Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for April, 2009

Video: India’s Red Corridor

Posted by Mike E on April 17, 2009

this is a media report on the Maoists’ Red Corridor running south through the center of India from close to the northern Nepali border. It discusses the attempt of the Indian government to hold their corrupt parliamentary elections in areas of growing revolutionary activities.

Thanks to Maoist Revolution e-list.

Posted in India News | Leave a Comment »

Joseph Ball’s Concerns about Line of Maoist Party in Nepal

Posted by Mike E on April 17, 2009

nepal-peoples-liberation-armyKasama is publish a series of pieces critical of the Maoist strategies of Nepal. Posting them does not imply agreement with the analyses. And we will be posting some pieces soon that take a different view. This piece originally appeared on Joseph Ball’s website.

My Concerns Over the Line of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) 

By Joseph Ball

For the past four years I have been a supporter of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). However, in common with many other Maoists I have serious reservations about the line that the leadership of the UCPN(M) has put forward since 2003, in relation to multi-party competition. I believe that the endorsement of a system of multi-party competition by a communist party, whether or not this is meant to occur under the dictatorship of the proletariat, will lead to that party adopting a revisionist line. This is because this line does not identify the appropriate means for the proletariat to exercise power. The only way the proletariat can exercise power is by taking control of the state and society at all levels. Proletarians must progressively take over all the tasks involved in the management, government and administration of the state, the economy and the rest of society including those areas of the superstructure in which ideology and culture are developed. The ordinary worker must learn to become an administrator or an enterprise manager or an ideological theorist. Distinctions between experts and non-experts must be broken down. In this way, the class distinctions that still exist in socialism will be overcome as society advances to communism.

The initial stage in this process is the establishment of revolutionary organs of power. In the Soviet Union such tasks were carried out through the Soviet. In China the form that eventually was settled on, during the Cultural Revolution, was the Revolutionary Committee. There is no good reason at all why any Communist party should encourage different classes or factions in society to set up political parties to compete for power. While multi-party competition fulfils some purpose for factions of the bourgeoisie who wish to have some forum to settle their differences, it can only ever be a charade for the proletariat. As I was finishing this article some fairly serious criticism of the of the UCPN(M) was published by the Revolutionary Communist Party (USA). My article should not be seen as a complete endorsement of everything said there. However, I do believe that all Maoists, especially those of us who have supported the line of the UCPN(M), would benefit from serious study of the line of the RCP-USA and Bob Avakian on issues related to what constitutes true revolutionary change, the nature and limitations of democracy and the class nature of the state. I believe it is wrong for Maoists to simply dismiss this line as dogmatism and refuse to enter into proper discussion on these issues.

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Posted in Nepal News | 4 Comments »

India’s Maoists: 3 Statements on Strategies of Nepali Maoists

Posted by n3wday on April 16, 2009

Communist_Party_India-Naxalbari

These articles were compiled by the MLM-Revolutionary Study Group, and are available separately on BannedThought.Net.

Communist Party of India (Maoist), Central Committee

Press Release April 24, 2008

The verdict in Nepal is a verdict against feudal monarchy, Indian expansionism and US imperialism; it reflects the growing aspirations of the Nepalese masses for land, livelihood and democracy!

Oppose the moves of the imperialists, particularly US imperialists, and the Indian expansionists to meddle in the affairs of Nepal!!

The election results in Nepal have proved once again the overwhelming anger of the masses against the outdated feudal monarchic rule in Nepal, against the Indian expansionist’s bullying and domination of Nepal, against US domination and oppression, and are a reflection of the growing aspirations of the Nepali masses for democracy, land, livelihood and genuine freedom from imperialist and feudal exploitation. It is these aspirations of the overwhelming majority of the masses that had completely trounced the parties that had either supported the King and/or the Indian ruling classes or hesitated to come out strongly against feudal, imperialist oppression and Indian intervention in Nepal. Hence, when an alternative like the CPN(M) came to the fore, with its open commitment to abolish the feudal monarchy once for all, abrogate all unequal treaties signed with India by the former ruling classes of Nepal, and ensure democracy and equality for the oppressed sections of society such as Dalits, adivasis, national minorities and women, the masses enthusiastically veered towards the Maoists. The CC, CPI(Maoist), hails the Nepali masses for routing the feudal, pro-imperialist, pro-Indian comprador parties and voting for a genuine change in the rotten feudal system in Nepal. It sends its fraternal revolutionary greetings for their victory in the struggle against the reactionary forces which is the culmination of a ten year process of historic struggles and battles where over 10,000 gave their precious lives.

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Posted in India News, Maoist Theory | 5 Comments »

Nepal: Can Two Armies Merge by Summer?

Posted by irisbright on April 16, 2009

This was originally posted at eKantipur.com.

Kantipur Report:‘Army integration by mid-July’

KATHMANDU, April 11 – Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Friday told President Ram Baran Yadav that the Army integration process will be completed by July 15).

Dahal called on Yadav at the latter’s office in Shital Niwas to brief him on political developments and his recent visit to Norway and Finland. “I told him the Army integration process will be completed by mid-July as the Army Integration Special Technical Committee (AISTC) has started work,” Dahal told the media after the meeting.

The eight-member AISTC formed in March 27, started work from the Maoist Cantonment Site in Nawalparasi from Wednesday where they held discussions with combatants on integration and their preferences in accordance with the he Army Integration Special Committee’s (AISC) terms of reference. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Government Feels Maoist Presence All Across India

Posted by n3wday on April 14, 2009

Maoist_Revolution_India_Naxal_PLA

This article was posted on Maoist Revolution

Attacks by Maoist forces across India

Sixteen policemen killed in neighbouring States since Friday

HYDERABAD: The sudden spurt in Maoist activity in the adjoining States
in the last few days has rung alarm bells for the Andhra Pradesh police,
which has sounded a high alert, particularly on the inter-State borders..

The Maoists killed 16 police personnel, including 14 men of Central
Reserve Police Force (CRPF), in three incidents in Chhattisgarh and
Jharkhand since Friday. Two constables died in a pressure mine blasted
by Maoists against a road opening party on a National Highway in Bijapur
district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, while 14 CRPF personnel were killed
in ambushes in Chintaguppa police station limits of Dantewada district
in Chhattisgarh and Khunti district of Jharkhand on Friday and Saturday,
respectively. ‘Top brass’ of the Andhra Pradesh police apprehend that
the incidents were part of Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign by
Maoists(TCOC) . Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India News | Leave a Comment »

India’s Maoists: The Present Situation & Our Tasks

Posted by n3wday on April 14, 2009

communist_party_of_india_maoist_2Many thanks to Ka Frank for sending this to us.

Present Political Situation – Our Tasks

CPI (Maoist) December 20, 2008

“Utilise the Excellent crisis situation!”

“Intervene and carry on each and every struggle of people!”

 

– A call by Indian Maoists

* * * * * * *

International Situation

During the past one year the crisis in the world capitalist-imperialist sys­tem has grown to levels unprecedented since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Manifested initially in the form of bursting of the sub-prime mortgage bubble in the US, it soon became the deepest financial crisis mainly in the US and then spread to EU, Japan and other parts of the world. By November 2008 it assumed the form of world recession after the US, 15-member Euro Zone and Japan officially declared their economies had entered a period of recession. Panic over the ever-deepening financial crisis soon gripped the real economy; exports fell and production had to be slowed down due to decrease in consumer spending in the US and Europe. The ongoing global crisis is not merely a financial crisis but a crisis encompassing all sectors of economy, social and political spheres in all countries.

