Sunday, May 18, 2014

Interview , life story and reality of life .....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWI3GZ0fWEI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5Kf-UHBs1M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwR-EZZtqPI

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

sarangi hamro 2014

Phot on Sarangi Hamro 2014 a musica event .



Gopila Gandhaba 

A Report on Sarangi Hamro Musical Event February 28, 2014 Kathmandu



A  Report on
Sarangi Hamro Musical Event
February 28, 2014
Kathmandu

                                    






Prepared by:
Yogendra Gandhari
Technical Advisor
Gandharba Society Nepal
Thamel, Kathmandu

“Sarangi Hamro” musical event
February 28, 2014
Kathmandu.

Introduction:
Gandharba Samaj Nepal (GSN) has established with objectives to keep the Gandharba traditions alive and improve the economic and educational status of Gandharba community, particularly focusing on marginalised groups and women by organizing different forms of program.  The GSN has organized “Sarangi Hamro” with an objective to preserve the way of life of Gandharvas’ and their typical cultural heritage by means of documenting their traditional culture, particularly of their folk songs and music.

The “Sarangi Hamro” program was organized as a musical event at Trade Tower, Thapathali, Kathmandu on February 28, 2014. In the program, Mr. Shankar Bhandari, an honourable Constitution Assembly (CA) member, and central member and head of department of Youth of Nepali Congress was invited as a chief guest. The veteran of Gandharba culture and tradition, and anthropologist Mr. Tulsi Diwas was invited as a special guest, whereas leader Kiran Babu Sherestha, ex. Member-secretary of National Dalit Commission Hari Bahadur Gandhari, representatives of Nepal Dalit Association Mr. Ramkrishna Lakandri and Laxmi Pariyar, coordinator of Gandharba Sangharsa Samiti Mr. Purna Bahadur Gandhari, and the Hero of the democratic demonstration Mr. Rubin Gandharba were offered to take a seat of guests. Mr. Suresh Gandhari, the president of GSN, was a chairperson of the program.



Activities:
The biggest sarangi of the world, which is crafted by Padam Bahadur Gandharba and is about 7.7 ft., and the smallest sarangi were displayed on a stage. After a short introduction of the program “Sarangi Hamro” by an announcer Santosh Gandharba, a melodious music of Sarangi by Bhim Gandharba was heard in the program. With the melodious strings, the program as well as the establishment of GSN was inaugurated by joining hands of the chairperson, chief guest, special guest and other guests. In the program, batches were distributed to the guests by GSN vice-secretary Jyoti Gandhari and Vice-president Pampha Gandhari. Ms. Pampha Gandhari delivered the welcome speech which included a requirement of meaningful representation and inclusion of Gandharba in socio-political and economic opportunities for its development. Mr. Kedar Gandhari, a central committee member, delivered a speech including mission, vision, goals, objectives and activities of GSN that is inevitable for creating a conducive environment of equality to Gandharba caste.

After some meaningful speeches, a musical event was started. At first, the very old and Hindu religious song- Shree Swasthani song- was sung by Mr. Chekh Bahadur Gandharba from Lamjung. The song was about the importance of the Hindu goddess Shree Swasthani and her greatness in getting happiness, and the worship is supposed as a way to the heaven. The song explains 31 different chapters of the Hindu religious book ‘Shree Swasthani’ which is often read during January/February (Magh month). The Triplet Band had increased heartbeats of an audience when the band started to play a fusion form of folk songs. The fusion of Sarangi, flute, and drum (tabala) were played on the evergreen Nepali folk songs that showed the potential of Sarangi to be mingled with other modern musical instruments. With the end of the playful musical performance, Mr. Hari Bahadur Gandhari, a former Member-Secretary of National Dalit Commission, was invited to deliver a speech. Mr. Gandhari provided religious and historical accounts of Gandharba and reintroduced the contribution of Gandharba for the unification of Nepal and the salvation from autocratic monarchy. Mr. Gandhari, furthermore, insisted the government to reconsider the Gandharba representation in CA from remaining 26 posts.

“There are specific songs for 12 different months, according to Nepali Calender” Padam Gandharba said “I have documented all those songs and wish to handover to the next generation.” Padam started to sing a song of Falgun month since the month is running. Mr. Gandharba informed that he is in a process to manufacture an electronic Sarangi after crafting the world’s biggest and the smallest Sarangi. In the program, the GSN had handed a total amount of NRs. 10,000/- to a Cancer patient Mr. Raju Gandharba, the amount was received by his brother on behalf of him.

Mr. Shankar Bhandari, an honourable CA member and a chief guest of the program, was invited to deliver his speech in advance due to his busy time schedule. Mr. Bhandari showed his deepest appreciation to the Gandharba culture and Sarangi. He was thankful to the organizer and the talent demonstrated by Gandharba and their Sarangi. He committed to raise the issues of Gandharba in CA. Furthermore, Mr. Bhandari committed to raise the issue of Cancer patient in the Constitution Assembly. Moreover, he appreciated the effort made by Padam Gandharba to produce an electronic Sarangi and showed his commitment to assist. He showed his continual preparedness to support Gandharba for their betterment.



Sakshyam Band performed on a folk music in a fusion style. Sarangi, flute and drum (Tabala) were played together spontaneously and produced a very melodious music. The music was accompanied by a round blows of applaud. The Shakshyam Band was succussed to attract the entire concentration of an audience. Mr. Gopilal Gandharba, an old musician from Gorkha, performed ‘Malshri’. Malshri is about the Hindu god ‘Gorakhnath’. According to Nepali culture and Gandharba culture Malshri is sung before starting any program. This song is supposed as a good luck for the success of a program.  Barta Gandharba, a young and exceptionally talent artist, was invited to perform on a stage. She sang a song with her heart touching voice and a beautiful Sarangi. The song was about the relationship between mother and daughter and their sufferings. An old artist Mr. Krishna Bahadur Gandharba was invited to perform afterward. His fingers started to run on the strings of Sarangi with a humorous folk Nepali song at a first glance. The song contained a humorous talk between a young girl and a boy. Afterward, Mr. Gandharba sang an old song based on fact. The song was about multi- marriage system. Women sufferings because of multi-marriage system in the patriarchal Nepalese society were beautifully reflected in the song.

As a last musical performance, Rudra Band was invited on a stage. While the band was preparing its settings, Pujan Gandharba was invited to deliver a speech. Pujan put on light on an overall objective of the program. Furthermore, he asserted that the GSN a common place for the past, present and future generation where they can find their space. The band performed on classical, folk and modern music. The band was composed of Sarangi and flute players, and drummer. The band, in a later part of the event, was combined with Japanese artists and later on with an American musician, played together and gave a potential of fusion of Sarangi with western music. The performance was well accepted by audience. Mr. Suresh Gandhari, the chairperson of the program, was invited to close the program. Mr. Gandhari showed his deepest appreciation to the committee members, volunteers, generous sponsors, exceptionally talented artists, audience, and others. “Thank you all! Without you all the program would not be successful”, Suresh Gandhari said. The program was supported (generous Sponsors) by the Mountain Music Project, Nepal Academy, Nabil Bank, Holly lodge, Panda Treks and Expedition, Ms. Sandra Fiedeldy and Mr. David Brown, Mr. Ray Peacock, Mr. David Reeves, and Mr. Nicholas Berry. In the program, Yogendra Gandhari who won Australia Award Scholarship in 2012 to pursue Master of Arts in Community Development at Murdoch University of Western Australia, Kedar Gandhari- the first music therapist in Nepal, Amrit Gandhari, and Kendra Gandharba were honoured.

Result:
This event has brought different stakeholders like CA members, culturist and anthropologists, politicians and government officials, I/NGOs and media together. This event has provided a common place for the stakeholders where the intangible culture of Gandharvas has got special privileged through access to broader audience. More importantly, this event has provided an opportunity to document a typical music of Gandharva community which may help to sustain the Gandharva culture for the present and future generations. Apart from the musical event, this event has provided a space for dialogical discussion on the importance of Gandharva culture through speeches which may help to reintroduce the Gandharva culture into broader audience.

This event has brought Gadharba culture into the limelight which may aware the future generations about the importance and historical facts of Gandharvas. Moreover, this event has helped to reintroduce the beauty of Sarangi, provided a place for cultural expression, and preserved intangible heritage of Gandharva community. Furthermore, this event has provided assistance to a Cancer patient. Constitution Assembly Member Shankar Bhandari has committed to provide assistance for the development of electronic Sarangi and to the Cancer patient as well. Therefore, the event has become successful in a sense that the event became a hotspot to raise the issues of Gandharba.





Learning:
The program was planned for 3 hours but it took almost 5 hours despite downsizing the program. Therefore, GSN should work on time management and program management. The program was supposed to start at sharp 2 pm but the program was started 1 hour late because of late attendance of the chief guest and other guests. Thus, GSN should well collaborate with guests to make them available in a predefined time. Some audience seem dissatisfied with the program and hence, GSN should try its best to downsize the weaknesses. More importantly, this type of culture event has a crucial importance for the liveliness of Gandharba culture. Therefore, GSN should keep doing this type of event in the future as well.





Tuesday, February 18, 2014


संविधानसभामा आफुहरुको प्रतिनिधित्व नभए आन्दोलन—गन्धर्व समुदाय:

काठमाडौं—५ फागुन,संविधानसभामा
गन्धर्व समुदायको प्रतिनिधित्वको माग गर्दै गन्धर्व संघर्ष समितिले आन्दोलनका कार्यक्रमहरु घोषणा गरेको छ ।
संविधानसभामा समानुपातिक तथा प्रत्यक्षमा सबैजात जातीको प्रतिनिधित्व रहेतापनि गन्धर्व समुदायको प्रतिनिधित्व नभएकाले २६ जनाको मनोनयन सिटमा आफुहरुको सहभागीताको माग गरेको हो ।

आज रिर्पोटस् कल्ब काठमाडौंमा पत्रकार सम्मेलन गरि समितिले आफुहरुको संविधानसभामा प्रतिधित्व नभएका स्थानीय निकायको निर्वाचन बहिस्कार गर्ने,गन्धर्व जातीको बसोवास रहेको २२ जिल्लामा जिल्ला प्रशासन,संसद बैठकमा क्रममा संसद् भवन,सिंहदरबार घेराउ तथा सरकारले घोषणा गरेको सबै सेवा सुविधा बहिस्कार गर्ने लगायतका कार्यक्रम सार्वजनिक गरेको छ ।

पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा बोल्दै समितिका संयोजक पुर्ण बहादुर गान्धारीले मन्त्री परिषद्बाट मनोनित हुने २६ जनामा एक जना गन्धर्व समुदायलाई मनोनित नगराए आफुहरु कडा आन्दोलनमा जाने बताउनुभयो ।

गन्धर्व समुदायको प्रतिनिधित्व सुनिश्चीत गर्न गराउन विभिन्न राजनितिक दलहरुमा पनि जानकारी गराएकाले गन्धर्व समुदायका विषयमा गम्भीर हुन राजनैतिक दलहरुलाई आग्रह गर्नुभयो । त्यस्तै समितीका सदस्य एवं नेपाल गन्धर्व जनजागरणका अध्यक्ष मानबहादुर बैगारले हरेक निकायमा गन्धर्व समुदायको पुर्ण ज्ञारेन्टी गरिनुपर्ने बताउनुभयो ।

गन्धर्व समाज सुधार संघका उपाध्यक्ष एवं समिती सदस्य चित्र सिंह गन्र्धवले इतिहास बोकेको गन्धर्व समुदायप्रति राज्यको दृष्टि नपर्नु दुखत भएको उल्लेख गर्नुभयो ।

संघर्षका कार्यक्रम प्रस्तुत गर्दै समितीका प्रवक्ता सन्तोष गन्धर्वले गन्धर्व समुदायले नेपाल एकिकरण देखि २०६२÷०६३ सालको ऐतिहांसीक जनआन्दोलनमा पुर्याएको योगदानको कदर गर्दै संविधानसभामा गन्धर्वको सहभागी गराउनु पर्ने माग राख्नुभयो ।

