Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal Maoists: On Criticism by RCP

Posted by Rosa Harris on January 3, 2008

Street demonstrations in Nepal’s capital in September 2007 when the Maoists pulled out of the government coalition in protest over the refusal of other forces to overthrow the ancient and hated monarchy.

The second edition of RED STAR has just appeared. This is the new online English language newspaper reporting on the Maoist revolution in Nepal. I am printing it all out for a close read.

However I do want to call to attention a brief-but-significant passage in an interview with Netrabikram “Biplab” Chand, who is described as a member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

This passage acknowledges that the Nepali Maoists are facing criticisms from some forces internationally. Everyone has seen the criticisms of the Maoist of India (so that part is not a surprise). But Biplab also specifically mentions Bob Avakian of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA as one of those doing the criticizing.

This too is not surprising — because almost anyone watching the RCP realizes that they simply stopped writing their own commentary on the Nepali revolution in the Spring of 2006. Such an abrupt end to their previous enthusiastic reporting was an obvious sign that they had differences with the CPN(Maoist) that amounted to a cessation of support.

I say “almost anyone” because one group of people may be surprised: Many supporters of the RCP seem unaware of such differences. This is because they have been on a rather strict information diet — in which many details of their own movement (including major parts of the RCP’s own political and ideological line, and major setbacks in the RCP’s work) are simply kept from them.

So here it is, out in the open: the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) mentions (cheerfully, generously, almost in passing) the criticisms of Bob Avakian. Now finally we can (here in the U.S.) get beyond the info diet and get to the heart of the matters: Let’s dig into those opposing lines, let’s compare and contrast. And let’s discuss the question I have been asking: Where is the internationalism?

To be clear: There may well be principled criticisms to make of revolutionary comrades in Nepal — of this or that statement, this or that belief, this or that decision. I am cautious of thinking I know enough (from afar) to judge. I am inclined to look at their progress as something to learn from, as something to shake up our own too-rigid thinking here. A great revolution is unfolding in the Himalayas and south into India, and it will inevitably force earthquakes in communist thinking as well.

Bob Avakian once wrote (very long ago in Mao’s Immortal Contributions before his “epistemological break”):

“It can further be said that it is even a law of revolution, and especially of proletarian revolution, that in order for it to succeed in any particular country, the struggle in that country and those leading it will have to depart from and even oppose certain particular conceptions or previous practices which have come to be invested in the stature of ‘established norms’ in the revolutionary movement. This is an expression of materialist dialectics, because every revolution arises out of the concrete conditions (contradictions) in the country (and the world) at the time it is occuring and every new revolution inevitably involves new questions, new contradictions to be resolved.”

There may be principled criticism to be made now. But I have to ask: what criticisms are SO MAJOR, so basic, that they justify silence on Nepal — when things happen like the massacre in Gaur, or when new machinations and lies emerge from the U.S.?

In India police have arrested the editor of the Maoist newspaper People’s March, P. Govindan Kutty. He has launched a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment and the attempt to suppress the revolutionary press. Many Maoist fighters and leaders have been tortured and murdered in the Indian prisons. Such things need to be exposed and opposed here in the heartland of imperialism.

I remember during the Vietnam war, when many of us had our eyes opened, and realized (to our own shock) that the “other side” was really a popular movement for national liberation. Vietnam was not just a bloody war, and an “unnecessary” war — it was an UNJUST war (and the revolutionary forces called “the Vietcong” were really “The National Liberation Front of South Vietnam” who deserved that lofty name.) There were at that time real reasons to question the political and ideological line of the Vietnamese Workers Party — it was more and more leaning toward pro-Soviet politics (in international orientation, in its view of the revolutionary process, in its approach to the reliance on weapons, and more). From the Tet offensive on, we revolutionaries in the U.S. had such questions. The Vietnamese made proposals at the negotiation table (for possible coalitions in South Vietnam, for mergers or accommodation with the local puppet forces). They even urged us to support the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate George McGovern in the 1972 elections. And we developed (over time, with respect and with much agonizing) some critical summations of the line they were taking, and the road they were walking.

But…. (and here is my point)… never in all of that process did we go silent on our opposition to the war in Vietnam. Never did we stop reporting on the crimes of the U.S. in Vietnam — its interventions, its lies about the revolutionary forces.

And here we are in 2007, where the political landscape has been far too barren of revolutionary movements. And there is a bright spot in South Asia, where two (rather different and quarreling) Maoist movements are making progress… one in India and the other in Nepal. They face great dangers — including all out military attack, and U.S. interventions of various kinds.

The politics of the Nepali and Indian Maoists are quite a bit more clearly revolutionary than the forces that took over the Vietnamese Workers Party…. right?

What are the RCP criticisms of the Nepali and Indian Maoists that could justify the RCP’S silence now? What kinds of issues would justify this?

And more: if this Maoist party is not shouldering these important internationalist tasks, what requirements does that put on us — as we regroup and reconceive, and climb the unexplored mountain?

* * * * * *

In Red Star, Netrabikram “Biplab” Chand, is asked why international communist parties are criticizing CPN(M)?

Biplab’s answer:

It’s a burning question, indeed. Our party and revolution isn’t the party and revolution of Nepal only. It is one of the essential organs of world communist party and world revolution. Therefore, the success and failure of the revolution influences the entire world. Another important fact is that the situation in which we’re standing today is built due to the help and solidarity of the world proletarian class.

When we initiated people’s war in Nepal, we were observing the revolution of Peru, Philipines and Turky at that time. We discussed and shared the experiences with fraternal parties- RCP and CPI (Maoist). They have helped us too much. The revolutionaries of India helped us in political, technological, academic and other sectors. RIM and CPI (Maoist) have some anxieties and criticisms about Nepalese revolution while we are in peace process.

We’ve accepted those complains and criticisms cordially and should do so, because they belong to the same class. They don’t want only the revolution, but also revolutionary internationalism in Nepal. Some others complain on it, but we say that the criticism of com. Ganapati and com. Bob Avakian is more favourable, beneficial and salutary than the admiration and compassion of Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and American president George Bush. We should make them to believe that we are resolute to our class, ideology, ideal and our goal.

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