Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for 2008

Basanta: “We are Being Encircled by Reactionaries”

Posted by onehundredflowers on October 7, 2008

This interview was originally published in The Red Star.

An Interview with Indramohan Sigdel ‘Basanta’,

Central Committee Member, CPN (Maoist)

The CPN (Maoist) is now at the stage of peaceful revolution. Revolution in itself is meant to politically overthrow the enemy from state power. How can you recognize your enemy at this peaceful stage?

Generally speaking, the revolution is meant to violently overthrow the class enemy from the state power. However, one must not one-sidedly understand that the revolution necessarily takes a violent form all through its course. The form of struggle is determined not by the subjective wish of the struggling forces but of course by the objective condition and the balance of forces at the given period. At a certain juncture and certain condition, the revolution can develop in a peaceful way. Our participation in the two negotiations in the past and the present peace process are examples of peaceful development of revolution. Nevertheless, it is wrong to categorically separate revolution as two distinct stages, the violent or peaceful, as your question points to.

The enemy, at any particular juncture of revolution, is not determined by whether the revolution is developing in a violent or non-violent way but by which class, in the then socio-economic condition of the given country plays a decisive role in the state power. Nepal is a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country. Although, the feudal institution, the monarchy, has been abolished but feudalism, which is strongly present in petty production system and culture of the Nepalese people, is by no means over. However, the bureaucrat and comprador bourgeois, through which imperialism and mainly the Indian expansionism penetrate into our country, and, which stands against the Nepalese people’s aspiration of democracy, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity at the present juncture, this has been the principal enemy of the new democratic revolution in Nepal.

Has the CPN (Maoist) identified the nature of struggle at the present phase of revolution? Is it civil war or national liberation war?

After the accomplishment of constituent assembly election and declaration of federal democratic republic of Nepal, the political equation has changed to a great extent. Without a decisive victory against feudalism and imperialism, mainly Indian expansionism in our case, no new democratic revolution can triumph in semi-feudal and semi-colonial Nepal. Now, the Comprador bourgeoisie has come at the forefront of the class struggle in Nepal. Therefore, the national aspect of the New Democratic Revolution has become principal at present.

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Posted in Nepal News | 9 Comments »

Conversation with a Maoist Revolutionary: Bhattarai in DC

Posted by n3wday on October 7, 2008

This article was published on The Marxist Leninist blog.

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies Presents:

Conversation with a Maoist Revolutionary
In the Sigur Center’s Lecture Series on Subnational Asia

Speaker: Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Minister of Finance, Nepal

Baburam Bhattarai is Nepal’s Finance Minister. He was the second in command and chief ideologue of the Maoist guerillas, who led a decade-long armed uprising against the state and the monarchy. Dr. Bhattarai was instrumental in bringing his party to a successful peace process. Dr. Bhattarai is a senior member of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist’s Secretariat, the highest governing body of the party. After just one month in the Finance Ministry, he has released an ambitious 2009 budget aimed at poverty alleviation. He
is the author of The Nature of Underdevelopment and Regional Structure of Nepal: A Marxist Analysis (2003), Politico-Economic Rationale of People’s War in Nepal (1998) and Nepal’s Principles of Revolution. Bhattarai received his B.A. in Architecture from Chandigarh (India) in 1977 and completed his Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) in 1986.

Date: Thursday, October 9, 2008

Time: 11:30 – 12:45 pm

Place: Lindner Family Commons, The Elliott School of International
Affairs, 6th Floor, 1957 E Street, NW

RSVP: Please RSVP with your name, organization/GW affiliation, and e-
mail to gsigur@… by Tuesday, October 7, 2008.

Posted in Nepal News | 4 Comments »

Nepal: Maoist Central Committee at Crossroads

Posted by Mike E on October 4, 2008

from sd Oct 03 08

PM Dahal presents political report at CPN-M CC meeting

Prime Minister and chairman of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ presented a political report at the first day of the crucial central committee meeting of the party, which begun at the party headquarters in Buddhanagar, Kathmandu, from Friday.

At the first CC meeting of the party since it took over the leadership of the government two months ago, PM Dahal presented the report concluding that the party has met with success in the policies and strategies it adopted since the beginning of the peace process.

“The report is presented with the aim of concluding the peace process and finalising new constitution within two years of stipulated time,” PM Dahal told reporters.

