For a revolutionary break in Nepal stalemates: Looking back and looking forward
Posted by hetty7 on June 19, 2012
“We had a type of peace and constitution before people’s war but in our analysis it was not pro-people – to the contrary. It was a system that did not reflect their interests but only those of the entrenched bourgeois – feudal classes. Therefore the great people’s war was launched and a pro-people peace and constitution came to the forefront. But now they are trying to rebuild the system as it was before and this is unacceptable. It will be designed to function for those who were the ruling class in the past.This creates the necessity of struggle for a pro-people settlement.”
The following is a significant statement from revolutionary forces previously within the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Increasingly they are separating themselves organizationally from the old party, and seeking to chart a new course, for themselves and the people, toward a more decisive revolutionary break in Nepalese society.
The Challenge for the Nepalese Revolution
by Netra Bikram Chand (party name: Biplab)
The leadership of Baburam Bhatterai and Prachanda in the Nepalese revolution has disintegrated. It has shown that rightist reactionary politics emerged again in Nepal’s history.
The situation has become difficult because their leadership abandoned the goal of the People’s Federal Republic.
But because the proletarian current within the Party is strong the Party has not been damaged and even if we face temporary problems our revolution is safe.
Now the principal task of the revolutionary is to take the movement forward to victory.
We need to evaluate how Prachanda and Bhatterai diluted and corrupted our politics and reach a clear solution based on the points below.
1. Programme of the Constitution Assembly
The objective of the People’s War (PW) was a People’s Republic. After the sixth year of People’s War the Party held its second congress and Prachanda declared that the call for a Constitutional Assembly was a tactic towards achieving the strategic goal of a republic. At the same meeting the debate started a to how the former could mesh with the latter. Prachanda said further that the establishment of a Constituent Assembly (CA) would validate PW. But now the CA is not the instrument for enacting our programme but a weapon against it. It proves that the capitulationist policies of Prachanda and Bhatterai were cultivated under the call for a CA and that the PW was used as a mechanism for entering parliamentary institutions in an opportunist and reformist way.
There are two interesting facts regarding the Second Congress of the Party; firstly Bhatterai agreed to the Prachanda Path and secondly the meeting of Prachanda and Bhatterai with Delhi beforehand led to the call for a CA.
All leaders and cadre knew that Bhatterai was opposed to centralized leadership at the Fourth Plenum of the Party which was held in 1998 , saying it would lead to autocracy and counterrevolution.
Those close to Prachanda said this was against the communist principle of democratic centralism and that he was a rightist. Our Second Congress ended this debate within the Party with centralized leadership entering the Party’s ideology in the same way as Prachanda Path which after a three month dialogue became the ideology and policy of the party.
It is ironic that Bhatterai accepted this and became its leading spokesman. Our fraternal parties’ world-wide did not agree with this. If we go through these events we can see that Prachanda persuaded Bhatterai to accept Prachanda Path in return for him accepting the parliamentary road.
Another interesting point is that the demand for a CA, round-table conference and joint government appeared so suddenly at the Second Congress. If we asked why it had happened in this way Prachanda answered cleverly that it was to give legitimacy to the PW.
We now know that the call for a CA was agreed by the Indian government and Bhatterai six months prior to the Second Congress.
2. Stage and sub-stage within the revolution
When the Party agreed about the CA at the time Bhatterai proposed stage and sub-stage theory which was opposed initially by comrades but gradually took root. Prachanda never officially criticized it but used to say in Party meetings that it was ‘bourgeois and rightist’. Bhatterai himself never used the term ‘bourgeois democracy’ until King Gyanendra’s seizure of power and dissolution of parliament in 2004.
But now it is proved that the stages of revolution proposed by Bhatterai was to fuse PW with bourgeois democracy.
3. Institutional development of republican democracy
The Chunwang Plenum in 2005 of the Party declared the tactic of republican democracy by making an alliance with the reactionary parties. It was intended as an interim move to pave the way for a People’ Republic (PR).
