Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal: Glancing Into a Revolutionary Farm

Posted by n3wday on November 7, 2009

nepal_maoist_agricultural_farm_pic1This article was posted on United We Blog for a Democratic Nepal. Click on photos for full size images and visit United We Blog for more.

A Maoist Agricultural Center in Nepal

By Neil Horning

On the way to Chorkate, Gorkha, about a 3 hour bus ride from the district headquarters, a conspicuous facility covered with red flags is noticeable by the roadside.

Nammuna Agricultural Center is run by the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) as an agricultural cooperative, intended to teach agricultural skills and collective farming to locals and serve as a model for similar facilities nation wide. Dr. Baburam Bhattarai’s childhood village overlooks the center.

The cooperative raises buffalo and pigs, farms fish and grows rice and vegetables. According to members, Sarmila Bagle and Hari Khanal, 20-30 Maoist cadres work in the center, with locals (paid 100-400 Rupees or about $1.50 to $6.00 a day) comprising an additional half of the workforce. Gender balance rests at 50%. Cooking is done on a rotational basis involving both men and women, and decisions are made through semi-regular meetings of the members.

Agricultural cooperatives are the first step in a Maoist development strategy known as collectivization, in where the manpower from individual plots is pooled to increase efficiency of production. In China, first land titles were distributed to peasants as part of a land reform process. Next, peasants with individual plots were encouraged to voluntarily join agricultural cooperatives which were later combined into massive communes. The initial stages of this plan met with measured success, while the later stages during the great leap forward have been blamed for massive famines and are the subject of much controversy.

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Waiting for the bus in Chorkate. The Maoists have built a bus shelter dedicated to local martyrs here.

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A viewpoint overlooking the cooperative

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The beautiful valley surrounding the facility.

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A closer view from above

The main hall

the main hall

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Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao oversee whatever is broadcast from the speaker, left. For the record, Mao rated Stalin at 70%.

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Member, Hari Khanal, presents the wall of martyrs.

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Maoist development plans.

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Member, Sarmila Bagle, presented with an opportunity to add to the report. Neither Hari nor Sarmila were interested in giving their personal stories, but Sarmila was a student known to one of the local teachers. A rough translation of her writing:

– Our party is the one true communist party in Nepal
– We follow the people who have the ideas to develop Nepal
– We have plans to give food, clothing, shelter, health care, and employment to everyone.
– All the people are our followers, and we need to do everything for the people.
– By developing a small piece of land we want to develop the whole country.

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The buffalo stay here for the night.

One Response to “Nepal: Glancing Into a Revolutionary Farm”

  1. Spencer said

    Is it true that Nepal has been a very male-dominated society?

    How much of a departure is the gender balance of chores that is mentioned in this post?

    I imagine a very large one.

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