BARDIYA, Feb 23: The top Maoist leaders found themselves in an embarrassing situation on Tuesday when the kin of the Maoists killed and disappeared during the decade-long insurgency questioned their integrity and commitment to the ideals of “revolution.”
The leaders could only listen even as the kin of the “martyrs” bombarded them with questions and said the sacrifices of their near and dear ones did not bring any positive changes other than landing the leaders in the power-corridors of Kathmandu.
“Did we fight the insurgency to send a handful of leaders to Kathmandu?” asked Kalpana, whose husband Ram Prasad Tharu, the sole breadwinner in the family, was killed during the insurgency. She complained that nobody now cares about her plight.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai reached Jagatiya of Bardiya Tuesday to listen to the kin of the Maoists killed and forcibly disappeared by the security forces during the insurgency.
Carrying her eight-year son on her back, Kalpana alleged that the leaders have forgotten their commitments, have turned a blind eye to those who made the sacrifice and are indulging in the luxury of city-life.
“The leaders are engaged in internal power struggle, neglecting their commitment to the country and the people. People will break their heads if they continue such things,” said an emotional Kalpana.
Similarly, others alleged that the leaders have betrayed them.
“What was the achievement of the war that claimed the lives of thousands of youths?” asked Likhiram Tharu whose brother Dhaniram was arrested and subsequently disappeared by the security forces. “We thought the country would see positive changes and upliftment in the lives of the living under abject poverty. But we were wrong,” said Tharu.
Questioning the “bourgeoisie lifestyles” in the party, those gathered at the village repeatedly accused the leaders of being city-centric and indulging in luxury.
“You must translate the commitments you made before commencing the war into action,” said Ghanashyam Sapkota, father of Buddhimaya Sapkota who was arrested and subsequently disappeared by security forces.
Bardiya registers the highest number of disappearances during the insurgency. Some 500 Maoist cadres in the district were reportedly killed and disappeared by the security forces.
The kin of those disappeared stated that the leaders have not even bothered to inquire about their near and dear ones.
After listening to them, Chairman Dahal conceded that the party has lately seen proliferation in the intra-party problems, but tried to defend himself arguing that the party is yet to complete the “people´s revolution,” and that the party has not forgotten them. But the kin of those killed and disappeared were far from being convinced.