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Red Sunrise Industry
With local politics in advanced entropy, with endless power cuts, unbearably dirty streets, frequent riots, demonstrations and chakka jams, you’d think this was no time to visit Nepal. The current chaos in the erstwhile kingdom has the tourism ministry in a bit of a tizzy. How to convince fussy foreigners, and the all-important Indian visitor, to risk a few days in crazy Kathmandu? To my mind, those tourism mavens just aren’t thinking creatively. There’s much to draw visitors these days. I mean, 33 years after the death of Chairman Mao Zedong, who would have dreamt he’d be inspiring a new breed of governing revolutionary in the Himalayas. Not even the Great Helmsman himself, I dare say. So brave traveller, see Maoism while you may. Or at least check out its cuddly, bourgeois democratic cousin, which is what Nepal’s ruling comrades are calling their time in power. See the Young Communist League, this country’s version of the dreaded Red Guards, directing traffic and helping old ladies across the street. The cultural revolution can wait. Lefties of the world, unite: come visit Nepal. You have nothing to lose but your money. Communism is, after all, an international movement. And there are few places on the planet today where people take it seriously anymore. Nepal is one of them, and it’s time to reach out to recalcitrant Marxists, Trotskyites, Leninists and all other true believers and get them to Kathmandu. An old Nepal tourism slogan promised visitors "Mount Everest and more". How about a variation: "Mao and more"?