Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Archive for April, 2008

Welcome to Revolution in South Asia!

Posted by Mike E on April 27, 2008

This RevSA site will be developed, as rapidly as possible, as a lively and interesting resource focused on the Maoist revolutions of South Asia — including breaking news, documents, analysis, and key controversies.

Please join us in this internationalist informational effort! There are many ways you can help this effort around RevsA:

  • Promote this new website — link to it from your own site,s email the url to interested people, post this announcement on relevant discussion boards/lists. All people interested in radical change need to know about these important revolutionary movements.
  • Use this site to raise your own understanding of the issues and controversies surrounding of these Maoist “New Democratic” revolutions.
  • Help us uncover substantive materials to post here. The RevsA site will not be limited to cheerleading: We will post critical articles and the charges of the revolution’s enemies. We want explore the differences and debates developing among the revolutionaries — as they face difficult choices and dare to propose unexpected solutions. we hope to provide readers with an many-sided sense of these living conflicts. Please email us if you know of material we should post — including those you have written yourself.
  • Make your own comments on the materials and controversies posted on RevSA.
  • Please get in touch right away if you are interested in helping in an ongoing way. We need to be developing posters, flyers, teach-in materials, study guides and other online materials. We are planning public event at campuses. And we need help moderating and maintaining the new site.

Events are moving quickly in Nepal, in unpredictable ways. There are several armed forces in the field, and the broad Nepali populations is mobilized to transform Nepali society — with very high expectations. The future is unwritten.

The possibility of deepening revolutionary crisis and the danger of counterrevolutionary action all demand that we act quickly and boldly.

Posted in India News, Nepal News | 6 Comments »

Prachanda Interview: As Intrigues Mount

Posted by Mike E on April 27, 2008

Mao wrote “Political power grows from the barrel of a gun.” And the whole of history and class society confirms that insight in many subtle ways.

The April 10 election in Nepal made it clear that the people of this impoverished feudal kingdom want radical change — and have rallied to the Maoist party to lead them there. As we have said elsewhere “Now comes the question of armies…..

In a series of posts we are documenting the rising intrigues of the U.S., reactionary parties and forces within the offical Nepali army — all aimed at preventing the revolutionary change that the people need and increasingly want. In that situation, the leadership of the Maoists are working with care to rally their own forces, and to expose, divide or neutralize their opponents — all in preparation for possible decisive confrontations lying ahead.

The following is an excerpt from Chairman Prachanda’s interview with Sudheer Sharma and Prashant Aryal published in Nepal Magazine (Thanks to UWB for the translation from Nepali).

* * * * *

Q. Regarding the kind of relationship that has been there for centuries between the king and the army, don’t you think the army is still loyal to the palace?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

New Reports of U.S. Conspiracy against Nepal’s Maoists

Posted by Mike E on April 27, 2008

There is an emerging conspiracy to prevent the Nepali Maoists to exercise national power — in the wake of their overwhelming victory on April 10. The Hindu in the article posted here that American ambassador Nancy Powell is “actively pushing” the idea that the discredited reactionary Girija Prasad Koirala should remain Prime Minister. A section of Nepali Congress says Maoists must first oust Koirala to stake claim to the top post. Amendment to interim constitution to allow PM to be removed by simple majority proposed.

the outlines of a possible crisis and decisive test of power are emerging. And these counterrevolutionary actions of the U.S. demand active exposure and opposition.

By Siddharth Varadarajan The Hindu (Thanks to United We Blog.)

After first “congratulating the people of Nepal on their historic Constitutional Assembly election,” the United States is now seeking to subvert the electorate’s mandate by lobbying against the Maoists heading the next coalition government. According to political and diplomatic sources, the U.S. ambassador in Kathmandu, Nancy Powell, is “actively pushing” the idea that Girija Prasad Koirala should continue as Prime Minister. Under the interim constitution, all major decisions, including the appointment or removal of the Prime Minister, must be taken by consensus, failing which by a two-thirds majority. With the encouragement of the Americans, a section of the Nepali Congress (NC) leadership is now citing this provision to argue that the Maoists will first have to oust Mr. Koirala before they can stake a claim to the top post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

“My Wife has Joined the Maoists”

Posted by Mike E on April 27, 2008

Prateebha Tuladhar, a journalist with Kantipur TV, told the following story about Maoist inroads among the educated elite and the struggle there to come to grips with the changes happening in Nepal:

“When the much enthusiastic days of poll counting was going on, one of my colleagues, during breakfast at the Kantipur Canteen, said in a bit of shock, “Mero budhi ta Maobadi bhayecha!” (My wife has joined the Maoists) The shock was so apparent in his voice. His grievance was that his wife had joined the party as a member and that she had voted for the Maoists without any of the family members’ knowledge. There’s nothing wrong with his wife joining the party. He knows it probably just as well as I do. After all, it is a matter of preference! But it seems to me sometimes, the bias in our psyche is still so alive (not to forget that some of even voted for Maoists despite this bias), that it might take a long time for it to melt down. Will the Maoists change of position or the YCL adopting a Gandhian philosophy be enough, especially with the people’s aspirations skyrocketing now?”

