Revolution in South Asia

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Posts Tagged ‘maoism’

Nepali Maoists on Homosexuality

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 21, 2008

This article originally appeared on Counterpunch, April 23, 2007

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), leading what many have considered the most advanced Maoist movement in the world for the last decade, has recently been accused of attacks on gay people and of indulging in anti-gay rhetoric. Unfortunately the reports seem valid. In January a senior party leader, Dev Gurung, now Minister of Local Development in Nepal’s transitional government, was quoted in the press as stating: “Under Soviet rule and when China was still very much a communist state, there were no homosexuals in the Soviet Union or China. Now [that] they are moving towards capitalism, homosexuals may have arisen there as well. So homosexuality is a product of capitalism. Under socialism this kind of problem does not exist.”

The statement seems quite un-Maoist in its description of any twentieth-century socialist experiment as truly “communist.” Mao broke from Stalin in emphasizing the long-term nature and fragility of the construction of socialism as a transitional stage between capitalism and the classless society of communism theoretically posited for the human future. And it seems oblivious to historical reality in denying the existence of homosexuality anywhere, anytime in human history. Dangerously foolish (if I can assume that it was indeed said), it was made in the context of reported abuses of gay men and lesbians by Maoists in areas under their control.

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Prachanda: Nepal’s Maoist Leader and His Work

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 20, 2008

PrachandaPrachanda, the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is now poised to become the president of Nepal. And he is emerging as the most prominent and influential Maoist leader in the world. However there has been, so far, little in depth study of his views (of the Marxist synthesis known as Prachanda Path). We would like to offer some of Prachanda’s essays and interviews, and analyses written by other Maoists leaders about Prachanda Path. (Thanks to the Learn from Nepal site for gathering these materials online.)

Prachanda from Problems and Prospects of Revolution in Nepal (2004)

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Leupp: A Maoist Sweep — Electoral Revolution in Nepal

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 16, 2008


By Gary Leupp

The following article appeared on Counterpunch Apri1 16, 2008.

It ought to be the ballot heard ’round the world. It ought to be front page news. But chances are you haven’t yet learned that the Maoists of Nepal have apparently swept to power in an election that international monitors acknowledge was free and fair. Having led a People’s War from 1996 to 2006, having suspended the armed struggle and making a strategic decision to seek power through electoral means, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has apparently acquired an absolute majority in national elections for a constitutional assembly.

Prime Minister Girija Koirala, representing the Nepali Congress Party, has congratulated CPI(M) leader on the success of his party. The Congress Party, aligned with its Indian counterpart and traditionally supportive of the Nepali monarchy and its Hindu religious trappings, seems to have come in a distant third in the national vote, behind the Communist Party (United Marxist-Leninist). The latter, having spurned Maoist overtures to unite, is in crisis; its leader has resigned and declared it “morally inappropriate” to continue to participate in the current coalition government.

It looks as though Maoist leader Prachanda will emerge as national leader under the presidential system his party advocates. The constitutional assembly will shape a new Nepal as a secular republic. Land reform, laws against debt servitude and child marriage, laws liberating “outcastes” will follow. The Maoists regard Nepal as a pre-capitalist country, which requires a period of capitalist development before it can embark on socialist construction. They say they welcome foreign investment and tourism. They want friendly relations with neighboring China and India. They want to build a railroad conveying Buddhist pilgrims from Tibet to Nepali religious sites. They want, with some help from Jimmy Carter, to persuade the U.S. State Department to remove their name fro the list of “international terrorist organizations.”

They also want to plant the Red Flag on Mt. Everest, big enough so it might be seen from the moon, like the Great Wall of China. That’s what they’ve said.

Realism and poetry. A vision for today, and for tomorrow. The Maoists of India (in particular, the Communist Party of India [Maoist]) continue their People’s War, creating the red corridor that extends from Andra Pradesh up to the Nepali border. They have expressed doubts about the Nepali comrades’ strategy of participation in elections, and emphasized their dedication to Mao’s dictum that “political power grows out of the barrel of the gun.” But they will take heart in the Nepali Maoists’ victory. Unless the Nepali Army (formerly the Nepal Royal Army and still led by pro-monarchist and anti-communist generals), or external forces move to prevent the Maoists’ rise to power, Nepal will emerge as the base-area of global revolution. That’s something else the Maoists have said.

