Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for April 21st, 2008

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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