This appears as part of a larger article on United we Blog.

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Intrigues against the Maoist Exercise of Power

Posted by Mike E on April 27, 2008

From a number of sides, previously powerful parties in Nepal are making demands that would effectively prevent the Maoists from leading radical political and social change in Nepal. Their demands which openly oppose the results (and mandate) of the April 10 election are intended to rally counterrevolutionary forces in the society (and the official army) in a stand against the revolution’s advance.

IN one prominent example, Shankar Pokharel (a leader of the CPUML, a conservative party with a communist name) said that the next government could be formed under nominal Maoist leadership but the power should be diluted (and neutralized) by giving the posts of president, Prime Minister and chair of Constituent Assembly (CA) to other parties.

Meanwhile the pro-Indian Congress Party is being put forward to continue to run the country — even after its clear defeat.

Talking to journalists at a tea reception hosted by newly elected CA member and NC leader Prakash Man Singh, former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said the NC should continue to lead the coalition government

“The Maoists are the largest single party but they don’t have the necessary majority to change the government. And the constitution says the government should be run through  consensus among the seven parties,” said Deuba. Deuba further clarified his party’s preference: “Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has played a key role in bringing the peace process to this stage and in successfully holding the constituent assembly election. So we think he should lead the government in future as well.”

In reply the Maoist Leader Janardan Shrma ‘Prabhakar’ (picture) said in reply that the Maoists would lead the next government under leadership of chairman Prachanda. He challenged other political parties to say that they would not respect the people’s verdict if they want to continue to lead the government.

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Kathmandu Editor: Let Maoists Lead the government

Posted by Mike E on April 27, 2008

Our RISA site will publish statements and views from many different forces reacting to the revolutionary movements in Nepal and India. In this significant essay, Dhakal, the editor of the Kathmandu Post, rejects attempts to prevent the Maoists from leading the next stages of Nepal’s political change. this is in the face of dangerous machinations within the Nepali Army and conservative parties. He specifically warns against repeating the events in countries “where army and international forces have converged to block popular but radical political parties from ascending to power.” This essay was posted on April 25, 2008 by the Kathmandu Post.

Don’t Subvert Mandate: Let Maoists Lead the Government

By Ameet Dhakal

Some people in the Nepali Congress (NC) are still contemplating a government under its leadership. One could have brushed this aside as a silly thought if it had come from some NC mavericks. But it should be taken seriously since it has come from people close to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala. It is hard to believe that they could have floated this hard-to-swallow proposal without GPK’s consent or at least without reading his mind. It assumes a serious proportion also because some sections of the security forces and some quarters in the international community also think that way.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

On the Nature of the Royal Nepalese Army

Posted by Mike E on April 27, 2008

by Pratyush Chandra

This article was first posted a year ago, on May 10, 2006, before the many complex development of the last months. It appeared on the website of International Nepal Solidarity Network.

After King Mahendra (Gyanendra’s father) and his Royal Nepalese Army (RNA), overthrew his government in 1960, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal BP Koirala asked himself in his jail diary: “Is the democratic system in Nepal compatible with the preponderance of the Nepalese Army?” After five decades of the democracy movement in Nepal, this question still haunts the Nepalis. Mesmerised by the royal proximity, Nepali democrats have time and again lapsed into amnesia, comfortably and willingly. But by one or another way the question has found expression and has been answered negatively in the popular upsurges and daily struggles of the downtrodden.

As Nepal’s foremost revolutionary leader Prachanda stated, just after the royal coup in February 2005, “Ultimately, the so-called royal proclamation of February 1 has not only exposed the irrelevance of reformism in the Nepalese politics, but also shattered the collective lethargy of the parliamentary political politics.”. Although the reinstatement of the old parliament once again poses the danger of the relapse of the “collective lethargy”, the politically charged Nepali masses are ever watchful of the parliamentarist deviations. Along with the issue of forming the Constituent Assembly, the question of controlling the RNA is going to be one of the decisive (and divisive) elements in the course of the Nepali democratic revolution.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Maoists and Nepal’s “Mainstream Politics”

Posted by Mike E on April 27, 2008

Two years ago Neil wrote: Instead of joining the mainstream the Maoists intend to define the mainstream.

