Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for May 29th, 2008

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


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.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »