Sunday, July 31, 2011

Prachand halts funds for his artists

Jhankar Budha Magar

KATHMANDU, Aug 1: Samana Pariwar, a cultural group of the UCPN (Maoist) that lives together in Kathmandu, is bearing the full brunt of factionalism in the party.

The party´s topmost cultural group, which currently has 32 members, has said the party establishment is no longer funding their living expenses in Kathmandu. The reason? The Parivar members do not pay paeans to Dahal anymore.

 According to party insiders, it all began after the Palungtar Plenum last November when various party wings including the Samana Parivar openly backed their respective factions, each led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai.

The current 32 members of Samana Parivar are loyal to Baidya, and four other members from the Dahal faction were separated from the group two months ago to create a parallel cultural group in favor of the party establishment.
Samana Parivar, which lives collectively at Manamaiju in Kathmandu, would get Rs 100,000 from the party headquarters and Rs 25,000 from PLA every month to cover their accommodation and daily expenses.

But things were not the same after the Palungtar Plenum where Samana Parivar members backed Baidya faction. Both the party headquarters and PLA stopped giving them the promised money.

“We have not been clearly told why the party has stopped giving us money,” said Bijaya Sampang, coordinator of the Parivar. He said the Parivar is surviving on the money collected from selling the tickets of their cultural shows.
Kishor BK
“In the beginning, the chairman´s aides told us that we would get the promised money soon. Now, they openly say that they have decided not to give us the money,” artist Jhankar Budha Magar said.

The Parivar has been active since the beginning of the insurgency and has played crucial roles in spreading the party´s ideology.

"We too belong to the party. Why should only the chairman have monopoly over the party´s finances? We have invested the most productive years of our lives in the party,” said another Parivar member.

According to Kishor BK who is the vice-coordinator of the Parivar, the total cost of living for the Parivar amounts to Rs 200,000. The members would get Rs 600 to 1,000 per month as pocket money but now they only get Rs 200-300 per month. Also, they would get Rs 1,500 for clothing every six months. “But we have not bought any new clothes for the last several months," Jhankar Budha Magar said.

Samana Parivar has decided to hold cultural programs throughout the day to collect money to meet their expenses.

Many wings and organizations of the party are also reportedly undergoing similar experiences. The party´s organizations, where Baidya and Bhattarai have the majority, accuses Dahal of depriving them of party finances so that all can fall in line with the party establishment.

Published on 2011-08-01 00:32:05

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