Re­defin­ing Strat­egy

The post-elec­tion rhetoric of the UCPN (M) has led many to con­clude that the party is fi­nally ac­cept­ing its di­min­ished sta­tus in Nepal’s pol­i­tics.

Southasia - - CONTENTS - By Asna Ali

Be­fore its first steps to­wards democ­racy, Nepal went through a bloody pe­riod of civil war that lasted a decade and cost thou­sands of lives. The so­cial and eco­nomic land­scape of this small land­locked coun­try was se­verely af­fected. Its dwin­dling pop­u­lar­ity with tourists could have spelled doom for the econ­omy if it were not for the re­mit­tances sent by Nepalese im­mi­grants who had moved abroad due to the con­flict.

The civil war had been ini­ti­ated by the Com­mu­nist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to abol­ish the monar­chy and feu­dal­ism. Apart from in­ter­mit­tent pe­ri­ods of cease­fire to hold ne­go­ti­a­tions, it went on un­til 2006. Dur­ing this time, the CPN (M) led by Pushpa Ka­mal Da­hal, com­monly known as Prachanda, es­tab­lished its strongholds in ru­ral ar­eas of Nepal, tak­ing con­trol where the govern­ment’s pres­ence was weak. Since the ma­jor­ity of the Nepalese lived in ru­ral ar­eas, this firmly po­si­tioned the CPN ( M) as one of the most im­por­tant forces in Nepal, one that claimed to be the people’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

The civil war fi­nally ended when

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