Newsday Lies about the Revolutionary Road in Nepal
Revolution #014, September 18, 2005
Newsday, a liberal newspaper in
New York, recently ran a special nine-part series by Matthew
McAllester on the Maoist revolution in Nepal (August 14-17,
2005). Like recent articles in Harper’s 1
magazine and Rolling Stone, McAllester echoes the
U.S. State Department, arguing that the Maoist revolution
is a horrible and totalitarian thing that must be stopped
at all costs. And like most mainstream coverage of the People’s
War in Nepal, this Newsday series is based on disinformation,
outright lies, and extreme anti-communist hysteria.
There is much to expose about this series
and McAllester should really be forced to publicly debate
and defend this rather crude piece of reactionary “journalism.”
But right now, I want to focus on McAllester’s attack
on the revolutionary road being built by the Maoists in Rolpa.
As A World to Win News Service reports,
tens of thousands of people have been involved in building
a much-needed roadway to be known as Sahid Marg, Martyr’s
Highway ( Rolpa, Nepal: Building the road to the future).
King Gyanendra’s Royal Army has tried many times to
disrupt this project—dropping bombs from helicopters
and firing on people working on the road.
But as a 75-year-old man working on the road
said, “The new [Maoist] regime has responded to our
sentiments, and has tried to make our dreams real, so we are
ready even to give our blood for this great campaign.”
This kind of revolutionary enthusiasm and
sacrifice is something McAllester can’t understand and
cynically attacks. After talking to people in Rolpa he claims
this project is nothing but “forced labor.” His
capitalist outlook of dog-eat-dog individualism can’t
comprehend how people would walk for two days to do volunteer
work and that some people would do this, even though the road
is “not even routed through their village.” To
his way of thinking, if someone is working for no money, if
someone is helping to build something that doesn’t directly
benefit them—then this must be coercive, forced labor.
When “old women, young men, -mothers,
grandfathers, boys and girls” tell him they “were
only too happy to help the region’s development,”
McAllester can only respond by claiming these people are “repeating
a party mantra.” With such cynical contempt for the
people McAllester cannot believe—even when he sees it
with his own eyes—that the masses of people can consciously
remake themselves and the world around them.
McAllester warns that “The scene on
the Martyrs Road is a snapshot of what Nepal might look like
if the Maoist insurgents ever came to power...” and
then talks about how the Maoists could turn Nepal “into
the world’s next killing fields.” He doesn’t
offer a shred of evidence to support this but poses the question,
if the Maoists win, will they “spill oceans of blood”?
He hopes this will convince people of the “horror”
of communist rule. But what horrifies McAllester is the fact
that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) now controls most
of Nepal’s countryside and that they are leading millions
of people to radically transform their economic, political,
and cultural life.
The Maoist revolution in Nepal is bringing
into being a whole new revolutionary way of thinking and acting—a
revolutionary spirit where thousands of poor peasants are
willing to sacrifice their very lives to get rid of the system
oppressing them; where people are consciously working to bring
into being a whole new way of running society; where people
are working together to redistribute the land, get rid of
women’s oppression, abolish caste distinctions and give
equality to oppressed national minorities.
As a schoolteacher working on Martyr’s
“If the Maoists seize power centrally,
I believe that within ten years Nepal will be changed dramatically.
The work the Maoists have initiated in the base areas involving
agriculture, industry, education and health is novel, scientific
and positive. One cannot underestimate this great work...”
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution
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