The past year had seen many fluctuations in the prices of crude oil and commodities rising steeply in the first half and declining in the second half of the year. Reduction of area under food grains production led to acute shortages of food grains worldwide and high prices persisted for most part of the year. Food crisis has now become a worldwide phenomenon which will worsen further throwing a greater proportion of the world population into the clutches of poverty and hunger. In 2008 another 40 million people had joined the ranks of the hungry. Prices of oil ruled at record highs during the first eight months reaching a peak of $147 a barrel in August and then suddenly plummeting to more than half by September and reaching $40 a barrel by the third week of November due to drastic decline in automobile sales, lack of demand for land, air and sea transport. Not only oil prices but prices of many commodities like platinum, copper, steel and zinc have fallen by 35-40 % between July-September and agricultural commodities like soya and corn by over 50% due to the fall in demand resulting from steep declines in purchasing power of the people, industrial closures due to credit crunch and falling demand, and overall economic downturn. Widespread speculation in these commodities is also an im­portant reason for the extreme fluctuation in their prices. Fall in prices of agricultural commodities has affected commodity-producing countries like Australia, Argentina, India and several countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Partial or complete closure of industrial giants and lay-offs of mil­lions of workers has become a world-wide phenomenon in 2008. 17 out of 29 steel mill blast furnaces in the L S closed down due to lack of demand. Sales in automobiles, steel, software, electronics, retailing, transport had gone down steeply. Big Three in automobile Industry, which were the icons of American industrial supremacy until a few years ago, are now on the verge of collapse. House prices are the lowest since 1991. In Germany, G.M’s Opel plant was closed down. BMW and Diamler had ceased production for some months. Thus gloomy scenes of Depression are looming large on the scenario with continuing fall in demand for capital and consumer goods and even food grains. Agriculture too is badly affected due to non-availability of loans from banks.

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Posted in India Background, India News, Maoist Theory | 5 Comments »

Think Tank Looks at Conflict Over Nepal’s Two Armies

Posted by Mike E on April 14, 2009

pla_soldierThe following is a white paper from the South Asia Analysis Group. As always, Kasama has published it here because it is of interest, not because we necessarily agree with the analysis presented here.

“The most critical factor confronting Prachanda’s government is the issue of integration/rehabilitation of PLA personnel. On this there are not only differences within the coalition partners, but also within the Maoist party itself.”

“There are 32,250 Maoist cadres registered in 28 cantonments. Of these only 19,692 are eligible to be treated as combatants. “

“Major opposition on bulk integration has come from the Nepalese Army. Surprisingly they have not been consulted on this issue or represented in the high-power Special Committee…. The Nepalese Army is not willing to accept that it is a defeated Army. This is true also and the major problem is that the PLA of the Maoists thinks that it is a victorious army! The Army contends that induction of politically indoctrinated combatants into an apolitical national army will weaken it and is not in the interest of Nepali democracy.”

“Gen. Katuwal, the Army Chief has suggested four options for the combatants- 1. Send them for foreign employment 2. Send them to school or college 3. Engage them in national building tasks and 4. Employ them in Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and in the Nepalese Army.”

NEPAL: PLA Integration Continues to be a Contentious Issue: Update No. 175

By Dr. S. Chandrasekharan

The most critical factor confronting Prachanda’s government is the issue of integration/rehabilitation of PLA personnel. On this there are not only differences within the coalition partners, but also within the Maoist party itself. The opinion varies from total mass integration with the Nepalese Army, to selective integration and absorption in other para military units already existing or to be created for the specific purpose or total rehabilitation of all the personnel outside the army.

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Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

MLM-RSG: Revolution and State Power in Nepal

Posted by n3wday on April 13, 2009

hammer-and-sickle-ivKasama hopes to deepen our discussion and common understandings of the situation in Nepal — including by posting a series of documents over the coming week. The following analysis was recently written by the MLMRSG. It is available in PDF format here..

By the MLM Revolutionary Study Group

The central question in Nepal today is state power and the means by which it can be conquered and wielded in the service of the overwhelming majority of the people of Nepal.  Does the present unstable Maoist-led coalition government represent the beginnings of a process leading to socialism, and a beacon and valuable resource for the worldwide struggle against capitalism and imperialism?  Or is a disorienting  political strategy being implemented that is unprepared for the next challenge and is blocking further advance of the revolutionary process?

At present, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is the largest party with a powerful mass base.  It occupies leading positions, including Prachanda as Prime Minister, in what is essentially a bourgeois/feudal state backed by the 90,000 strong Nepalese Army and tens of thousands in the police force.  While the Nepalese Army is confined to barracks, 19,000 PLA members have been housed for the past 2 1/2 years in cantonments (military camps), their arms are being held in the camps under UN inspection, and they are slated to be “integrated” with the Nepalese Army under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2006—the precise terms of which are still in dispute.
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Posted in Maoist Theory, Nepal Background, Nepal News | 16 Comments »

India Within Today’s Depression: A Historical View

Posted by n3wday on April 12, 2009

india_workers_face_depressionThis article was posted by Aspects of India’s Economy.

