When Maoist Newa state in charge Hitman Sakya asked the assembled crowd at Khula Manch to silently honor martyrs, the moment turned somber. The leaders stood with their heads down on the stage, and on the ground, all one could see were thousands and thousands of fists raised up. There was pin-drop silence.
A bit later, members of the Maoist cultural wing sang and danced. The lyrics were deeply political, hitting out at the NC, UML and India, projecting the Maoists as the only people’s party, and wooing the security forces by showing uniformed personnel shaking hands with Maoists ‘to build a new Nepal’. The crowd was enthralled. Continue reading The City Turns Red – Kathmandu on May Day →
Kathmandu’s elites cannot seem to understand who these people are. But talk to the cab driver, waiter, vegetable seller, small shopkeeper, slum dweller or construction worker and you will get an idea of who may dominate the streets from Saturday.
There has been coercion in the process of mobilisation. But the Maoists have essentially tapped into the three core contradictions of Nepali society – ethnicity, class, and space (Kathmandu versus the rest). They have deployed their cadres; capitalised on the rage of those on the periphery; and channelised popular discontent against inflation, power cuts, corruption and insecurity, for which Madhav Nepal has been projected as solely responsible. Continue reading Kathmandu Siege – They Are Here →