Prachanda clearly stated in a Party document that the communist party will convert this stage into a PR; that the status quo parties will try to establish bourgeois capitalism and that at this same point the revolution will be focused. The whole party agreed with this but after the 2006 Andolan (uprising) and the overthrow of Gyanendra, Bhatterai then began to use the term ‘republican democracy’
. For our part cadres never discussed in detail the implications of the institutional development of this project. This term clearly implied that it was a pro-people’s state but that it was never the strategy of the Party. It was not conducive for a semi-feudal, neo-colonial country like Nepal where the social structures remained the same.
It was always accepted within the Party that republican democracy was a transitional tactic towards a People’s Republic and no more. Out strategy remained for the latter but Bhatterai’s concept of institutional development had the effect of freezing that transition and worse entrenching bourgeois capitalist democracy. This is not the eventual aim of a communist party and is capitulationist to abandon the revolution to change the social and economic structure and the general capitalist characteristics of the state.
4. Peace and Constitution
Now Prachanda and Bhatterai are focused on peace and constitution as if all else is illusion.
They want a bourgeois constitution spelt out and are criticizing those who want a revolutionary settlement for peace and constitution.
The fact is that we do not want a constitution with bourgeois characteristics but instead one that will secure the rights of peasants, workers, janjatis, Dalits, women and Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). None of this is mentioned in the proposals that have put forth.
Yes we need peace and constitution but one that is clearly defined. What we have today asks the question as to how we can bring real peace. And what did we struggle for in PW.
These are the questions we need to concentrate on. We had a type of peace and constitution before PW but in our analysis it was not pro-people – to the contrary. It was a system that did not reflect their interests but only those of the entrenched bourgeois-feudal classes. Therefore, the great PW was launched and a pro-people peace and constitution came to the forefront. But now they are trying to rebuild the system as it was before and this is unacceptable. It will be designed to function for those who were the ruling class in the past. This creates the necessity of struggle for a pro-people settlement.
5. Republican Democracy
The political line of Prachanda and Bhatterai has trapped them within the confines of bourgeois republican democracy. The reasons they give for accepting it is because of the difficulties for revolutionaries given the national and international balance of forces. This is not true; the fact is that this has led them to a rightist and opportunist position.
These are the same people who declared the previous bourgeois democratic system as reactionary and were leaders in PW to end it. It is clear that bourgeois democrats favour capitalism and we would be mistaken if we believed that this system benefits our people.
These are the same people who use to say that we have to complete our revolution and establish a People’s Republic but who now say it is an ‘ultra-leftist’ and ‘dogmatic’ aspiration which is against a lasting peace. Now their activities in collecting the names of the revolutionary leaders from the districts and villages shows they are not only rightist and capitulationist but fascist. We know that the eventual outcome of capitalist democracy in an age of imperialism is fascism and it appears that Prachanda and Bhatterai by advocating and implementing this system are working towards this outcome.
The Maoist party that started the PW that organized and administered the liberated zones and the PLA became the centre of international revolution but Prqachanda and Bhatterai have surrendered this to Delhi, Nepali Congress, UML, and the forces of reaction by announcing the end of the PW, the dismantlement of dual-power institutions of People’s Courts, communes and the PLA. Under their leadership the revolution is collapsing. Why has this happened?
To answer this question we must go to the point during PW when they introduced the CA and round-table conferences as two stages of struggle and it was the logical outcome of their plan of establishing bourgeois republican democracy. In short we can say that their agenda became consolidated when Prachanda assimilated Bhatterai’s ideology and politics.
Their betrayal of the Nepalese reolution has created a crisis but is not fatal to the revolution, we can rise to the challenge and we should. Therefore we have duties and should not delay in fulfilling our responsibilities by concentrating on the four points below.
1)Protecting Our Revolutionary Ideology
Now they are attacking Marxist-Leninist-Maoism by using it to argue that Nepal’s specific objective conditions require the revolution to acquire bourgeois-capitalist characteristics and cannot be used as a model for world revolution. Communists, in short, should accept multi-party democracy in a bourgeois capitalist state. Because of this all our dual-power structures were dismantled, dissolved and disrupted. We have to take a stand against this dilution of our revolutionary praxis. We have to counter-attack this ideology which blocks the revolution by establishing bourgeois democracy and entrenching capitalism. There is no doubt that presently social-democracy reflects the crisis in capitalism.
2) Formation of Revolutionary Centres
Dismantling the leadership of Prachanda and Bhatterai wil leave a vacuum that revolutionaries must fill. They are already rightist revisionists whatever form of ‘revolutionary’ rhetoric they use and this has become a major problem facing our revolution.
The Two-Line struggle within the Party formed the foundation of revolutionary leadership but formally Prachanda is the leader of the Party so it made it easier for them to implement a rightist/revisionist programme and more difficult to implement a revolutionary one. If we want to solve this problem we have to address the question of revolutionary leadership. We know very well that the leadership should match our ideology otherwise we cannot complete the revolution. If we have the appropriate ideology and plan without the complementary leadership nothing will advance.
It is agreed inside the Party that up to now the situation has been favourable for the revolution in Nepal, especially as there is a burning desire among the many marginalized for fundamental change. But Prachanda and Bhatterai have shown themselves not prepared to represent and to organize for such an eventuality.
They are not ready to take the revolutionary risk. Therefore, to be practical it is not that difficult for us to break with this timorous approach and move forward boldly.
3) Alternative People’s State
Only a People’s state can provide the alternative for their rights and liberation. Parliamentary capitalism cannot fulfill such tasks, but presently Prachanda and Bhatterai are the spokespersons for this policy. They are saying there is no other route than bourgeois democracy and represents how rightist and capitulationist their thinking has become. It creates difficulties for the people and we should protest against it.
Dual-power structures established to serve the people during PW have been cleverly, gradually and wrongly destroyed by Prachanda. To serve this aim Prachanda rhetorically raised the slogan for urban revolution and many sincere revolutionaries believed him although the real agenda was to drag the Party towards reformist parliamentarism.
In fact, in the final analysis it became counter-productive for Prachanda.
Now there are fresh opportunities to re-unify the movement and People’s Democracy. Inside the drama of the CA the attitudes of strengthening parliamentary became prevalent. People’s rights are to be terminated and genuflection made to the international power-brokers of imperialism which has inspired a strong people’s resistance against this trend.
4) Revolutionary struggle
Without struggle the old will not die and the new cannot be born and while the parliamentary system is here we must direct our energies against it After the election for last CA we did not try to reorganize our revolution. The most extreme slogans of Prachanda were must made to confuse revolutionaries.
There are the problems for farmers and peasants with Prachanda returning the expropriated lands to the feudal zamindars (landlords). There are problems for workers but Prachanda and Bhatterai are considering denying them the right to strike. While we talk about problems for our national sovereignty they sign yet more unequal treaties. They are not taking responsibility for the day-to-day problems faced by ordinary people. Yet they criticize revolutionaries as ‘ultra-left’ for addressing these issues. These examples prove that they are preparing to ban further struggles but the revolutionary current is strong in the country and the people support it. There is no alternative but for us to re-organize the revolutionary forces in the coming days and months.
The Prachanda and Bhatterai axis is already discredited within the Nepalese revolution. It is the reality as they have proved over the last six years that they are agents of capitalist parliamentary democracy. This is reflected in the dismemberment of People’s dual-power structures and their personal financial corruption. This is further proof that Bhatterai’s agenda of a revolutionary sub-stage and Prachanda’s adoption of that stratagem , which has resulted in their abandonment of revolutionary communism for bourgeois capitalist democracy.
The rightist alignment within the Party should be the target for revolutionaries and carried out according to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principles. It should be transformed and re-integrated into the revolutionary forces or eliminated. After the identifying the rightist/reformist trend within the Party it will not remain long.
Logically there is an alternative to the capitalist parliamentary system and that is the People’s Republic which will address and solve the problems of the people. This will be achieved by communists and democratic- patriotic giving leadership in respect of permanent peace and the development and prosperity of the country.
There is no other way and it is the necessity for the revolutionary centre to establish a People’s Republic. We have to accept this truth and implement this strategy. This is the prime responsibility for revolutionaries and one which will raise the Nepalese revolution to new heights.