The New Great Depression and India

Over the last six months, a new Great Depression has enveloped the entire world. The ruling circles worldwide and the international media have been propagating that this Depression is the result of a mere financial crisis, caused by irresponsible lending by banks to poor people in the U.S.. Accordingly, they began by claiming that within six months to a year, the recovery would begin, thanks to government bail-outs and stimulus packages of unprecedented size.

So rapidly did the crisis advance, however, that within weeks these claims wore thin. Talk of a systemic breakdown now entered the language of the ruling establishment itself. Even as a defensive George Bush asserted at the G-20 summit that “The crisis was not a failure of the free market system”, his French and German counterparts were acid in their retorts. The German finance minister declared to the German parliament: “The world will never be as it was before the crisis. The United States will lose its superpower status in the world financial system.” “What we are seeing now”, said Raghuram Rajan, former chief economist of the IMF, “is capitalism in crisis… but I do not see an end to capitalism.”1

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The Fall of the Indonesian Communist Party in 1965

Posted by Mike E on April 11, 2009

1965 -- May Day rally of CPI supporters

1965 -- May Day rally of CPI supporters

This article appears in Monthly Review — covering a historic event that marks a bitter and important experience for the communist movement.

by Nathaniel Mehr

“The people do not want Marxist-Leninist theses.  They want, instead, improvement in their lot.”

This was the stark assessment of Dipa Nusantara Aidit, who acceded to the leadership of the Indonesian communist party (PKI) in 1951 and set about transforming the party’s fortunes by appealing to Indonesia’s rural peasants and challenging the received wisdom about the role of Marxist parties in the post-colonial world.  In Aidit’s view, Indonesia’s status as a newly-independent nation under threat from neo-colonialist external forces called for a revision of orthodox approaches concerning the irreconcilability of class antagonisms.  Indonesia’s bourgeoisie was itself “being oppressed by foreign imperialism,” and could therefore, “under certain circumstances and within certain limits, participate in the struggle against imperialism.”  Aidit set out the core of his thinking in The Road to People’s Democracy for Indonesia (1954): the party’s alliance with the bourgeoisie would be mirrored by “the firm unity between the peasants, the largest and most oppressed group of the Indonesian people.”

Aidit’s approach drew him into an open ideological conflict with the USSR.  During this period, the Soviet Union was pursuing a pragmatic policy of supporting non-communist governments in the underdeveloped world, provided that they were prepared to break ties with the West and establish new bonds with socialist states.  This policy, which tended to manifest itself in Russian support for bourgeois — often very conservative — regimes, was attacked by the Chinese as a sell-out of national liberation movements and socialist movements across the underdeveloped world.  Joining this attack, Aidit questioned whether the government in Moscow could rightly call itself socialist: “A socialist country cannot be counted as one if it does not come to the aid of the struggle for independence.”  Yet there was undoubtedly something of the Moscow line in Aidit’s own policy of seeking cooperation with Indonesia’s staunchly conservative establishment under Sukarno.  Aidit’s insistence that, under Sukarno, the Indonesian state’s “progressive aspect” had become its “main aspect,” effectively characterized the Indonesian nation as an exceptional case in modern world history, drawing criticism from contemporary observers, who considered that the Indonesian army, with its largely anti-communist leadership, remained the country’s most powerful political force.

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Posted in indonesia | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Ferment in Nepal: A Dynamic Vortex of Revolutionary Change

Posted by Mike E on April 10, 2009

The following report appeared in LINKS. Kasama post materials that are of interest, but such posting does not mean endorsement of the specific analysis.

