"Maoist insurgency in Nepal brought a paradigm change in the fundamental parameters of politics."Critically examine the rise of Maoists and factors behind their success in Nepal.

Nepal is well known for its diversity, geography, ethnicity, language, religion as well as caste. In epic times, it was ruled by ethnic people of the Himalayas called Kirats. Later the Kirat rulers were replaced by several ingenious tribes such as Thakuris, Mallas, etc. In the 18th century, this country was unified by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, of the Shah dynasty by defeating the minor and major principalities.

The emergence of Maoism in Nepal

The constitution did not help Nepal to maintain political stability. Even in present times, the problem is still there. The unending clash and factionalism continued within the political parties.

  • Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) was a small party among the others. It was a fringe group of Maoism supporters.
  • In 1994, the legislators of this group abandoned their legislative seats and went underground.
  • In 1996, they declared a People’s War with the demand that only a communist state is the panacea to all social and economic ills. Nepal witnessed the Maoist Insurgency from that time.

By 2006, this insurgency had spread across entire Nepal. It succeeded to establish a provisional “people’s government” at the district level in several parts of Nepal.

Factors behind their success

The main factors behind the victory of the Maoists were the following.

  • They were able to mobilize the poor and deprived sections, tribals, and women groups of Nepal.
  • They focused their special attention on issues like inclusion of the deprived, federalism, secularism, and economic reforms.
  • They demanded the abolition of untouchability. They successfully represented themselves as the fighter for social justice in the country.
  • They demanded the control of health, education, village development, and issues directly associated with the common man.

The Maoist student brigade demanded free education until the age of 15 years.

Question for UPSC Mains:
“Maoist insurgency in Nepal brought a paradigm change in the fundamental parameters of politics.” Critically examine the rise of Maoists and factors behind their success in Nepal.

Published: February 4, 2016 | Modified:September 19, 2020

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