Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for May, 2008

Reasons for Revolution: Child Prostitutes from Nepal

Posted by Mike E on May 31, 2008

A video report on the infuriating traffic in Nepali girls

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Prachanda: Tearing Up Foreign Domination of Nepal

Posted by Mike E on May 30, 2008

India, the powerful country below Nepal’s southern border, has long imposed unequal relations on Nepal — taking over from the British colonialists. A key point of contention has been the 1950 Indo-Nepal treaty which denies Nepal true independence in a number of way (by opening its border, by imposing military constraints on Nepal’s right to military sovereignty, and by asserting a specially citizenship status for Nepalese people within India). One of the demands of the Maoist New Democratic revolution in India has been the overthrow of this unequal treaty. In addition there is a long practice of recruiting Nepali youth from the Ghorka region to serve as soldiers in the British, and now Indian armies. And there is a powerful economic and cultural domination of Nepal (through film, music, trade and so on).

In the following excerpts from a larger May 18 interview, Nepal’s Maoist leader Prachanda discusses this struggle for full Nepali national independence — which forms such a key part of liberating the people from both imperialism and feudalism. He describes a “transitional period” where there will be study and debate of how to proceed — preparing for carrying through the just demands of the Nepali people for full independence (and on that basis a “new relationship” with neighboring countries.)

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Bhattarai: On Anti-Monarchy, New Democracy, Socialism and Communism

Posted by Mike E on May 30, 2008

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Monarchy Overthrown, Nepal Becomes a Federal Democratic Republic

Posted by Mike E on May 30, 2008

Account from Democracy and Class Struggle

Royalist Flag Pulled Down over Palace

After continuous pressure rallies by excited crowds of people, authorities have finally put up the national flag at the Narayanhiti palace where the royal flag used to fly until this morning.

The flag hoisting was done at 7:40 pm without any formal ceremony. The royal flag was removed from the main building this morning.

There were protests in and around Durbar Marg from early morning demanding that the government put up the national flag at the palace.

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Glimpse into Nepali Communes

Posted by n3wday on May 29, 2008

This article originally appeared in the Nepali Times newspaper. This author starts in a confused way (that assumes there is a conflict between the Maoist plans for New Democracy “bourgeois democratic anti-feudal revolution” under communist revolution — and the plans for agrarian revolution and collective organization among the poor farmers). Despite this confusion, the article contains some interesting reporting about revolutionary change happening at the grassroots level.

Experimenting with commune-ism: The Maoists can’t decide whether to keep communes or scrap them

PRAKASH MAHATARA in RUKUM

While their leaders say the revolution will follow the path of “bourgeoise capitalism”, here in the Maoist heartland party faithful are planning to expand existing communes.

During the conflict, the Maoists set up four communes in Jajarkot, Rukum and Rolpa. Each has between 30-40 families, there is no private property, labour and harvests are shared. Marx’s famous dictum, ‘from each according to their ability and for each according to their need’, is the credo here, and for the most part members of the communes seem happy with it.

“Life is easier living in a commune, work in the farm is easier since everyone helps out and agricultural productivity is higher,” says Dipak Khadka, the head of the ‘Balidan’ commune in Rukum. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | 2 Comments »

Maoists of India on Nepali Events

Posted by Mike E on May 29, 2008

Nepal’s Maoists [the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) – CPN(M)] have pursued what they have called a hybrid approach to revolution: they have alternated between insurrection and guerrilla war. They have waged armed struggle to consolidate a system of revolutionary power in base areas and then launched political offensives to broaden their support. They have maintained their revolutionary army while participating in historic elections to a Constituent Assembly — legitimizing their claim to popular support and making it more difficult for international enemies to portray them as “terrorists.” All of these methods have been highly controversial — since they have broken with assumptions and models that have been influential among Maoists, and because they have involved (as the CPN (Maoist) itself says) a great deal of political risk.

Meanwhile, the Nepali Maoists have made an effort to assure their large neighbors that a New Nepal will not function as a base for cross border instigation — either into Tibet or into the impoverished areas of nearby India. The Nepali Maoists have ties to Maoist forces within India who are waging a guerrilla war in many part of the country, and they also face the threat of counterrevolutionary actions by the Indian government (which has, at one time or another, invaded or threatened all of its smaller neighbors). This has given rise to a situation where the Nepali Maoists have called for peaceful relations with their non-revolutionary neighbors, while affirming their ideological ties to revolutionary communists world-wide.

