I have been away for a while
KATHMANDU, Dec 15: On Tuesday, Maoist party hardliner CP Gajurel stated publicly that the party would split soon, with current Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who leads the radical camp, as the head of a new party. Gajurel´s statement, however, received very little media attention as such rhetoric is nothing new coming from the Maoists.
In fact, the radicals publicly accuse the moderates of being foreign lackeys and betraying the dream of revolution, while the latter accuse the radicals of being war-mongers and ultra-leftist adventurists hell-bent on spoiling the party´s political achievements. But they have continued to remain in the same party.
Why have the Maoist factions, despite such differences and grave allegations hurled at each other, remained glued together as one party?
“It´s because none of the factions wants the stigma of having split the party,” says Maoist party establishment leader Ram Karki, who is close to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.
Both factions, party leaders say, are psychologically prepared for any eventuality, but are careful not to be blamed for a split — hence there is a state of equilibrium. Neither can the moderates, who are the party establishment, take disciplinary action against the “unruly” radicals, nor can the latter announce a split immediately.
“The party chairman is not so naive as to take action against the hardliners who are just looking for an excuse to split the party,” says a leader close to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Secondly, the radical faction led by Baidya is not a homogeneous block, nor is there any unanimity on the faction´s immediate strategy.
While Baidya and Dev Gurung are cautious about taking any ´bold decision´ immediately, influential leader Netra Bikram Chand, according to party insiders, is committed to going to any length to save the party´s “revolutionary line”. The wrath of party General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa and Secretary CP Gajurel, meanwhile, is directed against Dahal, with whom they have old scores to settle.
There is, however, unanimity among the hardliners that they should remain on the ready for making “bold moves” any time. And that´s the reason the hardliners have been frequenting the districts, exposing the “ideological deviation” of the party establishment and expanding their organization base. Chand, who is currently in New Delhi, is busy with foreign trips to expand his base in the party´s organization in various countries.
The “exposure campaign” being launched by the hardliners has become so detrimental to the party establishment that the latter too, according to politburo member Bishwo Bhakta Dulal, is making forays into the districts with the “message of peace and constitution”.
Thirdly, the hardliners, according to party insiders, want an opportune time to split the party so that they would be viewed as true “nationalists and revolutionaries” and would be able to win over the sentiments of party cadres.
And that´s why the hardliners are said to have vehemently opposed successive moves of the current government, including the four-point deal with the Madhes-based parties, the handover of weapons container keys to the Special Committee, the deal to return seized properties to their rightful owners, and the signing of a BIPPA with India, among others.
“But none of these stances turned out to be in their favor and could neither garner them popular support nor win over cadre sentiment. Instead, they were just viewed as anti-peace process elements,” says a leader close to Bhattarai.
They are seeking to forge an alliance with “leftists, nationalists and intellectuals” to take to the streets in the cause of national sovereignty and then unleash an urban insurrection. And, that is why they are hobnobbing with UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, some retired army officers and with royalists, among others.
Fourthly, the hardliners say the cadres should be convinced that it is they, the hardliners, who have inherited the mantle of the party´s revolutionary line of revolt endorsed by the Palungtar plenum.
“Our paths will bifurcate the day the party chairman formally sheds the Palungtar line of revolt, which is also the official line of the party. The chairman is apparently following Bhattarai´s line which was written in as a note of dissent against the Palungtar line, but he still claims ownership of the official line,” says politburo member Kul Prasad KC of the radical faction.
Not that there are no attempts to reconcile the hardliners with Chairman Dahal. Some leaders including Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Agni Sapkota are making a last ditch attempt in this regard, but any reconciliation looks, at least for now, a forlorn hope.
There is near unanimity among senior Maoist leaders that a party with such sharply divergent ideological orientations is not likely to remain intact. But there are divergent views on when the tussle is to be considered to have reached a boiling point. “The party cannot go on as it is. Without any reconciliatory steps, it may break up any time,” says a leader close to Bhattarai.
The party radicals say they will confront the party establishment in the forthcoming central committee (CC) meeting slated for December 23, though they are not sure Dahal will hold such a meeting that could be detrimental to the peace and constitution drafting process.
The leaders from the party establishment, however, say even if a meeting of the central committee is held, the Baidya faction will have no option other than to abide by the majority or split the party or plod on under the existing conditions.
But there are others who feel that Dahal will not let the hardliners split the party, something which will bring him into direct rivalry with Bhattarai in open politics. And on top of that, Dahal is not quite sure of his strength at the grassroots level. It was relatively easy for Dahal to handle the triangular conflict among Baidya, Bhattarai and himself. But handling a two-way conflict with Bhattarai may not be so easy.
