And Dr Baburam Bhattarai hasn't let them down. Fiercely wielding the gun and writing prolifically in the papers and periodicals to justify violence as an instrument of social change, Bhattarai, a politburo member—together with party chairman Prachanda—has fashioned, within six years, a powerful underground movement which has been locked in a bloody conflict with the Nepal government. The toll: 1,800. The result: a weakened government in Kathmandu and its new prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba offering parleys (on July 16).
It's peace time in Nepal, temporary and tentative. Prachanda has asked the Maoists to hold fire. Yet, with their avowed goal of establishing a communist republic in Nepal and abolishing the constitutional monarchy, the Maoists could return to the bush sooner than expected. And Bhattarai would then be back to doing what he does best—writing articles espousing the Maoist ideology and winning votaries to the 'cause'.