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Archive for March 9th, 2010

International Women’s Day 2010: Women’s Liberation Theory from Nepal Revolutionaries

Posted by n3wday on March 9, 2010

photo credit: TMG

Compiled by Eric Ribellarsi and Toni Kim

Contributions to a New Communist Theory on Women’s Liberation

by Parvati

” Women being not only oppressed among all the oppressed groups, but also the last group to be liberated are the most reliable, stable, and basic force which needs to be tapped not only in winning the revolution but also in waging continuous revolution.”

” Being left behind in history by no fault of their own, they need to be given space to make mistakes and to learn from them.”

In 2006, the Nepali Maoist leader Hisila Yami (Comrade Parvati) published a new work, People’s War and Women’s Liberation in Nepal. This work discusses the experience of the Nepalese revolution and the new approach to women’s liberation that this revolution has developed. Sadly, very few in the West have had access to this work.

Today, on International Women’s Day, we would like to make available a few excerpts from this work which underscore the creativity and new approach being developed by Parvati and the Nepali comrades, as well as some the problems and questions that they are still grappling with in order to move forward in the revolutionary process.

This work has several theses which we have found helpful and interesting, including:

  • The oppression of women rose with class society itself, and can only go out of existence with the abolition of class society. The oppression of women is a fundamental contradiction, as fundamental as the class struggle itself.
  • Parvati believes that women’s struggle for liberation is fundamental to continuing the revolutionary struggle under socialism. Whereas, in China, emphasis was placed on the existence of equality between men and women with slogans like “women hold up half the sky” and “times have changed, men and women are the same,” Parvati places emphasis on the view that these goals can only be achieved in a communist future. She believes that the women’s struggle is central to carrying forward revolutionary struggle under socialism.
  • Much time has been spent in her work to deal with the problems of the lack women’s leadership in revolutionary struggles. She argues that given thousands of years of class society and the way that women have been locked out of theory–not by any fault of their own–it is no surprise that many female comrades have not yet been able to develop as much theoretically. She argues that male comrades need to consciously create a space in the revolutionary struggle for female comrades to be able to step in and do theoretical work.
  • Parvati believes that the legacy of Stalin and viewing things as singularities or monoliths (instead of viewing things as unities of opposites) continue to stand in the way of developing women’s leadership in the revolutionary struggle. She argues that many comrades have a tendency to prevent women from becoming leaders for fear that they will make mistakes. Certainly mistakes will be made, but this is part of the contradictory process of developing communist leadership, and not something we should be afraid of.

We are including an excerpt of the preface of this book, as well as one of the core chapters of the book. Soon we will try to make more of the content of this book available. It is also important to note that the book contained many typos, but we did not try to correct these, and instead tried to remain as true to the text as possible (though it is possible we made typos of our own). Happy International Women’s Day! Read the rest of this entry »

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International Women’s Day: Women’s Role in Nepal’s Revolution

Posted by n3wday on March 9, 2010

Originally posted on Monthly Review.

Women’s Role in the Nepalese Movement: Making a People’s Constitution

by Hisila Yami (Parvati)

At this very moment Nepal is making a constitution through the historic Constitutional Assembly (CA).  It is important to note that up till now all prior constitutions handed over to the people of Nepal were through direct intervention of oligarchs or kings.  It was the historic ten years of People’s War (PW) (1996-2006) complemented with 19 days of People’s Movement (April 2006) that made it possible to bring about a free and fair CA election in April 2008 as a means to make a people’s constitution by the people themselves.  It is under the leadership of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [CPN(Maoist)] and its skillful use of a united front with various parties that the monarchy system was abolished in 2008.

The specificity of the Nepalese movement is the presence of a strong left.  For this very reason the women’s movement is comparatively strong in Nepal.  Women’s exploitation being deep-rooted — one of the oldest and longest exploitations, embracing all sectors from womb to tomb — communist movements often take the lead in ending it.  Of course one has to fight against patriarchal tendencies within the Communist Party or similar tendencies arising from the stage of development of one’s society which ultimately find reflection on the Party or movement.  But there are always rightist, ultra-leftist and eclectic middle tendencies within the Party or movement which will affect the women’s movement accordingly.  Women have to fight for a correct line which addresses both the class and gender issues in correct proportions.  In the specific case of Nepal, we have to additionally address Dalit, regional and ethnic oppression because they are interrelated to women’s oppression.