According to sources, Dahal is holding regular talks with Baidya and wants to bring about cracks in the hard-line faction. “But Dahal´s strategy has only widened his distance from Chand, who has the organizational hold on the party,” observes a leader close to Chand.
It remains to be seen what strategic cards Dahal will play to convince the hardliners to keep the party unity intact as the peace process strides ahead.
(Here we have a new interview by Comrade Basanta, Politburo Member of UCPN (Maoist). It was posted in New Democratic People’s Front ( www.ndpfeont.net/). Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle also has posted it in the issue of 15 December 2011. Burning questions have been raised but comrade Basant’s answer is not satisfactory . The main problem is : what will be the next step of Baidhya faction , just showing dissatisfaction or bargaining for the Major ministerial posts? Nepalese medias have published a breaking news that Prachanda has projected General secretary Comrade Badal as the next prime minister . We know, thereafter comrade Gaurav and Gurung will handle the major ministerial posts. And we all know, first round of two line struggle will be completed.)
Nepal: Basanta on class struggle, revolutionary strategy, the international communist movement, and two-line struggle in the party
Interview with Basanta, Politburo Member, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Q. You said there is class struggle in the making of the new constitution. Can you elaborate which classes are aligned in to Nepal to backwards from the marching forward and how it is reflected in the expression of the new constitution. How they are placed in different parties? Which are the parties totally retrograde?
A. Constitution is a political document that guides the state power of the given country to drive forward. Like the state power, constitution is also relative to a certain class, oppressor or the oppressed. At one point of the people’s war, the Constituent Assembly came into being as a political tactic to drive forward the unfinished task of new democratic revolution in Nepal. The classes, which were fighting militarily during people’s war, are now clashing ideologically and politically in the Constituent Assembly. The front of class struggle has definitely changed but not the objective.
With the demolition of monarchy, feudalism has become weak in Nepal. The comprador bourgeois has acquired upper hand in the state power. However, the characteristic of the state power has not changed yet. The contradiction formed of the entire people of oppressed class, nation, region and sex on the one side and the comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie, which is leading the reactionary state power, on the other, is the principal contradiction. It is manifested now in the Constituent Assembly too. To write a constitution that paves the way forward to resolving the basic contradictions emerged out of semi-feudal and semi-colonial condition of Nepal and restructuring the state power accordingly is the task our party is trying to accomplish from the Constituent Assembly. However, two-line struggle seems to be sharp on the content of the constitution.
It is principally the class not a party, we are confronting with, in the Constituent Assembly. However, the ideological and political line of a party represents the interest of a certain class. In this sense, we have to struggle with the parties too. The Nepali Congress, a section of UML and some parties from Madhesh represent the interest of comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie and feudalism in Nepal. So we have sharp contention with them in the Constituent Assembly.
Q. You have earlier stated quoting Lenin that the prerequisites of insurrection is primarily that of class, the advanced class and not the party, revolutionary upsurge of the people and it should be timed when the enemies are vacillating. Does that mean to formulate your new tactics you take into account the support that may trickle out from the class composition of other parties as well and not that of your own strength? How does reflect the situation in your country?
A. In my opinion, the three conditions of insurrection: advanced class, revolutionary upsurge and the strongest vacillation in the enemy camp, which Lenin mentioned in his letter to the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. (B.) have universal significance. When I quoted Lenin I did not mean different than what Lenin meant in that letter. Therefore it does not imply that our party meant it to formulate a new tactic of insurrection. Definitely, presence of a revolutionary and well-disciplined party is a must without which the advanced class cannot be led to victory. While quoting Lenin what I meant is that only a genuine communist party and the masses supporting it are not enough for insurrection. Rather the entire advanced class, the proletariat, must remain prepared for the overthrow of the enemy, and the enemy should be in such a situation that it cannot continue in the status quo. It is equally true for our party and the country too if we talk about insurrection. I meant this when I quoted Lenin on insurrection.
Q. Your response to operation green hunt against the revolutionary in India and the genocidal attack in Sri Lanka on the Tamils was slow and belated. Was it an expression of assertion of the parliamentary revisionist trend?
A. It is correct that our party must have reacted immediately against the Operation Green Hunt launched by Indian expansionist ruling classes and against the genocidal attack upon Tamils in Sri Lanka. But we did not. There is a sharp two-line struggle in our party on this issue too.
