Nepal’s Maobaadi

Beginning or an end?

In a scene from The Killing Terraces, a documentary screened at the inaugural of Film South Asia 2001, director Dhurba Basnet captures the cold fury of a young boy, no more than ten or twelve. Orphaned by a 'war' that has claimed the lives of more than 2000 innocent Nepalis over last five years, the boy seethes with rage, and says to the camera that he wants to 'tear the heart out' of the policemen who killed his parents.

Even more than the savagery of words and the chill in the tone, it is the blazing face of the boy that sends shivers down the spine. The roots of hatred appear to have penetrated deep. When the so-called Peoples' War is over, healing would be an onerous process for all its victims. Violence brutalises the perpetrator and the sufferer alike. Recovery is slow, and proceeds in fits and starts.

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