Women’s Movement before the PW

It is important to recall that the first people’s movement that took place in 1990 lasted almost 50 days and resulted in the overthrow of the “partyless” Panchayat system, a one party system run from the royal palace that had lasted for thirty years (1960-1990).  During monarchical rule, women’s and student’s fronts were very active as political parties were banned and they operated through these fronts.  This is in sharp contrast to most other South Asian countries where the women’s movement emerged along with independence movements against foreign rule.  When the 1990 anti-monarchical movement started spreading from urban areas towards rural areas, the king was forced to negotiate with the political parties.  This resulted in a tripartite agreement between the king, Nepali Congress (NC) (representing the comprador bourgeois class) and the United Left Front (representing broad reformist left parties) to arrive at a constitutional monarchical parliamentary system.  The new constitution promulgated in 1990 made mandatory that each party make a minimum of five percent of its candidates women as a condition to contest in the election.  In the first 1991 election, out of 205 legislatives representatives only seven women were elected. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kishenji: Maoists Will Overthrow Indian Government Much Before 2050

Posted by Ka Frank on March 9, 2010

This article appeared in the Hindustan Times on March 7, 2010.

Maoists will overthrow Govt much before 2050: Kishenji

A day after Union Home Secretary GK Pillai said Maoists had plans to overthrow the Indian state by 2050, top Naxal leader Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji claimed late Saturday night that it would be achieved much before that date. “We will overthrow the Indian government much before 2050,” Kishenji told PTI from an undisclosed location.

He claimed the Maoists had their own army with the help of which it would overthrow the Indian state much before 2050.  He said the Maoists had offered a 72-day peace offer and “the question of regrouping does not arise. (Union Home minister P) Chidambaram is trying to divert the attention of the people from the real problem.”

He said it was for the Centre to act on the peace offer. “We are fully prepared for a long-term revolution against the government and so we don’t need any specific time to restructure ourselves.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Chennai: Successful Public Meeting Condemns Op Green Hunt

Posted by Ka Frank on March 9, 2010

This article appeared on Spring Thunder.

War Against Naxals: The War Against People–Public Meeting Updates

On Feb 20, 2010, in MGR Nagar, Chennai a huge public meeting was organized by PALA and its revolutionary organizations. The meeting was successful in exposing the actual objective of the Operation Green Hunt; that it is not just a state-declared war against the Maoists, but that it is war by the state and the ruling classes against the common people.

PALA and its revolutionary organizations had campaigned about Operation Green Hunt among a large number of people in street corner meetings, factory meetings, and in buses and trains across Tamilnadu. Comrades met hundreds of people and distributed about 1.5 lakh pamphlets; 10,000 booklets of the essay, The Heart of India is Under Attack by Arundathi Roy; a collection of English essays (published in various magazines and newspapers) exposing the Operation Green Hunt; Hall Meetings in various district headquarters; and Hindi and English pamphlets. Evidence of such a concentrated campaign for over 50 days was seen in thousands of people who had come to attend the public meeting.

Com. Mukundan, President, New Democratic Labour Front, Tamilnadu, presided over the meeting, which started off with the revolutionary salute to the martyrs. Com. Balan, advocate at the Bangalore High Court, addressed the meeting first. He listed in detail the various minerals available in the states of Orissa and Jharkhand. He also discussed how if all this mineral wealth were to be mined and taken away by the multinational corporations in the next 50 years, we will be forced to beg them for our needs in the future.

He stressed on the fact that recolonization was not something that was happening only in Orissa and Jharkhand, but very much in Tamil Nadu as well. To illustrate his point, he talked about the Goundi-Vediappan hill in Thiruvanamalai, TN, which the government had sold out to Jindal, a multinational corporation. According to the deal, the government will receive only 0.02% of the total profit as royalty! Read the rest of this entry »

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Prachanda: PLA Must Be Ready to Capture Power When Part of the Army and Police Forces

Posted by Ka Frank on March 9, 2010

This article appeared in Yahoo News India on March 8, 2010.

Be ready to capture power, Prachanda tells Maoist fighters

Kathmandu: In remarks that place the Maoist commitment to the peace and democratic process in severe doubt, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPM-M) chief Prachanda has said that combatants should remain ready for mass revolt with a view to capture power from the government and security agencies of the country.

Details of the speech that Prachanda made in Shaktikhor cantonment in his home district Chitwan, about 180 km from here on March 1, have found its way to the media. “We must prepare for a mass revolt after May 28 as soon as the government seeks to extend the term of constituent assembly,” he said. “We will need to get at least 10,000 of our combatants in the Nepal Army and police.” Prachanda asked the combatants to have patience as “the country will belong to you soon”.

The content of the speech makes it clear that the Maoists will not accept the democratic process, a fact that political parties and the international community feared. “We will not ask, this time, for the top post in the Army as the international community will be opposing it, but we certainly should strive for the Number two spot and positions below.” “The Nepal Army and the police are going to be our real strength now, and we are going to introduce at least 10,000 of our combatants in the security outfits soon,” he said.

A video tape of the secret meeting Prachanda had with the combatants in the same cantonment three years ago had him asking them to buy arms and not to bother with the party’s participation in the peace process

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