired by paramandera.

Happy New year 2066 to all Nepalese people, Nepal, and everybody.