On Friday, some members of the party gave their response to the report. The CC meeting, which is expected to last for a few days, will again meet on Saturday.

The meeting is said to be significant as leaders will discuss the future direction and organisational structure of the party.

It is especially significant as some leaders of the party have been quite vocal in recent days in stating that they need to go ahead towards “People’s Republic.” This viewpoint, however, has been described as Maoists’ intent to bring about ‘totalitarianism’ by other parties.

Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Nepal: The Unfinished Revolution

Posted by Mike E on October 4, 2008


Realization of great hopes and a truly New Nepal require state power

by Mike Ely

Revolution is, as Mao said, inevitably a sharply winding road, with switchbacks and sudden turns. It inevitably goes through stages — where key problems are resolved, but where new contradictions emerge sharply. But, in all that winding, and through all those stages, ultimately, revolutions either advance or the people lose.

And Lenin’s famous insight deserves to be pondered deeply: “Without state power, all is illusion.”

A number of urgent contradictions face the Nepalese revolutionary process. We have previously posted articles these matters, and it is extremely important to grasp some of the ways they are erupting:

  • There is clearly a sharp struggle taking place within the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) — with opposing wings of the party putting forward opposing paths to the future. The issue, simply put, is whether to try to consolidate the anti-monarchist revolution without carrying through the New Democratic revolution, or whether to find the ways to advance the agrarian anti-feudal revolution through to its conclusion — which requires destroying the state and military institutions that enforce feudalism. How that struggle is resolved will, quite simply, decide whether this revolution moves forward, or stalls without victory. (We have posted the following materials on this: article 1, article 2 and article 3 — all of which deserve very close study. They clearly describe a life-and-death line struggle sharpening as the CPNM’s central committee plans a historic meeting.)

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Prof. Andrew Arato: An Argument Against Revolution in Nepal

Posted by irisbright on October 4, 2008

The following is a transcription of Professor Andrew Arato’ and Kul Chandra Gautam’s remarks on Prachanda and the CPN(M), given at the New School University on September 26 following Prachanda’s speech.


Thank you for your talk Mr. Prime Minister.  Before we proceed to questions from the audience, I’m pleased to introduce Andrew Arato.  The Dorothy Hart Hirshon professor in political and social theory at the New School.

Mr Arato is also a member of USIP/UNDP working group on Constitution Making, Peace Building, and Conflict Resolution.  In addition to his writings on the subject, Mr. Arato has served as a consultant in the constitution drafting processes of Hungary, and South Africa.  (Arato interrupts to correct the speaker: he has only worked around the Hungary constitution).  He has written several books on civil society, constitutions and political theory and is currently working on a book addressing post-sovereign constitution making.

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Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Video: Prachanda at the New School, NYC

Posted by irisbright on October 4, 2008

Video of Prachanda speaking at the New School in  NYC.  Kasama is encouraging debate and engagement around the CPN(M) and the events in Nepal.

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Nepali Maoist Leader Bhattarai to Speak in Washington DC

Posted by Mike E on October 4, 2008

Dr. Baburam Bhattarai

Thanks to Hegemonik for pointing this out.

From the Washington Times

Every week, Washington hosts dozens of foreign policy forums, but rarely does a former communist rebel now serving in a democratically elected government come to visit.

Baburam Bhattarai, once the second in command of Maoist rebels in Nepal and now the finance minister, will address invited guests next week at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Mr. Bhattarai, who holds a doctorate degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, is author of books with titles like “The Nature of Underdevelopment and Regional Structure in Nepal: A Marxist Analysis.”

One of his professors, S.D. Muni, once referred to him as an “uncompromising ideologue and leader.”

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Nepal’s Yadav: Still the State is in Hands of the Feudal Elements

Posted by n3wday on October 4, 2008

This article was published by Telegraph Nepal. It is an interview with Matrika Yadav, a leader in the Maoist party who has caused a recent controversy over land seizures.

Don’t you think Mr. Yadav it was immoral for a member of the cabinet to capture private properties in Mirchaiya?