This raises in a beginning way a complex and historic issue for the revolutionary movement — how to handle the real contradictions between the state interests of revolutionaries holding power and the strategic interests of revolutionaries elsewhere who are straining to seize power. The Nepali Maoists have not yet seized power (in the sense that they have not yet defeated or dispersed the army that historically supported their oppressors). However they are already seeking to anticipate the problems they will face as they seek to transform Nepal in revolutionary directions — surrounded by powerful states that fear the contagion of revolution crossing their borders.

The following piece is a discussion of these matters from Maoists in nearby India (CPI-Maoist), who have historically criticized the Nepali approach to communist strategy and ideology. The interview appeared in several parts in The Hindu on May 16 and 17, 2008.

CPN(Maoist) Chairman Prachanda said in an interview on May 17 concerning this hybrid approach to “ballot and bullet”:

“There should be a serious discussion in the matter inside the Maoists of India. A strong message has already gone to the Maoists of India and Maoists all over the world about our victory.”

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Prachanda: “We won’t disband our army”

Posted by redflags on May 28, 2008

Prachanda: “…we believe that once we are in the government we’ll take so many decisions, important decisions, in favor of the masses of the people and in favor of our nation, and that those kinds of decisions will allow us to have a broader mass base and broader organization and will ultimately help us to move ahead.”

Prachanda: Questions & Answers on Eve of Constituent Assembly

An exclusive interview with Prachanda was posted to MRZine on the eve of the Constituent Assembly. Mary Des Chene and Stephen Mikesell conducted the interview. Prachanda details the political terrain, behavior of the other political parties and orientation towards a republican consensus.

It is 14th Jeth, 2065, [Tuesday, May 27th, 2008] in Nepal, the day before the Constituent Assembly is to convene and declare Nepal a full Republic. The king remains in his palace. The form of the new government, who will lead it, whether the old parliamentary parties will join in a Maoist-led government or, as they have indicated so far, will boycott and try to isolate it — these and other basic questions remain to be resolved. The following is an early morning interview with CPN(Maoist) leader Prachanda, before he embarked on a last intensive round of negotiations to try to bring the parliamentary parties into a coalition government under Maoist leadership.

Q. You may become Nepal’s new head of state within a few days, but the parliamentary parties are putting up a lot of blockades. Yesterday your party put forth a 9 point proposal to address the current political impasse. What are the main barriers to formation of a CPN(Maoist)-led government at this point? What are the challenges and what are the proposals you’ve made to the parliamentary parties?

A. Intensive debate, discussion and struggle is going on, on the question of formation of the government, and mainly on the questions of the head of the state and the head of the government. These questions raise so many ideological and political issues, involving the class interests of the parties.

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The Maoist Face of New Nepal

Posted by Mike E on May 28, 2008

‘Fierce one’ ousts king to become new power in Nepal

KATHMANDU (AFP) — After 25 years underground and a decade of armed struggle across Nepal’s jungles and hills, Maoist leader Prachanda has become the most powerful man in Nepal and is set to lead a new government.

On Wednesday, Nepal’s newly-elected constituent assembly was set to implement a long-standing Maoist demand — abolishing the country’s 240-year-old monarchy and turning the country into a republic.

Prachanda, who signed up to peace in 2006, has had trouble shaking off his ruthless warlord image.

But many believe he is now the right man to rebuild the impoverished Himalayan country wedged between giant India and Nepal after the deadly civil war that ravaged the country’s economy.

“It is Prachanda who really set the agenda for a constituent assembly, republicanism and federalism,” said Sangraula, who writes for Nepal’s best-selling Kantipur daily. “He wants to move Nepali society forward.”

The Maoist chief is now in his strongest position yet.

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Posted in Nepal News | 7 Comments »

Teach-in: Building a New Revolutionary Type of State

Posted by n3wday on May 28, 2008

This article appeared in the issue 9 of “The Worker” (February 2004), the CPN’s (Maoist) theoretical journal. It outlines the their basic stances on theoretical issues involving the creation of a new Socialist state in Nepal.

The Question of Building a New Type of State
by Baburam Bhattarai

“The basic question of every revolution is that of state power. Unless this question is understood there can be no intelligent participation in the revolution, not to speak of guidance of the revolution.”

