[The following intervention by comrade Basanta elucidates further the crisis and opportunity faced by genuine revolutionaries in Nepal following the liquidation and merger into the NCP on May 18th. For another revolutionary perspective on these events, see Baidya’s intervention. Both texts were originally hosted on Banned Thought, and have been edited here for grammar. As always, the following is provided here for the purpose of study and struggle.]
History has made an irony on May 17, 2018, in the communist movement of Nepal. The duo KP Oli and PK Dahal, by dissolving their respective parties, the CPN (UML) and CPN (MC), have built a new party through a joint meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residence, Baluwatar. Party formation has been declared from a ‘Party Unity Declaration Programme’ organized at City Hall, Kathmandu. The new party has been named the Communist Party of Nepal. The printed and digital media have publicised that a two-member Chair, a 9-member Secretariat, a 45-member Standing Committee and a 441-member Central Committee has been created. The 6-point declaration issued jointly by KP and PK says that ‘Socialism-Oriented People’s Democracy’ will be their future political programme. And Marxism-Leninism has been adopted as their guiding principle. Obviously, Maoism has been dropped.
This event has created debate in the whole political landscape of Nepal in general, and the left political circle, in particular. The rival parliamentarian party, Nepali Congress, seems to have been scared of this unity and the vote it garners. Some of the people have weighed up this unity as a carrier of their fortunes. There is not much enthusiasm on the part of the general masses that support communist parties in Nepal. People, who have already seen governments formed by the erstwhile parties, are not so optimistic about this party unity. The one-sided rhetoric that the unity is a path towards stability and prosperity of the country and people has caused some confusion among the general masses. The cadres of Maoist Center seem a little more enthused and those of UML seem to be skeptical of this unity.
Historically, the CPN (Maoist) and CPN (UML) were two different parties standing at opposite poles. The CPN (UML) had been pursuing a right revisionist line since before its fourth congress and followed the path of peaceful competition under the constitutional monarchy and parliamentarian multiparty system after 1990 mass movement. The CPN (Maoist) was a revolutionary party since its formation and engaged in revolutionary struggles against the parliamentary system to establish the new democratic republic in Nepal. In 1996, it initiated protracted people’s war and led the people’s liberation army to establish new democratic state power in Nepal. Quite the reverse, the CPN (UML) was involved in repression upon Maoists to defend the parliamentary system in force of the reactionary state army. UML leaders had signed blindly in the paper that the Congress government had proposed a bounty on the heads of Maoist leaders. Many people in Nepal are aware. In short, these two parties have long stood at opposite poles.
Whatever has been said before is not any subjective allegation of my own. The Maoist documents portray a clear picture of how the Maoists look at the CPN (UML) yesterday. In a booklet titled “Historical Documents” published by the CPN (Maoist), we find on page 71, paragraph 2, “In the situation when the right revisionist UML clique, which has degenerated into reaction but has not been exposed among the masses, on the one hand, and our party, which has appeared as a revolutionary alternative but has not yet been established practically among the people, on the other, the thing that draws special attention here is that Masal and the liquidationist groups are now attempting to confuse people along the same line that the right revisionist UML clique had done before.” This excerpt is self-evident and does not need any further elucidation.
A question arises, what made these two parties standing at diametrically opposite poles before arriving at one point now? In order for this to happen, either one of these two conditions—one, the UML has, through a revolutionary transformation, reached now previous Maoist position, or two, the Maoist Center has, through a counter-evolutionary degeneration, reached now the previous UML position—must have been fulfilled. Bluntly speaking, how can two pedestrians, who are walking towards two opposite directions, turn up moving in the same direction unless one of them makes a U-turn? It is an important question to take note of.
We come to hear that these two parties have arrived at one point because the political revolution has been completed with the establishment of a republic in Nepal, and what is now necessary is to collectively work for economic prosperity. This is utter nonsense. Have the workers and peasants and the oppressed masses including women, indigenous nationalities, Dalits, Madhesis, Muslims etc. won emancipated from the exploitation and oppression perpetrated by their domestic enemies: the bureaucratic and comprador bourgeoisie and feudal class? Has Nepal won liberation from imperialist and expansionist oppression? Has Nepal come to witness the establishment of the People’s Republic, which was said to be a minimum program of the erstwhile CPN (Maoist)? Has Nepal been freed from the yoke of semi-feudal, semi-colonial and neo-colonial socio-economic conditions? Has not Modi’s recent trip to Nepal helped uncover the national capitulationist behavior of the Nepalese ruling parties and the former’s expansionist attitude towards Nepal? However, the fact is that internal and external oppression is getting worse. The country’s economic dependency is doubling each day and quadrupling each night. The trade balance is skyrocketing and the export to import ratio is as high as 1:15. All this shows that a political revolution has not been accomplished but has become an urgent need to get rid of the challenges noted above.
What everyone knows is that UML was a reactionary party, neck deep in parliamentarism, and it is so even today. It has not made any change in its previous ideological and political position. Regardless of this, unity has taken place between these two parties. How is it possible? It clearly means it is the result of the Maoist Centre embodying UML path. In other words, this unity has been possible only after the Maoist center arrived at upholding UML position. It is the outcome of ideological degeneration of Maoist Center into UML, and nothing other. The Maoist party that had raised arms against the reactionary state yesterday has now started speaking the language of repression upon revolutionaries by deploying the same army and police it had fought against in the past. This too clarifies the question further.
Now a question arises: Is it that the Maoist Centre has adopted UML line only now? No, it had begun before, but has only been openly revealed to the public now. The erstwhile CPN (Maoist) had started gestating UML line from the very day it had tabled a document titled ‘Democracy in the 21st century.’ It had already started pursuing the UML line by adopting the Democratic Republic slogan in the Chunwang meeting. Later, the election of the constituent assembly, restructuring of the state, 12-point understanding etc. had been the events that had laid one brick each to the process of Maoists embodying UML line. While arriving at the so-called comprehensive peace agreement, disarmament of the People’s Liberation Army, declaration of the end of people’s war, submission of the PLA into Nepalese army and the promulgation of a reactionary constitution from the second constituent assembly, the course of Maoist Centre transforming ideologically and politically into UML had essentially been completed. Since then, the two parties, MC and UML, had existed only in name. The present unity is only the revelation of their common essence in open form. It is the open manifestation of Prachanda’s degeneration into reaction. This whole process has again justified Mao’s assertion that, in the final analysis, revisionism is reaction.
The leadership that had portrayed a revolutionary image in the past has now submitted to a reactionary party through this unity process. No revolutionary the world over wanted it to happen. But now, there is no way to deny it. In fact, this unity has logically brought to an end the state of affairs through which Prachanda could confuse honest cadres and people by showing the sacrifice he had made in history. Now, he will not be able to take the benefit of the sacrifice he had made in the past and confuse the revolutionary people anymore. In the days to come, we will hear no terminology like Maoism, people’s war, new democracy, revolution etc. in his speeches. He has made a rupture to the form that resembles his essence. Now, no revolutionary people will be confused by him. He has clarified his side. In this sense, he must be thanked and this is the positive aspect seen in the unity between the MC and UML.
Our country is a very fertile land for communists. History is a witness; the Nepalese people have always stood in favor of revolution and change. Notwithstanding, the leadership who had a revolutionary history has betrayed revolution and liquidated the party. Maoism does not remain a guiding ideology for this newly formed party and it has stopped talking about communism and proletarian internationalism. An abstract programme: “Socialism-oriented People’s Democracy” has been projected as their political goal. They have declared that peaceful parliamentarian struggle is their path of struggle to attain this target. The conscious Nepalese people who have been waging relentless struggle for new democracy, socialism and communism will not stand by this regression. Sooner or later, they will be exposed among the masses.
Finally, it points towards a possibility of new polarisation and broader unity among the revolutionaries, which is good for genuine Maoists and new democratic revolution in Nepal. The Maoist parties must take it seriously and work hard to bring all revolutionaries into a single fold. The chances of revolutionary transformation remain more tangible during crisis and in the midst of enemy offensives, not in normal situations. The confusion spread by reactionaries does not last long. Their doom is not far. Let us grasp this, work hard and rise up to change this challenge into possibility; the future is bright.
May 17, 2018