Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for June 12th, 2008

The True Character of the “United Marxist Leninist”

Posted by n3wday on June 12, 2008

Nepal is a country where many parties call themselves Communists. But in reality, these parties take very very different stands on the burning issues facing humanity. the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist has led a revolutionary war, and is pressing forward in an attempt to transform the old society of Nepal. By contrast, the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist-Leninist has long been one of the major parties of the country — and revealed itself to be a pro-system party that attempted to focus people’s attentions on slow moving reforms. This article originally appeared in the new Maoist newspaper Red Star.

UML: trailing behind Congress Party?

After their shameful defeat in the Constituent Assembly elections, the leadership of Communist Party of Nepal, United Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) has changed. Yet, the policy and the activities of the CPN-UML have shown that it has not changed essentially. The CPN-UML stands against the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist and tail the agenda of the Nepali Congress. It was clearly evident during the debate on the demarcation of power to the President. The CPN-UML is following the same old discredited policies. This raises many questions.

On May 28, Nepal became a Republic by abolishing 239 years of rule by Monarchy. At the same time, the political players of Nepal had agreed to create a presidential portfolio. But the major parties had not reached a consensus on the type of presidential system. In this ‘table-war’ the CPN-UML stood against the CPN-Maoist and backed the Congress agenda. The CPN-UML continues its policy of pretending not to align to either side; but is really following the agenda of the Nepali Congress.

Before the election, the CPN-Maoist published and publicized their Manifesto: a presidential system with executive powers and Chairman Prachanda as the future president of Republic of Nepal. This is normal for a Communist party, as all the Communist governments in the world have exercised this system. But the CPN-UML, pretending to be Communist, followed the Nepali Congress policy to centralise executive power in the chair of Prime Minister. This is a continuation of the failed Westminister parliamentary model that has been copied from India and exercised in Nepal for about two decades.

In the CA election, the CPN-Maoist became the single largest party. In the assembly it holds more seats than the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML put together. But the leaders of those parties are behaving as though they were the ones victorious, and Nepal is their father’s property. Some argue that the Congress, the CPN-UML and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum have more seats than CPN-Maoist; so the Maoist should follow them. After the election, the role of the CPN-UML is mainly as a tool for Congress and the MJF to attack the CPN-Maoist. This proves that the CPN-UML is serving the anti-communist reactionary forces of Nepal. In the serious debate to shape the country for the coming decades, the CPN-UML has clearly stood against the revolutionary forces and served the reactionaries. This proves that the new leadership of the CPN-UML is no different than the previous one. Many Nepali and international Communist leaders have said again and again that revisionism serves reaction. Isn’t UML proving this to be true, again and again, in Nepal? Perhaps it is time that the CPN-UML changes its name. After all, they are not ‘Communist’, they are certainly not ‘United’, they are definitely not ‘Marxists’, and they are not in anyway ‘Leninists’. By changing their name to something more suitable, they can at last be honest with the people of Nepal and the international community.

Posted in Nepal News | 3 Comments »

Wrapping our heads around the depth of poverty

Posted by Mike E on June 12, 2008

Here is a simple statistic: Per capita income in nepal is about $470 a year.

(Report on United We Blog)

That kind of poverty plunges people, and a whole country into scarcity and desperation to extreme that it is hard to envision its many aspects:

How many people simply see no money at al and live outside the cash economy — simply living on what they can make or grow.

How much the lives of people is without many of the most basic goods that are common throughout the world.

What it means for ability to school children, learn to read or irrigate lands.

* * * * * *

from a survey of Nepali poverty:

About four fifths of the working population live in rural areas and depend on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. In these areas household food security and poor nutrition are still major concerns. Most households have little or no access to primary health care, education, clean drinking water and sanitation services. Rural poor people are generally illiterate, have large families, and are landless or have very small landholdings. Small, fragmented subsistence farming is a characteristic of Nepalese agriculture, and the average landholding is only 0.8 hectares. Life is a constant struggle for survival. The most vulnerable groups are the lowest social castes, indigenous peoples and women.

Rural poor people in Nepal include:

  • destitute people, such as sick or disabled persons, abandoned children and displaced persons
  • extremely poor people, including illiterate or landless persons or those with very few assets
  • moderately poor people, such as those who have small farms but are often heavily indebted
  • people who are ‘nearly poor’, including small farmers who are at risk of slipping deeper into poverty as a result of factors such as conflict, debt and land degradation

Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

New Nepal Leaflet by Kasama (Philly)

Posted by Mike E on June 12, 2008

Philadelphia supporters of the Kasama project produced a new leaflet about the Nepal revolution.

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