Leftist artistes share same podium
KATHMANDU, Jan 6: Artistes from around a dozen leftist parties, who are very critical of each other at other times, came together for the first time on Friday and Saturday, to perform on the same podium. Interestingly, artistes from cultural groups affiliated to both the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-Maoist also sang songs and performed dances.
Each of the leftist parties has been labeling others as “reactionaries”, “status-quoists”, “revisionists” and “neo- revisionists” and claiming themselves to be “revolutionaries”. They performed irrespective of their ideological differences and accused their leaders of using them for personal gains. The popular progressive singers Ramesh, Rayan, Khusiram Pakhrin, JB Tuhure, Jiban Sharma, Maila Lama, Ishwar Joshi, Jhankar Magar, Madhu Gurung, among others, sang songs, while poets Ishwar Chandra Gyawali, Amar Giri, Matrika Pokharel, Keshav Silwal and Nibha Shah recited their poems.
“We felt a need for a common platform for all leftist artistes. Though it was difficult, we have come together eventually,” said Mani Thapa, advisor to People´s Culture Nepal. Songs and plays are the main tools used by the leftist parties to reach the masses. Songs revolve around day to day concerns like price hike, poverty, hunger, discrimination, sovereignty and revolution under the precepts of Marxist ideology.
“We want to give a message to the leftist parties that it is high time for them to unite,” said Jiban Sharma, chairman of Raktim Pariwar, close to CPN (Masal). He said such cultural functions would put moral pressure on the parties to unite. It is unfortunate that though the party uses the artistes to reach out to the masses, they are never given any say in the party mechanism. During insurgency, the Maoist had dubbed its cultural groups “cultural fighters”.
Over a dozen artistes, including Chunu Gurung and Chyangba Lama, were killed during the insurgency. But the artistes are now facing the fate of disqualified combatants, said Thapa. “It is good thing to share the same podium. But we should also join forces to lead the revolution,” said Jhankar Magar, singer of the Samana Pariwar close to CPN-Maoist. Among the cultural groups of the leftist parties, Samana Pariwar and Raktim Pariwar are very popular.
Residents padlock Jhimruk hydro project
PYUTHAN: Agitating Pyuthan locals today padlocked the administrative department of Jhimruk Hydro Project in protest against the government’s decision to cut power supply in load-shedding free Pyuthan district. The agitating locals had also padlocked the Nepal Electricity Authority Pyuthan office five days ago.
Since the hydro project came into operation, the district had been a load-shedding free area. For power generation, the water of Jhimruk river was mixed with Mandawi river in the district, the locals said. As many as 10 VDCs in the district are facing irrigation problems due to the hydro project. Joint Struggle Committee against load shedding coordinator Mukti Prasad Sharma said they have issued a deadline to withdraw the decision by Sunday. He warned of staging further protests if Pyuthan was not declared a load-shedding free area.
“We shall bring Pyuthan district to a halt if the power outage decision is not withdrawn”, Sharma warned. CPN-Maoist leader Narayan Adhikary also warned of a wave of protests if their demand was not met by Sunday. “People will capture the hydro project and run it if our demands are not met by Sunday”, Adhikary added.