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Nepal: And Now the Question of Armies….

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 16, 2008

by Mike Ely

Two of Mao’s most famous sayings come to mind, over and over, while studying events in Nepal:

“Political power grows from the barrel of a gun.”

“The people and the people alone are the motive force in history.”

The first one should be a reminder: Leading a government is not the same as seizing state power. Winning an election is a sign of who has won the hearts of the people, but state power ultimately rests on the question of who controls military forces within the country.

That was the heart of the political dilemma, and the tragedy, in Chile (over the early 1970s): The socialist forces of Salvadore Allende won the hearts of the votes, and won the presidency, but did not have the organized military force to face (or defeat) the reactionary Chilean army. The CIA and Chilean high command plotted a military coup, that unleashed a vicious counterrevolution. Allende was killed in the coup, and many thousands of radical activists and supporters were rounded up, tortured and murdered.

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Nepal: Interview with Baburam Bhattarai

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 16, 2008

Bhattarai speaking The following interview was conducted by Nepali times, and posted on Democracy and Class Struggle.

Baburam Bhattarai pointed to a bouquet in his study and said: “People who never looked at us before are coming here to give me flowers.” Flanked by portraits of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, the chief ideologue of the Maoists spoke to Nepali Times on Tuesday about sleepless nights, his party’s economic agenda and about whether he’d been offered the prime ministership.

Nepali Times: How does it feel to arrive here after the long journey from a village in Gorkha?

Baburam Bhattarai: There is a deep sense of responsibility, and that comes from the fact that I was born in an ordinary village family, my mother can’t read or write, my father is a farmer. As a child I used to tend livestock and help in the farm, and when I went to high school I had to carry water and cook for myself. From that to be able to go to a good school and be educated, and to have that contrast in one lifetime is fascinating in a way. But now we have been brought to this position where we have to try to resolve issues of national importance, there are enormous aspirations, there is lots to do but we have very little time and resources. It makes us somewhat anxious, thinking about whether we can do it or not. There are sleepless nights, getting up at three in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep.

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Nepal: Revolutionary People Celebrating

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 14, 2008

United We Blog” has posted photos by Wagle from the street celebrations that flowed the Maoist victory in the Nepal’s constituent assembly elections.

Maoist victory in Nepal

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News of the Revolution in Nepal

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 13, 2008

>> Click here for our latest coverage <<

* * * * * *

13/04 Press Release DEAN overview of the April 10 Constituent Assembly Elections Conduct

13/04 News India says it is ready work with Maoists

13/04 News Home Minister Sitaula defeated, Hridayesh Tripathy win

13/04 News Victorious Prachanda meets Koirala

13/04 News Maoists bag 70 seats; NC, UML competing for second place

13/04 News More stalwarts out, more Maoists in

13/04 News Maoists lead with 50 seats; UML win 15, NC 14, MPRF 7, NWPP 2, TMDP 1, NSP-M 1, PFN 1

13/04 News Morally inappropriate to continue in govt, says MK Nepal

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“Nepal Maoists emerge as major force after historic poll”

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 13, 2008

Nepal Maoists emerge as major force after historic poll Nepal National Friday 11th April, 2008 (IANS)

A ragged group of people who dreamt impossible dreams and dared to take on Nepal’s powerful army with homemade guns and bombs, Nepal’s Maoist guerrillas established themselves as a formidable force in the 90s when they prevented elections and inflicted punishing losses on the security forces.

Two years after they laid down their guns and marched back to the parliament they had derisively branded a ‘meat shop’, the rebels have proved to be an equally formidable political force with the historic constituent assembly elections unexpectedly showing their support.