परिवर्तणका लागी गलामा सारङगी भिरेर मुक्तीका लागी गीत गाउने गन्धर्व समुदायको पहिचान सहितको संविधान निमार्णका लागी गन्धर्व समुदायको अनिवार्य उपस्थिती रहनुपर्ने भन्दै त्यसो नगरिए राज्यका विरुद्धमा कडा आन्दोलनमा उत्त्रीने चेतावनि दिनुभयो

Saturday, November 23, 2013

निर्वाचनमा पराजय भएपनि आफ्नो पार्टीको एजेण्डा पराजित भएको छैन :

 http://nayakhabar.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/nepals-ex-pm-baburam-bhattarai-resigns-from-top-post-in-maoist-party.jpg



 एकीकृत नेकपा माओवादीका नेता डा. बाबुराम भट्टराईले निर्वाचनमा आफ्नो पार्टी पराजय भएको भएपनि आफुहरुले उठाउंदै आएको एजेण्डाको पराजय नभएको बताउनु भएको छ । डा. भट्टराईले शनिबार एक प्रेस विज्ञप्ति जारी गरी भनेका छन्, ‘मेरो र हाम्रो पार्टीको यो पराजयलाई एकीकृत माओवादीले उठाएको एजेण्डाको पराजयको रुपमा कदापि लिएको छैन र वास्तविकता त्यस्तो होइन भन्ने पूरा विश्वास छ ।’
‘खासगरी अहिले मुलुकको राजनीतिको मूलधारमा देखिएका संघीयता, गणतन्त्र, समावेशिता, धर्मनिरपेक्षता, पहिचान, राज्यको अग्रगामी पुर्नसंरचनालगायतका अग्रगामी एजेण्डाहरुको भ्रमपूर्ण अपव्याख्या र चुनाव जित्नका लागि प्रयोग गरिएका अनेकखाले अलोकतान्त्रिक र अमर्यादित हतकण्डाले यो चुनावी परिणाम निम्त्याएको मेरो ठम्याई रहेको छ ।’
बिज्ञप्तीको पूर्णपाठ:
आदरणीय दिदीबहिनी तथा दाजुभाइहरु
सर्वप्रथम गत मंसीर ४ गते सम्पन्न भएको संविधानसभाको निर्वाचनमा यहाँहरुको उत्साहपूर्ण सहभागिताका लागि हार्दिक कृतज्ञता प्रकट गर्दछु । सोही निर्वाचनमा म हाम्रो पार्टी एकीकृत नेकपा माओवादीले उत्पीडित वर्ग, जाति, क्षेत्र, लिङ्ग, धर्म तथा विभिन्न समुदायहरुको पहिचान र अधिकारलाई स्थापित गर्ने र मुलुकको शासकीय स्वरुप तथा राज्य संयन्त्रमा आमूल परिवर्तन गर्दै मुलुकको तीव्र आर्थिक विकासका लागि उठाएको परिवर्तनकारी एजेण्डाहरु र बुटवलगायत समग्र लुम्बिनी क्षेत्रको एकीकृत विकासको थप एजेण्डा लिएर रुपन्देही क्षेत्र नं ४ बाट चुनावी प्रतिस्पर्धामा उत्रिएको थिएँ ।
रुपन्देहीबाट मेरो उम्मेदवारीले निश्चय पनि यस क्षेत्रको एकीकृत आर्थिक विकासका लागि नयाँ मार्ग प्रशस्त गरेको मैले अनुभव गरेको छु । सो क्रममा हामीले हाम्रा एजेण्डाहरुलाई जनस्तरसम्म लैजाने क्रममा प्रतिस्पर्धी राजनीतिक दलका साथीहरुले धेरै प्रकारका बाधा अड्चनहरु पैदा गरे । हामीले तपाईं जनता सामु आफ्ना परिर्वतन, अग्रगमन अनि आर्थिक समृद्धिका एजेण्डाहरुको मात्रै कुरा गर्यौं । हाम्रो विश्वास के थियो भने तपाईं जनताले हाम्रा एजेण्डाहरुलाई बुझेर एकीकृत माओवादीलाई परिवर्तनकारी शक्तिको रुपमा विजयी गराउनुहुनेछ । तर, अन्य प्रतिस्पर्धी दलका साथीहरुले हामी र हाम्रा एजेण्डालाई पूराका पूरा बहिस्कार गर्दै निषेधात्मक तरिकाले हाम्रो केन्द्रीय नेतृत्व र पार्टीको बद्ख्वाईं गर्दै चुनाव प्रचार गरे । तर, हामीले चुनाव प्रचारका क्रममा कहिल्यै पनि अन्य दलहरुको आलोचना गरेनौं ।
हामीले उच्चतम् लोकतान्त्रिक पद्धतीअनुसार बहुदलीय प्रतिस्पर्धात्मक तरिकाले आफ्नो प्रचार अभियान अघि बढायौं । तर, यो ऐतिहासिक संविधानसभाको निर्वाचनमा पनि पूर्णतया संसदीय निर्वाचनको झल्को दिनेगरी एमाले कांग्रेसजस्ता पुराना संसदवादी दलहरुले निषेधात्मक तरिकाले अलोकतान्त्रिक प्रचार शैली अपनाउँदा हाम्रा एजेण्डा र हामीले विगतमा सरकारमा रहँदा वा बाहिर रहँदा शान्ति, संविधान, लोकतन्त्र र राज्यको अग्रगामी रुपान्तरणका सवालमा गरेका कामकारबाहीहरुको गलत व्याख्या गरियो । मैले आफ्नो प्रधानमन्त्रित्व कालमा बागमतीको किनारमा जोखिमपूर्ण बसोबास गरिरहेका भूमिहिन गरिब मजदुर तथा सुकुम्बासीहरुलाई व्यवस्थित रुपमा सुरक्षित ठाउँमा बसोबासको व्यवस्था गर्न गरेको असाध्यै सकारात्मक र संवेदनशील पहल तथा काठमाडौंको साँघुरो बाटोलाई फराकिलो बनाएर अस्तव्यस्थ र अव्यवस्थित बसोबासले गाँजेको काठमाडौं सहरलाई व्यवस्थित सहरको रुपमा विकास गर्ने अभियान स्वरुप गरेको सकारात्मक पहलकदमीलाई दुष्प्रचार गर्दै हाम्रो रचनात्मक पहलकदमीलाई निषेध गरे । यथास्थितिवादी, पुनरुत्थानवादी तथा पुराना संसदवादी शक्तिहरुले यो निर्वाचनमा विभिन्न हतकण्डाहरु प्रयोग गरे र एकीकृत नेकपा माओवादीलाई षड्यन्त्रपूर्वक घेराबन्दी गरी माओवादीको एजेण्डालाई सम्पूर्ण रुपले तिरस्कार गर्ने काम गरे । परिणाम स्वरुप हामीले एकप्रकारको अनपेक्षित पराजय भोग्नुपर्यो ।
यद्यपि मैले मेरो र हाम्रो पार्टीको यो पराजयलाई एकीकृत माओवादीले उठाएको एजेण्डाको पराजयको रुपमा कदापि लिएको छैन र वास्तविकता त्यस्तो होइन भन्ने पूरा विश्वास छ । खासगरी अहिले मुलुकको राजनीतिको मूलधारमा देखिएका संघीयता, गणतन्त्र, समावेशिता, धर्मनिरपेक्षता, पहिचान, राज्यको अग्रगामी पुर्नसंरचनालगायतका अग्रगामी एजेण्डाहरुको भ्रमपूर्ण अपव्याख्या र चुनाव जित्नका लागि प्रयोग गरिएका अनेकखाले अलोकतान्त्रिक र अमर्यादित हतकण्डाले यो चुनावी परिणाम निम्त्याएको मेरो ठम्याई रहेको छ । तर, राज्यको अग्रगामी रुपान्तरण र आर्थिक समृद्धिका सवालमा एकीकृत माओवादीले उठाएका एजेण्डाहरु वास्तवमै सहि छन् र ती एजेण्डाहरुले नै मुलुकको कायाकल्प गर्ने विश्वास व्यक्त गर्दछु । त्यसकारण हामी उत्पीडित वर्ग, जाति, क्षेत्र, धर्म र लिंगका समुदायहरुलाई राज्य संयन्त्रमा आफ्नो हकहिस्सा दिलाउन र उनीहरुको पहिचानलाई स्थापित गर्न जुनसुकै संघर्षको रुप अवलम्बन गर्न पनि हरदम तयार छौं । यद्यपि संविधानसभा माओवादीको आफ्नो एजेण्डा भएको र अहिले मुलुकको केन्द्रीय राजनीतिमा माओवादीकै एजेण्डाहरु हावी भइरहेको सन्दर्भमा हामीले यहि वैधानिक विधि र प्रक्रिया प्रयोग गरेर जनतालाई समृद्ध तुल्याउने अभियानमा लाग्नेछौं ।
साथै मैले तपाईं रुपन्देही तथा लुम्बिनी क्षेत्रका जनतालाई चुनाव प्रचारको क्रममा पनि के विश्वास दिलाएको थिएँ भने मैले जित्दा मात्र होइन हार्दा पनि यस लुम्बिनी क्षेत्रको एकीकृत र तीव्र विकासमार्फत नयाँ नेपाल निर्माणको सुरुवात गर्ने बचन दिएको थिएँ । अहिले पनि म त्यही प्रतिबद्धता व्यक्त गर्न चाहन्छु । खासगरी यस क्षेत्रमा मेरो उम्मेदवारीलाई लिएर अनेकखाले टिकाटिप्पणी गर्दै मेरो उपस्थितिलाई अनेक बहानामा अस्वीकार गर्नेसम्मका अलोकतान्त्रिक व्यवहारहरु प्रदर्शन भए, गरिए । तर, मेरो काम गर्ने शैली अनुसार म जुन काममा लाग्छु, निरन्तर त्यसैमा होमिन्छु । यसर्थ, अब यस क्षेत्रको राष्ट्रिय तथा अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विकासका लागि म पूर्णतया कटिवद्ध भएर लाग्ने प्रतिबद्धता व्यक्त गर्न चाहन्छु ।
मैले स्थानीय चुनावी प्रतिबद्धतापत्र र आम मतदाताहरुलाई जारी गरेको अपिलमा भनेझैं विश्वलाई ज्ञानको ज्योति दिने गौतम बुद्धको जन्मथलो लुम्बिनी क्षेत्रलाई अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विकास केन्द्रको रुपमा स्थापित गर्दै समग्र लुम्बिनी क्षेत्रलाई ऐतिहासिक र धार्मिक पर्यटकीय केन्द्रको रुपमा विकास गरी वार्षिक १ करोड पर्यटकहरुलाई भ्रमण गराउने लक्ष्य अनुरुप समग्र लुम्बिनी अञ्चलकै एकीकृत विकासमा दृढतापूर्वक लाग्नेछु । साथै बुटवललाई समग्र लुम्बिनी र पश्चिमाञ्चल क्षेत्रकै आर्थिक केन्द्रको रुपमा विकास गर्ने लक्ष्य अनुरुप नयाँको औद्योगिक, व्यापारिक तथा पर्यटकीय क्षेत्रहरुको विकास र विस्तारमा जोड दिनेछु । बुटवललगायतका क्षेत्रलाई अत्याधुनिक सहरको रुपमा योजनाबद्ध विकास गरी यस क्षेत्रमा देखिएका भूमिहीन गरीब किसान, मजदुर तथा सुकुम्बासी लगायतका समस्या न्यायपूर्ण ढंगले समाधान गर्ने दिशामा मेरो दृढ प्रतिबद्धता रहनेछ ।
यसपालीको मेरो र हाम्रो पार्टीको पराजयलाई हामीले अर्को ठूलो विजयको संकेतको रुपमा ग्रहण गरेका छौं । मूलतः पहिचान, अधिकार तथा अग्रगमनसहितको नयाँ संविधान र समृद्ध मुलुक निर्माणका लागि एकीकृत नेपाल कम्युनिष्ट पार्टी ९माओवादी०ले उठान गरेका एजेण्डाहरु सहि र वैज्ञानिक छन् । यसर्थ, हामीले ती एजेण्डाहरुलाई जनस्तरसम्म पु-याउने र जनताको पीरमर्का र समस्याहरुलाई समाधान गर्दै जनताको हक, अधिकार, पहिचानस्थापित गर्दै आर्थिक समृद्धिका सपनालाई साकार पार्ने दिशामा हाम्रो क्रियाशीलता झन् तीव्र हुने प्रतिबद्धता व्यक्त गर्दै एउटा चुनावी परिणामबाट कत्ति पनि बिचलित नभई हामीले हाम्रो लक्ष्यमा पुग्ने विश्वासका साथ अघि बढ्न सबै आम जनसमुदायहरुमा हार्दिक अपिल गर्न चाहन्छु । साथै हामीप्रति विश्वास र भरोसा गर्नुहुने र मलाई तथा हाम्रो पार्टीलाई आफ्नो अमूल्य मत दिई सहयोग गर्नु हुने आम जनसमुदायलाई हार्दिक आधार प्रकट गर्दछु ।
साथै यो निर्वाचन अभियानको क्रममा अहोरात्र खटेर सहयोग गर्नुहुने सम्पूर्ण महानुभावहरु त्था साथिहरुलाई हार्दिक धन्यवाद दिन चाहन्छु ।
धन्यवाद
डा. बाबुराम भट्टराई
एकीकृत नेकपा माओवादी
८ मंसिर २०७०

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BAADARKO HAATMAA NARIWAL ('A coconut in a monkey's hand' - Nepalese proverb)




STATE REPRESSION AND THE 2013 NEPALESE ELECTION



"What's more, you can't in good faith give the nobles what they want without doing harm to others; but you can with the people. Because the people's aspirations are more honourable than those of the nobles: the nobles want to oppress the people, while the people want to be free from oppression."
(Machiavelli, The Prince, san 1613)

"How can people trust them to run the state? Our boycott is therefore a political act to expose the failure of this parliamentary system. To build a new democracy and renew the revolutionary process we must go in different direction."
(Mohan Vaidya 'Kiran', Chairman, CPN - Maoist, from upcoming Red Front edition, October, 2013)

"Though I do not have much knowledge about politics and political leaders of our country, I am not going to vote for the old faces.
We have voted for them in the past but they have shown that they are capable of doing nothing. It is now time for us to see that young and new leaders get elected.
There is no point in electing candidates who have done nothing for the country. So people should think twice before casting their vote in the upcoming CA elections."
(Yamini Shahi, 23, Republica, November 16th. 2013)


The Supreme Court of Nepal, under the aegis of a sit-alone judge, last week issued an interim order calling upon the agitating parties of the 33 party alliance to immediately withdraw the ongoing transport strike as it interfered with people voting in a 'free and fair environment'.

The CPN-Maoist - or Nekapaa Maobaadi as they are now called in the syllabic Nepalese acronym - quickly and firmly rejected the order, with Kiran saying at a press conference that the court 'lacked legitimacy'; tied in as it was to the appointed Prime Minister/Chief Justice, Regmi, and therefore no more than a tool for the four party syndicate.

This may prove to be a decisive moment by which the judicial/political/military cabal have cleared the formal 'legal' hurdles prior to hunting down the Nekapaa Maobaadi leaders and declaring the Party a 'criminal organisation' - not only for defying the court order but for previous acts of 'vandalism' where the bulk of those arrested for enforcing the transport strike are said to be Party cadre. It is alleged that some cadre have been arrested in possession of firearms, mainly pistols and explosive materials. Rifles, mainly old .303 bolt-action, left from the People's War have also been seized, with the suspicion of tip-offs from Prachanda's cadre. This of course is a threat to the state's claim of having the monopoly of violence which has also exercised the authorities. Despite this the CPN - Maoists have maintained that the boycott is being largely conducted peacefully, according to party policy, but that there are times when peoples' 'justifiable rage' spills over.

The regime, however, reached the conclusion that the activities are 'criminal', that they have been unleashed by the boycotting parties and at a high-level security meeting under the chairmanship of the Interim Election Council of Ministers decided to hold the 33 party alliance responsible for all violent activities during the election period.

Equally the rapid riposte of the Party could prove equally decisive - an act of revolutionary defiance not just in the face of a huge security apparatus poised to swoop but also challenging the status quo's right to rule and in this case specifically rejecting its claims to legal jurisdiction.

In the light of this and growing intensity of the boycott campaign the regime is poised to declare the Party as an illegal 'terrorist' organization. The Chief Election Commissioner, NK Uprety, indicated this option where he said that those planting bombs were 'creating terror' and that a government "should control such terrorists for democracy to emerge victorious." (Himalayan, November 17th, 2013).

 This will cap a campaign of growing repression including the arrest of CPN-Maoist cadres, and extensive police raids sans warrants ostensibly looking for evidence of bomb-making materials but more often that not aimed at radical journalists and dissenting voices. One example here is Kamal Budha, a free-lance journalist running a website Sancharkendra who has been seized in this manner and there is a campaign for his release. But it is mainly CPN-Maoist cadre who have been arrested in across the country in such places as Jajarkot, Ithary, Dharany and Updaypur netting over 20 'suspects' on the night before the election adding to the hundreds already detained as part of an active policy of hunting down activists nolens volens.

There has been a devastating legal demolition from the renowned lawyer, Professor Gopal Siwakoti 'Chintan' (Thinker) showing that the regime itself is grounded in illegality under the terms of the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He further argues therefore that the attempts to run the election and to use the security apparatus to crush opposition are unconstitutional:

"Time has come to unveil the unconstitutional acts and the malafide activities under the banner of the judiciary."

Concluding:

"The peaceful strikes and public transport shut down called on by the CPN-M led Alliance is being suppressed by mobilising the army against the constitutional provisions as a rehearsal of the 1960 bloodless coup of late King Mahendra. The country is being pushed back towards an undeclared military rule."
(Election Fiasco in Nepal, Ignite, 19th November. NB this important contribution needs to be read in full.)

