In praise of Maoists

This is something rarely written for the Maoists; but their good-natured tactic of peaceful protest has earned at least a few good things for them. One of them is praise from people like me and one other is at least a little faith on ‘what they say’.

The Maoists top leaders said the protests would be peaceful. And, it went peaceful.

For normal citizens, there were of course troubles for they closed down the streets wherever they were protesting and also blocked all roads leading to the Kathmandu Valley for a day.

This meant that people suffered – but well less than what many suspected when the largest party with a violent past announced the stir.

On Thursday, they picketed Singha Durbar, the main administrative area of Nepal. The Maoists cadres poured into the valley from all around – in dozens of buses – as if there is going to be a war and that the side with greater number will win.

Singha Durbar had never been picketed; thus it was new and all around it are prohibited area [even journalists wanted to cross the line when they protested] but the Maoists did not tried to cross over.

Once on Thursday, there was a brief clash – police firing a few shells of tear-gas while Maoists tried to cross the line – but calmness returned soon.

And, most importantly for me, they did what they said! The leaders and cadres acted as a unit – not that leaders saying contradictory things and then cadres doing whatsoever they wanted. They looked like a party under leadership’s control.

PICNIC IN PROTEST: Maoist supremo Prachanda dances in tunes of actress Rekha Thapa during the Maoists’ picketing of the Singha Durbar.

A few stars for them also for turning the protest into ‘picnic’. They sang, danced and enjoyed on the streets – some of the film stars joining them.

One more praise for the Maoists for establishing a culture that strikes/protests might also be carried on without burning tyres or vandalizing public properties. And, that’s the best part and I hope all other parties would follow it when it comes their turn to protest.

But from Friday, their protest ended. What results would it produce? Looks like virtually nothing than a little amazement.

But seriously, I hope that the ruling coalition will take the protest to be flexible towards Maoists and that the Maoists will be flexible – enough from both sides to behave as an unit at least in constitution making and peace process.

Two rigid sides can not compromise; the compromise with one side rigid would not yield faith and long-term co-operation; thus I hope that both sides – ruling coalition and the Maoists should somehow agree on a few basic things including two hot issues – the constitution making and peace process and democratically solve issues arising during the deliberations on these issues.

Everyone knows: there is no alternative way! Everyone knows: they should someday unite! So sooner the better!

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It’s wave, Google Wave!

After a long anticipation and a few weeks of jealousy [when others were talking about it and I had not invitation], I finally got to use Google Wave – the great Google’s new project in coming.

I have 20 of my 635 Gmail contacts on Google Wave – most of them are not my regular contacts. So, my use of Google Wave is all about thinking of possibilities and learning about it.

So what I find? Wave is chat + email (including multimedia) + (optional crowdsourcing)! The best use could be for group discussions – as a journalist I say for group reporting or following large scale news like election or natural disaster. Better than using email in such scenario as its just function like group chat.

Threaded email – a great feature introduced by Gmail – looked confusing at the beginning but now I found it a must. This is threaded chat – with more possibilities.

Easier than Facebook to control who can see your updates (or wave). It’s not an alternative to Facebook or Twitter or even Gmail right now – but I feel – that the Google guys have kept all the doors open, as they go on, they will introduce everything and when they will have a good user base they will leave nothing to turn it into the one alternative to all such services!

They don’t have much extensions now but the scope for extensions is unlimited.

Not much of good things right now, but of course, with huge possibility to be ‘a must have’.

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