Q. With reference to south Asia you said that the revolutionary situation remains objectively while the subjective forces are weak. And Indian expansionism as puppet/aligned to US imperialism stands primarily against the revolutionary trend. How do you see its impact on the Nepal revolution and the Indian revolutionaries? What course of action in solidarity you envisage to counter Indian expansionism?
A. The objective situation in South Asia is favourably developing for new democratic revolutions to succeed. However the unity among the forces which favour revolutionary change in the region is very weak. The US imperialism, Indian expansionism and their puppets in the individual countries are united to crush revolution in the entire region, including Nepal. So in order to develop their subjective strength the revolutionary parties in the region should work hard to build up three tiers of united fronts. Firstly, a united front formed of the entire revolutionary, progressive, democratic forces and national liberation movements against the domestic reaction in the individual countries, secondly, a united front formed of entire regional forces that stand against the Indian expansionism and thirdly, an anti-imperialist front formed of entire anti-imperialist forces all across the world are the three fronts of struggle that the revolutionaries in the region need to open. This is how the subjective strength can be built up to bring near the victory of new democratic revolutions in the countries of South Asia.
Q. Indian Maoists were critical of your fusion theory, insurrection at urban area along with protracted people’s war at the rural and also of your peaceful competition with the ruling classes in the election arena and not overthrowing of state power. Now after two years of parliamentary experience how do you see the situation? Whether both the fusion theory and peaceful competition still holds valid?
A. We don’t regard fusion as a theory. However, it is a concept which deals with the interrelation between mass struggles in the urban areas and protracted people’s war in the countryside. Chairman Mao had very correctly said that these two forms of struggles are not contradictory but complementary to each other. Mao said, before people’s war has been initiated, mass struggle in the cities helps initiate people’s war in the countryside and on the other mass struggle helps develop people’s war after it has been initiated. From this he meant that people’s war and mass struggle are complementary, while former is the principal aspect in the semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries.
Yet, there was and still is a trend in the ICM that does not grasp what Mao meant from this. It regards one-sidedly that people’s war is a model for the third world countries and insurrection for the developed ones. This trend tries to erect a Chinese wall between these two kinds of models. It is true protracted people’s war is principally applicable for the third world countries while the insurrection is for the developed ones. But, in our opinion to draw a demarcating line between these two is wrong. In the semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries there has been a sizeable development of bureaucratic capitalism and as a consequence it has brought about a significant change in the class relation of those types of countries. In our opinion, this change in the objective situation demanded further to take both the forms of struggles simultaneously, while keeping people’s war at the first place. To mean this we used the term fusion. By the term fusion we mean that some of the tactics of insurrection should be incorporated into the strategy of PPW in the third world countries. We think not only is this concept valid till now but should be developed further. Also we urge with the comrades from the capitalist countries to see whether there is a need to incorporate some of the tactics of PPW in their general line of insurrection. It is because, capitalism has undergone a considerable change and the bourgeois parliament too does not remain as democratic as it was in the beginning. We think the communist parties from both types of countries should study this new concept of fusion to develop class struggle in their respective countries. However, in the name of fusion of two kinds of tactics, one must remain wary from becoming eclectic.
We think revolution passes through a zigzag course of peaceful and violent class struggles. One must not mean that all violent struggles are revolutionary and all peaceful struggles are reformist. It is decided by the line of the given party. If the line is correct peaceful struggles help accumulate strength to make a leap into the higher level of violent struggle, but if the line is wrong, even the strong violent struggles also become a means to bargain for bigger share of reforms. So, it is the line not the form of struggle that is decisive. But it is not an argument placed to support peaceful transition. It is ultimately the armed strength of the proletariat that transforms power from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat.
BARA, Dec 4: The radical faction of the UCPN (Maoist) has intensified the land grab drive across the country. The Baidya faction erected the party flag in 22 bighas of land owned by Purwanchal property in Bara district on Friday.
The Maoist Deputy in-charge Ranjit Patel, however, claimed that the land has been under the Maoist control since 2001.
The land owned by the Jyoti Group had been sold to Purwanchal Property two years ago. The party flag was erected in the land under instructions from Awaseh Patel, Maoist in-charge of Constituency- 6 in Bara.
“We have heard the news that Maoists have erected a flag there. We don´t know more than that,” said Gagan Ale who oversees the land.
The Baidya faction has stated that the November 1 peace deal signed by the party establishment is against the party´s norms and values.