As part of keeping any trouble down and the population cowed in Kathmandu the army and police have increased their patrolling. Normally the NA is a ubiquitous presence and there will always be a squad lounging around some chowk (intersection) and of course they continually strut their stuff in their own private section of Tudikhel Park in Central Katmandu, but during this period platoons spread out into squads actively patrolling with INSAS slung at 45 degrees and the occasional Stirling horizontal across the chest. Add to this a stream of APF para-militaries sometimes in 4 wheel personnel carriers cruising the main drags, sometimes marching the with lathis and wearing the particular padded-jackets that have earned them the nickname - 'Ninjas'. In some quarters they are regarded as more dangerous than the NA; founded in 2001 by the NC government as a counter-balanced to the King's control of the army, they number nearly 40,000 and have their own more brutal esprit de corps. Plus the authorities are also using thousands of plainclothes policemen to infiltrate or inform on any attempt to hold meetings or engage in active boycotting.

Along with Professor Siwakoti's legal deductions on the political direction that Nepal is heading in this unfolding drama you do sense that you are in, unless it is stopped, an incipient, dollar/Rupee-backed, banana republic-style military dictatorship when the smartest people around are the soldiery; spick and span - they really stand out against the grime and poverty and where most of the rest of us look like bags left outside clothes banks in run-down western shopping arcades.

THE BANDH

This was against the background of growing disillusion, amounting often to active antipathy with the so-called election which crystallised in the 10 day general strike which was launched as a total bandh on the first day, followed by nine days of transport strike.

I have been through a few bandhs in Nepal but first day was the most solid as yet experienced. I'm situated up in a normally bustling, largely residential middle-class neighbourhood but nothing stirred from sunup to sunset, and not just here but all over this particular metropolis it was, to use an old trope, eerily silent. There was total discipline and unanimity in observing the strike, the taxi-ranks were gone, the shops were closed, the schools and institutions were shut and if you look at the photographs of usually busy thoroughfares you will not see one vehicle of any description. There was no enforcement - there was no need of it. It was a similar story nation-wide.

Despite the barrage of anti-strike propaganda in the media which has slavishly reported the relentless condemnations of all the anti-Maoist foreign and domestic forces in the weeks and days leading up to its launch, there was no wavering implementing it. The hysteria has continued during the strike with plenty of shroud-waving as to victims caught up in attempts of transport companies to run the strike gauntlet, which, in some cases, has seen buses and tampos torched. Much was made of the unfortunate driver who expired from burns after his bus was torched. It is even more pronounced with relation to the small-scale bombing campaign, and road blockades aimed more at disrupting the four-parties leaders' election programme rather than creating casualties.  Prachanda, has being particularly singled out, forcing him to fly everywhere by helicopter; a reflection of the security worries arising from the depth of loathing he has engendered among his former comrades and supporters.

It is because the transport strike was so effective that ratcheted-up the rightist attempt to judicially suppress it. This was especially important in the four day run-up to the ballot when electioneering was suspended - and they wanted to pump-up the vote in rural areas by returning voters who have become urban dwellers. Thus all the buses in Kathmandu were hired by the big parties and provided free of charge to supporters.

However, despite this offer, and despite the government's repeated assurances regarding security the shutdown prevented substantial numbers of voters in the Kathmandu Valley from returning to their districts and villages. (Kathmandu Post, November 17th. 2013) Although the government denied this transport companies said that the number of vehicles leaving the Valley was down by two-thirds. If you consider that the population of the area is 2.5 million and that the numbers from outside districts (jilla) is a million this can have a substantial impact on not just turnout, but on reducing the big parties attempt to rig ballots by flooding in hirelings (bharautteharu). It is more significant considering the total electorate is just over 12 million. The last report said that the Maobaadi plans are working as they say that the government had failed to persuade the transport entrepreneurs to continue services and that only a handful of long-distance buses and micro-buses left Kathmandu Valley and those that did, according to the laws of supply and demand in any capitalist society, were charging exorbitant prices.

The desperate free transport offer is the tip of the iceberg relating to bribes and treats being lavishly applied. Money is no object; food and drink (raksi) are laid on and the petrol paid for all the motor-bike rallies for the election or against the strike. The government finance minister suggested in this respect:

"There have been new reports that the political parties contesting the election are             spending lavishly on feasts." (SR Subedi, Kantipur, 18th. November, 2013)

Vote buying is also part of this orgy of corruption passing as exercise in democracy. All the parties are engaged in bidding and have even mobilised their cadres to prevent their rivals swaying their supporters. One source has said that special squads will remain alert to strange vehicles entering their areas and will follow them with special attention given to the poorer districts where the chances are high that the underprivileged there will sell their votes. (Kathmandu Post, 18th. November 2013).  In Saptari VDC the locals there who are fed-up with leaders who only offer lip-service during elections have gone one further and collectively decided to sell their vote to the highest bidder - an organizer, Tulasi Prasad stated:
"We got nothing for the votes we cast in the last election, so why not sell our votes this time." (Republica, 15th. November, 2013)
 
The most extravagant spender, or perhaps least discrete, is the UCPN (M) which appears to have millions; there are reports of candidates, such as Hisila Yami, a UCPN (M) candidate, going around handing out bundles of cash and Dahal's chopper doesn't come cheap. Sources estimate that this money comes from what was looted from the treasury during Dahal and Bhatterai's administration, also from skimming monies meant for PLA/NA integration and from New Dehli. If the CPN-Maobaadi are now referred to as the 'Dashists' then the UCPN (M) have well merited the sobriquet 'Cashists'. (It used to be 'Khaobaadi', as opposed to 'Maobaadi', which is a play on the verb Khaanu - 'to eat'). They hope that their money will somehow buy-off the huge disappointment they have been to the downtrodden and oppressed whose hopes they had previously raised. It helped them become the largest party in the 2008 CA but this time, based on increasing anecdotal evidence, media interviews with Dalits, oppressed minorities, janajati peoples especially show this disillusion. So it appears likely they will crash from being the biggest party. I think their leaders know it - that's why Prachanda and Bhatterai have chosen to run in two constituencies, their existing home patch and one each in the Madesh in order to spread their bets. It also accounts for the air of desperation in their campaign where all the manifestos' are replete with extravagant promises regarding stopping power-shortages in three years, transforming Nepal into Singapore or Switzerland in five, &c but showing Prachanda's as the most vainglorious - even promising to halt tusker rampages, killing, (which along with many other deaths from la nature savage remain a constant threat in Nepal), within six months! He also envisages himself as a future unifying president who will, in words to his Hetauda jamboree last February: "Institutionalise the gains of the People's War."
e H