Yadav: Mind it! I became a minister to serve the people. Thus I captured the lands of the feudal elements and distributed it among the poor and homeless citizens of Nepal. But in this country, ministers are those who in the name of the people openly loot the poor people, thus I felt I was not fit for the job and hence resigned on moral grounds. Now I am free to accomplish the job. For your kind information, the captured lands did not belong to the local poor-people. The lands belong to Shanti Singh who was a sister of ex-King Gyanendra. They had in effect forcefully captured the lands initially which I lawfully returned to the landless. What I am doing is just showing concerns over the rights of the people. That’s it and the struggle will continue.

But your move was declared illegal even by your own party?

The Current government is led by the Maoists but there are agents of the land mafias like the UML and the MJF (Madhesi Janadhikar Forum) in it. This cabinet is not a pro-poor one. Even the Maoists’ leadership has not been able to understand the plight of the Madhesi people.
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Nepal: CPN (M) Interim Change

Posted by n3wday on October 4, 2008

This article was published in the Red Star.

Interim change in Maoist organization

The ruling party, the CPN-Maoist, held its central committee secretariat meeting in Baluwater on the 15th September. The party meeting discussed the policy and programme of the government, including the budget that is coming soon.

The party meeting took some important decisions to break with the traditions of the former government and begin new ones for the betterment of the republic, the country and the people.

Those breaks are breaks in policy, plans and programs, as well as behaviour with the countries that have a bi-lateral relationship with Nepal. Because it is the first elected republican government of the 21st century, the party has given suggestions to maintain a new relationship from the standard of an elected republican government.
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Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

India: Maoists blast towers of private cell phone firms

Posted by n3wday on October 4, 2008

This article was made available by the Maoist Revolution e-list.

Maoists blast towers of private cell phone firm

Patna: The CPI (Maoist) on Sunday blasted three towers of private cellular phone service operators and set ablaze a BSNL generator set in the Gaya district. Telecommunication links are the prime target of the Maoists as they help the police in providing vital clues about the movement.
While two towers of Reliance Communications at Bishunpur and Manjhaulia villages in the district were targeted just past midnight that of the Airtel was blown up at Chaugain village in Roshanganj police station. Armed Maoists set on fire a generator set at a BSNL tower at Maigra village in the far-flung Dumaria police station on Sunday afternoon. Gaya’s new Superintendent of Police R Malar Viji has rushed to the spot to supervise raids to ‘nab’ the Maoists without success.
New Delhi – At least four policemen were killed Monday in a landmine blast triggered by Maoist rebels in India’s central state of Chhattisgarh during a visit by President Pratibha Patil to the region, news reports said. The incident occurred in a forested region in the Bastar district, 350 kilometres south of state capital Raipur, when a police team was on a patrol to secure the region for the visit of the president, the NDTV network said.
Patil was visiting a waterfall in the picturesque Chitrakoot area, located some 30 kilometres away from the blast site, and later returned to Raipur, the report said.
Local police told the NDTV said the rebels blew up a jeep in a forested area, killing Central Reserve Police Force officer Diwakar Mahapatra and another policeman on the scene.
Two wounded policemen succumbed to their injuries on the way to the hospital.
Five injured policemen were being treated at a government-run medical facility in the region, which is considered a hotbed of Maoist revolutionaries.
Maoist, fighting for the rural poor, operate in 13 of India’s 29 states. They usually target police and government installations.
Indian Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta recently announced that six jungle warfare and counter-insurgency schools would be set up to train security personnel to ‘combat’ the people’s war.
Ranchi, Sep 29th: Maoist blew up a military ‘school building’ in Palamau district of Jharkhand, police said Monday.Around 20 to 30 rebels of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) surrounded a middle school in the Manatu block of Palamau district, around 190 km from here, late Sunday night. The building was blasted using detonators.
The ‘school building’ was used by the reactionary forces of the fascist indian state while launching a combing operation against the forces of revolution. Maoists cited that as the reason for blowing up the building.
Maoists are active in 18 of the 24 districts in Jharkhand.

Posted in India News | Leave a Comment »

New Nepal: Red or White?

Posted by Mike E on October 3, 2008

This article is by a previously unknown author and it appeared outside Nepal on a new blog Ujyalonepal. Kasama posts it here because the issues raised are important, but as always this posting does not imply endorsement of either the analysis or the factual details reported. [Thanks to Ka Frank for suggesting this article.]