– V.I. Lenin, (1917b: 34)

The question of state power has now become the central question for the New Democratic revolution in Nepal, which is marching forward to capturing central state power after building revolutionary base areas and local power in the vast rural areas. The question has assumed significance and may be discussed primarily from two angles. Firstly, in the universal context; and secondly, in the concrete national context. Firstly in the universal or general sense, the proletarian (i.e. New Democratic or Socialist) state power is of a ‘new type’ as compared to all the state powers of minority exploiter classes in history. Further-more, after the downfall of all People’s Democratic or Socialist state powers including those in Russia, China and others in the past, the proletarian state powers arising in a new setting in the 21st century have to be of a further newer type. Secondly, in the concrete semi-feudal and semi-colonial national context of Nepal, where even the old bourgeois revolution and state has not been accomplished, the prospective proletarian state would naturally be, and have to be, of a ‘new’ type. Hence, we would first make a general review of the historical experiences on the question of state and strive to analyse the fundamental characteristics of a new type of state.

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Posted in Maoist Theory, Nepal Background, Teach-in Materials | 2 Comments »

Minutes of a Constitutent Assembly

Posted by Mike E on May 28, 2008

from the United We Blog site — a blogging site of Nepali journalists (saying what they often can’t say in print). This site carries extensive coverage of anti-Maoist points of view.

Historic Session of Constituent Assembly Begins in Nepal

Now (22:45),the PM, who is about 84-year-old, leaves for his official residence.

Now (22:43),the votes are being counted. It appears that there are no NO votes against the five-point proposal to declare Nepal a republic.

[Meanwhile, TV stations are reporting that the government has given tomorrow and the day after tomorrow public holidays to celebrate the declaration of republic. Five out of 26 remaining members of the CA have been nominated, reported a TV station.]

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Pictures of A Revolutionary Celebration

Posted by Mike E on May 28, 2008

The long and bitterly fought demands for the abolition of the monarchy were satisfied today, as people celebrated in the streets. The centuries old Hindu monarchy is being abolished (amid great struggle and tension), and the path is possibly being opened to further and deeper revolutionary changes.

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Major Change Comes to Nepal: The End of a Monarchy

Posted by Mike E on May 28, 2008

Reports as events unfold:

In nepali, but with video scenes:

Nepal on verge of entering new era

KATHMANDU, May 28 – After a nearly eight-hour delay, Wednesday’s much-anticipated first Constituent Assembly (CA) is about to kick off at the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC) in the capital.
The CA, elected through the landmark elections held last month, will formally announce the implementation of the federal democratic republic system in the country, ending the 240-year-old institution of monarchy.

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On Eve of Nepal CA: Counterrevolution rears ugly head

Posted by Mike E on May 26, 2008

Lost_Artemio post this article from Nepal News. May 26 08

Twin blasts in front of BICC

Two bombs went off Monday afternoon in front of the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC) at Naya Baneshwor, where the Constituent Assembly (CA) is to convene on Wednesday.

The blasts occurred simultaneously at the southern gate of the BICC at around 5:15 pm, but there was no human casualty or any damage of property.

Eyewitnesses said two persons on a motorbike hurled the explosives and scurried away.

Police said pamphlets found near the blast scene indicated that the blasts were carried out by a little-known Hindu fundamentalist outfit called Ranabir Sena.

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Posted in Nepal News | 5 Comments »

Rally bans imposed on Nepal capital

Posted by Mike E on May 26, 2008

From Nepal News — as people plan to rally (on the call of the Maoists) the existing government ordered a “security plan” for the capital.

The government has announced prohibitory order, to be effective from Monday, in some sensitive areas of the capital city, as part of its security plan for the landmark first sitting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) on Wednesday.

Areas where the prohibitory order has been imposed include the vicinities of Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC) in Naya Baneshwor, Singha Durbar, Narayanhiti royal palace and the road section stretching from TU Teaching Hospital to Narayangopal Chowk.

Rallies, public assembly and protest programmes will be banned in and around these places once the prohibitory order comes into effect. Roadside open-air stalls and shops on carts will also not be allowed, state-owned Radio Nepal said.

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Introducing: Kasama Threads

Posted by Mike E on May 25, 2008

We have added a new feature to our site: Kasama Threads.

We have created it for one basic purpose: It allows folks to create their own threads and discussions.

Now you can post news articles, announcements, documents, reviews, comments — and start discussions around them. We encourage everyone to post important and interesting things. And dig into the debates.

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