In my last article I quoted that the official cost of this electoral stunt was Rs. 30 billion (now risen to Rs.36) and one estimate is that you double this adding in the 'informal' expenditure. As one analyst wrote:

"We have seen the election costs go up. Black money seems to be the source of funding for political parties during election time. This will fuel corruption."
(Prof. K Khanal, Katmandu Post, 18th. November, 2013)

Professor Khanal also expressed the strong opinion that a poor country like Nepal could ill-afford such extravaganzas; further evincing the blatant nature of this exercise showing Nepalese politicians as hucksters, carpetbaggers and mobsters and a general dead weight on the Nepalese people's back. It spreads down to their hooligan (gundaa) followers who have also marked the campaign with drink-fuelled, inter-party violence reported everyday as UML, NC and UCPN(M) youths administer  or receive 'thrashings' at the hands of rivals with an occasional gunfight to liven up the proceedings. These encounters can be likened to a mix of modern gangsterism and feudal/lineage loyalties. This, for example, enables a political godfather in a particular area to use his 'cadre' to enforce his control and his political position to engage in pork-barrel politics. This engenders loyalty to a don whatever party he is in. Thus party-hopping is rife, especially as in the cases like MJN's Gaddachhar and RPP's Thapa, as the trick is to maintain ministerial positions at all costs.

Therefore, under these conditions many votes, as well as those flagrantly bought, can be discounted as being no more than regional, feudal reflexes as opposed to a truly free, enlightened poll; the abstract model of 'democracy' advanced by ex-Skymaster Carter who has just arrived to front up his Carter Center NGO aiming to see the Nepalese reaching the high standards set by his homeland where a flourishing democracy gives you, as Lenny Bruce once said about the American press: "The big picture - from the right to the right."

It is another factor that makes this election no more credible than any of the referendums and elections held by the Kings Mahendra and Birendra, and which even then were resisted by the left with force, viz:

"The only political move that enlivened the dry, dull public life of Kathmandu was a satyagraha (civil disobedience) call made by the NC as a protest against upcoming Panchayat elections in May 1985 Some leftist politicians rallied behind the agitation as media reported on the event as a sign of a gathering storm. In June 1985, a series of bomb blasts rocked the valley. Blasts of smaller magnitude hit Pokhara and Birgunj." (CK Lal, RP Singh - The Warrior Revolutionary, Revolution in Nepal, Oxford Press    2013)

EK KSHETRA- EK SAMITI - EUTA KARYA - EUTA NATIJAA!

(One area - one committee - one action - one result! -  Naxalite slogan adopted during People's War)

Faced with a similar situation the contemporary left has essentially repeated the strategy that represents, as Kiran noted, all those excluded from the power centres and whose justifiable anger against the status quo has been galvanised by this New Delhi/US/UN/EU inspired attempted electoral 'soft coup'. Thus leaders and cadre have gone semi-underground spreading across the country to their home territories; Biplav and Prankanda, e.g. have returned to Rolpa and the aim there is to secure a total boycott. In areas and districts like this it will be like kicking an open door. The reasons the maraginalised, oppressed people here gave overwhelming support to the Maobaadi during the People's War and in the 2008 elections still stand. They have abandoned the party that let them down but not the cause that inspired it. Furthermore, despite the hardships of the war period people's lives had been transformed for the better as a socialist state in embryo carried out a 'land to the tiller programme' collectivization, cooperatives, People's Courts, village committees established, schools, hospitals and roads constructed and built. Even critics acknowledge the then CPN (Maoist) displayed a real flair for organization and popular mobilization that enabled them to fuse a revolutionary war with building socialism in the base areas. The Party was both dynamic and methodical - the first time any semblance of a Nepalese government had served the people. This party grew from the people and unleashed their potential. It was a singular achievement, not just in Nepalese terms, and the experience has not been forgotten. So when Prachanda recently opined as a justification for he and Bhatterai's handing back expropriated land, dissolving the PLA, abandoning the base areas, &c. was that he had come to the conclusion "Communism was not suitable for Nepal", he is dismissed as a lal gaddaar (Red traitor).

This is the military experience and commitment that is being brought to bear in the boycott campaign. Because of the topography there is usually only one road in and out of any Nepalese town or village and where dense forest or jungle provides plenty of cover. This gives any determined band an advantage of surprise and over a numerically superior but reactive military force. The existing army, however swollen would be stretched to meet potential forays effectively. What also makes the job of the army - which by the way has maintained its own chain of command and action within the 4 tier security strategy - even more difficult in these regions is the degree of mass support the boycotters enjoy for the reasons mentioned above. So, while the NA may swagger around Kmandu, and occasionally clip some Bahun politico's ear, out in the west they have to recognise the popular support for the boycott. In Rolpa, therefore, they requested a meeting with the Dashist area secretary to ask if they work together respecting each other's position. KB Mahara, a prominent Cashist leader is a candidate in Rolpa-1 and will be hard-put to repeat his success in 2008.

You could almost reverse Marx's observation in the Communist Manifesto along the lines of thanking the bourgeoisie for building cities and "rescuing the mass of the people from 'rural idiocy' to Nepal where the peasantry represents the advanced guard of the proletariat against 'urban idiocy'; except when you remember that there is a vast body of support from the working and under classes in the cities - particularly Kathmandu - for the real Maoists In the 2008 elections, for example, the CPN (Maoist) took 12 of the 14 seats to the astonishment of the Brahmin/Chetri media and political classes. They even defeated the UML leader, MK Nepal, in his home seat. (He bounced back though as he was appointed unelected PM with the connivance of India as a reward for stabbing the CPN (M) coalition government in the back by withdrawing support over the attempt by the then PM, Prachanda, to sack the mutinous NA CoS, Prajawal. Capitalising on the disillusion with the new reformist UCPN (M) he might even get elected this time.)

To an extent Katmandu is something of a bubble and there operates a conscious and sub-conscious black-out about the rest of the country. A few dissenting columnists in the upper-caste controlled media are licensed but the news selection and editorial is solidly right-wing and of a particularly centralised mindset that sees outside the Valley as almost a foreign country, albeit inhabited by 80% of the population. They ever hardly leave the Valley and have consistently missed out on events and developments in the countryside. During the PW, in case of point, they faithfully reported every armed encounter and accompanying violence but knew nothing about what has happening behind the lines in the base areas. A comrade recently complained about the lack of reporting on the security operation and the resistance it was encountering and arrived at the conclusion that it was 'Kathmanduitis', a long-standing affliction of the indigenous, ideologically colonised commentariat.

This is one reason why the People's War was little reported around the world due the filtering and suppression of information that is normative for this stratum. Only the pre-prepared bullet-points get presented I've just been reminded of this as this is Election Day and I tuned in to BBC World Service - you know the self-proclaimed and objective purveyor of news and comment, an uneasy, patronising leftover from former imperial days fronted and staffed by Rupert's and Fiona's, occasional professional, 'Oirish' crybabies called Fergal,  and with the assistance of multi-national helpmeets from around the globe to provide an 'authentic' voice and a bit of local colour; as I say I tuned in for the first news on Nepal only to be told that there was a crucial election taking place that involved all the major parties and would, after the false start of 2008, provide the all-important constitution that would unlock the country's development potential….. That was it - there was no mention of a strike - no mention of a boycott. The BBC apparatchiks were playing the game along with their Nepalese homologues of selecting the news fit to hear.

Similarly, the Morning Star, a British 'communist' daily paper ran a report of the General Strike in Nepal without mentioning the boycott - the reason for it - or the word 'Maoist'. Now the mindset of these soft-left MS editors approves of strikes in the same way the BBC minions approve of 'democracy' - therefore each report from inside their own comfort-zone, censoring out the painful, to them, actuality. The Morning Star, representing the CPGB, will similarly be closer to the UML as they are each reformist parliamentary parties frightened stiff by revolution and Maoism as much as are the placemen at the BBC.

In this way - despite globalization - Nepal is being presented as Czechoslovakia was in the thirties during the Munich Crisis: "A small far-away country about which we know little." This is the external strategy of the media circles of the status quo on the one hand while on the other, it's other political and ideological institutions; foreign and domestic concentrate their firepower on the left opposition within the country.


POSTSCRIPT - ELECTION RESULTS

Election day has passed and while the results will be some days in counting the media, uniformly is reporting the whole affair as a great success with a 'record turnout' of around 70%. It is they claimed a triumph for democracy that the people have voted in defiance of the boycotters and have instead expressed their faith in democracy.
In fact the alleged 70% turnout figure so instantly trumpeted - is a sleight of hand which will be used to mandate a constitution already written in New Delhi. By way of rebuttal; if you move from the % game to the actual numbers voting - it is a different story. Consider the 2008 CA election had 17.6 million registered voters of whom 63.29% cast a vote totaling 11, 13376. With rigging and exclusion this time the number of registered voters was reduced to 12.21 million - 5.39 million approx a third less. With the as yet ball-park claim of 70% turnout this produces a figure of 8.547000 million voters. Over 2.5 million down and applying the 2008 figures this would give roughly a 48 % turnout. When you consider that this is the most rigged election yet in a country with a deeply and brazenly corrupt establishment that has spent over Rs 50 billion (this is without counting the huge amounts of 'black money' spent by the big parties actually buying voters) as compared to the modest Rs 4 billion for 2008 only further demonstrates the zero credibility of this exercise.
 
In the wider picture the figure of 8.5 million votes approximately out a total population of 30 million approximately with an average age of 21 does not look impressive. There is also a staggering 5 million plus Nepalese working also who are presumably excluded. Would they vote for a system that condemns them to work in slavery abroad rather than one which provides work in freedom at home? Their remittances' make up 25% of national income, so there is a direct pecuniary benefit to the status quo in seeing that Nepal remains a source of cheap labour for international capitalist interests.
 
There is a possibility that, using the flawed figures from this charade as a mandate, the regime will pursue further repression; beginning with those already in custody. As they have ruled that the Party, as legal entity, is responsible for all the violence they may declare it a 'criminal organisation' to be disbanded and the leaders arrested. Chairman Kiran has acknowledged this  and said he is quite prepared to face prison - again. But any triumphalist posturings should be muted by the fact that even on their own phony figures there is a third of the electorate is hostile to the present dispensation and has actively responded to a successful boycott. The fact is: oppositional numbers are even greater, and that furthermore that the many of the votes cast were soft ones, indicating that the hard-core support for the status quo is 30/35%, drawn mostly, if not exclusively from the upper Brahmin/Chetri castes.
 
 Whatever the percentages this boycott and election have shown that there is a critical mass of the Nepalese people who want change, who have a party that represents this desire and who will not be bound by the results of this so-called election.
 
The CPN- Maoists recognise that this is one battle in a war from which they have emerged intact and strengthened despite the range of foreign and domestic forces; political, ideological and military, ranged against them. They have neither buckled nor submitted to blandishments. Their boycott campaign was innovative and dynamic and it is clear that they have galvanised youth in the Young People's Volunteer Bureau, showing the strength in depth they have across the generations. They have laid the basis for a United Front of all progressive and patriotic peoples', further incensed by the Party's exposure of the meddling from Indian expansionists in 'managing' Nepalese political life, as they put it. They have kept faith with the Janajatis, the marginalised, the Dalits and the submerged underclass of the towns and cities by keeping the option of radical change and real freedom on the agenda. The boycott campaign has also enabled them to revive the spirit and activities of the liberated base areas that grew out of and in step with the People's War. The CPN-Maoists have achieved this by restoring a genuine revolutionary Maoist polity, more than justifying the reasons for splitting from the, in every sense, corrupted UCPN (M).
 
I will close summarising a statement made by comrade Dev Gurung,  yesterday on behalf of the Party, who, while expressing "sadness for any damage caused by incidents during the strike", went on to say that the bandh had concluded successfully despite the efforts of the 4 party syndicate to misuse the state's power to suppress it. Reporting that the government had used force in arresting over 500 leaders and cadres on "false accusations" he finished addressing the Nepalese people by thanking them: "for making our strike successful."
 
Lal salaam                                                                         P. Tobin, 20th November, 2013