August 18, 2007:
The courts and public opinion have
forced the Maoists to back off in their campaign to shut down media that is
unwilling to submit to Maoist censorship. The Maoists consider this a temporary
setback, not a defeat, and will continue to seek ways to gain control over the
media. Meanwhile, the Maoists have been splintering, meaning that the
Maoist leadership has little control over the new factions going off on their
own. There are at least half a dozen of them, some with over a hundred members.
The only way to control the factions is to attack them, and the Maoists do not
want a civil war. The government, meanwhile, is beset by separatist tribal and
ethnic groups demanding more autonomy, and money. These groups account for
about a third of the population, and the government is broke. That's because the
Maoists continue to block government tax collection in areas where the Maoists
are strong. Instead, the Maoists demand "revolutionary tax" payments
from businesses and wealthy families. The Maoists are particularly hard on
Indian owned businesses. These have more money, usually because of the parent
company back in India, and the Maoists like to play up their anti-Indian
credentials by sticking it to the Indian companies.
The country is falling apart. The democrats are
unable to unite, the royalists are a minority and the Maoists still believe
they can take over and establish a communist dictatorship.
August 17, 2007: In the south, ethnic violence is
spreading, partly because some of the ethnic activists are trying to intimidate
populations into supporting, or at least not opposing, their particular
August 15, 2007: In the capital, riot police were
required to break up fighting between Maoist and non-Maoist students. The
Maoists have been using violence, and weapons (knives and clubs) to intimidate
other student groups into going along with the radicals. When many of the
non-Maoists students refused, larger scale fighting broke out.
August 13, 2007: Maoists are increasingly using
labor unrest and violence to intimidate journalists who write things the
Maoists do not like. The Maoists want to establish a communist police state,
and that means no free press. So to the hard core Maoists, there is no such
thing as a free and independent press.
August 11, 2007: Increasingly, groups of
Maoists have broken away to form more radical organizations. These usually
identify themselves as "youth groups," in recognition of a generation
gap among the Maoists. The older ones realize that going to far with the
radical politics gets you a disaster, and destruction. The younger Maoists are
clueless, ruthless and more inclined to violence.