The party hardliners have argued that the government must implement revolutionary land reforms or make alternative arrangements for those currently using the land.
They have also warned of retaliation if the government uses force to return the seized land.
Indra Mohan Sigdel ‘Basanta’
PBM, Unified CPN (Maoist)
Our party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), had called its Central Committee Meeting on November 1, 2011. Chairman inaugurated the said meeting at 3 PM of the very day and some agendas were presented there. However, the meeting did not go even more than half an hour. Chairman postponed the meeting for 10 days after homage to the martyrs, the only agenda that was finished. In the inaugural statement he has put forward two things that have special meaning. First, now the line struggle has reached to its climax, we should make it reach to its conclusion. Second, this inner party struggle has not emerged as a result of differences in one or two tactical issues, but is the result of differences in overall set of tactic, i.e. line and strategy. But he has not, till now, placed any written document authentically in the party claiming his different position in the ongoing ideological and political line and strategy.
The inner party struggle of our party is not limited now within our party ranks only but has spilled out to the streets. Party’s problems are made reach to the streets, because they are very serious. Taking problems to the street is necessary and correct to the extent that it makes people aware of them and unites them on the basis of their outlook and partisanship. Nevertheless, it is party that should reach to a comprehensive synthesis of those problems. Therefore, this CC meeting is accompanied by serious challenges. They are firstly, related with establishing correct ideological, political, organisational and cultural line on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, secondly, uniting entire party ranks on the basis of revolutionary line and thirdly, developing a comprehensive plan consistent with that line to realise People’s Federal Republic.
For the last few months and mainly in the periphery of forming government under our party’s leadership a lot of wrong decisions have been taken in party name. Those decisions, on the one hand, are not in consistent with party’s general line, and, on the other, are not taken from any authentic body of our party. Those decisions have been taken by two leaders, party chairman and vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai, adopting wrong process and contradicting with party’s general policy. After those decisions were taken to implementation, they did not remain merely internal matters only. It became a necessity to make these issues reach to the broad masses, when the main leadership, who is responsible to defend party’s line, policy and system, does not stick by them. In this situation, Comrade Kiran and comrade Badal have shouldered the responsibility of defending party line. Now the political issues on which there are debates not only in the party but among the masses too are as follows.
Firstly, our party’s immediate political tactic is to establish People’s Federal Republic, which carries anti-feudal and anti-imperialist content. But, in the context of forming government, comrade chairman, with no notice to any other leaders, signed at mid-night a four-point deal with Madhesi parties in which he has agreed to write a constitution of democratic republic. Which committee decision authorised him to do this? By signing this deal, he stood against party’s political line of People’s Federal Republic on the one hand and violated the party system on the other. Moreover, in that very deal there is a vague sentence which reads that all the issues proposed by neighbouring countries will be resolved. In fact, it is nothing other but a support of and an indirect commitment to implementing the pending proposals by India in which she has asked Nepal to sign extradition treaty, allow stationing of Air Marshal in the Nepali airport and allow intrusion of Indian army to Nepal in the name of protecting the projects the Indian nationals own in Nepal. What does it mean for our chairman whose catchword has been national independence but puts signature on such an anti national agreement?
Secondly, forget about raising the issue of scrapping 1950 treaty, the Prime Minister put a signature on an anti-national BIPPA (Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement) with India when the Prime Minister Bhattarai had a first visit to Delhi. He openly violated the instruction of the Standing Committee meeting that had urged him not to sign in any controversial agreement with India in this transitional period. Chairman indirectly supported BIPPA by using ambiguous words. What is this, if not a betray to the nation, when a Prime Minister signs on an agreement with India in which Nepal agrees to provide facilities to Indian monopoly capitalist classes equal to the Nepalese investors and compensate the former when the projects undergo loss owing to internal causes like, Bandhs, strikes and rebellions? How does this accord stand in favour of Nepalese national bourgeoisie and Nepal herself? How does this deal agree with our party position in which it is said that the contradiction formed of mainly the Indian monopoly capitalist classes and their Nepalese agents, on the one hand, and Nepalese people and the nation, on the other, is the principal contradiction of the Nepalese society? Why our chairman uses ambiguous language in relation to this agreement which stands against party’s position on principal contradiction of Nepalese society. Does it mean anything other than national capitulationism?
Thirdly, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai declared to provide a relief package to the people after the government was formed under his leadership. But a strange, that did not show up as a relief package to the oppressed classes i.e. the landless and poor peasants. In fact, for the oppressed people, it was a ‘hurt’ package that made a commitment to returning the land back, with compensation, to those landlords from whom the landless and poor peasants had seized at the time of people’s war. Is not it a capitulation, before the landlord class, of the Maoist Prime Minister, who decided to return the land back to the landlords, and the Maoist party chairman, who forwarded to the entire party ranks a circular to implement that decision?
Fourthly, our party policy is to push both the processes of army integration and constitution writing side by side. But, well before the constitution was fixed, the PLA got disarmed by submitting container’s keys to the special committee no later than the government led by our party was formed. The seven point accord said to be related with peace process is such that has essentially surrendered PLA in the name of army integration. It goes against party’s central committee decision as regards army integration. Central Committee has categorically pointed out that firstly, national security policy should be framed, secondly, integration should be in an armed way and group-wise basis, thirdly, the new force should be formed comprising at least 50% from the PLA and rest from the security bodies, fourthly, this new force should be led by the PLA and finally it should be deployed as a border security force. Contrarily, the chairman signed a seven point deal which says to integrate PLA in an individual basis, disarm them and provide them the role of forest security guard and watchman. In this way, chairman Prachanda dissolved the PLA, which was said to have built up with an objective of preventing counter-revolution in the twenty-first century. Is not it a capitulation before the imperialists and their agents in Nepal? And which committee of our party authorised him to do this?
Fifthly, in order to bring to an end to the national, lingual and regional oppression imposed by the unitary state, the Nepalese people had achieved federalism, which is one of the main achievements of people’s war. The struggle our comrades waged in favour of establishing 14 federal states in Nepal has acquired majority in the state restructuring committee of the constituent assembly. Most of the parties, including Nepali Congress and UML, have opposed it. It is heard that our chairman has already agreed to the hidden proposal that the UML and Nepali Congress have put forward to organise Nepal in 7 federal states and form a parallel committee of the experts to help materialise it by reverting majority decision reached in the constitutional committee. Is not it a U-turn on the part of our chairman from his earlier position of federalism? Wherefrom did our chairman get this right to reach an agreement against party policy?
In total, after our party entered into peace process in general and formation of Baburam-led government in particular, our leadership has been taking wrong decisions against our party’s previous positions, commitments and concepts. They are manifested in the form of class and national treason. Now, the people have lost the entire achievements they had acquired during ten years of people’s war. There is no people’s power, the PLA that was formed under the Maoist concept of “People have nothing without people’s army” has been dissolved and also the federalism is being taken away by the so-called experts. Party’s policy of providing privileges for the oppressed people including Dalits, women, indigenous people, Muslims and Madhesis till they are competent in the society are being taken away from the impending constitution. Now what remains as the achievement of people’s war? How can one justify the validity of people’s war?
The aforesaid facts are not the expressions of mistakes and weaknesses on the part of our leadership. They are the outcome of his deviation from the ideological and political line and minimum strategy of our party. One can understand it from his long and recent interview which is published in a journal named Krambhanga, meaning rupture in English. He writes, “… Now it leads to a conclusion that the remaining task of New Democratic Revolution and the strategy of Socialist Revolution have converged at one point. Not that we should finish New Democratic Revolution first and then go for Socialist Revolution but the remaining task of New Democratic Revolution and the question of people’s insurrection, armed insurrection and socialist revolution have converged at one point.” In this way, the chairman has reached to a wrong conclusion that the establishment of bourgeois democratic revolution is the completion of New Democratic Revolution. This conclusion is against the decision of Chunwang CC meeting also. Now it is clear that our chairman had in fact adopted democratic republic as a strategy in Chunwang CC meeting though he said it was a tactic. All this clarifies that our chairman is in a swift process of rupturing from eclecticism to the vulgar evolutionism in ideology and centrist opportunism to the right revisionism in politics.
Why did our chairman put forward these ideas through Krambhanga, when the central committee meeting has just begun? It is very much meaningful. It clarifies that the chairman is in groundwork of putting forward a new revisionist line to liquidate the New Democratic Revolution into bourgeois democratic republic by dressing his right reformist programme with a gown of socialist revolution. In order to clear the way forward to New Democratic Revolution, it is urgently necessary to defeat his right revisionist line of socialist revolution from this meeting. And it is also an ideological footing to protect party unity. To make a jump into firm ideological struggle against chairman’s right revisionism is the need of the day for this CC meeting and the entire Central Committee members as well.
November 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The Workers Dreadnought again leaves harbor
A blog I check every day, Workers Dreadnought, has been on hiatus for a few months. But now: