Sunday, September 8, 2013

UCPN-Maoist Eats Humble Pie

By Rabin Man Shakya

The latest news that the UCPN-Maoist party has announced the bandh (shutdown strike) it has imposed in the Kathmandu valley, including Chitwan and Gorkha districts on Sunday to protest against the arrest of a party cadre accused of conflict-era murder has again raised questions about the impunity of the political parties, their bosses, and their cadres.

However, this time the powerful UCPN-Maoist party had to eat humble pie as it has to withdraw the shutdown strike after 12 PM following chastisement from all walks of life. Kudos to the people of Nepal for foiling the bandh.

The sad reality, however, is that we are still infected with the "cancer" of impunity and unless it is cutout, we will perennially plunge into an abyss of unending chaos and uncertainties.

However, the arrest of UCPN-Maoist cadre accused of conflict-era murder brings in a light at the end of the tunnel for Nanda Prasad Adhikari and Ganga Maya, the parents of Krishna Prasad Adhikari, who was abducted and killed in Chitwan during the Maoist insurgency. The Adikari couple have been staging a fast unto death for the last 44 days demanding legal action against the culprit.

The real question now is: Will Maoist cadre Ram Prasad Adhikari stand trial for the murder he committed during the conflict-era?

The politics of bandhs will lead us to nowhere. Nobody is happy with the bandhs. Lots of financial and social troubles are created by the bandhs. Normal lives of the people are disrupted, but still the bandhs are announced at the drop of a hat by the parties and the organizations at the cost of the inconveniences to the "supreme" people.

Why are bandhs not announced in countries like the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Russia and so on? It is not that these countries do not have political and socio-economic problems.

Therefore, the people must warn the parties and their stalwarts that the organizers of the bandhs will be voted out in the elections. Bandh organizers should be ostracized by the people in different programs and events.

There is a special role media and social media can play in doing away with the bandhs. The newspapers and magazines should not only publish the stories about the harmful impact of the bandh, they should also urge the parties and politicians in every edition to shun the bandhs in a special box advertisement. The FM radios and TV channels can also remind the parties about the same. Only in this way can we get rid of the unwanted bandhs.

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