Now he writes: The Maoists have not joined the mainstream. Now they are the mainstream.

By Neil Horning

Nearly two years ago I wrote an opinion piece for UWB where I warned,

“While it is imperative that both sides agree on how to manage arms during the election, attempts to extend the sovereignty of the Parliament… and other political games designed to influence the outcome of the constituent assembly will do nothing but delay the inevitable at best, and restart the bloodshed at worst.”

The main point was that the Maoists had used their armed struggle to gain genuine public support, and that instead of joining the main stream they would define it.

What has happened over the last two years, and what has been accomplished?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

International Congratulations for Nepali Maoists

Posted by Mike E on April 26, 2008

The mainstream press in South Asia has been reporting about international statements made in support of the Maoist election victory of April 10.

Communists of the world rejoice Nepal Maoists’ win

Thu, Apr 17 12:22 PM

Kathmandu, April 17 (IANS) As Nepal’s Maoists are set to lead the government after years of guerrilla war, congratulations are pouring in from communist parties worldwide who say the electoral victory would pave the way for a new world order.

On Thursday, the seventh day of ballot counting after last week’s historic constituent assembly election, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) – once hunted down by security forces and Interpol as a terrorist organisation – remained way ahead of its rivals, winning 119 of the 224 seats declared so far.

The first felicitations came from the Communist Party of Greece (Marxist-Leninist), which said the victory was proof of the Maoists’ ‘strong ties with masses in Nepal as well as the determination of the Nepali people for a new, peaceful, independent, sovereign and democratic republic of Nepal’.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Ethnicity and Maoism in Nepal

Posted by Mike E on April 24, 2008

by Gilles Boquérat

Gilles Boquerat is a researcher associated with Center for Indian and South Asian Studies, Paris. Currently based as visiting scholar at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad. Our South Asia Revolution site will reprint substantive articles providing useful background to studies of the revolutions of South Asia. Posting such articles here does not mean agreement with their views. This article was written two years ago, before several significant new developments related to questions of nationality in Nepal..

A decade ago, in February 1996, the “People’s War” was launched in Nepal. In a relatively short period of time, the Maoist movement made its presence felt in almost each of the 75 districts of Nepal. Such headway cannot just be explained by the overall disappointment vis-à-vis the high expectations ensuing from the end of the autocratic monarchy and the return to a multiparty democracy in 1990. Political instability resulting from party infighting caused by personal rivalries and limited opportunities for socio-economic advancement for a relatively fast expanding population have quelled the enthusiasm of those who expected a government more responsive to people’s legitimate needs. Popular resentment just waited to be exploited by a movement substituting a radical discourse to a reformist agenda which also failed to usher in a more egalitarian social order diluting the traditional Bahun (Brahmin)-Chhetri (Kshatriya) dominance. On the receiving end are the ethnic groups whose grievances have at least received a greater echo post-1990. After reviewing the status of the indigenous people in the Nepalese society and polity, this paper will analyse the role of the ethnic communities in the development of the Maoist movement, keeping in mind that their concerns have to be addressed by whoever is ruling the roost in Kathmandu.

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Posted in Nepal Background | Leave a Comment »

May 2004: Overview of Nepal’s Revolution

Posted by Mike E on April 24, 2008

Paper Presented By The Anti-Imperialist Revolutionary Forum Nepal At The International Communist Seminar on 2-4 May 2004. This was a forum where various forces expressed their views on key dividing line issues of communist theory and history. It gives a sense of the way the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) addresses those questions.

Dear Comrades, We would like to extend our heartfelt greeting on behalf of the revolutionary masses of Nepal while we are gather here in a seminar in a very important, very timely and very burning issue of the present day.

