This article by Rishi Raj Baral (convener of Revolutionary Intellectual–Cultural Forum, Nepal) was posted on the excellent blog Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle which I read daily. I am reposting the document because I think people should read it as the editors of the blog suggest, and I find that there are clear similarities between his appraisal of the political situation in Nepal and mine. I think what the author particularly adds to the discussion is a larger historical contextualization, especially in relation to the Chunwang meeting. However, I think that the problem that I have with the analysis of the respected author is his overemphasis on Prachanda being the root of the problem. I do not think that the problems that plague the UCPN(Maoist) are simply due to the chameleon-like nature of Prachanda, but rather, is the effect of several problems, organizational and theoretical alike, within that organization which reflect different visions of communism, the role of the Communist Party etc. which have yet to be resolved. Indeed, the particular opportunistic moves that Prachanda has engaged in should be criticized however, they should not absolve the larger Party from taking responsibility for this mess as well. Indeed, there is a plague in all houses involved. The Party as a whole needs to rectify, not simply one leader or group of leaders and their respective factions, but cannot do so until there is some form of resolution about what the ‘transformation’ should look like. The Central Committee has adopted a position that reflects one vision of the Party: a communist electoral Party, much more akin to the UML. However, there must be differences between Bhattarai and Prachanda on the architecture of such a Party as it is well-known that Bhattarai and his faction oppose the over-centralization of power in the figure of Prachanda. On the other hand, the Kiran faction has never been on clear about the architecture of a rectified Party, and has consistently emphasized the need for revolt but with little effect on Party line. It now necessary for Kiran to fulfill these tasks so that he can provide a clear opposing model to that being proposed by Baburam Bhattarai and Prachanda.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the fractures in the Party have not been resolved through this recent vote and the UCPN(Maoist)’s May Day rally was delayed (see http://www.myrepublica.com article posted at the bottom of the post) due to the fact that there were going to be three rallies which reflected the three different ANTUF(R) factions, however, they were able to have a single rally after Prahcanda agreed that there would be a fair resolution to the problems that plagued that organization and stated publicly at the May Day rally that perpetrators of crimes would be brought to justice. It seems like the two-line struggle in the UCPN(Maoist) has not been resolved and continues unabated. The question remains which bend in the road will it take next?
[This article by Rishi Raj Baral is a detailed commentary on the recent and current events within the Maoist party in Nepal, the UCPN(M), on the occasion of the current central committee meeting. This meeting will, by many accounts, bring to an end the two-line inner-party struggle. This struggle over strategic line and direction has been conducted over the years since the conclusion of the People’s War (five years ago) and its replacement by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to share governmental administrative power with the bourgeois parties. This article provides a detailed narrative of events leading to the present, and provides the author’s assessment of the juncture now reached. We urge all friends of the revolution in Nepal and all concerned about this juncture for the international movement, to study this article. — Frontlines ed.]
by Rishi Raj Baral, convener of Revolutionary Intellectual–Cultural Forum, Nepal
The central committee meeting of UNCP( Maoist) is going on and there is a sharp debate and discussion upon the document of Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Comrade Mohan Baidhya. In the name of party’s decision Dahal group may succeed to gain the technical majority. Then it is clear, it will be the betrayal of the revolution and deceit to the party workers and cadres.Now, it is crystal clear that there is nothing but a little bit faith on revolution in the mind of Pushpa Kamal Dahal. After all ‘Prachanda’ came out in his real color.
Chunwang meeting was not only a predetermined plan to abandon revolution, the people’s war but also was the abandonment of Marxism–Leninism and Maoism. In fact, Chunwang meeting was the preparation for bourgeois political system and so called democracy. It also proved that Prachanda can adopt and accept every thing, is even ready to make close contact with the reactionary powers outside the country for the sake of his own interests and for exercising power. It has been clear that he will not hesitate even to betray the heroic and sacrificial history of the Nepalese people for his personal interest and power. It is obvious that his slogan of nationalism and national independence is a mere show and a rubbish propaganda. Publicly, he opposes the Indian expansionist, but in reality he is the supporter of Indian expansionist.
In the name of creativity, Prachanda is always thinking of ways to gain more power. Like a chameleon changing its color, sometimes he pretends himself as a revolutionary and becomes close to revolutionary leaders within the party and sometimes he becomes close to reformists and revisionists (most of the time he makes his closeness to the reformists and revisionism of the party) within the party to remain constantly in the party leadership. There should not be any confusion that in general, Prachanda seems to be a centrist–opportunist but in fact, he is a rightist– reformist. During the people’s war, after the conspiratorial capture of Comrade Mohan Baidhya, Prachanda enjoyed his time with the revisionists of the party. Then he compromised with Indian expansionists.
He knows how to play with the words; playing with the words he opposed the People’s War ideologically and sowed the seeds of liquidation in the party in the Chunwang meeting. Now there is no confusion that Chunwang meeting was a predetermined program to betray the revolution, the people’s war and Marxism–Leninism and Maoism. The present meeting is going to be the repetition of the same ‘Popular Drama’.
After the so called ‘peace process’ the ten years people’s war was abandoned legally. But after the release of Comrade Kiran and Comrade Gaurav from Indian jail, there began a serious study and analysis of the decisions of Chunwang meeting. Prachanda tried to take Comrade Kiran and Gaurav along with him. Instead of compromising with Prachanda and betraying the revolution, comrade Kiran and Gaurav raised the flag of revolution and there occurred a sharp two line struggle between reformists and revolutionary Marxists. Two line struggle intensified and Prachanda was compelled to call the extended meeting, which is known as Balaju meeting. This meeting was held in August 2007 and to some extent this meeting was able to prevent the party from being revisionist. But after some days, Prachanda made close relationship with the revisionists within the party and again became active to make ‘good relation’ with–Indian reactionaries. It raised many questions and again took sharp two line struggle within the party. The plenum, which is known as Kharipati meeting, was its consequence.
In Kharipati meeting the centrist and rightist group were united and they stood against the revolutionaries. But there also revolutionaries succeeded to prevent the party from being revisionist. After a lot of debate, discussion and analysis revolutionaries decided to move forward in the leadership of Prachanda. But revolutionaries continued the two line struggle. They decided to move ahead watching and warning the leadership.
It’s a matter of irony; again he repeated his habitual behavior– doing everything in words but nothing in action. It seemed like he was talking of climbing the Mt. Everest and sliding down towards the Indian ocean. Again he deceived the Nepalese people. He did not implement any of the resolutions passed by Kharipati meeting. There was a great contrast in his words and actions. In the name of peace and building the constitution, he again began to exercise the politics of bourgeois republic. He had no faith on the heroic history of the people and the great power of the people. Outwardly, he seemed as if he is raising the flag of revolution and national independence, but in his mind, he was always restless to compromise with the Indian expansionists.
Palungtar meeting passed the resolution of People’s revolt. The Maoist party had adopted the line of revolt through a majority vote at a central committee meeting held a few days after the Palungtar plenum. For few days, Prachanda took the name of People’s revolt. But after some days, when he realized the situation is in favor of him, he again started repeating the words ‘Shanti ra Sambidhan’, that means–’Peace and constitution.’ Then he started the journey of Singapore to please the Indian reactionaries. He kept the resolution, passed by 1500 delegates of Palungtar plenum, in shadow. It created anarchism and deadlock within the party and naturally it sharpened two line struggle within the party.
It was not a matter of surprise that he was habituated to become close to one or the other group for his own interest. He made political and ideological compromise with the rightist group within the party. Finally, Prachanda came out in his real color. The document presented in this last meeting is the clear evidence of his treacherous role. This document advocates the revisionism and national surrender.
The main character of Prachanda is metaphysical attitudes in philosophy, pluralism in Politics and consumerism and utilitarian in practice. In general, Prachanda seems as a centrist–opportunist, but in essence his political line is of rightist reformism. Babu Ram Bhattarai is clear in his politics, no doubt he is a leading figure pleading the Indian expansionist and bourgeois democracy within the Maoist party. Babu Ram has exposed himself as an Indian supporter and Prachanda is a supporter in disguise. Only this is the difference between them. In reality, in the ideological field, there isn’t any difference between Prachanda and Baburam, the only question is who leads the rightist camp.
The document presented by Prachanda in this meeting, is the repetition and continuation of Chungwang meeting. This is a great deceit to the revolution and martyrs of the Great People’s war. The Nepalese reactionaries and reactionaries of abroad have praised this ‘ historical’ document. They have congratulated him too. It is not a new thing, those who betray the revolution, are always praised by the reactionaries. It is known to all that recently Oli “comrade” ( a notorious leader of UML) had invited Babu Ram to join his party. Really, a serious ideological deviation has bedeviled the Maoist chairman . Now the open journey of rightist deviation starts from this point. It is a grave betrayal against the proletariat and their dream of revolution. This will be the negative example for the revolutionaries of 21st century.
These events have created great challenges and responsibilities to the revolutionaries within the Maoist party. In the two line struggle if revolutionaries have to accept the revisionist, it will be the surrender to them. Indeed, Liquidation or revolution? — there are only two alternatives to choose from. The revolutionaries have both, challenges and possibilities. Revolutionaries should learn from the history of communist movements of the world. But the real thing is–they have to work not by emotion but by reason and conscience. We can guess that the revolutionaries may face the situation of Naxalbari uprising and the situation of Com. Charu Mazumdar. But we know it is the age of 21st century and Nepalese people have gained the experience to fight against the reactionaries and revisionists.
Now it is necessary to give continuation to the revolution to safeguard the achievements and values of the Great people’s war. Likewise, safeguarding the revolutionaries, their development and preventing it from left liquidation and deviation are the challenges revolutionary camp will face in coming days.
We all know that in the name of objective reality, counter revolution and insufficient homework for the revolt, the party leadership wants to overthrow the party into the revisionism line. Really, there is a risk of counter revolution, not from reactionaries but from the Maoist leadership itself. It has gone astray, it has deviated from the line and spirit of Palungtar meeting. Revolutionaries should not remain mute spectators and make last effort to implement the decision of Palungtar. But it seems that there is no possibility for this.
The main leader is not eager to go ahead leading the Palungtar spirit. If the main leader is not ready for this then there is no other way to move the vehicle of revolution except to break relations with the revisionists. To prepare mentally and physically for this kind of movement is the only correct way shown by the history. We must be ready to denounce the revisionists and raise the flag of MLM and revolution. Yes, let us raise the flag of revolution high.
POST B BASNET
KATHMANDU, May 1: The long-standing rivalry and factionalism in the Maoist trade union came to the fore once again, delaying by hours the party´s scheduled function organized to mark the International Workers´ Day at Bhrikuti Mandap on Sunday.
The party delayed the program to convince rival trade union factions– loyal to Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and Vice-chairman Dr Babaruam Bhattarai respectively — that decided to hold a separate May Day rally at New Baneshwor.
These factions stated that they would not attend the program called by Secretary Posta Bahadur Bogati-led trade union committee as it has not enforced the party´s decision to take action against union leaders involved in beating up of fellow union members. But the Baidya and Bhattarai factions withdrew their plan at 1 pm after the Bogati-led committee assured them that their demands would be addressed.
“We participated in the program at Bhrikuti Mandap after the committee agreed to enforce the party´s decisions,” said Badri Bajgain from the Baidya faction.The Maoist trade union has been split vertically into three factions led by Saligram Jammakattel, Lal Dhwaj Nembang and Bajgian. Jammakattel is close to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Bajgain to Baidya and Nembang to Bhattarai.
As per the agreement, the party would enforce the earlier decision to take action against union members from the Jammakattel faction who were found guilty of attacking those from Bajgain and Nembang factions.
Second, both Bajgain and Nembang would be allowed to speak at the function. And most importantly, Dahal would announce from the dais during the program that he is committed to take action against the guilty. Honoring the agreement, Dahal said the party would not spare the guilty.
“We are still probing various incidents [of physical attacks by one faction against the other] and some truths have already come to light. No one would go scot-free,” said Dahal. He called on the union leaders to stand united to defeat the “reactionaries and conspirators”.
Jammakattel has been accused of physically assaulting unionists from the Bajgain and Nembang factions.
“Encouraged by the party´s reluctance to take action against the guilty, they have been continuously launching physical attacks against us,” said Hom Subedi who is close to Nembang.
In an attempt to diffuse the crisis in the union, the party last month removed Jammakattel from the position of the union chief, and entrusted the Bogati-led committee with the task of holding a national convention to elect a new leadership. But Jammakattel remains too strong a figure to be rendered powerless.
Party insiders say the huge amount of money the party collects as “donations” from the businessmen across the country has been the major reason behind the conflict in the union.
Dahal warns of revolt if no statute on time
Addressing the function at Bhrikuti Mandap, Dahal stated that people may take to streets after May 28 if the CA falls prey to conspiracy.
The Maoist party sees the CA as an achievement of the party and wants to keep it intact until the constitution is written.
The Maoist chief argued that the country stands at crossroads. “We are close to writing a pro-people constitution and also very close to counter-revolution,” he said. The Maoist chief also threatened to go back to war. “We fought for 10 years and the party is again ready to fight for another 50 years if need be,” he said.