Sunday, 21 March 2010

Maoist Rally Outside The Royal Palace

...

A one-sided oxymoron of an event… in the decaying grandeur of Kathmandu’s Durbar Square… where the pagoda was, apparently, invented... where a neo-classical facade is grossly thrust into the space ... where one of the world’s oldest wooden building stand looking not that old and not all that wooden.... where a tall and tangled tree grows knotted from a five foot stone shrine… doing better than the Nepalese Royal Family, who have decayed to the point of non-existence… the irregular and unsquare Square where the shabby edged stupas, their intricately carved woodwork, give a neat counterpoint for the Maoist message… as they stage a cultural rally… the red flag backdrop ... hammer and sickle on one side… pen brush and drum on the other … marx engels lenin stalin mao between… a poet a singer a dance troupe … an audience of hundreds… the language unknown to me but the talent of voice of language apparent … the clothes not dowdy but matter of fact… a sense of human happiness more than commitment from the distinctly varied intelligent but ordinary faces…. and behind the stage are three good-looking female Maoists in military uniform, the only uniforms in sight…[an old trick, join up and get laid] …and the old poet and his wavering book gets laughter and applause, the singing female duo get silence…

and to me, in this country where the government has so plainly failed its people, where the power is on less than ten hours day, one has to wonder if the future is their’s?… the Maoists?…. every time communism has happened the situation for the people has been so terrible that even communism seemed a good idea… Russia China Cambodia etc… and one wouldn’t think this country right now is quite that bad… but they look a together bunch to me… and Maoist is a nebulous phrase… yet it has to mean centralised control, silence of dissent, destruction of the old… mao famously said, religion is a poison... and why not change an o for a r?.... to make communism is a prison... so, if given a clear choice, is that what the Nepalis will vote for?… or is it the best option? … it may be the former, I can’t see that it is the latter

Plus, am reading Nehru’s autobiography [1934]… which is stirring my brain from any stupor… is enforcing into my head just how terrible British rule was in the 20s and 30s… how cruelly they wrung the peasants through the mangle to extract all those rupees … how old-fashionedly and cackhandedly they attempted to crush dissent …

I was never sure about Nehru before but this is a great book, and his outlook hard to condemn, hard not to agree with, his mind hard not to admire

Mind you, we’d all be better people if we knew Gandhi

1 comment: