Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for October 2nd, 2008

Nepal: Emancipation of the Haliyas

Posted by n3wday on October 2, 2008

This article appeared in the Red Star.

The emancipation of ploughmen

Along with the abolition of many old feudal customs, the government has declared the emancipation of ploughmen (Haliyas), thus ending an old feudal tradition that dominates in far western Nepal. The government was obliged to take action over the issue when the families oppressed by the Halias tradition arrived in Kathmandu and conducted a hunger strike for their emancipation.

Now they have been declared free citizens of the country. The freed Haliyas are optimistic and they expect much from the government because the government has declared a policy and program of liberty and equality.

Before the Haliyas were freed, the Kamaiyas or serfs were freed by the former government of Nepali Congress. After this declaration, however, their lives were actually harder than their previous life in the farms of the land-lords. The emancipated Kamaiyas and Haliyas did not receive equal rights and possession. The government should have provided land, homes and the opportunity of employment as declared in its policy and programme.
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Nepal: Yadav and the land seizure controversey

Posted by n3wday on October 2, 2008

This collection of articles appeared on Neil’s Nepal.

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[intro by Neil]

He’s a Rogue, a loose Cannon, one more screw up and he’s off the force! Or will he resign? He’s Matrika Yadav, the newly appointed Maoist land reform minister, and his leadership style is “hands on” to say the least. It seems CPN(UML) Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam’s bid to restore law and order (which for some reason means night clubs close at 11:00) has run smack into Yadav’s ideologically driven aversion to kicking landless squatters off of formerly royal property. It’s an interesting Dilemma. The Maoists have made a pledge to respect property rights, and their chances of wooing the business community and attracting foreign direct investment hinge on convincing others of their sincerity. On the other hand, It’s easy to see how Yadav would find it hard to call himself both a Communist and a Minister of Land reform, if he stands by while the police knock over landless peoples huts. Of course, The CPN(UML) has long established it has no aversion to completely disregarding it’s claimed ideology.

At any rate, Matrika has demonstrated that he will at least actively carry out his duty, as indicated in the second piece. How this pans out will be an acid test for Nepal observers of numerous ideological persuasions. Will the Maoists face the condemnation of both their domestic and international supporters, the ire of potential investors and the donor community, or deftly sidestep this obstacle somehow? Stay tuned.

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Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | 9 Comments »