Ben Peterson: To My Dearest Detractors
Posted by Mike E on May 6, 2009
On this site, a number of comments went up from opponents of the Maoist revolution who questioned Ben Peterson’s reports, insights and objectivity concerning events in Nepal.
To my dearest detractors.
Some would say that this is a lopsided view. And many would say that my “journalistic integrity” is compromised. I confess these things openly. But i only say this because if to have “journalistic integrity” means i need to echo the lies and propaganda that is printed every day in the medias mainstream then i want no part of it. I set out to find and tell the stories of the real Nepalis, the Nepalis who live in poverty, the Nepalis who are discriminated against just because of their sex, caste, nationality or profession. I pledge now to always be lopsided- i will always carry a bias- but the bias i carry will always be towards the toiling people of the World, and to give those without a voice a chance to tell their stories- the real stories of Nepal.
I have traveled widely in Nepal, I have been to Rolpa, Chitwan, Sindhapulchowk, Dang and of course Kathmandu. I have talked to people of all walks of life, from farmers, to workers, politicians and the unemployed. Men and women, Dalits, Cheteris and Bramins. I have seen the real Nepal. The real Nepal is one that is starving for change. That is why they SUPPORT the Maoists. Not because of intimidation, but because the Maoists, and only the Maoists, have gone to the people with a dream, a vision and a plan for creating a Nepal that is free from exploitation and poverty.
I have looked- but could not find- the people in fear of the Maoists cadre. I have looked for but have not found the intimidation that is daily described in the Media. What i have found, without even having to look are simple people that are willing to fight for a better life. I found people increasingly angry because the old elite and the political opposition delay and derail every single attempt by the government to bring relief to the people. I have found the people who have been beaten, raped and had their families killed by the (royal) Nepal Army. (which was described as the “National Savior” above)
This is the real Nepal. The real Nepal will not be found in the pages of the Himalayan times. The Real Nepal will not be found in the tourist quarter or the cocktail circuits of Kathmandu. The real Nepal is a elegant beast that has been shackled into a system that everyday exploits, brutalizes and violates it even more. The Nepali people have had enough of this and now refuse to take it any more. The chains that restrict them are bucking under the strain of an entire people rising for something better.
To those who cant see this, especially those from within the proud people of Nepal, i can only beg of you to open your eyes. You need only look as far as the women who will now look you in the eye, the dalits who can now be active in their communities and the workers with a new sense of pride in what they do, to see that the New Nepal- which is being built despite all the opposition tries to do- can be something more beautiful than we could possibly imagine.
Thank you- and for your own sake- wake up to the reality you are living in.