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India’s Maoists: “We will Talk About Justice”

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 6, 2008

Govidan Kutty, editor of People\'s March, IndiaNote from Ka Frank: In this speech, Govindan Kutty describes his experience in jail in Kerala until his release on February 24, as a result of an intense campaign exposing his jailing as an attack on freedom of press in India. Kutty also relates how he received warm support from political prisoners serving long terms in Viyyur jail, and how this support speeded his release. The speech was delivered at the founding meeting of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, held New Delhi March 31-April 1 2008.

By P. Govindan Kutty, Editor, People’s March, India

Dear friends, Let them talk about law……………. We will talk about justice.

You all know very well that I bring out People’s March from Jun 2003 which is legal magazine Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers of Government of India and is permitted to post at concessional rates by the Postal Department. It was also put on our dedicated web http://www.peoplesmarch.com from Jun 2003. From the very beginning my residence was put under the vigilance scanner of the Government of India. The CBI, IB and Special Branch sleuths used to come to my residence regularly under the pretext of getting a copy of People’s March.

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Dave Pugh: Nandigram and the Struggle against Forced Displacement in India

Posted by Rosa Harris on April 4, 2008

farmernadigram3.jpgby Dave Pugh

In January and March 2007, tens of thousands of peasants at Nandigram in West Bengal, India rose up to defend their land. By the time their struggle abated, the peasants had stopped the plans of the Left Front government in West Bengal to build a giant chemical complex on their land, and they had driven the police and the armed cadre of the CPI (Marxist) entirely out of the Nandigram area for eight months. This struggle radically transformed the political terrain in the growing struggle against the hundreds of “Special Economic Zones” that are being planned and built from one end of India to another.

Based on legislation passed in 2005, Special Economic Zones are enclaves of new industry and infrastructure. SEZs offer hefty exemptions from taxes on profits, no tariffs, and exemptions from most labor legislation. Since SEZs are treated as “public service utilities,” strikes are illegal. SEZs are aptly called Special Exploitation Zones by Indian activists because they allow big Indian capitalists and multinational corporations to extract high rates of profit from their workers and plunder India’s natural resources. Though not yet on the same scale as the sprawling economic zones of southeast China, over 500 SEZs have been approved by the Central and State authorities. Most of them are under construction or in the process of land acquisition.

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Rough Notes on the Indian Communist Movement

Posted by Rosa Harris on March 29, 2008

redindia.jpgThese are notes from a presentation by G.N. Saibaba on the history and current lines of different trends among communists in India. Saibaba is the Deputy Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), an All Indian Federation of Revolutionary People’s Organisations. Thanks to the Fire on the Mountain blog for making these notes available. Feel free to comment or expand on these notes.

1. The communist movement in India today

There are three different main streams in the revolutionary movement:

a. CPI (Maoist) – follows the line of People’s War steadfastly and surging forward.

b. CPI (ML) Naxalbari, CT, PCC (ML) and others like CPCRML who are close to the Maoist party in terms of line to a greater or lesser extent.

Also Red Flag – Communist Revolutionary Platform, CPI (ML) Central Team, and CPM (ML) New Democracy — these are all small, but they have a small mass base. They partake in mass struggles but do not conduct armed struggle at present. They are right deviationist in the understanding of the Maoists.

CPI (ML) Liberation is now fast turning revisionist, a fairly large party mainly in Bihar.

There are no left deviationist groups remaining in India. There used to be some Lin Piao groups, they hardly exist anymore.c. Communist League of India (ML) split from the CPI (ML) originally in the 1970s. They believe that India is a capitalist country. They split into five different groups. They are small and work in urban pockets.

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Interview: An Inside Look at Maoist Strategy in India

Posted by Rosa Harris on March 29, 2008

farmernadigram.jpgThis is an interview with G.N. Saibaba, the Deputy Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), an All Indian Federation of Revolutionary People’s Organisations. He is 40 years old and was born in Andhra Pradesh, a state in southern India. The new Norwegian party Rødt [Red!] conducted this interview in early December when Saibaba was in Norway for the memorial service for Tron Øgrim. The interview was conducted in English. Thanks to the Fire on the Mountain blog for posting it.