The Nepalese revolutionary masses have been confronting the US imperialism since very initiation of the People’s War. In the present days, while the US occupation and people’s resistance has been going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, and while its aggression has been going on against the people of Philippines, Peru, Haiti, Korean Peninsula and other parts of the world, its political intervention and military concentration over Nepal has been intensified. Despite the US has been facing a political offensive before the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the vanguard of the international Proletariat, and military offensive by its lackey – feudal Gyanendra Shah, the US has been preparing to increase its military offensive against People’s War, aiming at to establish strategic military bases, encircling China and watching over India. While dozens of best son and daughters fighting for destruction of the feudalism and imperialism have been killed and dozens of Maoist leaders and cadres including comrade Kiran, comrade Gauravm Comrade Matrika and comrade Suresh (the Standing Committee and Central committee members) are arrested by India and some are in prison and many extradited to Nepal, this International Communist Seminar on very burning issue on the topics of Strategy and Tactics against Global US War has been organised here. We would like to extend our heartfelt greeting to the organiser, the PTB and a lot thanking for giving us opportunity to express our views on this issue. We will concentrate our views on this very subject. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Review: Bhattarai’s Underdevelopment & Regional Structure of Nepal

Posted by Mike E on April 23, 2008

Baburam Bhattaraiby AM

[ Original editor’s note by the Worker #9: This is a commentary on the book The Nature of Underdevelopment and Regional Structure of Nepal : A Marxist Analysis written by Baburam Bhattarai and published by Adroit Publishers,Delhi, in the well-known magazine Economic and Political Weekly, November 8-14, 2003, by AM as “Calcutta Diary”. We may not necessarily agree with the views of the author.]

The Viswa Hindu Parishad cannot understand it. Nepal is the only Hindu Kingdom in the world; substantial sections of the people there are of north Indian ethnicity and bear names of Hindu gods and goddesses; the ruling family has long-time links with India and marries into the Rana clan dispersed along the higher and lower reaches of the Indo-Gangetic valley. And yet, Nepal is hardly benevolent land for Hindu chauvinism. Maoist communists, who are engaged in a relentless guerrilla war against the country’s regime for the past seven years, control most of the countryside. Even in the national parliament, the second largest party happens to be the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist). So, irrespective of whether one applies the criterion of parliamentary or extra-parliamentary influence, Marxists, and not revanchists of the Togadia-Singhal brand, reflect the overwhelming vox populi in Nepal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal Background | 4 Comments »

Nepali Maoists on Homosexuality

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 21, 2008

This article originally appeared on Counterpunch, April 23, 2007

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), leading what many have considered the most advanced Maoist movement in the world for the last decade, has recently been accused of attacks on gay people and of indulging in anti-gay rhetoric. Unfortunately the reports seem valid. In January a senior party leader, Dev Gurung, now Minister of Local Development in Nepal’s transitional government, was quoted in the press as stating: “Under Soviet rule and when China was still very much a communist state, there were no homosexuals in the Soviet Union or China. Now [that] they are moving towards capitalism, homosexuals may have arisen there as well. So homosexuality is a product of capitalism. Under socialism this kind of problem does not exist.”

The statement seems quite un-Maoist in its description of any twentieth-century socialist experiment as truly “communist.” Mao broke from Stalin in emphasizing the long-term nature and fragility of the construction of socialism as a transitional stage between capitalism and the classless society of communism theoretically posited for the human future. And it seems oblivious to historical reality in denying the existence of homosexuality anywhere, anytime in human history. Dangerously foolish (if I can assume that it was indeed said), it was made in the context of reported abuses of gay men and lesbians by Maoists in areas under their control.

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Posted in Nepal Background | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nepal: Maoists are Not Terrorists!

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 20, 2008

Kasama received the following note together with this article:

“I think it raises an important question in terms of our responsibilities to create pressure to have the terrorist designation lifted.”

‘Nepal Maoists in talks with US to remove terrorist tag’

Kathmandu (PTI): Nepal Maoists, who are named as a terrorist organisation by the
US government, are in talks with American officials to get Washington to remove
the “terrorist tag” from the former rebels, now tipped to head the next
government in the Himalayan state.

“We are trying to establish close links with the U.S…talks are going on in
several fronts in this regard,” said C P Gajurel, a central committee member of
the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist.

“We are requesting them (United States) to remove the terrorist tag that they
have maintained on our party…our doors are always open to all US officials if
they want to talk to us,” Gajurel, who is also chief of the international bureau
of the party, was quoted as saying by the Telegraph Nepal online on Saturday.

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Posted in Nepal News | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Prachanda: Nepal’s Maoist Leader and His Work

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 20, 2008

PrachandaPrachanda, the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is now poised to become the president of Nepal. And he is emerging as the most prominent and influential Maoist leader in the world. However there has been, so far, little in depth study of his views (of the Marxist synthesis known as Prachanda Path). We would like to offer some of Prachanda’s essays and interviews, and analyses written by other Maoists leaders about Prachanda Path. (Thanks to the Learn from Nepal site for gathering these materials online.)

Prachanda from Problems and Prospects of Revolution in Nepal (2004)

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Posted in Maoist Theory | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »