Maoists flay Buddha for getting berth beside Marx, Lenin
Kathmandu, Feb 16 (IANS) After fighting over the Buddha, the
apostle of peace and non-violence, Nepal's former guerrilla
party, the Maoists, are now blowing cold towards the world
icon, flaying his inclusion at a communist meet.
The Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML)
has come under Maoist fire over its critical convention that
kicks off at Butwal town outside Kathmandu valley Monday to
choose a new leader.
To celebrate its eighth general convention in style, the UML
has erected cutouts of international and national communist
Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and Prussian philosopher Karl
Marx grace the convention site along with statues of Manmohan
Adhikari, the first communist prime minister of Nepal, and
dead communist luminaries Madan Bhandari and Jeevraj Ashrit.
A surprising addition to the communist pantheon is the statue
of the Buddha.
In addition, the six-day communist meet was inaugurated with
a lamp that was lit at Lumbini in south Nepal, where the Buddha
was born more than 2,500 years ago, and relayed to the convention
The prominence given to the Buddha by the communists has irked
the Maoists, who despite entering into a power-sharing agreement
with the UML regard it as their biggest rival.
On Monday, Maoists seized upon the Buddha cutout and the UML
meet to disparage their rivals by accusing them of making
a mockery of the communist movement.
"The UML has made a mockery of communism by keeping the
Buddha's statue along with Marx and Lenin's," said the
Janadisha daily, regarded as the mouthpiece of the Maoists.
"The UML once followed the communist philosophy that
armed struggle is the climax of class struggle. But now the
party that calls itself communist has erected the statue of
a religious leader at its convention and given him the same
honour reserved for its philosophers and leaders."
The daily, which had been banned during the 10-year armed
revolt fought by the Maoists, also claimed that the Buddha's
presence had ruffled the feathers of some UML leaders.
Without naming them, the daily claimed them to have said that
"the UML has insulted Marx and Lenin by placing the Buddha
The disgruntled party leaders are also alleged to have said
that it showed the UML had deviated from secular and class
politics to religion-based national politics.
The Maoist attack on the UML through the Buddha comes days
after Nepal erupted in protests against a Bollywood film from
The action comedy "Chandni Chowk to China", directed
by Nikhil Advani and starring Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone,
was banned in Nepal last month for wrongly claiming that the
Buddha was born in India.
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