Indian scribe lobbies for Nepal Maoists in Europe
Delhi-based activist and publisher Anand Swaroop Verma has volunteered to tour Europe for 30 days to voice the Maoist cause.
While Nepal's Crown Prince Paras and Foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey toured Austria and France to defend the increasingly isolated government of King Gyanendra, the Maoists launched their own diplomatic offensive by roping in a veteran Indian journalist to defend them in Europe.
Delhi-based activist and publisher Anand Swaroop Verma, whose Samkaleen Teesari Duniya last year published Maoist top leader Baburam Bhattarai's book "Monarchy vs Democracy: The Epic Fight in Nepal", volunteered last month to tour Europe for 30 days to voice the Maoist cause.
Besides touring Austria and France, Verma also spoke at key cities in Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
"Revolution in Nepal: A New World is Possible" was the theme of the tour organised by a London-based leftist group, World People's Resistance Movement.
According to the "other side of the story" presented by Verma, the Maoists, supported by "masses in their millions", were waging a "great revolutionary movement" against King Gyanendra's government, supported by foreign powers, "most especially the US, Britain and India".
Verma, general secretary of the All India Khet Mazdoor Union, a trade union, came down heavily on the Indian government, describing how "the imperialists and India sent massive arms support and aid to the various corrupt governments and the monarchy with the hope of suppressing the growing people's power inside the country".
According to him, the Indian government did its best to "reverse and crush one of the most dramatic social transformations and advance of the past 30 years".
However, according to his presentation, the communist guerrillas transcended the hurdles to start major reforms, like abolishing the caste system, liberating women, developing schools, providing education to all, abolishing bonded labour and creating an exemplary People's Liberation Army that plays a key role in bringing medical treatment to villagers.
While the king's propagandists have been projecting his coup last year as a laudable initiative to restore democracy and combat terrorism as well as corruption, the rebel propaganda ignores the mounting allegations of rights violations by the guerrillas that include recruiting child soldiers and indiscriminate bombing causing heavy civilian casualties.