[Context: The worst terrorist attacks over 2002-2011 was in #Nepal, where 518 people died, according to the Global Terrorism Index http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/12/daily-chart-0 #GTI]
Irony: What the world considers as a terrorist attack, the “great revolutionary people” of Nepal will probably identify as an “altruistic attack” on a legitimate state they identified with.
This is a question I get asked quite often on twitter:
“When Nepali Congress does it, it is a freedom struggle, but when UCPN Maoist does it, how is it a terrorist attack?”
For different reasons:
1. In the cave age, the humans killed fellow humans for food, and it was a perfectly acceptable way of living life at that point in time. Similarly, non-violent means of political change was something that was established by Gandhi in the world. Before that, violent struggles were pretty much the standard way of getting things done. Some of the pioneers of the Gandhian struggle were the Nepali leaders like Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Dilli Raman Regmi and Bhim Bahadur Tamang. But until their time, violent struggles were still the standard way of getting things done.
2. Leaders like BP Koirala served very strenuous jail sentences for involving in violent activities. It can’t be compared with other leaders who took no responsibility whatsoever about the violent political campaigns they led. BP Koirala was in fact serving a life sentence. And even people inside their parties were against such violence at that time (e.g., KP Bhattarai). In fact, at later points in time, even BP Koirala regretted violent activities. But comparing them with Maoist violence where neither the wrong has been admitted nor have the wrongdoers been served the necessary sentences, is totally outrageous.
3. In 2010, violent struggles are usually purveyed by international community for war crimes and terrorism charges. It is not like in 1700s or 1960s where violent struggles where the only means to achieve political change. Today, they have to pass different standards to qualify as a legitimate freedom struggle as opposed to a humanitarian crime. In the past, non-violent means of achieving political change were uncommon, and even when they were, they were non compulsive. Evidences tell that in case of Nepal, violence was more of a luxury than a necessity at the hands of those who could afford them.
So, before you make non-standard arguments like: “The Congress or the UML did violent movements in the past, so why only ostracize the Maoists” please try to understand that people actually understand that you are making an unqualified statement. It will help you prepare with much stronger arguments against a series of horrendous terrorists attacks.