By Bill Templer,

January 3, 2009 — One remarkable laboratory that discussion in much of the world’s progressive press tends to neglect is the dynamic vortex of revolutionary change in Nepal. Since spring, Nepal has something that may be making genuine history: a Maoist people’s movement, that, led by the CPN (Maoist), and the struggle of the People’s Liberation Army over a decade, has come to state power through the ballot box. As Tufts University historian Gary Leupp wrote last April:

“It ought to be the ballot heard ’round the world. It ought to be front page news. […] This moment may in the not distant future be seen as another 1917, another 1949.”[1]

Leupp has been one of the very few in the left media in the geopolitical North to call attention to this momentous change, and its current developments, albeit with little echo. Editors of some well-known journals refuse to consider an article that mentions Maoism, however contemporary, in a favourable light.

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Video: TV Report on Indian Counter-Insurgency

Posted by Mike E on April 10, 2009

Thanks to Naxalite Maoist India blog.

Posted in India News | Leave a Comment »

Time Magazine: On the Politics of Gurkhas & Revolution

Posted by Mike E on April 9, 2009

A brigade of Nepalese Gurkha soldiers 2008 in Afghanistan's Helmand province

A brigade of Nepalese Gurkha soldiers 2008 in Afghanistan's Helmand province

The following recent piece from Time magazine gives a sense of the politics over Gurkha recruitment on the ground in Nepal — suggesting Maoist determination to end the practice, but a decision not to put the controversial issue in the forefront during the current conflict and transition. (Thanks to Shinethepath for forwarding the article).

“….rebel leader turned Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has openly expressed his antipathy for the practice of young Nepalese men serving in foreign armies as mercenaries for hire. Once in office, he announced that he would discontinue Gurkha recruitments, an undignified and degrading legacy in his eyes.

It was an unpopular opinion. The job is a popular and lucrative post in a country where unemployment hovers around 42%, and his announcement spurred vehement street protests late last year from old, new and future Gurkha recruits. Dahal promptly reneged, announcing in a February meeting with a visiting delegation of British parliamentarians that the recruitment of Nepali men into their forces had bolstered ties between the two nations, and that he was not in favor of stopping recruitments. But behind closed doors, Nepalese officials still squirm at the thought of their countrymen being paid for fighting another nation’s war. “This is an obnoxious practice,” said one official from Nepal’s Foreign Ministry, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press. “Nepal will find ways provide employment within our country.”

for the full piece>

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Video: Naxalite Slideshow

Posted by Mike E on April 9, 2009

Thanks to Naxalite Maoist India blog. Score by Asian Dub Foundation.

Posted in India Background | Leave a Comment »

Open Attacks on the Nepali Maoists: Taking a Stand

Posted by Mike E on April 9, 2009

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By Mike Ely

Jej writes on the core issue raised by an open protest letter of an Afghanistani left grouping:

“it appears that the Nepalese Communists have decided not to end the practice of recruiting Ghurkas into the British military.

Well, they may have decided not to push it right now (before they have state power). but it is clear (throughout their whole history) that they intend to end unequal treaties, foreign domination, and vestiges of colonialism in their country.

I do not know what their short-term plans are for this mercenary tradition of British colonialism — and I don’t know the internal political polarization among Nepali people is (on that particular issue). But that just underscores my main point — which is to be cautious about simplistic verdicts concerning complex and rapidly moving events.

On this I agree with Jej:

” …the politics behind the situation is by no means clear or easy to understand. There are probably many internal difficulties as well as external difficulties relating to the question of Ghurkas in Nepal. It is almost definitely complex in a way that we do not understand without deeper knowledge of the Ghurka nationality, its history, and the contemporary situation.”

Exactly.

The Gurkha recruitment was often the only way out of the hill country for people of this nationality. It has been one of the major ways the outside world was explored by Nepalis, and one of the major ways that knowledge of the outside world entered Nepal (from the worldly veterans of the British army returning home). And it has been a major source of income in one of the world most impoverished corners. It is an ugly mercenary tradition imposed on Nepal by British colonialism — but abolishing it will be a process taken up as Nepal’s revolution wins victory and consolidates.

The idea that the Maoists “must” take up the prohibition of this colonialist tradition now, before seizing power is something that can’t be asserted without precisely the kind of political knowledge and analysis that the Maoists themselves are making. And that just makes me oppose the core of this Afghani letter: linking a public denunciation of the Maoists with an open call for the splitting of their party.

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Posted in Nepal News | 5 Comments »