Red!: If someone said to you that the Maoist movement in India is a marginal movement that is mainly operating in very backward, lowly populated areas, and it has been doing so for over thirty-five years without getting anywhere, what would be your answer?

Saibaba:The Maoist movement in India is not confined to the backward areas. It’s a vast movement, and includes the “developed” areas. Maoists work both in the countryside and the cities. The government says that the Maoists are active in 15 out of 28 states. And these include the major states. The Union Home Ministry says that 167 districts out total 600 districts in the country are covered by Maoists. This is a little less than 1/3 of India.

The Maoists in India follow the New Democratic Revolutionary method proved successful in China under the leadership of Mao. This method follows that the revolutionary movement must put priority on working in the areas where the state is weak. The Maoists work in the backward regions to smash the local reactionaries’ power and establish people’s power. They build revolutionary mass bases in these backward areas. This doesn’t mean that they don’t also work in the cities. In fact, in the Congress of the CPI (Maoist) held in January/February 2007, they decided to increase their work in the urban areas. They have produced a new document concerning work in the urban areas that analyses the work done in the last thirty years. This document sets out a strategy for developing the work in the urban areas.

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Sri Lankan Maoists’ Thousand Flowers: Editorial

Posted by Rosa Harris on February 28, 2008

lilikoiflower_sm.jpg Kasama has received a new theoretical journal “Thousand Flowers” created by Maoist forces in Sri Lanka. We plan to publish a few articles from it here online, and work with others to make the whole issue available. (Thanks to Maoist Revolution list.) Read over the table of contents and share with us which essays you think are most important to post and discuss.

Editorial from the First Issue of Thousand Flowers

Thousand Flowers is intended to train a new generation of revolutionaries in grasping and applying the science of Marxism-Leninism- Maoism as a foundation for building the Ceylon Communist Party-Maoist . The objective is to build a new leadership that can formulate and solve the concrete problems of the Sri Lanka revolution. Through critical analysis and discussion, Thousand Flowers hopes to charter the scientific theory, strategy and path of the Lankan revolution.

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Sri Lankan Maoists’ Thousand Flowers: Contents & PDF

Posted by Rosa Harris on February 23, 2008

changwlee_3.jpgKasama has received a new theoretical journal “Thousand Flowers” created by Maoist forces in Sri Lanka We plan to publish a few articles from it here online, and work with others to make the whole issue available. (Thanks to Maoist Revolution list.) Read over the table of contents and share with us which essays you think are most important to post and discuss.

For a complete pdf file of this journal. (thanks to Eric Odell.)

Note: While “Thousand Flowers” describes itself as the journal of the Ceylonese Communist Party (Maoist) — it is worth pointing out that several different centers and lines claim continuity with that party. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sri Lankan Maoists’ Thousand Flowers: Open Letter to Communist Forces

Posted by Rosa Harris on February 23, 2008

ranweli-75.jpgKasama has received a new theoretical journal “Thousand Flowers” created by Maoist forces in Sri Lanka We plan to publish a few articles from it here online, and work with others to make the whole issue available. (Thanks to Maoist Revolution list.) Read over the table of contents and share with us which essays you think are most important to post and discuss.

Open Letter To Genuine Communist Revolutionary Forces.

By Comrade Surendra, Chairman, Ceylon Communist Party-Maoist

We have all experienced the disintegration of the proletarian revolutionary movement in our country. This is a tragic development given the historic challenges and opportunities facing the international proletariat and the oppressed people of the world. While many have abandoned revolution and sought secure pastures, others have stayed on the high road of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Socialism and Communism, upholding the crimson path of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. Some of us, along with the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM), have adopted Maoism as the highest stage in the development of Marxism-Leninism, while upholding the path of the new democratic revolution and protracted people’s war. Some have formed rival parties claiming the legacy of the CCP-M and of Comrade Shan. Some have formed small groups to sustain their own class limitations and personal needs. However, all these trends remain divorced from scientific revolutionary practice, from the masses, and from concrete reality. Their activity has no link to advancing the revolutionary class struggle towards the goal of Communism. Read the rest of this entry »

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