Yuba Nath Lamsal
Recently, the national Congress of the Mohan Vaidya-led CPN-Maoist concluded with its resolve to pursue and advance the revolution, which it claims to have been left in the crossroad by the leadership of the UCPN-Maoist in general and its principal leader Prachanda in particular. The party which was created after the split from the mother party—the UCPN-Maoist—did everything to justify the split. But this new party seems not to have so far been successful in justifying for what it was constituted.
Similarly, the seventh national congress of the UCPN-Maoist is going to begin in Hetauda on February 2, 2013, which is also expected to come up with a new policies and programmes of Nepali revolution. The seventh congress of the UCPN-Maoist is being held in 21 years. Thus, the party has described the seventh congress as the historic one. The congress is surely going to be a historic congress because the party is expected to chart out a different course for completing its version of revolution. The party adopted the political line of protracted people’s war to achieve its immediate goal of new democratic revolution and accordingly launched a guerilla war, which achieved partial success. The People’s War reached the stage of strategic equilibrium and also prepared the ground for the final strategic offence to seize state power. However, changes in the domestic situation as well as in the international objective conditions necessitated the party to adjust its policies and programs relating to the revolution. As a consequence, the party took a tactical shift in what is called Chunbang meeting in which it decided to take ahead simultaneously the armed insurgency as well as the peace talks for strategic advance. The present political process including the peace process, constitution writing, constituent assembly election and the issues concerning the abolition of monarchy, declaration of republic, secularism and inclusive and proportionate representation are all the results of the policy shift taken by the UCPN-Maoist in the Chunbang meeting. Although peace process is still at the cross road, the above mentioned achievements are definitely historic ones which need to be formally institutionalized. But a faction led by Mohan Vaidya had opposed the entire process initiated after the Chunbang meeting including the tactics of peace and constitution. The disgruntled faction staged open protest against the party’s decision on peace and constitution, which ultimately led to the vertical split in the party.
Revolution is the buzzword that the communists often take up both in public and private. So is with Nepali communists. The Vaidya faction, which later came to be formally reorganized as the CPN-Maoist, not only denounced the mother party—UCPN-Maoist— to have abandoned the path of revolution but also declared itself as the torchbearer and vanguard of new democratic revolution. This is how this new party has attempted to justify the split. In the recently held national congress, the CPN-Maoist has adopted the political line of popular insurrection and also hinted that it may take up arms if its peaceful course was obstructed. In this way, it has presented ambiguous programme, which is neither peaceful nor armed revolution. It has, one the one hand, tried to justify the armed people’s war like the one Mao Zedong applied in China prior to the success of Chinese Revolution in 1949. The CPN-Maoist has also said that it would pursue the policy to complete the ongoing political process concerning peace and constitution, on the other. Similarly, it is not clear whether peaceful approach is its strategy or tactics. The popular insurrection is the model applied by V I Lenin during the October Revolution. In the first place, it has to be thoroughly debated and analyzed whether the objective conditions of Russia in 1918 and the present objective conditions of Nepal are identical. Lenin’s model was armed insurrection. But the CPN-Maoist has not spelled out whether its model of insurrection was armed or peaceful except the hint that it may take up arms in future.
If the CPN-Maoist has to be different from the UCPN-Maoist, it has to adopt the political line of protracted people’s war but not the popular revolt. The political line of popular revolt or insurrection does not make it different from the UCPN-Maoist because the UCPN-M, too, has the declared political line of ‘popular revolt if its peace and constitution policy’ was obstructed. The political report that the CPN-Maoist has adopted in its congress does not justify the split from the UCPN-Maoist.
So far as the UCPN-Maoist is concerned, it has dismissed the charges labeled by the CPN-Maoist against it and said that it has never abandoned the path of revolution. Instead, it claims to have taken an innovative and unique course to further develop and complete the revolution through which it intends to establish new democratic system and ultimately achieve socialism and communism.
Revolution, establishment of new democratic system and elimination of feudal and semi-colonized condition of Nepal have been the core objective of the foundation of the communist party in Nepal. Over the period of six decades, the communist movement has been badly fragmented. Ideology and revolution are primary justification of all communist parties and groups that came into existence in Nepal. However, as the time passes, these parties slowly degenerate into revisionism, reformism and rightist road. There is a divided version and opinion on the development of communist movement. There is even debate and division in the opinion on the date of the birth of the Communist Party of Nepal. But there is no divided opinion on the purpose for which the Communist Party of Nepal was born.
Puspa Lal founded the Communist Party of Nepal in 1949 as a vanguard organization of the poor, proletariats and all other exploited and oppressed lot of the people of Nepal. The fundamental purpose and objective of the founding of the Communist Party of Nepal was to spearhead the revolution under the leadership of the poor and proletariats initially to liberate Nepal from repressive Rana Oligarchy and ultimately launch a revolution to completely eliminate all forms of internal and external domination and exploitation thereby establishing a new democratic rule in Nepal. Right from its birth, the communist party fell into controversy not on ideology but on issue concerning leadership, which gave birth to polemics of different hues and color and ultimately led the split. This polemics and split not only weakened the entire movement but also dashed the people’s hope for revolution, radical change and liberation from semi-feudal and semi-colonized conditions. The communist party had rightly analyzed the condition of Nepal as being the feudal and semi-colonized. At that time, feudalism had it’s hey days with Ranas being the principal ruler of Nepal and Shah monarchy in the ceremonial role. The Rana Oligarchic regime represented feudalism in Nepal whereas the British domination and their interference and dictation in our internal affairs had reduced Nepal into semi-colonized status. Thus, the communists had clearly pointed the contradiction of Nepalese people with feudalism within the country and British imperialists outside. The Ranas had the backing of British rulers and it was necessary to fight British imperialism to sustain and succeed revolution in Nepal with the objective of overthrowing the Ranas.
The communist movement as of now represents the same legacy. Out of the mother party, several new communist groups were born and some of them also vanished with the march of time. Although there are more than a dozen communist parties and groups exist in Nepal, there are only three fundamental trends in Nepal which are represented by the UCPN-Maoist, CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML. These three groups claim to be the genuine representative of the communist movement in Nepal. The CPN-UML has already abandoned revolution and it has totally adopted western capitalist model of liberal democracy. Although it continues to have communist, Marxist and Leninist tag in its name, it, in practice, has nothing to be called communist or Marxist and Leninist. Given the sharp contrast in name and the programmes, it would do well for the CPN-UML to change either its name or programme in order to maintain compatibility between the name and programmes. There is a remote chance for the CPN-UML to change its programme, the change of name would be better to call itself as Nepal Social Democratic Party rather than the communist party. Given the newer trends and developments in the party, the CPN-UML is not likely to represent any trend of communist movement in Nepal and it would be a part of liberal democratic trend. The CPN-Maoist claims to be the revolutionary but it tends to be more dogmatic and appears to be more hybrid type of communist party. One likes it or not the UCPN-Maoist is the mainstream trend of the communist movement in Nepal which intends to pursue the revolutionary path but with unique and innovative method depending upon Nepal’s own objective situation and peculiarities.
Marxism is a science of organizing for revolution. But Nepal’s Marxists seem to be self-centrist and are least concerned about the revolution, change and fundamental purpose of revolution and the movement. Power seems to have been the basic concern and priority for these parties. If the parties and leaders are genuinely concerned about the revolution and fundamental changes in the country’s base and superstructure, the revolutionaries in all parties need to unite to further advance the revolution.