Red Nepal Turns White Ephemerally

by Ratna Prabhat

The hopes and aspirations created by the decade long people’s war between the holder of the old regressive regime and the aspirants of the new progressive state power had generated tremendous energy that heralded the beginning of a new era. The consciously designed course of socio-political change was vivid. The people not only could see it but also could sense, hear and touch. That was seen in human relationships, class relationships and community relationships. The production processes also had been influenced including the roles of the productive forces. The process of political empowerment had initiated all powerful attempts that could lead to human emancipation. The tempest of forward march was seen all over Nepal, particularly in its rural areas. Every next day, it was uniquely different than the previous day. There was all pervading anticipation that tomorrow would be markedly different than today. After the People’s Movement II, the momentum some how got obstructed. The tempest of change started to pass through the process of “go slow” and ultimately it was surpassed by the arrangements of real politicking such as power sharing, coalition formations and adjustments between the forces of change and the forces of status quo.

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Nepal: On the development question

Posted by n3wday on October 3, 2008

This article appeared in the Red Star.

Ambitious plans for nation building

– Dipak Sapkota

The first government of the Republic of Nepal is now set to implement its ambitious policies and programs after they are passed by the legislature parliament. The implementation of the policies and programs and its results will not only determine the future of Nepal but will play a vital role for the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist),who is now leading the government.

The government presented its policies and programs in less than a month after the Maoist Chairman was elected as the Prime Minister. President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav read it out in the Constituent Assembly meeting on 10 September. Despite the amendment proposal floated by various parties, including the Nepali Congress, the Legislature-Parliament endorsed it with overwhelming majority.

The document had stated that the major responsibility of the government is to guide the socio-economic transformation process toward a progressive direction by taking the peace-process to a logical end:

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Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | 3 Comments »

Kul Chandra Gautam at Prachanda’s New School Event

Posted by Rosa Harris on October 3, 2008

This is a transcription by Kasama of the remarks by Professor Arato at the event at the New School in New York where Nepali revolutionary leader Prachanda spoke. It is based on audio of Kul Charandra Gautam’s comments. 

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Nepal: Emancipation of the Haliyas

Posted by n3wday on October 2, 2008

This article appeared in the Red Star.

The emancipation of ploughmen

Along with the abolition of many old feudal customs, the government has declared the emancipation of ploughmen (Haliyas), thus ending an old feudal tradition that dominates in far western Nepal. The government was obliged to take action over the issue when the families oppressed by the Halias tradition arrived in Kathmandu and conducted a hunger strike for their emancipation.

Now they have been declared free citizens of the country. The freed Haliyas are optimistic and they expect much from the government because the government has declared a policy and program of liberty and equality.

Before the Haliyas were freed, the Kamaiyas or serfs were freed by the former government of Nepali Congress. After this declaration, however, their lives were actually harder than their previous life in the farms of the land-lords. The emancipated Kamaiyas and Haliyas did not receive equal rights and possession. The government should have provided land, homes and the opportunity of employment as declared in its policy and programme.
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Nepal: Yadav and the land seizure controversey

Posted by n3wday on October 2, 2008

This collection of articles appeared on Neil’s Nepal.


[intro by Neil]

He’s a Rogue, a loose Cannon, one more screw up and he’s off the force! Or will he resign? He’s Matrika Yadav, the newly appointed Maoist land reform minister, and his leadership style is “hands on” to say the least. It seems CPN(UML) Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam’s bid to restore law and order (which for some reason means night clubs close at 11:00) has run smack into Yadav’s ideologically driven aversion to kicking landless squatters off of formerly royal property. It’s an interesting Dilemma. The Maoists have made a pledge to respect property rights, and their chances of wooing the business community and attracting foreign direct investment hinge on convincing others of their sincerity. On the other hand, It’s easy to see how Yadav would find it hard to call himself both a Communist and a Minister of Land reform, if he stands by while the police knock over landless peoples huts. Of course, The CPN(UML) has long established it has no aversion to completely disregarding it’s claimed ideology.

At any rate, Matrika has demonstrated that he will at least actively carry out his duty, as indicated in the second piece. How this pans out will be an acid test for Nepal observers of numerous ideological persuasions. Will the Maoists face the condemnation of both their domestic and international supporters, the ire of potential investors and the donor community, or deftly sidestep this obstacle somehow? Stay tuned.

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Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | 9 Comments »